February 19, 2014
"Space: the final frontier"
- Star Trek
As more faculty engage with research, creative work, and scholarship, the need for "research space" increases. It is interesting to note that, aside from space in Slaughter Hall and Institute Hall, we have not really built space dedicated to research. Rather, we have either converted space from other areas or we have designated some space with multiple purposes, one of which is for research. But there are few other needs that are as challenging to meet as the space needs of our researchers, artists and scholars. So space really is the 'final frontier'.
Classroom space is easier to manage, assess, and allocate. In fact, we do a pretty good job as demonstrated by how we schedule classroom effectively; you can see our classroom utilization here or by visiting http://www.rit.edu/provost/academic-excellence.
But research space is more difficult to manage partly because it is so often shared with teaching space. So in order to develop a framework that will assist us in making good decisions about research space, I formed a task force to work this semester and make recommendations to me. The Research Space Taskforce consists of all the deans, Sue Provenzano, Vice President for Research Ryne Raffaelle and it is chaired by Dr. Andreas Slavakas from computer engineering.
The committee will make recommendations that will establish an administrative framework for how research space is to be allocated and utilized. This framework shall consist of, but not be limited to, principles, administrative policies, goals, metrics, processes, and practices. The framework, when combined with space data available from our campus software platform, will guide faculty, chairs, deans, the vice president for research, and the provost in assessing space utilization, prioritizing space requests, and allocating available space. You can read about the charge by visiting my website.
The group has already met several times and is making great progress. I expect that they will submit their recommendations sometime in March and I will post the recommendations to my website. And we will be sure to collect input from the faculty before finalizing the framework later this semester.