VIU Students Recreation at the Beach

Terms of Reference


Vancouver Island University’s Space Planning Committee (“SPC” or “the Committee”) serves as a decision making body regarding institutional space and reports to the Senior Management Team (SMT).  The Committee has overall responsibility for monitoring, reviewing, assessing, and reporting on: space inventory, space requests, the allocation of space (owned and/or leased by the University), space utilization, and space planning associated with capital projects. The Committee replaces the former Space Allocation Group (SAG) and has an expanded scope to include all space allocation.


The mandate of the SPC is:

  • To apply the principles and provisions pertaining to the administration of space, in accordance to the University’s strategic priorities and as contained in University policies, guidelines, standards, and procedures, in making recommendations on new space requirements and on the allocation, re-allocation, or disposal of existing space.
  • To advise on the priorities of space needs related to major space planning and allocation initiatives (e.g. new buildings, renovations greater than 1000sqf, etc.,) that can be affordably satisfied, and ensure that they are aligned with the Campus Master Plan and VIU Strategic Plan.
  • To advise on aspects of space allocation and utilization decisions, including amicable resolution of competition for space.
  • To ensure that the process for decision-making and recommendations is transparent and inclusive.
  • To support periodic reviews of existing allocations of space to meet the changing needs of the University and to ensure alignment with the University's strategic and operational plans.
  • To ensure that alternatives to accommodation/space needs, where possible, have been considered and that those needs and their utilization can be validated if necessary.
  • The Committee evaluates Major Space Requests according to the process and criteria for the evaluation of space requests outlined in the Space Request Procedures document.  Minor requests within existing allocations are determined by Deans and Directors.
  • Ensure tracking and reporting processes are in place and adequately resourced.

Guiding Principles

All University facilities, buildings, and land belong to the University as a whole and are subject to assignment, reassignment, and redevelopment to meet the overall needs and best interest of the institution. This includes but is not limited to all academic (inclusive of teaching, research and administration), administrative (inclusive of office and classroom spaces), student housing space, and regional facilities. Long-range planning for optimum use of these valuable, essential University assets is a continuing process. 


As such, the following principles are used to guide decision-making regarding space management and allocation:

  1. Efficiency and effectiveness: Space utilization across all units is to be tied to levels of activity. Space is to be accounted for and assigned according to its utilization.   
  2. Equity: Space allocation to units is closely related to their present and projected levels of activity. Standard definitions of space drivers will ensure that all units receive a reasonable portion of total space.   
  3. Accountability: Administrators are responsible for ensuring that all space within their allocation is effectively utilized.   
  4. Transparency: All stakeholders have access to information on space system development, policy development and space utilization across all units of the University.    
  5. Accessibility: Space assignments will be allocated in a way that ensures the spaces meet the accessibility needs of students, employees, and the public.
  6. Simplicity: The system is not bureaucratic or difficult to manage, and stakeholders easily understand the allocation system.   
  7. Adaptability: Space allocations are tied to future needs and can be adapted readily in response to internal and external changes.   
  8. Strategic: The use of space and prioritization of allocation is tied to VIU’s strategic and foundation plans. Adjacencies and impact on department operations are also key strategic considerations.
  9. Value: Consideration will be given to current usage and cost of repurposing spaces. 

Structure and Governance

The Committee reports to the Senior Management Team (SMT).  Space Management will administer and prepare draft reports on the decisions of the SPC to SMT, and to the Planning & Priorities Committee. Ad-hoc subcommittees or Task Forces may be formed as required. 

Membership and Term of Office

The membership of the SPC shall consist of the following representatives:


  • Representative appointed from within the Committee.


  • Manager, Provost Office
  • AVP, Facilities & Ancillary Services
  • Director, Centre of Innovation and Excellence in Learning
  • Associate Registrar, Records
  • AVP, Student Affairs
  • AVP, Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity
  • 2 x Deans (rotating every 2 years)
  • Associate Director, Campus Development
  • Regional Campus Administrators (as required for campus specific space planning)


  • Associate Director, Space Management[1]
  • OUPA
  • IT    

 The Associate Director, Space Management supports the work of the Committee and coordinates its technical support.

Meetings, Reporting, and Conduct of Business

 Meetings will be held four times a year in alignment with timetabling and budget schedules. 

 In the event that a meeting is considered not to be required, after a call for any items of New Business and consideration of on-going matters, the Associate Director, Space Management will advise and consult with the Chair and inform Committee participants if a meeting will or will not be held. Off-cycle meetings may be scheduled as necessary. The meetings will have Agendas, Minutes, and other meeting support resources that may be necessary provided by Campus Development. 


 An appeal process will exist which allows elevation to SMT.

Amendment of Terms of Reference

 The Senior Management Team may amend these terms of reference on the recommendation and advice of the SPC Chair and Space Management, with any such recommendation and advice having included for consultation with Committee members. 

Review Process

 The Terms of Reference should be reviewed every two (2) years.

[1] Position to be requested in 2021/22 budget submission