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Space Committee Policies and Procedures

Policy Information

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Effective Date: 
October 26, 2009
Policy Number: 
Responsible Unit: 
Real Estate Administration

Purpose and Summary

The Space Committee’s mission is to align the development and utilization of the University’s physical space resources with the University’s strategic goals in concert with Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policies governing land planning, capital development, and space utilization. The Space Committee is the steward for all on- and off-campus facilities and has funding oversight for construction projects regardless of the funding source.


The role of the Space Committee is to ensure the orderly planning and development of all the University’s physical resources and the maximum utilization of its existing facilities in support of the University’s strategic goals. The Space Committee’s role includes oversight of University issues related to land use planning and development and the assignment of space. Long-term strategic decisions are referred to the President’s Cabinet. Responsibilities include

  1. Making recommendations to President’s Cabinet on relevant policies associated with the efficient and effective management of the University’s physical resources and associated planning processes.
  2. Overseeing the development and implementation of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and its budgetary implications with the coordinating responsibility assigned to Planning, Design and Construction.
  3. Administering the Construction Decision Packages (CDPs) process whereby construction and renovation projects less than $5 million are initiated. The Space Committee reviews the CDPs and prioritizes requests for any modifications or additions to campus facilities, physical plant, or landscaping for less than $5 million according to the availability of funds. CDPs also address contractual commitments, health and safety, and ADA issues.
  4. Implementing the Campus Master Plan guidelines, including sub-areas and functional plans, and ensuring compliance with ABOR CCP five-year reviews.
  5. Administering the University’s space allocations within the context of the overall priorities and programmatic requirements.


Committee Appointment

Appointment to the Space Committee is made by the President. The committee meets monthly, or as often as practicable, to review space-related issues and correlated resources.

Committee Membership

Senior Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer (Co-Chair)
Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (Co-Chair)
Senior Vice President for Research
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Committee Staff

Director, Real Estate Administration (Staff Team Leader)
Assistant Vice President, Budget Office
Associate Vice President, Financial Services
Assistant Vice President, Planning, Design & Construction
Senior Vice Provost, Academic Affairs
Associate Vice President, Research

Additionally, the Committee may, as appropriate, call upon other personnel – e.g., Community Relations, Risk Management, ADA experts – to provide topical support on an ad-hoc basis.

The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)

The Capital Improvement Plan provides a comprehensive process for qualifying additional or replacement facilities for specific department/college functions for projects above $5 million. The Space Committee shall set project priorities, identify new project proposals, and recommend preliminary project rankings to the President’s Cabinet.

  • Capital projects must contribute to specific strategic objectives or satisfy other important criteria such as meeting life safety requirements or correcting existing deficiencies per ABOR policy. Strategic plans shall identify major capital and operating implications of key strategies, e.g., comprehensive plans, sub-area plans.
  • Planning, Design and Construction is responsible for integrating the planning activities for capital projects and producing the CIP.
  • The CIP will be presented to the President’s Cabinet for review and approval prior to formal submission to ABOR.

Construction Decision Packages (CDPs)

Construction Decision Packages address construction and renovation projects less than $5 million. The Space Committee reviews and prioritizes the CDPs according to available funds. The Space Committee oversees the implementation of the approved CDPs and advises President’s Cabinet of actions taken when the following fiscal year’s funding has been determined.

  • Each CDP includes a list of campus priorities that need to be addressed – e.g., health and safety, ADA, contractual commitments.
  • Departments proposing to fund 100 percent of a project that complements the strategic goals of the department and the University only need the written approval of the Provost and the Vice President for Business Affairs.
  • The Budget Office is responsible for making funding allocations and monitoring balances for projects approved by the Space Committee and President’s Cabinet. These responsibilities include ongoing tracking of allocated balances for the Space Committee and project allocation reporting as required by University Administration, ABOR, and the State Legislature.
  • The Budget Office will return unexpended project balances to the funding source. Remaining balances are not available for changes in scope. Any changes in scope must be resubmitted to the Space Committee for additional review.

Campus Master Plan

The Space Committee is responsible for the development and implementation of an inclusive, participatory planning process for the Campus Master Plan that includes broad representation from campus and local constituencies.

  • The Space Committee is responsible for complying with ABOR policy regarding the maintenance of an ongoing campus physical planning process and for conducting comprehensive plan reviews and updates at five-year intervals.
  • The Space Committee shall consider recommendations from the Planning, Design and Construction Department on campus land planning, functional plans (e.g., stormwater drainage; campus circulation), and facility site selection.

Space Requests/Assignments

All space requests are submitted to the Senior Vice President for Business Affairs with the endorsement of the requesting department’s vice president and/or the Provost. Written requests must be submitted by the chairperson, dean, or director responsible for the program with a justification for additional space. The Office of Real Estate Administration will keep the Space Committee apprised of all outstanding space requests.

All University building space and land falls under the management authority of the University and are subject to assignment and reassignment to meet the institution’s overall priorities and needs. Space assignments are made by the Space Committee after careful consideration of all relevant factors, including costs and in consultation with the units involved. The Office of Real Estate Administration is responsible for maintaining written records and documentation of all actions regarding space assignments and correlated funding.

  • Assignment criteria are based on ABOR space utilization guidelines with the Space Committee establishing priorities within University programs.
  • Space already assigned to a college/unit may be reassigned internally among its departments without submission of a space request. Such reassignments should be reported at the time they are completed but no later than the next update of the University space inventory. If there is disagreement with a proposed internal reassignment, a written appeal describing the reasons for the disagreement may be submitted to the Space Committee within two weeks of the proposed reassignment. The Space Committee chairperson, if appropriate, will inform the committee of the issues and recommend a course of action at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
  • Lease options are explored when it has been determined that the space cannot be provided in campus facilities or the requirement is site specific, provided that funds have been identified to meet the lease and associated expenses. Real Estate Administration oversees all lease negotiations and payments. Units are not authorized to negotiate leases on behalf of the University.
  • Leases over $500,000/year and/or exceeding 60 months plus a maximum 60-month renewal term require prior ABOR approval. The ABOR approval process and the lease negotiations may require up to 120 days. Leases required by new grants are funded dependent upon the Indirect Cost Recovery rate (ICR) associated with the grant.
  • If the grant is funded with full ICR and the associated ICR is proportional to the lease costs, then the lease is paid by UA Central Administration.
  • If the grant is funded with the off-campus ICR rate, then the lease and all associated costs are directly funded by the grant and/or the requesting department.
  • Both central and departmentally controlled classrooms are protected from conversions. Requests involving conversion of instructional space for other uses must be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar, which will evaluate and determine the impact on class schedules and provide a recommendation to the Space Committee for a final decision.

Related Information*

Policies and Guidelines Related to Development of the Capital Improvement Plan

Policies and Guidelines Related to Campus Land Use Planning

Policies and Guidelines Related to Long Range Space Plans

Physical Space Inventory Policy

Forced Relocations Policy

Policy for Leasing Space

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

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