An overview of research space management in the United States, based on interviews with senior administrators, Internet documents, and the authors’ vast experience, identifies important trends that need attention.
Abstract: Today, the amount of space devoted to research at research universities exceeds that of classrooms and class laboratories. This research space portfolio presents important policy and management challenges. As stewards of this portfolio, universities must address issues of funding the construction of research facilities, equipping and maintaining them, allocating and accounting for space used for research, and managing, in broadest terms, the physical and administrative infrastructure in which research is conducted. As this article illustrates, managing the balance between the growing demand for and the supply of research space is complicated. To address the issues of research space, universities have developed a variety of space management methods to fit their unique research missions, priorities, and operational culture. This article provides important insights into this little studied aspect of higher education space planning. The article is an overview of research space management across the U. S. on general campuses and in health science centers. It is based on interviews with senior administrators in selected research universities conducted specifically for this study, information about research space management available on university documents on the Internet, and on the work of Ira Fink and Associates, Inc. in programming research facilities on a multitude of campuses nationwide.