Space Needs Assessment

Academic Affairs

In July 2016, Academic Affairs contracted with Rick Associates, a higher education space planning and programming firm, to conduct a comprehensive space needs assessment. This assessment will focus on current and future utilization needs for teaching labs, faculty offices, research spaces, and other Academic Affairs spaces on campus. The intent is to identify and align emerging programmatic and capital priorities, in consideration of the University’s strategic vision. Learn more about the Space Needs Assessment project.

This website will serve as a common point of reference about our progress.

Contact: Amy Bippus, Project Lead


April 2017

Within Academic Affairs, we want to ensure that we are using our limited resources as effectively as possible to meet the needs of our students, faculty, and staff. In particular, we need to examine office and research spaces to ensure that current allocations are commensurate with current needs. Last summer, we announced that Academic Affairs was working with Rickes Associates, a higher education space planning and programming firm, to conduct a comprehensive space needs assessment. Our goal is to identify how Academic Affairs space is currently being used and determine where changes could possibly be made to better fit the evolving needs of our units. This process involves identifying underused or inappropriately used spaces, areas of fragmentation that would benefit from co-location and/or reorganization, and areas in which redesign and renovation may lead to improved utilization.

The first step in the Space Needs Assessment project took place in fall 2016. Rickes Associates visited the campus and conducted interviews with stakeholders in each college and unit. Academic Affairs also collected information from colleges and other units to determine how they were using the space assigned to them. When we began the second step and compared the firm’s information to the usage data we received from the campus’ Facilities Office, we found large discrepancies. Given that we will be using the data from this assessment to guide space decisions going forward, we felt it was critical to ensure the accuracy of the data in our final report.Before we can proceed with step three, we need to take a step back and make sure we have an accurate inventory of the space and the use of it. To accomplish that we created a team consisting of Amy Bippus, Vice Provost for Planning and Budget, Parviz Partow, Director of Academic Facilities and Planning, Joni Shimotsu, Space Resource Manager in Facilities, and the Associate Dean and Resource Manager from each college. These teams are conducting room by room walkthroughs to verify the allocation and usage of Academic Affairs spaces.

Since we are determined to have a working document with accurate data, this process has unfortunately extended the timeline of the overall project. We began these walkthroughs in late March and anticipate having these collated and the data compiled by the end of May, with a final report by early fall term. To ensure that this process is as transparent and consultative as possible, the report and supporting data will be available for you to review.


Space Needs Assessment Timeline

Project Team

Space Needs Assessment Project Team Members

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Space Needs Assessment Surveys