Space Utilization and Moves

Suffolk University is in the midst of an ongoing campus improvement plan that will create a more modern and vibrant campus. The overarching goal is to utilize existing campus space more efficiently for the entire Suffolk community.

Space Use, Requests & Changes

All requests for changes to space allocations must be made to one’s manager prior to moving work spaces. Once approved, an official move request must be submitted via the Move Request Form. Anyone who moves without filling out the form is not officially allocated to that spot and could be asked to move back at any time. See the Guidelines for Space Allocation below, and for more information please contact facilities with any questions.

The facilities department has an active inventory of all spaces on campus and their use for strategic planning and life & safety purposes. If your department is interested in changing the way a space is used (office, conference room, etc) or is in need of more space, please fill out the Space Change Request Form prior to making the change as Facilities will approve it against the Guidelines for Space Allocation.

Any changes not officially approved can be asked to revert the space back to its original state at any time.

Guidelines for Space Allocation at Suffolk University

This provides guidelines, rules, and general information regarding the usage of office space, classroom space, and general use space at Suffolk University. These guidelines reflect the overarching principle that space is a limited resource; as such, decisions about the allocation of space should be based on clear, shared guidelines that apply to each unit, while acknowledging the existence of unit-specific factors (e.g., accreditation needs; accessibility issues; pre-existing structural parameters; gift and/or endowment agreements, etc.) that may be relevant to an individual space-related decision.

The University Space Committee is tasked with providing advice to senior leadership on the responsible management of University space resources to advance the mission of the University and its strategic priorities. Space resources must be managed with sufficient flexibility to adapt to evolving changes in curricula, technologies, and overall enrollment, as well as patterns of growth and retraction of individual majors, degrees programs, and of administrative and support units. This document aims to provide a working framework for the management of space in order to maximize functional utilization of existing space resources, while maintaining flexibility to respond to meet emergent and changing needs.

University employees will be provided with a work environment that is suitable for successful completion of the type of work detailed in their position descriptions.

  • Office and work space should be allocated to meet the functional needs of each unit and the University’s strategic priorities. No entity other than the University “owns” the space that has been allocated to it.
  • Ongoing assessment of space usage is imperative for maximal functionality and efficiency; space must be inventoried on a yearly basis.
  • Shared offices, open offices, open service areas, shared conference rooms and other shared spaces are encouraged when appropriate to maximize space utilization.
  • Space that has previously been allocated to a functional unit but is no longer needed by that unit may be reassigned, with appropriate notice and discussion among unit heads, to other units in response to their needs or University strategic priorities.
  • Space vacated due to a reduction in program size, program elimination, or reduction in workforce reverts back to the University space pool. Requests for allocation of this space are reviewed by the University Space Committee, and the Committee may make recommendations to the University’s senior leadership as it determines the usage of the space.

  • Department/administrative units should have contiguous space, whenever practicable, and attempts should be made to create more functional space clusters whenever space becomes available. Vacated offices should be continuously inventoried and assessed for how reallocation can create more physically unified departments, programs, or units; or could facilitate strategic goals such as greater functionality and cross-disciplinary use. Assigned space, as well as available space, should be reviewed yearly to afford maximal functional use
  • Department chairs, administrative directors and unit managers should be prioritized within the central space cluster, within reason. A larger office may be warranted for a department chair, administrative director or unit manager, but new space should not have excessively more square feet than the other offices that make up the functional unit (consult Appendix A for space allocation guidelines)
  • Tenured and tenure-track faculty at CAS, SBS and SLS, as well as SBS full-time IP and all other full-time Law School faculty, should be located in private offices. HR-approved medical accommodations, seniority, rank, and administrative role within the unit (e.g., program director) should be taken into account when assigning office space
  • New tenure-track faculty should be prioritized for placement within the allocated space for the department/program. Although this may in some cases lead to a more senior faculty member moving outside the central cluster, new faculty acculturation can occur more readily when they are situated in a central location
  • Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty with one-year contracts who have presumptively renewable faculty status should generally expect to share an office with an individual of similar rank. If there are no other individuals in the department with this rank, lecturers from different departments may share the office
  • Lecturers/adjunct faculty should use a cubicle or desk in a shared, designated area, or should use some form of “hoteling” or reservation system to book space. Lecturers should not be assigned to private offices
  • Administrative assistants should be assigned to their designated reception areas, if such areas exist. If there is no designated reception area, administrative staff should occupy a cubicle or workstation or share an adjacent interior office. If administrative assistants are located in an interior office, it is a priority that the office is located in a visible area and the administrative assistants are immediately accessible and visible to students and visitors
  • Creation of new, individual offices for faculty and staff should adhere to the recommended square footage guidelines
  • The responsibility for the assignment and reassignment of space allocated to a unit generally resides with the unit head (Dean/SVP level or above); any deviation from these guiding principles should be both rare and supported by a clear rationale
  • Department/administrative units or individual staff with Alternative Work Arrangements that consistently allow them to work outside the office on average 3 days or more a week must incorporate work space sharing arrangements to maximize the utilization of office space. This principle applies only to staff and not faculty

Appendix A: General Guidelines for Office Space Allocation [PDF].

Law classes and law school activities have scheduling priority of Sargent Hall per their accreditation requirements; CAS and SBS share use of Sargent Hall, 73 Tremont, 20 Somerset, and Sawyer.

  • Classroom use and classroom prioritization must follow a hierarchy of needs. In general, the hierarchy takes into account the following: a) function of space (e.g., lab space); b) equipment or technology needs; c) size needs; d) disability of students or faculty; e) CAS and SBS matrix compliance.
  • Classes should not be scheduled or moved to alternate classrooms, conference rooms or other general use space without written Registrar approval.
  • Faculty members are prohibited from enrolling students beyond the course enrollment cap if such over-enrollment exceeds the published space capacity of their assigned classroom.
  • General use function space can generally be reserved one-semester in advance, with an assessment and prioritization of need. Reference policy on “Requests by Members of the Suffolk University Community to Use Campus Space for an Event” and complete the room request form.
  • Meetings should be booked in conference rooms using the 25Live application.
  • There are a number of other important space restrictions that can be found on the Conferences & Events webpage.

Campus space is limited, so members of the Suffolk University community seeking to use space for an event, including events involving internal and external speakers, must follow appropriate procedures. Those procedures can be found on the Conferences & Events webpage. Only recognized students organizations, faculty, and administrative entities of Suffolk University are permitted to request space. A variety of factors will be considered when deciding whether and how to allocate campus space for a requested event, including:

  • The availability of appropriate spaces
  • The time of day, size of the expected audience, location and anticipated noise level of the event
  • Whether Suffolk University will have to incur any expenses or unusual administrative services in order to host the event
  • Whether the event will be open to the public
  • Whether the event poses a risk of violating Suffolk University’s policies or federal, state and local laws
  • Whether the event risks interfering with the essential operations of Suffolk University, including teaching and learning, or Suffolk University’s mission

Even when members of the Suffolk University community are permitted to reserve campus space, Suffolk University has the discretion to restrict the use of campus space, such as by limiting attendance to members of the Suffolk University community; limiting how space is used; or imposing time, place, and manner conditions consistent with the principles stated above, such as by requiring an opportunity for opposing positions to be presented.

Suffolk University reserves the right to reevaluate events even after space has been allocated should new information become available. It is the responsibility of the event organizer to provide updates, such as changes in speaker attendance or topics to be addressed, as the event evolves between the time a space is booked and the event occurs.