Page 21 - College Planning & Management, November 2017
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We called in representatives from the college’s Physical Plant to review the feasibility of the needed structural changes, and to also provide a cost estimate. This was important because we knew we would likely require funds to purchase some display items as well as display accessories (glass shelving, signage, display holders, accompanying photographs, etc.). The cost estimate of $25,000 (which included museum-quality glass display doors from an out- side contractor) seemed reasonable, and allowed for some residual funds. Construction began during the summer of 2016 and was completed late in spring 2017.
Museum Curation
To begin to visualize what displays should look like and ways in which to complement the displays with accompanying photo- graphs and explanatory signage, committee members took the time to visit the Tellus Science Museum as well as the college’s own Martha Berry Museum. Each departmental representative was responsible for searching through departmental holdings to find items that were amenable for display.
After collecting items from each of the departments, the direc- tor of the Tellus Science Museum was asked to return to Berry to review the items and provide advice on how they might best be displayed. At that meeting, the director also generously proposed that his museum would be willing to loan the college a display
of high-definition paneled photographs of astronomical sights generated by the Hubble Space Telescope. In addition to the Hubble collection, the committee agreed to create displays of shells and sea creatures, antique scientific equipment, dinosaur skull replica- tions and a history of the college as revealed by tree rings from a tree removed during construction of the science building.
Museum Grand Opening and the Future
In April, 2017, the family of Irene and Dewey Large gathered at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the museum. The entire campus community was invited. After brief introductory remarks acknowledging contributions from the Large family and those involved in bringing the museum to life, the ribbon to the museum was cut and the community was invited to review the displays.
From the outset, the museum committee was adamant that es- tablishment of the museum should not be the end of this project, but rather a beginning. Only by regularly updating the exhibits could we maintain ongoing viewer interest. In addition to new displays chang- es to the physical look are planned, such as adding track lighting and installing interactive displays. We also look forward to expanding themuseumtootherareasofthebuildingaswell. CPM
Gary W. Breton ( is dean of the School of Mathe- matical and Natural Sciences and Callaway Professor of Chemistry for Berry College. William T. Davin ( is a professor and department chair of Biology for Berry College (
Over the last several years there has been a proliferation of purchasing cooperatives in the education space, and it’s easy to see why. Procurement professionals continue to face the daunt- ing challenge of spending less and getting more. Be it through increased efficiencies, aggregated knowledge or leveraging resources, cooperative purchasing contracts can help.
Strength in Numbers
The sheer volume of purchasing power aggregated by the size of the cooperative provides individual members with economies of scale they would likely not be able to achieve on their own. Add to that the considerable time savings associated with researching new product categories, sourcing competitive quotes and negoti- ating pricing. By eliminating time spent on these tasks, resources can be reallocated to focus on more strategic projects.
Cooperative contracts can also represent a revenue generating tool. On top of exclusive savings and rebates, a true member-owned cooperative typically shares its profits with its members in the form of “patronage” refunds, which are based on a member’s annual purchases.
Strategic Value
“Resources are tight and are likely not going to improve
in the future,” says Barry Swanson, chief procurement officer at the University of Kentucky. “Cooperative contracts require less time to develop and implement, while offering competi- tive prices under terms and conditions that meet our needs. Savings are achieved more efficiently, freeing up these limited resources for use in protecting the individual institution’s core mission of teaching, research, and service.”
According to Swanson, the combined spend of the coopera- tive creates an opportunity to attract quality suppliers, in ad- dition to providing the leverage to negotiate the best possible pricing and terms. And then there’s the pool of knowledge created by a cooperative community.
“Cooperatives create a community that learns from each other as it works together,” he said. “Innovative processes, benchmarking, problem solving, and case studies are examples of valuable tools shared among cooperative members.”

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