Space Policy Council


The University’s facilities are a resource that must be viewed from a comprehensive institutional perspective. In order to address changing programmatic space needs, the University must develop effective methods to analyze and evaluate space requests and allocate facility resources. This will be accomplished through the establishment of a University Space Policy Council through the Office of the Provost. The President will appoint members to the Space Policy Council on an annual basis. The Chair and Vice Chair shall be appointed by the President from among the voting members.

Proposed Composition

  • Representative from the Office of the President
  • Representative from the Provost Office
  • Representative from Business and Finance
  • Representative from Advancement and Marketing
  • Representative from Information Systems
  • Representative from Student Affairs
  • Representative from Research Office
  • Dean of Arts & Sciences
  • Three Deans from colleges other than Arts & Sciences
  • Representative from the Office of the Registrar
  • Representative from the Student Government Association
  • Chair and Co-Chair of the Facilities and Services Committee
  • Faculty Senate representative
  • Staff Senate representative


  • Director for Space Planning and Utilization
  • Space Analyst for Space Planning and Utilization (Recording Secretary)


The Space Policy Council is a decision-making body regarding space issues. As such, 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. A few 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, including legal, environmental, and budgetary issues.

The Council Chair and Vice Chair, in consultation with the Director for Space Planning and Utilization, will work with the Provost to determine if a space issue has potential policy ramifications and thus should be placed on the agenda for a regular Council meeting. Agenda items should be established prior to the meeting date so that materials for discussion can be made available to Council members in advance.

The Chair and Vice Chair will preside over regular Council meetings and will coordinate with the Provost to ensure that activities are aligned in such a way as to be most beneficial to the decision-making process and a productive operational environment.

The Council will be responsible for obtaining input from various sources as appropriate and may create advisory sub-committees to examine and recommend decisions about specific issues. However, the Council will consult with the Provost before delegating specifically stated decision-making authority, such as the prioritization of requested modifications.

NOTE: The Council will not be responsible for event scheduling, assignment of space for events, or assignment of space for classes. However changes in classroom usage to something other than a classroom category requires the approval of the Council.

Guidelines for Council Operation

The Space Policy Council consists of members representing constituencies from all segments of the University. Members will simultaneously represent both the overall University and their constituency area. Members should strive to cultivate good communication links to solicit input and to provide feedback to constituencies regarding the rationale leading to decisions, standards, or policies. Each member should use his or her foremost judgment, based upon an understanding of what constitutes the best overall solution for the institution as a whole. When recommendations have been reached members need to assume responsibility, wherever possible, to assure outcomes that contribute to the mission, goals, and best interest of the University.

As a policy-oriented body, the Council's primary focus should be on the following points:

(1) to assure that the space process is functioning productively;

(2) to define and prioritize parameters and processes to be utilized in operational decision-making,

(3) to define and approve policies and procedures, including detailed forms and instructions for requesting space use changes,

(4) to ensure that recommendations from the advisory sub-committees have appropriately considered options, costs, and benefits and determine if additional analysis should be conducted; and

(5) in a few circumstances where a decision between alternatives has policy or program implications, to weigh the competing options based on the best interests of the institution as a whole and recommend to the Provost which option to implement.

Any Executive Officer of the University may request the Provost to review such a recommendation if it has policy or operational impacts upon his/her administrative unit.

Role of the Director for Space Planning and Utilization

The Director for Space Planning and Utilization will process routine space assignments that do not require Council action. Examples of these assignments are:

Reassignment of offices within a department/unit due to turnover of employees.

Temporary assignments to allow construction or space renovations to occur.
llocation of space that is unsuitable for occupation or use other than temporary storage. The Director will also work with the University faculty and staff to acquire input on space issues,
requests, proposals, and to provide technical assistance and guidance to the Council. As an ex-officio,
non-voting, member the Director for Space Planning and Utilization will:

  1. Develop and maintain long-range space utilization plans for all University facilities with input from the Council.
  2. Develop and recommend space assignment policies and procedures, with input from the Council, for the University in accordance with THEC standards.
  3. Support the Council's efforts to consider requests and recommend changes in space utilization within existing buildings; prepare data analysis reports and impact reports as required for inclusion with Council recommendations.
  4. Support the Council's efforts to recommend the assignment of space within new buildings or buildings that have been vacant and are being reoccupied.
  5. Review the leasing to non-University occupants of any real property assigned to the University, including land, buildings, and other improvements.
  6. Review the leasing by the University of any non-University real property, including land, buildings, and other improvements.

Agenda items should be submitted prior to the meeting date so that materials for discussion can be made available to Council members in advance. The chair and vice chair will review requests with the Provost to set the agenda for the Council meetings and determine what additional information is needed to ensure the meeting is productive.


Meetings will be held monthly, or as necessary.

Annual Report

Due on or before July 15 and shall contain at least the following information: log of requests received with note of disposition, such record to be open to the University community; assignments recommended by the Committee; unresolved space requests; an outline of unresolved issues which might be considered, discussed, and acted upon during the following year; a report on contributions of Committee members; and any recommendations for membership on the following year's Committee.