A space question

Apr 26 2012 Published by under [Education&Careers]

Is there a formal Space Policy at your institution or are changes are at the discretion of the Dean? If there is a policy, how long do investigators get before they are at risk of space contraction?

8 responses so far

  • Zen Faulkes says:

    We have Space Committees, both department and college level. We have never had anyone get space taken away.

  • We have a space committee at the institutional level that solicits department input. They review all spaces (labs, offices, etc) every couple of years and make decisions on re-allocations based upon staffing size, grant dollars, how close someone is to retirement, etc.

  • One prof got his space halved after about 3 years of no funding and a mass exodus of most of his lab members.

  • sciwo says:

    Our department has a space committee that divvys up space that we have in our building. Lab spaces are probably smaller in my field, so it's more offices (for faculty and students) that get fought over. Both here and at former institutions, when there's been a space crunch they've taken away emeritus profs office spaces.

    At the university level, there's no formal space policy and when new space becomes available there seems to be a flat out brawl.

  • At Snooty U? Brawl. Influence. Grant money. Volume. But no space committee. Here, I have no idea, though Dr. S's postdoc is a state school, so... probably.

  • Mac says:

    We have no committee or formal procedure (these decisions seem to be all be made by a staff member) and the result is that a number of nearly retired faculty with low/no research activity have a great deal of space while new faculty coming in have very little space and have to fight for what they have. There are also large disparities in faculty lab space that have little/no relationship to research productivity (but are modestly correlated with gender - not all men have big labs and not all women have small ones but there is a perceivable difference in these allocations). I'd love it if we had a committee that would tie space to research productivity, it would help the dept develop in line with the institution's goals. However, I don't see that happening soon.

  • aprofessor says:

    Ours is at the discretion of the department head. And his goal seems to be to make as few waves as possible. So even unproductive professors keep all their space.

  • Genestumbler says:

    (sorry, I just discovered your blog)

    We have recently codified our space policy here, to no end of whinging. I'm at a mid-size comprehensive in the Southeast, and we're making the transition from pure teaching to teaching/research. In our new policy, productivity (measured in terms of publications/$$$) is a factor in determining if you get a certain space allotment, and have a leg to stand on when requesting more. This removed some absolute power from the Dean and Dept. Chair, although they still have a bit of say. I can provide more details (and links to documents) if you'd prefer...

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