Student Housing Business

JUL-AUG 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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Page 47 of 104

VIE W FROM THE ACADEME July/August 2018 47 Monday: We believe strongly that we have an obligation to explore those types of rela- tionships and arrangements when they make financial sense for the overall institution's mis- sion. We will go to the market this fall for a P3 partner related to some transportation projects. We also foresee having a standing relationship with a P3 partner based on terms and condi- tions, potentially with respect to a transporta- tion project in 2019 and in 2020 or, potentially, an athletic facility or other projects. We want to build a relationship where we understand the terms and the conditions and — based on appropriate program and principles — that we have a standing relationship that we could exercise for various products. And that's potentially a more permanent partner — this is not housing. That's what we're exploring. We'll go to the market this fall and see what kind of responses we get. SHB: Do you have any concerns following the announcement of EdR's merger with Greystar? Monday: No, they've done a good job commu- nicating with us. We're excited about Greystar and what the merger brings to the table. We've been involved with monitoring that from afar and are having good conversations about what is transpiring. We see good things ahead with that. We will continue to look forward to options. We're an institution that's growing and so we've transitioned well from that first year. For many, many years, we couldn't house a sophomore, junior or senior. And now we have the opportunity to house our students as they go through the continuum. We want students to be able to stay with us as a sopho- more or junior. This year, we will have nearly 2,900 returning students live with us. In 2014, the number of students who returned to live on-campus was just over 1,600. Students want to stay if you provide a good opportunity and appropriate residential life environment for their success. As we grow that freshman class we will continue to have conversations about what's next and what's appropriate. SHB: As you've been through a few P3s, what advice would you give, particularly with P3s related to housing, to other public universities who may be considering this? Monday: Our experience is there's a great deal of depth in the finance functions from the P3 companies. We still see some real opportunities to focus on operations. What I mean by that is a lot of the P3s, when we talk about housing in particular, their expertise is running hous- ing that's located off-campus. How you run a housing environment that's located on-campus is totally different. We will look forward to greater depth as we think about the future on operations. We've had a couple dozen cam- puses visit us over the past few years. We have a campus in right now just learning what we're doing and how we went about it. We talk a lot about the operations and really focus not from the vendor partner, but from the institution's perspective. There's no such thing as entering into a P3 and then forgetting about it. Penny Cox [UK's associate vice president for admin- istration] and her team — for those nearly five years we were growing and building — were really aggressive in expanding it. During that time period, every single Wednesday morn- ing, all we discussed was housing. We were focused intently on cross-functional teams to foster collaboration among student affairs; finance and administration; legal — all those people around the table. How you operate it, manage it and interact with that partner is something we have to do a better job of focus- ing on as an industry. I think the P3 industry needs to evolve and become more aggressive on how it operates within the university envi- ronment and understand it's going to be differ- ent than how you operate off-campus. It's not the proforma. It's not how it's sold. It's not the RFP process. Those are managed things. It's how we engage in that day-to-day to build a partnership that has depth that can overcome the inevitable challenges. There are going to be things that happen that we don't expect. That's on the partner's side as well as the institution's side. SHB: How do you get everyone on board with doing another P3? Monday: The team is critical. All voices must be heard. We sell this hard and talk with all other campuses and make presentations about P3s, too. You cannot overlook those program principles. We find a number of institutions move into something because someone on the leadership team has changed and has done it a certain way. And when you get to a step two, step three, step four conversation, you get all these different answers around the why. What is the 'why?' What are the programming principles? What are you try- ing to achieve? Everything else can take care of itself. You can negotiate the term or return on investment if you have defined 'why' and have a program and principles that are based on institutional goals and objectives. How does it tie to the strategic plan? How does it tie into the president's plan? How does it tie into your financial plan? It's critical to have a team-based approach, all voices heard; a big table not a small table. That means it's depart- ments that you may think are not necessar- ily connected. At our Wednesday meetings, the table seats 40. It's a big table, and that means it takes a little bit longer. But every- one's voice is heard and you respond to those voices. You've got to tell the story, over and over, because the leadership team's going to change. New people are going to come on. SHB: Tell us what you do outside the office. What keeps you sane? Monday: Family. My kids are 10 and 15 now. They're extremely active in sports, so kids' sporting events. And I'm a jogger. I don't ever say I'm a runner; I'm just a jogger. On average, in a month I'll jog 60 or 70 miles. Kids' sports — I am one of the coaches for my kids' baseball team every spring and have a lot of fun with that and personal exercise. SHB Donovan Hall and Lyman T. Johnson Halls form quadrangle on UK's Central Campus. The residence halls were completed in 2013 and together house approximately 600 students.

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