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Space Management Policy

Category Administration and Management
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 27 June 2016
Date Policy Took Effect 1 July 2016
Last Approved Revision 21 June 2018
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible Officer Director, Property Services Division
Review Date 1 July 2023

Purpose

To ensure the efficient, effective, and transparent use of space as a means of facilitating University activities in a manner that is consistent with University strategy.

Organisational Scope

This Policy applies to all space owned or leased by the University except residential accommodation.

Definitions

Asset Management Committee A committee of the Vice-Chancellor, the terms of reference being to consider issues related to asset management, including campus planning, space management and capital project initiation, in order to support and enable the University’s Strategic Directions.
Department An academic or non-academic part of the University that deals with a particular area of study or work.
Teaching Space A subset of University Space that includes classrooms, lecture rooms, laboratories, computer labs and any other spaces used for teaching activities scheduled in the University timetable.
Terms-of-Occupancy A document maintained by Property Services which sets out the conditions applying to University departments and groups occupying University space.
University Space (Space) Occupied areas within buildings or on land that are owned or leased by the University.

Policy Content

1.  Management Principles

Space at the University will be managed in accordance with the following principles:

(a) Space is a significant financial and operational resource, the management of which has a direct impact on the University’s ability to achieve its mission and strategic objectives.

(b) Space should be functionally suitable for its purpose, maintained in good condition, and utilised as efficiently as possible.

(c) The operational costs to Departments for space will be recovered through a space charging regime.

(d) All space is primarily held and administered by the University rather than by individual departments. However, subject to this policy, departments may make decisions about space which is allocated to them on an ongoing basis (e.g. allocation of office space to individual staff members).

(e) Allocation of space does not imply permanent allocation, but rather a commitment based upon continued justification and in consideration of campus wide space needs in response to ever changing University demands.

(f) Achievement of the University’s strategic objectives and wider University needs will be given first priority in the allocation of space. Historic occupation and other factors will be given second priority.

(g) Space will be allocated to University Departments and their respective activities, employees and students in preference to external parties and retired staff.

(h) University space should not be assigned to non-University parties other than for a fee based commercial arrangement (license or lease) and managed by Property Services.

(i) Changes in allocation to address shortfalls in space or surpluses of space will be determined by the Asset Management Committee, based on either requests from departments, advice from Property Services or the results of annual or ad-hoc space reviews.

(j) The University’s Campus Master Plan and the standards therein will apply when determining the total amount of space required by departments and will guide space allocation in new buildings and refurbishment projects.

(k) No person is to be allocated more than one office on a campus, irrespective of the number of roles that person may perform.

(l) Occupying Departments will be encouraged to reduce required space and relinquish surplus space for re-purposing and re-allocation by internal rent reduction mechanisms in the Terms-of-Occupancy.

(m) Divisions will manage buildings and common locations so that postgraduate study space is shared wherever practical.

2.  Management

To ensure University Space is managed in a consistent, coordinated and legally compliant manner:

(a) Occupancy of Space by University groups is subject to the prevailing Terms-of-Occupancy.

(b) Property Services is the University’s agent for managing space and is responsible for leasing, buying, selling and reporting on University land and buildings.

(c) Changes in allocation of space are administered by Property Services and changes must be supported by the Head of the relevant Division(s) and the Director of Property Services. Property Services shall be informed of any relevant changes of occupation and responsibility for database and charging purposes.

(d) Where a change in space allocation will affect another Division or Department, and an agreement cannot be reached, it will be referred to the Asset Management Committee for decision. The Committee may delegate such decisions to the Director of Property Services.

(e) All Teaching Spaces shall be centrally owned and recorded in Syllabus plus Enterprise (or equivalent replacement) and booked or scheduled in accordance with the Academic Timetabling Policy.

To support the effective management of Space, Property Services will:

(f) Maintain an accurate database of building portfolio information.

(g) Maximise space utilisation by identifying and implementing opportunities to dispose of or repurpose surplus space in consultation with Divisions, Departments and/or the Asset Management Committee.

(h) Report space costs to Divisions, Departments and Senior Management annually.

(i) Undertake annual room use surveys, and ad-hoc surveys as required and report the survey results and comparisons with targets to the Asset Management Committee.

(j) Undertake annual surveys or ad-hoc surveys as required of condition and functionality, to assess the performance and appropriateness of University Space.

(k) Report to each Division annually on the results of the surveys outlined in (i)-(j) above.

(l) Annually, to align with the University’s budget processes, meet with Heads of Divisions to:
i. review priorities on space allocation; and
ii. identify projects and maintenance that improve efficiency, effectiveness, quality and/or reduce operating costs.

(m) Maintain an asset management register which includes performance targets and an activity schedule detailing work required to support core business activity (both teaching and research).

3.  Requests for Additional or Relinquishment of Space

(a) Before approaching the Property Services Division with space requests, Heads of Schools/Departments must ensure that every effort to house new activities within existing space allocations has been exhausted.

(b) Heads of Schools/Departments are expected to initiate consultation on space with the Property Management Unit as soon as a space need is identified. A feasibility study will be carried out by the Property Management Unit and then reported to the Asset Management Committee for decision.

(c) Space is to be efficiently requested by Departments in advance and allocated by Property Services Division and the Asset Management Committee so that academic activities can be undertaken without due delay.

(d) Heads of Schools/Departments must recognise that not every demand for additional space can be met.

(e) Departments are encouraged to relinquish space that is surplus to requirements. The process for relinquishing space is to consult with the Asset Management Unit to ensure that the configuration of space being relinquished will allow for the space to be reused or repurposed as well as is possible. Once that is confirmed by the Asset Management Unit, the obligation to pay the Internal Rent for the space will cease effective from the following month.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the Asset Manager, Property Management Unit, Property Services Division, at murray.brass@otago.ac.nz