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09.03.03 – Space Management

Section: Facilities

Area: Facilities Use and Oversight

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I. PURPOSE AND SCOPE

This document provides guidance to effectively manage processes and standards for all instructional credit hour space used as a classroom or class laboratory at the University of Houston. All University buildings and land belong to the University as a whole and are subject to assignment and reassignment to meet the institution's overall priorities and needs. The scheduling of all University rooms that contain credit-based instruction are managed by the Office of the University Registrar (OUR).

II. POLICY

This document outlines the policies for managing and improving the overall utilization of instructional space at the University of Houston classified as a classroom or class laboratory. Classroom or class laboratory space utilization decisions will take into account strategic initiatives, academic needs, campus master plans, financial impact and the most efficient use of space. Instructional space under Auxiliary Units will be managed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between each specific unit and the college/division requiring this space, with communication to OUR. This policy establishes procedures and the governing structure for managing space at the University of Houston.

Exceptions to the policies and procedures in this MAPP must be submitted through the formal request process defined in this MAPP.

III. DEFINITIONS

A. Classroom (THECB Code 110): A room or space used primarily for regularly scheduled instruction classes that require no special, restrictive equipment or configuration. A classroom may be furnished with special equipment appropriate to a specific area of study, such as computers, if this equipment does not render the space unsuitable for use by classes in other fields of study.

B. Class Laboratory (THECB Code 210): A space used primarily for formally- or regularly-scheduled instruction that requires special purpose equipment or a specific space configuration for student participation, experimentation, observation, or practice in an academic discipline.

C. Class Scheduler: A representative appointed by the college, division and/or department to manage class scheduling and scheduling preference requests,

D. Condition Assessment: A process which assesses the spaces current physical condition and the need for improvements.

E. Education & General (E&G) Space: Net assignable area used for academic instruction and to support the institution's mission. It does not include auxiliary enterprise space or space which is permanently unassigned. E&G space is supported primarily from state-appropriated funds.

F. Executive Space Committee: The governing body of the Space Management program. It consists of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance (A&F), the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services (DSAES) and the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer.

G. Facilities/Construction Management (F/CM): A department of the Administration and Finance (A&F) division that includes Facilities Services and Facilities Planning & Construction.

H. Office of the University Registrar (OUR): As part of DSAES (Enrollment Services), OUR provides support for curriculum development, academic publications, the class schedule, classroom reservations, requisite enforcement, and degree requirement exceptions.

I. Space Liaison: A representative appointed by the college and/or non-academic department to evaluate space needs, to send Space Requests and to be a point of contact for space related issues. The Class Scheduler and Space Liaison roles may be shared by a single designated representative.

J. Space Request: This form is submitted to the University Space Committee for all requests regarding new space, reallocation of space, or change in use of space.

K. Space Usage Efficiency (SUE) Score: This score consists of three variables: facilities demand, current utilization rate, and percent fill, to measure classroom and class laboratory utilization.

L. Special Class Laboratory (THECB code 220): A laboratory designed for or furnished with equipment that serves the needs of a particular discipline or discipline group used primarily for individual or group instruction that is informally scheduled, unscheduled, or open. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board codes this type of classroom as a 220.

M. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB): The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) is the state agency which provides oversight, leadership, and coordination for Texas institutions of higher education.

N. Time Bands: Standard set scheduling patterns with compatible start and ending times, so the overall schedule fits together with less conflict in a consistent and equitable manner.

O. University Space Committee: The advisory committee of the Space Management program. It will be chaired by the Director of Space Management and Analysis. Additional committee members will be appointed representatives from the Office of the Provost, Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, and Faculty Senate. Subject matter experts may be included as advising members on an as needed basis.

IV. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SPACE COMMITTEES

A. The Executive Space Committee is ultimately responsible for interpretation and implementation of the Space Management policy to ensure the optimal use of university space.

B. The University Space Committee is responsible for advising the Executive Space Committee regarding overall space policy and for coordinating, reviewing and recommending changes, needs and standards. The University Space Committee will include Space Liaisons as a subject matter experts as needed.

C. Each college and/or non-academic department shall designate class schedulers to manage class scheduling and scheduling preference requests.

D. Each college and/or non-academic department shall appoint a Space Liaison to represent local needs, transmit Space Requests and be the point of contact for space related issues. The Class Scheduler and Space Liaison roles may be shared by a single designated representative.

E. All requests must follow the formal University Space Committee submission process.

1. All requests for modifications (not limited to: additions, subtractions, reconfiguration, and capacity changes) of instructional space will be made by completion of a Space Request form and submission to the University Space Committee.

2. The request must be signed by the college Dean and the Provost or appropriate Division Vice President.

F. If a space change occurs without following the Space Request process, the department must retroactively submit the documentation to the University Space Committee to present to the Executive Space Committee. If the Executive Space Committee does not approve the Space Request, then the department is responsible for any costs associated with returning the space to its original use.

V. CLASSROOMS

Policies described in this section are to optimize the utilization and scheduling of classrooms.

A. Scheduling

1. All classroom scheduling will be managed by the Office of the University Registrar (OUR).

2. The appointed Space Liaison is the contact for internal space related issues.

3. Colleges and departments with approved scheduling preferences for department-specific priority classroom scheduling, have until the release date of the classrooms to schedule classes in the designated classroom. After that time, the classrooms shall become available for the Office of the University Registrar to schedule.

4. The Class Schedule Development Calendar will be published annually and is located here: https://www.uh.edu/about/offices/enrollment-services/registrar/curricular-services/class-scheduling/csd-calendar/ .

5. Instructional space should meet or exceed the minimum state Space Usage Efficiency (SUE) score as defined by the THECB.

6. For more information on SUE scores and accessing state mandated utilization goal reports, please see https://www.highered.texas.gov/our-work/supporting-our-institutions/institutional-resources/other-institutional-resources/facilities-resources/space-usage-efficiency/. Instructional space that is deemed underutilized as defined by the state mandated minimum SUE scores are subject to review by the University Space Committee.

B. Time Bands

1. The Executive Space Committee approves the time bands that are to be used for class scheduling for the University of Houston. The time band information is located here: http://www.uh.edu/about/offices/enrollment-services/registrar/curricular-services/class-scheduling/scheduling-policies/time-bands/ .

2. Exceptions to schedule classes outside of approved time bands may be considered with justification. Exception requests must be submitted to in writing to the Executive Space Committee prior to scheduling. Exception requests to the University's approved time bands are located here: https://www.uh.edu/about/offices/enrollment-services/registrar/curricular-services/class-scheduling/scheduler-resources/our_time-bandsv214.pdf.

3. For the reservation or rental of a university classroom, please refer to MAPP 09.03.01 .

C. Classroom Condition Assessments

1. An annual condition assessment of all classrooms will be conducted by F/CM and OUR in order to determine the physical condition, improvements needed, and correct coding of the classrooms per the THECB's space use manual. Space Liaisons will be invited to participate in the assessment to represent the academic needs of the unit.
The THECB's manual of facilities space use codes can be found here: https://reportcenter.highered.texas.gov/agency-publication/guidelines-manuals/cbm-appendices-to-the-reporting-and-procedures-manuals-fall-2022/.

2. Space Liaisons can also request for specific classrooms to be reviewed if needed outside of the annual classroom condition assessment. These requests should be emailed to the University Space Committee.

D. Classroom Refresh Program

1. From the classroom condition assessments (see Section V.C. above), a classroom refresh schedule will be developed and updated annually.

2. Classrooms will be prioritized for refresh based on the following criteria:

a. Safety,

b. Repairs needed,

c. SUE scores (see Section V.A.4. above),

d. Utilization rates, and

e. Inadequacy for current needs.

3. Classrooms will be refreshed on a reoccurring cycle as funding is available.

4. In order for a classroom to be included in the refresh schedule, it must have scheduled instructional credit hours.

VI. CLASS LABORATORIES

Policies described in this section are to optimize the utilization and scheduling of class laboratories and special class laboratories. This documentation includes best scheduling practices and adherence to the University's standard time bands.

A. Scheduling

1. All class laboratory scheduling will be managed by the Office of the University Registrar (OUR).

2. Colleges and departments with approved scheduling preferences have until the release date of the class laboratories, at which time the rooms become available for OUR to schedule.

3. The Class Schedule Development Calendar will be published annually and is located here: https://www.uh.edu/about/offices/enrollment-services/registrar/curricular-services/class-scheduling/csd-calendar/ .

B. Space Utilization

1. Instructional space should meet or exceed the minimum state SUE score as defined by the THECB.
For more information on SUE scores and accessing state mandated utilization goal reports, please see https://www.highered.texas.gov/our-work/supporting-our-institutions/institutional-resources/other-institutional-resources/facilities-resources/space-usage-efficiency/.

2. Instructional space that is deemed underutilized as defined by the state mandated minimum SUE scores are subject to review by the University Space Committee.

REFERENCES

Space Utilization Score (SUE) Information
Information about Release Date of Classrooms and Class Laboratories
THECB's Manual of Facilities Space Use Codes
Time Band Classroom Information Web Site
Exception Information to Time Band Web Site
MAPP 09.03.01 – Event Reservation and Rental of University Facilities

 

Issued: 08/12/2019
Last Reviewed/Revised: 
Responsible Office(s): Academic Affairs; Student Affairs; Facilities/Construction Management