University Policy



Approval Date: 2008-07-17

Effective Date: 2008-09-01

Review Date: 2020-07-17


President through the Vice Presidents


University space is the property of the University as a whole.


To establish authority for the planning, allocation and administration of University space, in keeping with the Space Leasing policy, the Policy on the Establishment of Institutes and Centres and articles of collective agreements which relate to office space.


All space acquired and legally owned in metropolitan St. John's in the name of Memorial University, irrespective of how the space was obtained, excluding the Health Sciences Centre and the Marine Institute.


Additional Space — Space that is needed for maintaining a unit's current and expanding operations and that is in addition to the space already allocated to the unit.

Common Space — Space (room or group of rooms) accessible to the general University community, which includes: corridors, lobby space, stairwells, tunnels, pedestrian overpasses, washrooms, elevators, cafeteria spaces, etc.

Leased Space — Space owned by Memorial University that is allocated to another organization through a lease agreement (specifying use, timeframe) signed by the University and the organization (i.e., the lessee(s)).

Occupied — Space which has been allocated.

Relocation — Scheduled replacement of the location of a room or group of rooms and its/their occupants.

Renovation — The altering of the present configuration or layout of allocated space.

Shared Space — Space allocated to one unit for control but used by another unit(s). For example, boardrooms and seminar rooms are typically booked and controlled by one unit with the understanding that they can be used by others.

Space Leasing — Space arranged through leasing of property external to the University. See Space Leasing policy.

Unit — Academic or administrative unit as defined in the University Calendar.


Acquisition of all space must be approved by the Board of Regents, whether acquired through inheritance, donation, purchase or erection from capital development or other method.

Space is allocated, under the authority of the President, to individual academic, administrative, research and service units and separately incorporated entities based on their needs and availability of space. Allocation of space can be reviewed or altered when the needs change. Space may be re-allocated by the University at any time based on changing needs. It is imperative that space be allocated to various users as optimally as possible. To avoid duplication of space, equipment and staff resources and to avoid unnecessary costs, as many facilities as possible shall be shared by various users.

For the most part, the assignment of space within the area allocated to a unit will be determined at the decanal (or equivalent) level. Deans and Directors should exercise their resource manager role and arrange the distribution of total space allocated to each unit amongst the competing internal interests and functions.
All space allocation information is stored and maintained in a central inventory, which is administered by the Department of Facilities Management.

Space required for new institutes or centres must be requested in accordance with the Policy on the Establishment of University Institutes and Centres.

Employees may have more than one office only with the approval of the Vice-Presidents' Space Committee.

Changes in Assigned Space
Any request for a change in space usage requiring alterations, renovations or refurbishment requires approval prior to the commencement of work in accordance with the Procedure for Requesting Additional Space for New Activities.

All requests for additional space or for relocation of a unit shall follow the Procedure for Requesting Additional Space for New Activities.

Where possible, all changes must conform to University Space Standards and Guidelines as set by the Vice-Presidents' Space Committee and to applicable building codes.

Any construction or renovation work that takes place on University premises (owned or leased) must be undertaken by Facilities Management personnel or contracted or arranged through Facilities Management.

To ensure sufficient numbers, classrooms, seminar rooms and offices may be converted to other uses only with the approval of the Vice-Presidents' Space Committee. Conversion of shared classrooms should proceed only following consultation with the Office of the Registrar.

When a unit downsizes, completes a project or works differently, perhaps because of technology, or when units merge, the space may be claimed and reallocated, following the Procedure for Reclaiming University Space.

All costs associated with discretionary alterations/renovations to a space shall be borne by the user unit. Any such work shall be approved and coordinated by Facilities Management to ensure compliance with applicable regulatory requirements and University standards.

Leased Space - Custody and Control
Use of space for core university activities takes precedence over all other uses. Space may be made available for outside entities where appropriate. If space is to be occupied by an outside agency for a period of three months or more, then a lease contract must be established. Tenants of space under lease from the University have custody of the leased space according to the terms of the lease as agreed to by the University and the lessee.

University-owned space made available for leasing to others must have the approval of the appropriate Dean or Director and be authorized through the Vice-President (Administration and Finance) prior to negotiations with the proposed lessee. The Director of Facilities Management has responsibility for coordinating the leasing of space, other than the assignment of rooms in student residences, which is the responsibility of the Dean of Student Affairs and Services.

All leased space is subject to a written lease, stating within the conditions, the rent payable, the terms of payment, and period covered by the lease.

Space specifically allocated to non-university activities/units shall be subject to specific financial arrangements for operating costs, unless a special arrangement has been made and authorized by the Senior Executive Committee. In this instance, "non-university" refers to those activities that are not included within the context of the University's budget.

Common Space - Custody and Control
The University usually provides common space for general use by the occupants of allocated, assigned or leased space.

Common space remains the responsibility, and is in the custody, of the Department of Facilities Management, which maintains the space and sets regulations pertaining to safety, security and maintenance. Such space is to remain clear of obstruction and available for free access by all authorized users.

Space for Retiring Faculty, Honorary Research Professors and Professors Emeriti
Space freed by a retiring faculty member normally remains allocated to that particular academic unit. However, office or laboratory space may, depending upon the needs of the University, be assigned for a defined period to retired professors, honorary research professors and professors emeriti who require it in order to continue their scholarly or creative work on behalf of Memorial University.

The space granted to retired faculty, honorary research professors and professors emeriti may be shared and shall not adversely affect the quantity or quality of space provided for non-retired faculty members and other employees.

The Vice-President (Academic), in consultation with the respective unit Dean or Director and the Vice-Presidents' Space Committee shall be responsible for deciding upon requests for space from retired faculty members, honorary research professors and professors emeriti in accordance with the Procedure for Assigning Space for Retiring Faculty, Honorary Research Professors, and Professors Emeriti..
All assignments of space in this category shall be reviewed annually by the Vice-Presidents' Space Committee in consultation with the respective Dean or Director.

Related Documents

University Space Standards and Guidelines
Terms of Reference - Vice-Presidents' Space Committee
Space Leasing Policy
Establishment of University Institutes and Centres
Request for Allocation of Additional Space form


For inquiries related to this policy:

Department of Facilities Management 709-864-4419


The President



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