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UIC Space and Capital Planning Policy

Policy Number: PSP-4300-001

Policy Title:  UIC Space and Capital Planning Policy

Vice Chancellor/Associate Chancellor:  Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

Unit Responsible for Policy: Office of Planning, Sustainability and Project Management

Effective Date: October 15, 2021

Contacts: Associate Vice Chancellor for Planning, Sustainability and Project Management and Campus Architect

Policy Statement: UIC is committed to the efficient use of its resources and management of its facilities and space. Space is a valuable resource that needs to be assigned, reassigned and modified as necessary to accomplish UIC’s mission, implement the Strategic Priorities, attain a safer and healthier environment, achieve operational efficiency and economy, and realize the maximum benefit of available resources. To make effective investments in facilities, UIC will engage in comprehensive planning that integrates academic and strategic plans with decisions on assignments of space and allocation of capital funding. A Space and Capital Planning Committee (SCPC) will review and make recommendations regarding the allocation of space and capital resources, which may include funds from Academic Facilities Maintenance Fund Assessment (AFMFA), Repair and Renovation (R&R) and other sources. The SCPC will also make recommendations regarding UIC’s State Capital Appropriation requests.

The Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services (VCAS) is responsible for all facilities on the UIC campus and the Vice Chancellor for Budget, HR and Financial Administration (VCBHRFA) is responsible for allocating space. They will therefore both be responsible for co-chairing the SCPC. The SCPC members will be appointed by the Chancellor and include representatives from UIC administration, faculty, and students, to provide a balanced view on the impacts of space allocations and capital projects on academic and strategic priorities.

The SCPC will oversee a resource informed annual planning cycle that will include reviewing and making recommendations on space allocations and prioritization of capital projects. Upon approval by the Chancellor, the space allocations and funded projects will be compiled into an annual Capital Plan and UIC’s State Capital Appropriation requests will be submitted to the System Office for integration with the other universities.

The scope of the SCPC will cover all space and capital resources in university buildings at UIC, including its regional campuses. The Auxiliary units, such as UI Health, Campus Auxiliary Services, Parking Services, Utilities and Energy Services will participate in the annual space and capital planning process so their self-funded and self-prioritized projects can be included in the annual Capital Plan.

Reason for Policy: Space is an expensive and limited resource that should be aligned with the highest strategic priorities of the University of Illinois Chicago. To address the large demand for space, UIC must appropriately utilize the current space resources and plan accordingly for growth. This policy creates a formal structure to ensure that UIC’s space and capital resources are allocated to the highest and best usage in alignment with UIC’s Strategic Priorities and in a way that promotes transparency and the most effective use of limited financial resources for new construction, repair and maintenance of existing facilities.  This policy will also establish a set of procedures to clearly define how space and capital resources should be managed and allocated in support of UIC’s mission.

Guiding Principles

  • Space is a scarce resource that should be managed by UIC with the utmost care. It should be used efficiently to further the mission of the university. This also applies to University System and UI Health administrative units that may be housed in university buildings.
  • Vice Chancellors, Deans and Department Heads are responsible for making efficient use of space assigned to them by the Chancellor or his/her designee.
  • No building or space will be irrevocably assigned to or controlled by a college, department or administrative unit. All buildings, space, and land belong to the university as a whole and are subject to assignment and reassignment by the Chancellor to meet the overall needs of UIC.
  • Allocation of capital resources will be done in alignment with established UIC policies, including the Division of Fiscal Responsibilities between VCAS Units and Other Departments.
  • Minimizing the physical footprint of UIC’s facilities is an efficient strategy for lowering long-term operating costs and increasing sustainability. UIC will undertake initiatives to minimize the quantity of physical space needed to successfully support its mission and strategic priorities.
  • When considering the construction or renovation of facilities, UIC will evaluate whether reassignment of existing space can present a more economical, viable solution.
  • When evaluating long-term costs to sustain facilities resources, UIC will establish total cost of ownership models that will include costs to construct, sustain, and operate facilities in alignment with UIC’s strategic goals.
  • Decisions on the allocation of facilities resources will be made in such a way that all needs competing for those facilities resources can be evaluated at the same time using an established set of criteria.
  • Space will be allocated in alignment with UIC’s Strategic Priorities, Campus Master Plan and other established priorities, metrics and mission-oriented criteria.
  • Units should not stockpile unused or underutilized space, nor may they unilaterally lease it to another department.
  • Space vacated by a physical move, program reduction, renovation, or new construction will be assigned back to UIC for reallocation.
  • The space and capital planning process should anticipate future needs and seek to reduce instances of functional mismatches between building or space characteristics and occupant needs.
  • Space allocation and reallocation procedures should be transparent and affected programs and individuals should have the opportunity to participate; however, the ultimate responsibility for allocating space at UIC rests with the Chancellor or his/her designee.
  • Periodic assessments of the utilization and quantity of existing space assignments should be conducted. These assessments should be done with reference to published campus space guidelines and should inform plans for constructing, acquiring, or reallocating spaces.
  • Academic, research, clinical, and service-based space uses have priority over administrative activities or spaces such as offices.
  • Shared use of space should be promoted to improve utilization and should become the norm when evaluating space needs.
  • Academic classrooms and laboratories should be used for regularly scheduled, academic-credit courses. Any other use must be secondary to that purpose.
  • Space use will support the university’s goals for sustainability and will maximize the efficient use of resources.
  • New faculty and staff hires should be made with consideration that appropriate space, assigned to the college/unit has been identified for those additional employees.

Minority Impact Statement: This policy has no disproportionate or unique effect on UIC’s minority students, faculty, or staff.

Who Should Read the Policy: Vice Chancellors, Deans, Department Heads, Directors, and Facility Managers


Related Laws, Regulations, Statutes, and Policies:

  • Financial Responsibility for Facility-related Costs Policy

Document History: 

Policy approved: October 5, 2021
Approved as: New Policy