University Space Management Policy aligns physical space with university mission, goals
December 6, 2018
From state-of-the-art classrooms, to innovative laboratories and acres of natural expanse, Virginia Tech’s physical spaces are intrinsically linked to the university’s mission and community.
In commitment to ensuring the effective management of over 14 million square feet of university-owned and leased spaces and physical assets, Virginia Tech recently published its inaugural University Space Management Policy, part of a larger University Space Management Program.
Driven by the notion that space is a valuable shared resource, the policy provides a comprehensive approach to space management to support decision-making around Campus Master Plan and Strategic Plan priorities, construction and renovation planning, academics, classroom and research facilities, and office space allocation.
The policy applies to all physical assets across the Blacksburg, Roanoke, and National Capital Region campuses, 11 Agricultural Research and Extension Centers, and spaces owned or leased by the university. The policy is the product of a collaborative effort among the Office of the President, the Division of Operations, and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
The policy provides a formalized committee decision-making structure and guidelines for space requests and usage. The emphasis on space data administration and designation of 35 space representatives in the policy will help create a shared and transparent view into how university space is currently being used.
Space representatives will serve as liaisons between their senior management areas and the University Space Management Program. Representatives have the authority to resolve space requests within existing allocated space or manage the space request process to acquire new or additional space. The representatives are responsible for maintaining property data for their areas.
The policy also calls for a university-wide space inventory. The data garnered and logged through the program will serve as a resource for examining how space can be maximized most effectively to support university priorities around supporting enrollment growth, expanding research capacity, and creating spaces for experiential learning.
An ongoing space survey is contributing to the space inventory. More than 7 million square feet of space will be recorded under the inventory and 36,000 specific locations have already been recorded.
By building upon the dataset provided by the space survey and campus space representatives, the university will be able to see larger patterns of space occupancy and utilization and leverage this knowledge to inform decision-making. The data will also help support university reporting and compliance needs.
“The University Space Management Policy is a strong foundation for ensuring responsible stewardship of Virginia Tech’s physical assets for years to come,” said Sherwood Wilson, vice president for operations. “University space is one of our most valuable resources in terms of importance to the university mission. These are critical steps that will allow space to be accounted for, assigned, and managed as carefully as our fiscal and human resources.”
“Academic space is a university-wide resource that is essential to accomplishing our overall mission and the specific goals of departments, colleges, and academic support units. Having a shared approach and common understanding of how space is used and how it impacts our institutional growth strategies will greatly facilitate resource allocation decisions,” said Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril R. Clarke.
Click here to view the full University Space Management Policy.