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About

The Committee’s charge is to review and make recommendations to the President regarding physical planning for the Ithaca campus including master planning, land use and physical development, landscape and environmental planning and design, transportation planning, circulation and parking, and infrastructure, new construction and renovations as they relate to the overall planning and character of the Ithaca campus.

The CPC shall seek advice and comments from non-members while discussing a specific issue or design.

History of the Campus Planning Committee

During the early decades of the University, planning advice was sought from eminent professionals in the field, guided by the University President and Trustees. This trend changed in 1922, when the trustees appointed the University Plan Commission (UPC), whose membership included Trustee J. Du Pratt White as chairman, and President Farrand, Professor F.H. Bosworth, Professor Charles H. Hull, Trustees Henry W. Sackett and Robert H. Treman. In 1923, the Architectural Advisory Board (AAB) was formed at the request of alumni to assist the University Plan Commission in setting the overall framework of circulation ad building location, and in review and critiques of the plans of architects commissioned to design buildings so that the whole would achieve architctural unity.1 The Architectural Advisory Board’s first members were Warren Manning, landscape architect from Cambridge, MA and also a Trustee (who later became Cornell’s Landscape Advisor), F. H. Bosworth, Dean of the College of Architecture, and Milton B. Medary of Yale University.

This process remained in place until the demands of a growing student population, concerns about the environment and the preservation of significant buildings and open space forced a more inclusive process. In October 1965, President Perkins suggested the formation of a Committee on Environmental Values as a means of sounding faculty views on the peservation and enhancement of campus values. The Environmental Values Committee, created by Kermit Carlyle Parson (K.C. Parsons) former chair of City and Regional Planning in the College of Architecture and later Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, was established by action of the Faculty Council in November 1965.2 Its charge was to advise the Vice Provost and the Universty Planning Office on matters related to the preservation and enhancement of existing values, to report regularly to the Faculty Council, and at least annually to the Faculty.3 The Environmental Values Committee later evolved into the Campus Planning Committee.

During the early 1980’s, the Campus Planning Committee comprised of about twelve members all “at large” faculty, staff, or students, and it primarily functioned as a project design review board commenting on building and site designs usually around the Desig Development stage. In the mid to late 1980’s, the Committee focused more on planning issues, and participated in the rewriting the Comprehensive Planning Policies from 1972 [formed the Special Areas Committee which evaluated the Cornell building inventory for architectural significance].

In 1994, Cornell University adopted the Charter establishing the Campus Planning Committee (CPC) as an Associate Committee of the University Assembly with a membership consisting of four presidential appointments, eight position appointments, eight additional members, undergraduate and graduate students, and ex‐officio members. The Campus Planning Committee is advisory to the President.

During this period, the CPC also included individuals with helpful expertise. Several ex officio positions were created for chairpersons of departments such as Historic Preservation, Art, Landscape Architecture, Planning, etc. and the committee also participated in the development of the Precinct Plans under the direction of the Provost, Robert Barker, and established a Design Review Subcommittee to perform project design review rather than have the full committee work on it.

Today, the Design Review Subcommittee is no longer active. The full CPC is now more focused on campus‐wide planning issues from different perspectives. The project focus continues through early review of Site Criteria for Capital Projects. The Ex‐Officio list has been expanded to include senior staff from colleges and central administration who provide additional insight nd knowledge to discussions of campus wide issues, likely planning initiatives and upcoming projects.

The process of writing Site Criteria by the Campus Planning Office began in the 1980s and was created to provide information ad planning and design guidelines to Capital Projects at their beginning. Site Criteria became firmly established in the mid to late 1990’s as project design review diminished in importance and the process allows for CPC input at the very early stages of their deveopment by the Campus Planning Office.4

Previous members of the Committee still on campus include the College of Architecture Professor Jerry Wells, and Associate Professor Vincent Mulcahy, Associate Professor Val Warke, Dean of Students, Kent Hubbell, and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Leonard Mirin.

By Helen Baker October 14, 2005

1 Kermit Carlyle Parsons The Cornell Campus Cornell University 1968 p. 234 2 Lewis Roscoe Planning on Campus L&A Publications 2000 p. 58 3 Kermit Carlyle Parsons The Cornell Campus Cornell University 1968 p. 271 4 John Ullberg, Landscape Architect, Campus Planning Office

Contact the Campus Planning Committee

109 Day Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

ph. (607) 255–3715
fx. (607) 255–2182

Hours: 9a - 12:15p, 1p - 4:30p, M - F

assembly@cornell.edu