Policy on the Assignment and Use of Space

The Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science has primary responsibility for assignment of space allocated to the College by the Provost. This space includes the Engineering Center, the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory, the Discovery Learning Center, and portions of other buildings including the Fleming Building, the Biotechnology Building, and the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex. The Dean is advised by the College's Administrative Council. The other tenants of the Engineering Center are consulted regularly regarding any changes in space assigned to them. 

The College of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Arts and Sciences have a formal Memorandum of Understanding, dated June 2, 2004, and updated in 2007 and 2008, covering the space assigned to the Applied Mathematics Department in the Engineering Center.

The route of appeal of decisions regarding space for units other than those of the College of Engineering and Applied Science is through their respective Directors and Vice Chancellors. If required, disputes on space assignment between Vice Chancellors will be resolved by the Boulder Campus Chancellor, in accordance with the Campus Space Policy.

Office Space for Personnel

The following policy principles, in order of priority, apply regarding the assignment of office space for personnel in the Engineering Center:

  1. Rostered faculty on continuous or extended appointments, of tenure-line or instructor series, and program directors are assigned individual offices, windowed when desirable and feasible. Faculty in the research-professor series, with appointments of 50% or more, may be provided individual offices on a space-available basis.
  2. Office space is assigned to classified and professional staff according to reasonable requirements. Staff generally will share individual offices or larger administrative offices. Staff supervisors and advisors, who require office privacy for consultations, will be accorded individual offices where feasible.
  3. Faculty-rank and other visitors, including faculty on short-term appointments, are assigned offices on a space-available basis with no assurance of individual offices, windowed or otherwise. Departments/Programs are generally required to accommodate visitors in offices of faculty on sabbatical or other leaves, or in internal space usually occupied by research associates or graduate students. Office space is not assured for visitors unless prior written arrangements have been made with the department chair or program director.
  4. Except by written agreement with the University, retired faculty retain no rights to a faculty office, and, in particular, to the office occupied immediately prior to retirement. Retired faculty who continue on short-term contract basis are considered under clause 3 above and in the following section.
  5. This policy provides for no seniority- or rank-related privileges in the assignment of office space, nor do office occupants retain rights to particular offices. Offices may be reassigned as space in the Engineering Center and other buildings is reorganized.
  6. Graduate students and postdocs are generally assigned internal space in the various discipline wings of the Engineering Center and other buildings. This assignment is delegated to the departments and programs.
  7. A modest amount of interior space will be assigned for use by student societies and honoraries by the Dean.
  8.  Any exceptions to the above will be reviewed by the College’s Administrative Council, which will advise the Dean.

Optimizing Office Assignments for Faculty

The growth in the College of faculty is requiring carefully assessment of the assignment of individual, windowed offices. In addition to following the policy above, the College encourages the departments and programs to implement the following guidelines:

  • Emeritus faculty should share an office. Emeritus faculty with office space should have an active research program (ex., students completing their PhD program) and/or have a teaching appointment.
  • Faculty who occupy a private, windowed office in another campus building should not have a second private office.
  • Research faculty with <50% appointment should share an office, or be assigned space within the department’s interior space for research personnel if feasible.

Discovery Learning Center

Laboratory space in the Discovery Learning Center will be assigned and managed in accordance with “Expectations for the Discovery Learning Center”, dated June 18, 2004 (attached).

Space Database

With the assistance of the Department of Facilities Management, the Assistant Dean for Administration of the College of Engineering and Applied Science will maintain a current database, including designation, floor plans, area, type of use, and assignment. This database will be employed by the Dean and the College’s Administrative Council in analyzing space utilization within the Engineering Center.

Laboratory Space and Reassignment

Departments and programs are expected to manage the laboratory space that has been assigned to them, as well as office space for graduate students and other research personnel. Responsibilities include inventorying laboratory use and their assignments to specific faculty or groups, provision of laboratory space to new faculty, and internal reassignment of laboratory space to meet department needs. However, from time to time, it may be necessary to reassign space from one department to another, based on shifting needs within the College. Such reassignment of space is the responsibility of the Dean and will be informed, i.e., the Dean will consider information from the space data base, metrics such as research funding and number of faculty and other researchers, and input from the affected departments and the College's Administrative Council. Renovation funds may be requested, either during or outside the normal annual renovation cycle, by the new tenant for appropriate modifications of the reassigned space or by the prior tenant for appropriate relocation costs or recent investments in the reassigned space. Ad hoc space committees may be formed by the Dean on needs for new space or for space reassignment.

Renovations of Space Assigned to the College of Engineering and Applied Science

All renovations to space assigned to departments and programs must be approved by the Dean, regardless of the source of funds for renovations. The proposed renovations will be reviewed to ensure that they are aligned with the strategic goals and future plans of the College. Renovation proposals should be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Administration and include information about all planned construction such as wall removal/addition, installation/removal of permanent lab benches, and utility  (electrical, HVAC, lighting, fume hood) changes. Painting and carpet/tile may be done without a review. The Dean will review the renovation proposal and inform the department/program if the renovation can be undertaken. Any major change to project scope during design or construction must be submitted for additional review.

Changes in use of laboratory space, such as conversion of a research lab to a teaching lab, must be submitted for review, even if no renovation work will be undertaken.

Centrally Scheduled Classrooms

In accordance with the Boulder Campus Space Policy, no centrally-scheduled classrooms in the Engineering Center may be converted to other use or removed from the centrally-scheduled pool without permission of the Chancellor.

Discovery Learning Center


As described in the April 1998 Program plan, the Discovery Learning Center (DLC) partners with the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL) in stimulating interdisciplinary, team-based, and hands-on learning. While the ITLL is focused on undergraduate curricula and K-12 outreach, the DLC extends this paradigm to include researched-based learning, graduate as well as undergraduate students, and industry partners. Discovery learning occurs through research, design projects, leadership and service. The DLC provides a forum for college outreach to the community and industry, and inreach to other university programs, and it uses modern technologies in research and education. Thus, the DLC merges the teaching, research and service missions of the College. In short, the DLC facilitates vertically integrated (teams of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and industry partners) and horizontally integrated (multidisciplinary teams) learning through research and other discovery-learning processes leading to knowledge generation and integration.


As updated from a June 1999 memo to potential DLC occupants, the criteria and metrics by which existing and proposed tenants and activities in the DLC are evaluated include

1. Is the activity of recognized high quality and productivity?

  • Faculty, student or program awards
  • Numbers of peer-reviewed publications appeared and submitted
  • Annual expenditures from external funding
  • Technologies developed and/or used

2. Is the activity vertically integrated?

  • Number of undergraduate students involved
  • Number of graduate students involved
  • Number of faculty involved
  • Numbers of peer-reviewed publications appeared and submitted with student co-authors
  • Number of conference presentations with student co-authors

3. Is the activity horizontally integrated?

  • Number of departments involved
  • Number of peer-reviewed publications with authors from more than one department

4. Is outreach included in the activity?

  • Number of companies involved
  • Annual amount of support provided by companies
  • Number and duration of K-12 or community outreach programs
  • Attendance for the outreach programs

Reports and Review

Each DLC tenant will provide a bi-yearly report to the Dean, covering the prior calendar year. It should be 2-3 pages, plus appendices, following the prescribed format in the call for bi-annual reports. Student data should be provided on a semester basis (fall/spring/summer). The reports will be used for assessment purposes and also to provide summary data on DLC usage for the College’s reports to supporters.

A faculty oversight group will review the bi-yearly reports, extract and disseminate best practices, and note deficiencies. Occupants whose performance is judged deficient will develop an action plan for the subsequent year. Deficient performance, especially two years in a row, may lead to a recommendation for the tenant to vacate the DLC. Every five years, a comprehensive review will be performed and tenants will reapply for DLC space.

Application Process

Applications (and reapplications) for DLC space will be solicited by the Dean’s office and should include

  1. A title for the laboratory and a listing of the involved faculty and their departments.
  2.  A narrative statement (1-2 pages) summarizing the proposed activity and addressing the four criteria listed above. Include estimates of the numbers of graduate and undergraduate students who will participate and of the annual external support that is already committed.
  3. A description of the space requirements, including approximate square footage, layout requirements (offices, dry labs, wet labs, etc.), and analysis of any remodeling needs and cost estimates for remodeling. Also describe the space to be vacated, if any, with a move to the DLC. 

R.H. Davis & J.F. Zelasko 1/30/15