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Space Planning Process


Issued: September 15, 2003
Responsible Executive Officer: Provost
Responsible Office: Space Planning and Utilization

Policy Statement

All space under University control is to be assigned and used for the highest priority needs of the University as a whole. Departments and activities may be assigned space for use, but all space belongs to the University, not to a particular college, school, department, or activity and is subject to reassignment.

The University will maintain an accurate and complete record of space assignments and utilization for internal management and external reports.

The President will appoint a Space Policy Council, through the Office of the Provost, to address changing programmatic space needs, to develop effective methods to analyze and evaluate space requests, and to allocate facility resources. The President will appoint members on an annual basis and appoint the chair and vice chair from among the voting members.


To establish procedures and processes for planning, assignment, reassignment, and reporting space usage.


Assignment and Reassignment of Space
1. Requests for the assignment of new or additional space will be submitted to Space Planning and Utilization by the requesting department. The Request for Space Change Form will be used to make this request.

2. Space Planning and Utilization will review the request, secure additional information to assist in evaluating it, discuss it with appropriate officials, and provide other information and analysis related to the request. Space Planning and Utilization may initiate alternate reassignment recommendations. When a request involves physical modifications, a copy will be provided to Campus Planning and Design and Physical Plant for review.

3. Requests and Space Planning and Utilization evaluations will be submitted to the Space Policy Council for their review and determination.

4. Any official or group in the process may request additional information or consideration of other alternatives.

Physical Facilities Inventory
Space Planning and Utilization will be responsible for the annual submission of the Physical Facilities Inventory as requested by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission through the Tennessee Board of Regents. Information related to the Physical Facilities Inventory is to be kept current and accurate as it is directly related to the University appropriations for facility improvements and new construction.

Scheduling Of Classes
Classrooms designated as general purpose are centrally scheduled by the Office of the Registrar. Classrooms and class laboratories designated as departmental controlled are scheduled by the departments. Changes in designation require approval of the dean(s) responsible for the room(s) and the provost. Change of classroom use to another use requires approval as described above in Assignment and Reassignment of Space. An impact report from the Registrar’s Office should be included with any requests for changes in a classroom usage or classroom designation.

Space Policy Council
1. The President will appoint members to the Space Policy Council on an annual basis.

2. The Council will be comprised of the following members:

One representative from each of the following offices: (1) President; (2) Provost; (3) Business and Finance; (4) Advancement and Marketing; (5) Information Technology; (6) Student Affairs; (7) Research; (8) Registrar

Four deans, including the dean of Arts and Sciences

One representative from the Student Government Association

Chair and co-chair of the Facilities and Services Committee

One representative from the Faculty Senate

One representative from the Staff Senate

One representative from Public Safety (ex-officio, non-voting)

Director for Space Planning and Utilization (ex-officio, non-voting)

Assistant Vice President Campus Planning & Design (ex-officio, non-voting)

Assistant Vice President Physical Plant (ex-officio, non-voting)

Space Analyst for Space Planning and Utilization (recording secretary, ex-officio, non-voting)

3. The chair and vice chair are to be appointed by the President from among the voting members.

4. The Space Policy Council is a decision-making body regarding space issues. It will provide a forum for the discussion and approval of individual space requests, campus-wide space plans, plans for new space, space utilization reports, policies and procedures regulating the use of facilities, and other critical space planning issues that require policy level deliberation. Some decisions are of such magnitude that deliberation and support from the executive officers of the University are needed for a high probability of successful implementation. In such circumstances, the Council may be called upon to provide an analysis of options and a recommendation for consideration.

5. The Council will not be responsible for event scheduling or assignment of space for events.

6. The Council shall provide an annual activity report to the executive officers.

The Council will advise on the full range of policies and procedures affecting space planning, management and reporting, and will make recommendations on specific space assignment and reassignments.

Space Standards, Analysis and Evaluation
1. Space Planning and Utilization will develop appropriate standards for space assignment and utilization following those established by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

2. Space Planning and Utilization will perform various analyses and evaluations.

3. The Space Policy Council may provide recommendations on the various standards, analyses, and evaluations.

Reporting Changes in Use or Assignment of Space
Every department or activity with assigned space will report any change in the assignment or functional use of space. The Request for Space Change Form is to be used for this purpose. Changes in assignment or utilization will not be accomplished until approval is received. After approval is received, Space Planning and Utilization will transmit the change in assignment or usage to the data stewards of the systems with room data (e.g., Archibus, Resources 25, Student Information System).

A Request for Space Change Form should be submitted in the following instances:

a) The space is reassigned from one organizational unit to another (at the lowest organizational level). Only minor reassignments will be accomplished without following the procedures. Use of the Request for Space Change Form for reassignments will be limited to reassignments under the same dean or director. The form must be approved by an official who is organizationally responsible for both the old and new units, then routed to the Space Planning and Utilization for approval.

b) The function of the space is changed so that the room use changes. The Request for Space Change Form must be approved by an official one organizational level above the department or activity utilizing the space, then routed to Space Planning and Utilization for approval.

c) Physical alterations occur which cause a change in the square footage of a room. The Request for Space Change Form must be approved by an official one organizational level above the department/activity utilizing the space. This request will also be forwarded by Space Planning and Utilization to Campus Planning and Design and Physical Plant for their review, then routed back to Space Planning and Utilization for approval.

3. The request form is not required for other changes, such as reassignment of a faculty office from one faculty member to another.

4. When space is reassigned between organizational units with different heads, the original department will report only the reassignment, identifying the new unit. The new unit will also report the change and provide the explanation of the new usage.

5. Changes in assignment or room use which are not expected to be permanent should be reported if the change exists for longer than six months.