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Space Management Principles

Approved by the Capital Funding & Priorities Committee; 4/24/12

Teaching, research, extension, service, and support are critical missions of the University that require substantial infrastructure, including space. Space needs vary greatly both within and across units and programs. Within the diversity of needs for space, there exist some overarching principles and goals regarding allocation. Application of these guiding principles across the University can help units as they work with central administration to efficiently use existing space or seek support for the creation or renovation of space.

  • All space belongs to the University and is a valuable resource. The University has the authority and responsibility to allocate space to specific users for certain periods of time, to review those allocations periodically, to assess utilization, and to reallocate space as needed to support the University’s strategic plans.
  • Ownership of space begins with the President and Provost and is delegated down through organizational hierarchies. The Provost is ultimately responsible for the allocation of space to units.
  • Accountability for space management begins locally and proceeds upward through organizational hierarchies. Space within colleges/schools/divisions is allocated based on programmatic needs and priorities as determined by the dean/division leader. Decision-making authority may be delegated to chairs/directors for space that is assigned to their units to ensure that those with the most in-depth knowledge of the activities and needs determine appropriate allocations. Deans, vice presidents, and vice provosts are responsible for efficient use and active management of space within individual college/division allocations.
  • Space assignments are not permanent. Space is assigned to activities and not individuals. As such, space should be reassigned as activities change.
  • Space that is vacant or deemed underutilized will be reassigned or repurposed. Space that is vacated due to re-organizations, the creation of new space, or other programmatic changes will revert to the Provost until re-assigned. However, the unit remains the steward until such reassignment occurs.
  • The Space Use Advisory Committee (SUAC) in the Division of Planning and Budget ( is charged with developing policies, procedures, and other recommendations concerning the use and renovation of space, the reallocation of existing space, and planning for future allocation needs.
  • Reassignment of space, including leased space, between colleges or divisions is prioritized and approved by the SUAC. The SUAC approval is contingent upon final review and approval through the capital project approval process. Criteria for reassignment include alignment with the critical missions of the University, urgency, need, fit, and adjacencies.
  • Space allocations will be based on existing facilities, wherever possible, to ensure that current facilities are fully utilized prior to pursuing lease arrangements, renovations or new construction. The project approval process for renovations and construction requires space use justification.
  • Decisions about space allocations should be made for appropriate institutional reasons based on the articulated needs of the University, department, or program.

For questions related to this policy, contact: Space Management Program Manager, 607-254-3529,