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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 5200: Allocation and Assignment of Space

Date Originally Issued: 04-01-1996
Revised: 08-01-2006, 06-01-2012

Authorized by RPM 7.9 ("Property Management")

Process Owner: University President

1. General

The University shall make the most efficient use of limited existing space to further its mission of education, research, and public service. Deans, directors, and department heads are responsible for making efficient, effective use of space assigned to them. The University uses a proactive, collaborative process for space planning and allocation. This process will strive to anticipate future needs and seek to reduce instances of functional mismatches between space characteristics and occupant needs.  The University places high value on clustering activities to promote desirable interaction and user convenience. Space will be managed by the following space allocation committees in accordance with the guidelines and criteria listed in this policy. 

2. Space Allocation Committee Functions

2.1. Main Campus Space Allocation Committee

The Main Campus Space Allocation Committee is appointed by the President to oversee the allocation and utilization of space owned or leased for use by main campus departments or institutes.  Membership will include designees from the Faculty Senate; Provost Office; Office of the Vice President for Research; Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs; Registrar’s Office; Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis; Office of Planning and Campus Development; Office of Capital Projects; Real Estate Office; and Physical Plant Department, as well as the Presidents of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico and the Graduate and Professional Student Association.

2.2. Health Sciences Center Space Allocation Committee

The Health Sciences Center (HSC) Space Allocation Committee is appointed by the Chancellor for Health Sciences to oversee the allocation and utilization of space owned or leased for use by HSC departments, institutes, or clinics.  Membership will include designees from the School of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing, HSC Administration, Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center, and Office of Planning and Campus Development.

2.3. Athletics Space Allocation Committee

The Vice President for Athletics oversees the allocation and utilization of space owned or leased for use by the Athletic Department.

2.4. Student Union Building Board

The Student Union Building Board (SUBB), together with its subcommittees, works with the Associate Vice President for Student Life to establish policy for, and to approve, the use of the Student Union Building’s facilities, consistent with the SUBB’s vision for the use of the building by students, faculty, alumni, University employees, and members of the community.  A member of the Main Campus Space Allocation Committee sits on the SUBB’s Space Allocation Committee.

3. Space Allocation Decision Criteria

Functions or programs that address stated University priorities and initiatives will be given priority over competing requests for space.  To ensure the University provides the best teaching and learning opportunities and because of limited classroom and seminar space, no general classrooms or seminar rooms may be converted to any other use without first being reviewed by the Registrar for main campus and the Chancellor for Health Sciences for HSC classrooms.  Space allocation decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis based on:

  • centrality to the University's mission, vision, and values;
  • user productivity;
  • cost;
  • availability of funding;
  • appropriateness of the size of the space for the need; and  
  • adequacy, location, and functionality of existing and proposed space allocations.

When there are multiple requests for new or existing unallocated space, allocation by a space allocation committee will be generally guided by the following utilization priority order:

  1. instruction
  2. library services
  3. research
  4. public service functions
  5. institutional support services
  6. student government
  7. other

4. General Classroom Space

Classroom space includes all areas used for instruction, including classrooms, lecture halls, labs, and seminar spaces. Instruction includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled lectures, labs, seminars, and community and professional outreach training programs.  The Registrar's Office is responsible for assigning general classroom space on the main campus.  The HSC Associate Vice President for Knowledge Management and IT is responsible for assigning space in the Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education.  Departments with classrooms within their assigned space will have primary scheduling rights.  Specialized class laboratories will be scheduled at the departmental level. 

4.1. Classroom Assignment

Classes will be assigned to rooms with seating capacities which match the anticipated enrollment limit as nearly as possible. Departments with conference or seminar rooms that have acceptable access and are of appropriate size should request these facilities for classes that naturally lend themselves to a seminar format of delivery.

4.2. Classroom Space Allocated to Departments

Deans and directors who have classroom space allocated to them will notify the Registrar's Office of departmental classroom allocations each semester. The Registrar's Office or the HSC Associate Vice President for Knowledge Management and IT will determine how the remaining departmental classroom space is scheduled. Allocation of classroom space is designed to provide the best teaching and learning opportunities to all students at the University. 

4.3. Learning Environments Design Guidelines

All learning environments must conform to the UNM Learning Environments Design Guidelines (LEDG) authored and maintained by the UNM Learning Environments Committee.  The LEDG provides guidance for negotiation between the increased parameters of current educational models and the efficiency/sustainability goals of all UNM facilities.  Work related to space allocation of learning environments must comply with the recommendations of the LEDG.  Learning environments include traditional types of classroom space as well as nontraditional types such as learning commons or a variety of informal student gathering and collaboration spaces.

5. Departmental Space

Deans and directors will be responsible for the management of space allocated to their various departments and units. Deans and directors will notify the applicable space allocation committee of the following:

  • When there is a change in the internal allocation of space from one (1) department to another department within their respective college.
  • When the nature of the use of any space is changed.
  • When assigned space is greater than the functional needs of a department or unit.

When the delineation or configuration of a space is to be changed by the installation or removal of partitions or walls or the relocation of doorways, the deans and directors will consult with the Planning and Campus Development Office of Space Management or applicable space allocation committee for approval prior to starting such changes. This is required to assure that the space database of record and associated record drawings reflect the most accurate room numbers, space categories, allocations, and functional categories.

Prior to leasing out a departmental space, approval must be granted by the applicable space allocation committee as this may have an effect on the Building Renewal and Replacement eligibility of formula funded Instruction and General spaces.

6. Off Campus Space

Departments needing space off campus must request approval from the applicable space allocation committee to lease such space. The request must include:

  • specific space needs;
  • location requirements;
  • funding source;
  • justification for the request; and
  • time implications.

The request should follow the same process stated in all of Section 7. herein. If the request is approved, the Director of Real Estate is responsible for procuring space in coordination with the department and for supplying the Planning and Campus Development Office of Space Management with an as-built drawing of the space.

7. Requests for Additions or Changes in Allocated Space

The applicable space allocation committee will accept and review requests for changes in space allocation and utilization throughout the year. Departments needing on campus space must submit a completed Space Request Form describing the need and reason for additional or new space to the Planning and Campus Development Office of Space Management which will present the request to the applicable space allocation committee. Departments needing space off campus must submit a request in accordance with Section 6. herein.  Since some of the requested actions and the committee decisions will have financial implications, the committee will coordinate decisions with the capital budget planning process. Deans, directors, and department heads are encouraged to identify anticipated space need issues as part of the annual capital improvement projects planning process to assure consideration in the capital budget plan for the next year.  Space requests will be initiated and reviewed as follows.

7.1. Accessibility

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a Federal civil rights law, requires the University to ensure access without discrimination on the basis of disability.  Space allocation requests which may result in the compromise of this requirement must include funding, and designate the funding sources, for the work required to achieve compliance to the ADA.  Work related to space allocation requests must not only comply with current national accessibility standards, but must also meet current UNM accessibility standards which go beyond the national standards. This work must also support, and coordinate with, the University’s ADA Transition Plan.  In no case will an inaccessible circumstance be created nor an existing accessible circumstance be rendered inaccessible because of activities related to allocation or reallocation.

7.2. Space Requests Made by Grants

The process of applying for a research grant shall include analysis of all space needs that the grant may require.  If the department does not have sufficient space for the research grant, a Space Request Form must be completed.  If there is no available space on campus, other alternatives must be considered prior to grant submittal.

7.3. Space Allocation Committees

Space allocation committees should review the request and communicate their response to all parties impacted by the request and decision. The committee may decide to:

  • approve the request;
  • approve an alternative solution;
  • approve the request subject to allocation of funds in the capital budget plan;
  • request additional information before action is taken; or
  • disapprove the request.

The committee, after approval of the request by the dean or director of any of the conditions stated in Section 8 herein, will send a Space Allocation Memorandum of Understanding outlining the allocation of space to the appropriate University departments or units.  These changes must also be reported to the Planning and Campus Development Office of Space Management for inclusion in and update of the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) Space Inventory.  

8. Periodic Analysis of Existing Space Allocation

Each space allocation committee will periodically review the utilization, quantity, and quality of existing space allocations.  These reviews should be done with reference to published University space guidelines, and give due consideration to inefficiencies associated with the design, location, and condition of space.  It may be desirable to coordinate these reviews with the NMHED program review or accreditation activity to minimize duplication of data collection efforts.  Committees may, with approval of the applicable executive vice president, reallocate space, when appropriate, to promote efficient use of the limited space available.  Each committee will review and render decisions concerning the allocation of space in the following circumstances:

8.1. New or Existing Unallocated Space

When space is provided by new construction, the subsequent vacation of existing facilities, or major renovation of existing facilities.

8.2. Conversion of Academic Space

When a general classroom, lecture hall, or seminar room is proposed for conversion to any other use.

8.3. Request for Additional Space

When deans or directors cannot resolve space issues among their departments or units or when the need for additional space is beyond their current space allocation.

8.4. Change of Space Allocation

When the allocation of space is proposed to be changed from one organizational unit to another unit.

9.  Reconsideration 

The Board of Regents has delegated the President final authority for all space allocation decisions.  Requests for reconsideration of space allocation committee decisions may be submitted through the applicable executive vice president for review at the President’s discretion.  The President (in consultation with the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost, Chancellor for Health Sciences, Executive Vice President for Administration/COO/CFO, and Vice President for Athletics) has final authority for the planning, allocation, and reallocation of space owned or leased by the University.  

10.  Related Links

Space Management Website

Space Request Form (one of the Quick Picks on the right side)

UNM Office Space Guidelines