Campuswide survey aims to track use of space at NIU

This fall, a project kicked off to align one of the university’s most valuable resources, space, with its mission and goals.

Departments that will participate in the next phase of the survey are currently being finalized with the Provost’s Office.

The survey is conducted in two parts and will be implemented across campus in phases to best manage the information-gathering process.

“Our objective is to execute this survey effort in deliberate methodical steps” said John Heckmann, associate vice president of Facilities Management and Campus Services.  “As we assess any lessons learned from the pilot effort underway with the Office of Undergraduate Studies, we will prepare the next wave of survey efforts predominantly targeting student support units that could benefit from consolidating locations.”

The first segment will validate the current use of building spaces as compared to database records. It is recognized that the database may be outdated and not reflect changes that have occurred in space utilization, occupant names or organizational realignments that have occurred over the years.  The second part will solicit input on space needs, including changes to support strategic planning efforts, realignments to bring space assignments up to date with organizational changes, or to improve services to campus by locating units closer to each other.

The results will be used to update recorded information and serve as a baseline for evaluating future space changes that may include simple office moves to improve operational alignments or major renovations. They will also inform investment priorities as opportunities emerge to obtain funding and/or leverage underutilized spaces on the campus.

“Organizational or operational changes are often made to meet the university’s goals and strategic priorities. Space realignments don’t always follow due to timing, costs and lack of available space,” said Chris McCord, Acting Executive Vice President and Provost.  “This effort will help the university evaluate options for efficiently and effectively utilizing available space to meet our mission requirements.”

More information can be found by visiting the Facilities Management and Campus Services website.

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