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Terms of Reference

Context and Purpose

Space is a vital but costly resource that must be administered fairly, transparently and efficiently to meet the priorities of the institution. Effective and efficient use of space is a fundamental institutional responsibility as the amount and suitability of space directly affects the scope and quality of programs and services that can be offered.

The purpose of the University Space Committee (USC) is to:

  • Support the administration of all university space in a coordinated and integrated manner that addresses the university's vision, mission, mandate, and strategic, academic and enrollment goals.
  • Provide a vehicle for systematic, transparent and equitable consideration of space-related requests and proposals, allocation and reallocation of space, and changes to the manner in which space is used.
  • Act as an institutional forum for discussions of strategic space issues, policy matters, space management, trends and best practices in space administration, and current and future attributes of space in higher education.
  • Foster the development of an institutional culture of space stewardship leading to the effective and efficient and use of university space.

Scope and Limits

The Office of University Space Administration (OUSA) operates under the authority of the Provost and Vice-President Academic (Provost/VPA) and is responsible for: development of space-related policy and procedure; strategic planning related to the allocation and reallocation of academic and non-academic space; and identification of the implications of space usage; with the objective of achieving the operational and strategic requirements of the university.

The University Space Committee (USC) operates under the terms of reference established by this document, related policies and procedures, and the priorities of the university. The work of the USC is confidential until ready for official release. USC members are bound by KPU's Code of Conduct with respect to confidentiality, conflict of interest and related policies and procedures. USC members may discuss committee business with their supervisors as required, however unless otherwise agreed to, the opinions and recommendations of the USC are formally communicated to the broader KPU community by the Provost/VPA, the USC Chair or Secretary or appropriate others.

The Provost/VPA and the Vice-President Finance and Administration (VPFA) jointly approve the recommendations of the OUSA, consulting with the Polytechnic University Executive and others, as required.

Statement of Principles

Functions

The responsibilities and activities of the University Space Committee (USC) include:

  • Developing, reviewing and advising on space-related policy and procedure.
  • Advising on the development of metric-based standards, benchmarks and other criteria to assess efficient, effective and equitable of space use.
  • Advising on the development of criteria for the adjudication of space requests, proposals and issues.
  • Adjudicating requests and proposals for space and recommending appropriate courses of action, including allocation and reallocation of space.
  • Recommending solutions to space conflicts.
  • Monitoring the use of space, undertaking periodic reviews of space allocations and utilization, and advising on options to accommodate the changing needs and priorities of the university.
  • Supporting the development, implementation and administration of an integrated, institutional space database.
  • Consulting and coordinating with, and advising the broader KPU community on, trends and best practices in space administration, the current and future attributes of space and other space-related issues as required.
  • Engaging in university-wide communications that encourage the efficient use of space and foster a culture of stewardship of space.

Membership

  • University Space Committee (USC) members are selected based on the institutional perspectives of their respective positions, and broadly represent the academic and service activities offered on all campuses.
  • To ensure adequate representation of constituent groups while maintaining functionality, total USC membership will not exceed 13. While the size of the committee is controlled for manageability reasons, consultation protocols are in place to ensure that the opinions of the institution are asked for and heard.
  • Employees of the university's academic and service units act as resources for the USC on matters of university infrastructure, facilities, budget, policy and procedure.
  • The Director and Coordinator of University Space Administration are ex officio members of the committee, acting as Chair and Secretary, respectively.
  • The membership of the USC is posted on the University Space Administration's website (to be developed).

Meetings

  • The University Space Committee (USC) meets on a monthly basis. Meetings are added or deleted as required to adequately address workload.
  • Telephone and/or electronic meetings are acceptable options to face to face meetings.
  • Attendance at meetings is required. Every attempt will be made to schedule meetings to accommodate the availability of the committee members.
  • Where possible, the decisions of the USC will be made by consensus. If consensus cannot be achieved, decision making will be made by majority vote. Quorum is 50% of USC membership.
  • USC meeting agendas, meeting minutes and the resolution of requests, including recommendations and related rationale, will be posted on the OUSA's website.  The specifics of work in progress will not normally be posted on the website.

Definitions

Allocation: The distribution of space to an academic or service unit.

Reallocation: The redistribution of space from one unit to another unit.

Space:  All real property owned or leased by the University.

Space Management: Oversight of all University space and the assignment, reassignment, stewardship and planning of space according to best interests of the institution and applicable codes, regulations and laws.

Space Request: An official proposal for a modification to assigned space.

Related Policy and Procedure

  • BD024 Campus Planning Policy and Procedure
  • University Space Policy and Procedure (to be developed)