The Task Force looked at what opportunities and/or barriers the University’s inventory and management of space contribute to the successful pursuit of established strategic priorities as well as the potential to generate revenue and/or cost savings.
The Task Force considered acute and chronic issues related to the management and optimization of existing space as well as the creation of new space (through capital construction or renovation), focusing on processes guiding decision-making, communication, transparency and accountability.
Within the context of a highly decentralized academic environment and the recognition of multiple goals and often competing priorities, the Task Force recommends:
Develop a culture at Queen’s that space is a valuable and scarce resource, and that all space is indeed University space but it serves individual constituents in a variety of ways that evolve over time.
In this context, space must be allocated and accounted for openly and transparently as a matter of public trust to our students, faculty, staff and other members of the broader Queen’s community, as well as taxpayers and our local community.
Consider mechanisms to record and report on the economic utility of space to clearly identify the value of space assigned to each unit and to help inform rational decisions with respect to space allocation and utilization.
Establish clear, streamlined, and consistent policies and practices for the governance and management of space, that encompass the allocation of existing space as well as request for space alteration and renovation, re-purposing, and new capital construction or acquisition.
All processes should be well-communicated, transparent and accountable, with specific direction and timelines for the preparation and submission of requests, the criteria for adjudicating and prioritizing responses, the communication of the results or responses to all requests and the accountability for the final outcome or completion of the process.
Adopt the five recommendations of the Ontario Auditor-General with respect to university facilities management:
In addition, the University should adopt the specific recommendations of the 2003 Space Management Policy.
Ensure the optimal use and utilization of all space throughout the calendar year, maximizing opportunities for academic programming as well as non-academic revenue-generating initiatives in support of the University’s mission.
Specifically, opportunities to maximize space utilization in the summer, without negatively impacting facilities operational costs, should be vigorously pursued.
The Task Force recognizes the complexity of managing space in a large decentralized research-intensive university and champions a consultative approach to determine appropriate procedures to support effective decision-making and the ability to adapt to changing demands and priorities.
The University must have a well-understood framework for reporting and managing space that will provide consistency while enabling the institution and individual units to respond to unplanned opportunities and challenges as they may arise.
The framework should contribute to the development of a culture of transparency and accountability, fostering trust and collaboration in developing and supporting decisions and creative solutions.
Under the leadership of the Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance) in consultation with the Principal, Vice-Principals and Deans, develop a set of principles to guide the establishment of formal governance practices and processes to support integrated space planning and management, including:
Clarify governance and management roles, responsibilities and accountabilities relating to space planning and management among the Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance), the Vice-Principals (Academic) and (Research), the AVP (Facilities) and Physical Plant Services, the Board of Trustees, the Senate and the joint Campus Planning and Development Committee.
Establish specific objectives and measures, with mechanisms to gather appropriate and accurate information, including objective detailed inventory data and characteristics as well as more subjective survey results. Physical Plant Services and Campus Planning & Development will be charged with the development and maintenance of the campus-wide space database, and with reporting to key decision-makers and constituents at the University.
Review current practices and systems (human and technological) in place overseeing space management and utilization (teaching, research, administrative and infrastructure) to support and facilitate integrated planning and reporting.