Coed housing, other long-term possibilities

Author: Ed Cohen

New student residences, possibly co-ed. Study-abroad destinations in China and India. The demolition of Stepan Center. Students expected to speak at least two languages.

Those are all goals laid out in the University’s latest strategic plan, Notre Dame 2010: Fulfilling the Promise, approved by the Board of Trustees earlier this year. The 42-page document, written by Father Malloy with input from a committee of faculty and administrators, describes needs and ambitions in areas ranging from student and faculty recruitment to athletic facilities and business operations.

Here are some of the more eye-catching ideas:

—Build at least four new undergraduate residence facilities to ease dorm overcrowding and create more social space. Consider making some of the new facilities co-ed for seniors as a way of stemming the flow of upperclassmen to apartments off campus.

—Construct a new student center complex. Malloy writes: “Relative to our campus residency rate”—more than 80 percent for undergraduates—"the LaFortune Student Center should be at least twice its current size."

—Tear down Stepan Center, the multipurpose geodesic dome, and replace it with a conference center that can accommodate up to 4,000 people.

—Demolish the 41-year-old University Village north of campus and build a new apartment complex for married students and their children.

—Double the volume of externally sponsored research conducted by faculty to $100 million annually.

—Create study-abroad opportunities in China, India and Africa, especially in Islamic countries.

—Boost the number of students enrolled in foreign language programs. “A legitimate future goal would be for every undergraduate to become at least bilingual.”

Read the entire document online at: