Middlebury College Policy on Allocation and Utilization of Space

(Download the Space Policy PDF, 37KB)

Date:  November, 2006
Revised:  April, 2009


a. The purpose of this policy is to enable effective and efficient utilization of College space resources resulting in:

  • A quality learning and working environment for students, faculty and staff
  • Effective management of space to meet the strategic vision and mission of the College
  • Cost effective utilization of space

b. This policy also provides:

  • a framework for the regular review of the College’s space needs and use of its physical assets, and
  • forms a basis for procedures to be followed in relation to the assignment of space and the relocation of staff.

c. This policy applies to all College Space.



a. All space at Middlebury College belongs to Middlebury College. The College will allocate and reassign space to best support and further the College’s academic mission and priorities.

b. All vacated space will be returned to the college’s space inventory immediately upon vacating by occupant. Space will be reassigned by the Space Committee based on requests submitted for their review.

c. New space constructed with funds raised from external donors belongs to the College and is assigned to meet current needs which further the College’s mission. Participation in the fundraising does not automatically give perpetual right or exclusive use of the space to the original assignee (although their contribution should be taken into account and space assigned according to need and appropriateness of the space). The space may be reassigned in the future to support the changing priorities of the College.



a. Space can be assigned only to individual or groups who are currently faculty, staff or students of the College, or emeriti faculty. (See section titled OFFICES for more specific policies.)

b. Annually, each Department will be required to verify the space currently assigned to it and the use of that space. The Space Manager will initiate this process.

c. Standard College guidelines should be established to guide criteria for assignment of space including: size and number of Office spaces, Meeting Rooms and Teaching Labs.



a. Location and proximity of offices

The primary purpose of Middlebury College is to educate and meet the needs of its students. Departments that serve this purpose and which have ongoing contact with students should reside in centrally accessible locations. These include academic departments and departments that provide student services.

  • Departments whose functioning does not require regular contact with students may be located further from the center of campus.
  • Members of working groups ideally should be located in close proximity in order to promote their effective functioning and to facilitate communication within those groups.

b. Faculty Offices

  • Faculty should not have more than one office, unless approved by the President;
  • Whenever possible, faculty offices should be single offices with at least one window;
  • Adjunct faculty and per course lecturers should be housed in shared offices with at least one other person;
  • Emeriti faculty do not retain offices, though they may be assigned an office when employed as teachers in a given semester or year. Some carrels are available in the library and are assigned by the Dean of Faculty;
  • Middlebury College does not guarantee on-leave offices, but efforts will be made to provide leave offices whenever possible;
  • Faculty offices should be in the range of 120-160 NASF (net assignable square feet). In some cases room sizes may fall outside of this range due to current building configurations. (The average office size on the Middlebury Campus is 150 sf.)

c. Administrative Offices

  • Staff should not have more than one office;
  • Staff offices may be private, shared, or open landscape, as appropriate.
  • Whenever possible, staff offices should have at least one window.
  • Clerical staff spaces should be in the range of 60-120 NASF.
  • Private offices required for administrative staff should be in the range of 120-140 NASF.  Specific allocations will depend on duties of the individual.

d. Other Spaces (NASF guidelines from research)

  • Chair/director’s office - 150-180sf
  • VP, AVP, Deans - 175-200sf
  • President – 400-450sf
  • Student workers – 35sf (2 per station)

NOTE: Listed office sizes are general guidelines only. Existing building layouts may dictate exceptions to these guidelines.

e. Office Furniture

  • A standard office setup should be established for Middlebury College to create continuity and equity across campus and ease of setup and replacement, as well as enabling cost effective, bulk purchasing of items as required.
  • Standard office set up should include:  Desk, office chair, credenza, book shelves, guest chairs and table.



a. Classroom space should be assigned centrally through the Course Scheduler and should not be allocated to a department for assignment. Classrooms should be allocated and scheduled in a manner that optimizes space utilization, and recognizes pedagogical needs.

b. Classroom Utilization should be reviewed annually by academic administration to identify trends in teaching/learning so as to be proactive in meeting future needs, and to identify underutilized rooms that could be relinquished for other use.



a. In many cases, allocation of space is based on historic assignments and may not perfectly reflect current need. It is also recognized that there are inequities in terms of quality of space allocated to different users. The configuration of space in our buildings leads to disparities, such as differences in office size that cannot be rectified in an economically efficient manner.

b. The FAMIS Space Management System will have the capacity to graphically demonstrate current Campus space usage, to aid in space relocation decisions which aim at keeping departments together in proximate locations. As stated in 4a above, departments supporting the primary mission of the College should reside in centrally accessible locations. These include academic departments and departments that provide student services.

c. Middlebury College will assign space and provide facilities for its programs which will:

  • Best advance the mission of the College;
  • Enable the most natural working relationships possible;
  • Ensure all space is utilized in the most efficient manner.



a. The Space Manager will conduct an annual Space Audit by department asking Department heads for a verification of space assigned to it and its current use. The Department head must report to the Space Manager any change in the way a room is used (ie: from a store room to an office) in order to maintain the integrity of the FAMIS Space Management System.

b. The Annual Space Audit Form, in conjunction with the Facilities Services project database, will allow the Space Manager to keep CAD floor plans and the usage table current within the FAMIS Space Management software so that graphical reports of space remain accurate.

c. The Audit Form will include a section asking for anticipated future needs so that the Space Committee can be proactive in anticipating space requirements for new hires or program changes. If improvements in utilization seem possible by relocation, consolidation, or physical changes, the alternatives will be explored with the affected programs/departments and reviewed with the Space Committee.

d. Any space remodeling or renovation must be managed by the Office of Facilities Services. Individual staff, faculty or students cannot remodel or paint space on their own. All renovations to existing buildings must be communicated to the Space Manager upon completion so that floor plans reflect all changes.

e. Upon completion of the Annual Space Inventory, the Space Manager will forward to the Space Committee a list of space that is underutilized or is available for reassignment. The Space Manger will also forward any audit forms showing anticipated needs to the appropriate VP for information purposes.



a. A Space Request is the official method by which a department asks for space. It is required whenever a department wants to add to or exchange its current space assignment. All requests must have the signature of the Department Head and the associated Vice President for the department. The space request form will be available on the Facilities Services web page. (attach form)

b. A Space Request will be analyzed as follows:

  • Priorities identified via the College Strategic Plan, Master Plan, and mission;
  • Study of program needs with users;
  • Existence of external funding source;
  • Type of space requested;
  • Availability

c. The requesting department will receive the following feedback throughout the Space Request process:

  • Written indication of receipt of request, and the name of the Facility Services Project Manager to which the request has been assigned,
  • Indication that the request is complete and provides enough information to proceed with the analysis,
  • Indication that the analysis has been completed, which will either confirm the amount and type of space requested or provide modifications for consideration and negotiation.
  • Once a space solution is found and approved by the Space Committee, the Space Manager will notify all parties.
  • A report will be submitted to the Space Committee summarizing all changes, major and minor.



Note: Requests can only be considered in September of each year for completion during the following summer.

a. Projects NOT requiring Space Committee Approval:

Minor Space Changes: AVP for Facilities will review minor space change requests with Space Manager and a decision will be made after thorough research and checking with Space Committee via email.

Minor Space Change Projects have little impact outside of requesting department and minimal budget impact, and have the following characteristics:

  • Involves individual movement within a specific site; and
  • No change to the function of rooms; and
  • Involves only an individual or a small number of persons or rooms; and
  • Involves space within custody of a Department Head; and
  • Involves no, or only minor, associated building alterations or refurbishments.

b. Projects Requiring Space Committee Review:

Major Space Changes- The Space Committee will review all major space change requests.

A Major Space Change is any physical change to space impacting others, or any request for additional space and have the following characteristics:

  • Involves more than an individual movement within a specific site; and
  • May change the function of rooms; and
  • Involves more than an individual or a small number of persons or rooms; and
  • Could involve any college space not currently assigned to department making request; and
  • Involves significant building alterations or refurbishments.



The annual budget allocation for all space changes is derived from the Renewal and Replacement Reserves budget of the College. This is the funding source for most space change requests unless an outside source is identified. External funding of space changes should be encouraged. Annual average budget allocation for fy’04, ’05, ’06 was $1-$1.2 million.



For the purpose of this policy:

1. Relocation - is the process whereby a person, department or activity is moved from one location to another. It includes associated activities such as space reassignment if necessary, modification of space or spaces to suit the new user/use, changeover of IT and telephone, and physical movement of room contents.

2. Space assignment - the process whereby custody of space is assigned to a custodian (College Dean, Director, or Department Head).

3. Space reassignment - the process whereby custody of space is transferred from one space custodian to another in the College's space database.

4. A Space Study - is composed of:

  • Meet with users re: program
  • Analyze current space
  • Test fit-current space
  • Research other space options
  • Test fit-other space
  • Develop optimal solution
  • Plans, budget, schedule (preliminary)
  • Space package distributed to Space Committee

5. Space Package (for presentation to Space Committee) consists of:

  • Cover letter
  • Request
  • Program
  • Floor plans-existing and proposed
  • Budget/schedule
  • Recommendation

Attach forms and flow chart



Scheduling of College spaces is done via a centralized process through the Department of Event Management, in accordance with the Events Scheduling policies. See ‘Other Policies & Information:  Scheduling Policies’ in the College Handbook for further details.