Central Neighborhood Advisory Committee announced

Nov. 12 town hall will provide capital planning update for Academic Affairs projects

Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente and Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain have appointed an advisory committee comprised of faculty and students from across the university to provide input and feedback on the development of plans, concepts and scenarios for the Central Neighborhood of the Vanderbilt campus. The committee will meet over the course of the 2019-20 academic year.

Susan R. Wente, interim chancellor and provost (Vanderbilt University)
Susan R. Wente, interim chancellor and provost (Vanderbilt University)

In addition, Wente and Kopstain will host a town hall on Tuesday, Nov. 12, to provide an update for the Vanderbilt community on Academic Affairs capital projects and planning. The event will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Student Life Center Board of Trust Room.

The Central Neighborhood encompasses the area that includes Branscomb Quadrangle, the Student Life Center, the E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts Center, the Engineering and Science Building and the Central Power Plant.

“The Central Neighborhood is a crossroads where different segments of campus come together, but the area has the potential to be so much more. We need to envision how further leveraging this part of campus will create destinations for learning and for accessing resources and where students, faculty and staff can come together to collaborate,” Wente said. “The formation of this new advisory committee will help us ensure that future plans bolster the objectives of our Academic Strategic Plan and further enhance our campus environment and park-like setting.”

As a next step in the implementation of FutureVU, Vanderbilt’s comprehensive land use plan, the university has retained an integrated design team to generate a set of future development plans and scenarios that would reestablish the Central Neighborhood as the central core of campus. Along with the faculty- and student-comprised advisory committee, Campus Planning and Construction will engage various university staff members to participate in working groups and offer input throughout the process.

Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration

The options developed for the Central Neighborhood will take into consideration a number of other recent and ongoing planning efforts and studies, including the overarching Vanderbilt Land Use Plan, the Residential Colleges Master Plan with the West End Neighborhood, the Science and Engineering Trans-Institutional Capital Planning Study and the Arts and Science Historic Core Capital Planning Study. In addition, future plans for university facilities, utilities and infrastructure will be integrated.

“The Central Neighborhood is a component of FutureVU that is critical to connecting the various neighborhoods on campus,” Kopstain said. “We plan to closely align any changes to the area with FutureVU’s guiding principles, which include supporting research, recognizing diversity and inclusion, encouraging community, strengthening campus character, preserving and expanding the university’s park-like setting, emphasizing walkability and sustainability and contributing to the intellectual and cultural life of our city and region.”

Located at the geographic center of campus, the Central Neighborhood is the crossroads between the north-south and east-west legs of the proposed Vanderbilt Greenway network, which will play a large role in linking together areas across the rest of campus, all of which is within a 10-minute walk of the Central Neighborhood.

Members of the Central Neighborhood Advisory Committee are:

  • Phillip Franck, associate professor of theatre
  • Julian Hillyer, associate professor of biological sciences
  • Larry Isaac, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities and professor of sociology
  • Audrey Bowden, associate professor of biomedical engineering
  • Daniel Work, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering
  • Chuck Sanders, Aileen M. Lange and Annie Mary Lyle Chair in Cardiovascular Research and professor of biochemistry
  • Ethan Lee, professor of cell and developmental biology and professor of pharmacology
  • Molly Barth, assistant professor of flute
  • Laura Novick, associate professor of psychology and human development
  • Yesha Yadav, professor of law
  • Callen DiGiovanni, undergraduate student
  • Julianna Hernandez, undergraduate student
  • Andrew Naclerio, graduate student
  • Mario Rewers, graduate student

For more information about these efforts and to provide feedback, visit the FutureVU website.