Space: A Final Frontier

This is a letter from the Nicholson School of Communication Director Bob Chandler.

Last month I shared with you some of the “space” challenges that confront us. The Nicholson School of Communication (NSC) has to contend with a chronic lack of classroom, faculty office, graduate student, research laboratory, administrative and student co-curricular learning space. The “space” issue is one of the biggest obstacles which NSC must overcome in order to grow in both size and quality. UCF_Nicholson_School_of_Communication

One opportunity that we have recently seized is the offer of some space from both the College of Sciences and the UCF Academic Affairs in Building 600 in the UCF Research Park area. While we would obviously prefer to have additional space within the NSC building and/or space more adjacent to the building, we consider this option to be a gift horse.

There are some advantages and a few disadvantages for making efficient use of the “NSC annex” over in Building 600. The building is not within walking distance of the NSC building, it is outside of the normal range of student movement around main campus and some of the space is awkward in layout. The research park area is on the UCF shuttle bus routes and parking is free (first come, first served basis) without a UCF parking permit. Obviously, it would result in disconnectedness to move faculty office assignments, and for research projects dependent on student participants it might prove to be challenging to locate labs over there. On the other hand, for research projects that utilize subjects from the general Orlando community the ease of access and parking (compared with the UCF main campus area) might actually prove a great advantage.

We are currently studying how best to take advantage of this rare and precious space opportunity. There is still much to be done immediately in regards to the need for cleanup, repairs, repainting and removing abandoned (broken) furniture/equipment. We have initially set up some administrative workspaces. In the coming months, we will seek the assignment for this space to various research laboratories, select student co-curricular program needs, research labs, or some administrative functions that don’t necessarily need close proximity to the students, faculty and/or staff. I think that the space might also be appropriately utilized for continuing education offerings (targeted at professionals in the community not just current UCF students), administrative, training and research laboratory space for the forthcoming NSC centers and institutes and of course for externally funded research labs for NSC research-intensive faculty and graduate students.

In the coming months we can boldly go (space wise) where the Nicholson School of Communication has not gone before.

Bob Chandler

This is continued from the January Director’s Update. For the full story, please read it here.

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