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The Academic Affairs Division of Miami University seeks a principled and effective approach to planning and utilizing physical spaces, including classrooms, laboratories, offices, and other learning-oriented spaces.  The ultimate goals relating to the assignment and utilization of academic space are to:

  • Promote the productive and inclusive attainment of the teaching, research, and public service goals of each division, college/school, academic department, or other academic unit, and the University as a whole.
  • Foster a wholesome environment for students, faculty, and staff in all of their activities.
  • Assist in controlling space costs and energy consumption.
  • Provide an accurate and comprehensive source of information to support academic space planning and management.


Recommendations and decisions relating to academic space utilization should be guided by the following principles:

  1. All space is owned by the University
    • No one department, center, or academic division owns space. University space should be deployed in the most efficient and effective manner to best serve the strategic goals of Academic Affairs and the mission of the University.
    • The VP of Finance and Business Services has overall responsibility for the most effective and efficient use of space resources and has the final decision authority for the planning, allocation, assignment, and reassignment of assigned space.
  2. Space is re-assignable
    • Unless prohibited by contract or funding source obligations, policy, or statute, university space is re-assignable.
  3. Space is to be used effectively
    • Departments and other academic units are expected to be proactive with space planning by anticipating future needs, seeking to create flexible, functional space, and encouraging collaborative and multi-disciplinary use of space to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Everyone is expected to make efficient use of space within their departments/units.
  4. Space is to be allocated effectively among users
    • Periodic reviews of academic space occupancy and utilization will occur and may result in the reallocation of space in order to maximize use and meet University and academic affairs priorities. Vacant or underutilized space is subject to reevaluation for reassignment.
    • Principal considerations for the use of any building space will be the original intent, current function, and the sources of funds that built, renovated, or currently maintain that space, including priority for units that have contributed historic investments in the development and maintenance of the space. These considerations are not the exclusive guidance in evaluating space assignments or reassignments but are fundamental elements in any space use discussion.
    • Space allocations which promote collaboration across academic units will be favorably considered.
  5. Core campus space should be used for functions that serve or directly involve students, faculty, or staff.
    • Programs and activities directly related to education and research, including activities that enhance the student experience, will be given priority.
    • Space occupancy by people focusing on academics or serving students will be prioritized over other uses, such as storage or internal administrative services.
    • Space requests that provide evidence of good space usage efficiency and that demonstrate programmatic need will receive greater consideration.
  6. Safety and accessibility are of paramount importance.
    • Priority will be given to space assignments that reduce risk and increase campus accessibility.
  7. We are responsible stewards of our environment.
    • Whenever reasonably possible, space assignments in support of campus carbon neutrality and zero waste efforts will be favorably considered.

Academic Space Utilization Subcommittee

Chaired by Carolyn Haynes and Robert Bell, the function of the Academic Space Utilization Subcommittee (ASUS) is to focus on stewardship of all academic spaces. In addition to advising on initiatives and policies relating to academic space, ASUS will review and analyze academic spaces to assist University leadership and administrative units to use Miami University space assets in an efficient yet flexible manner with the goal of supporting the academic mission of the university.

The Subcommittee serves as a professional resource for academic space items for all campuses of Miami University including making recommendations on policies, procedures, and principles for academic space utilization); providing communication of and advising decision-makers on appropriate policies and procedures to University academic stakeholders. It also reviews and provides advice on major project requests and capital improvement priorities related to academic affairs when requested. 

The Subcommittee shall report to the university-level Space Utilization Group which is chaired by Robert Bell and reports to the senior administration, namely to the President, the Provost, and the Vice President for Finance and Business Services.


Divisional points of contact serve in a leadership role for academic space utilization and planning efforts for their division.  

Departments and other academic units wishing to make inquiries or request changes to the space assigned to them including physical alterations and relocations, changes in space capacities, reassignment of use, changes to installed technology, and accountability changes should approach their division’s space utilization point of contact: 

  • Office of Provost (Units that Report to Provost) - Carolyn Haynes, Senior Associate Provost
  • College of Arts and Science - Renee Baernstein, Senior Associate Dean
  • College of Creative Arts - Julia Guichard, Associate Dean
  • College of Education, Health, and Society - Sherrill Sellers, Associate Dean
  • College of Engineering and Computing - Clark Kelly, Assistant Dean
  • College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science and Regional Campuses - Moira Casey, Associate Dean
  • Farmer School of Business - Andrew Reffett, Associate Dean
  • University Libraries - Aaron Shrimplin, Associate Dean