Office Space Allocation

The decision about whether to allocate an office or a cubicle should be made on the basis of the type of work an individual performs and their time appointment (full-time vs. part-time, seasonal vs. year round).  The following provides descriptions and articulate the sizes and utilization standards for various types of offices at Oregon State University.

  • Large Private Office:  these offices are for staff and faculty with functions that require high levels of privacy (need for frequent confidential meetings and/or phone conversations and working with high volumes of confidential materials) and enough space to frequently meet with 4 or more individuals. Typical assignments may include: president, provost, vice president/provost, deans, department chair, and executive directors.
  • Regular Private Office:  these offices are for 1.0 FTE staff/faculty that require high levels of privacy. Typical assignment may include: faculty, academic professionals, directors and managers.
  • Regular Open Office:  open offices are encouraged by Oregon State University and are to be used by all 1.0 FTE staff and faculty whose functions do not require additional space and who can use breakout and conference rooms for discussions that require high levels of privacy.
  • Regular Shared Office:  these office spaces are for below .5 FTE staff/faculty with functions that require meeting with up to two other and/or requiring some confidentiality, security, visual and acoustical privacy.
  • Regular Shared Open Office:  these office spaces are for below .5 FTE staff/faculty whose functions do not require additional space for meeting and/or require confidentiality, security, visual and acoustical privacy.

Touchdown (Hoteling) Space

As space inventory becomes increasing limited, touchdown, or hoteling, just-in-time office space is becoming more and more utilized.  Whether addressing staff needs for distant campuses or experimental stations or relocating administrative and other staff off campus to free space to accommodate growing academic programs, the use of touchdown space provides a convenient means for staff to accomplish work as they move from the main campus to other campus locations. As a “just-in-time” office space that is shared by many, touchdown spaces should be should be flexible to meet a variety of workspace needs, but also conveniently located with easy access to printers, copiers, etc.

Considerations for Improved Office Space Efficiency

  • A modular planning approach, such as co-location offices of similar sizes and types provides increased flexibility of office use over time and assists in preparing for future needs and changes in academic and other programs.
  • Positioning offices in the building core rather than along the windowed side of buildings increases flexibility and improves air quality and light penetration for the building.
  • Eliminating excess paper by sorting, purging and archiving documents not only brings space efficiency, but also helps identify specialized storage needs or furniture solutions.
  • Regular reviews of office space assignments and changing needs to ensure assignments still make sense helps to keep office rosters up-to-date, and helps identify space reallocations that might be necessary.
  • Lockable storage should be provided for faculty, staff and graduate teaching assistants (GTA) in open and shared office space situations.

Non-OSU-Funded Office Space

Emeritus, visiting, and courtesy faculty provide valuable contributions to the teaching, scholarship, service, and outreach missions of OSU. Thus, it is in the University’s and a unit’s interest to provide opportunities for all faculty to contribute toward the unit and its mission. However, because of limitations in available space, not all requests for assignment of office and\or laboratory space can be granted, and those requests that are approved may involve sharing space and equipment. Assignment of space has monetary consequences for a unit and the University. Providing space carries significant costs, both in terms of services associated with access and in terms of potential alternate uses. The following information is provided to aid unit supervisors’ decision making process.

  • Space belongs to the University, not to the occupant, unit, or college, and is to be assigned in the best interests of the university. Unit supervisors have primary responsibility for space management and assignments, as they are expected to have a clearer understanding of the most efficient use of allocated space.
  • The unit supervisor shall periodically review space assignments for courtesy, emeritus, and visiting faculty and staff and, if necessary, reassign space to optimize performance of unit teaching, scholarship, service, and outreach missions. This will include an assessment of expected contributions of the faculty or staff member during the following year or period covered by an MOU or letter of appointment, and an assessment of the costs/benefits to current students, faculty, and the unit as a whole. The unit leader may request written proposals from courtesy, emeritus, and visiting faculty to aid in this review and shall consult a relevant advisory committee, when available.
  • Not all meritorious requests can be guaranteed space. Appeals of decisions are to be directed to the administrator to whom the unit supervisor reports.
  • Successful requests for assignment of dedicated space should demonstrate clear benefits to the unit. Examples of departmental contributions that may warrant assignment of space include:
    • Instruction of at least one regularly scheduled course, as assigned by the unit administrator;
    • Being a principal investigator or substantive co-investigator on a research grant(s) that provides financial support to the department in an amount at least roughly equivalent to NIH Indirect Cost Guidelines;
    • Service on a significant standing departmental committee at the request of the chair. This service should be roughly equivalent in time commitment to teaching a course.
    • Formal advising and mentoring of graduate students.
    • Supervision of undergraduate research.
    • Service to the profession (significant journal or book editorial responsibilities, service on grant peer review committees, service as an officer in a professional society, etc). Such duties enhance the prestige of OSU and should be considered a contribution to the mission of the unit and/or university.
    • Faculty must make arrangements for the continuing management of their research and teaching collections, as well as equipment, at the time of their retirement. These arrangements should transfer management of the collections to the unit, college or university, as appropriate, and should be made in consultation with the Research Office.

Special Circumstances

When special circumstance meet the guiding principles of efficient space use and the mission of the university and are approved by the Director of Space Management, they may qualify for a variance.

  • Multiple (Second) Offices:  Assignment of multiple offices for faculty and staff is highly discouraged at OSU. However, when an individual has two different functions not performed in close proximity, the individual may need two separate offices.  Faculty with joint appointments and persons with staff in multiple buildings may be assigned a secondary work station in a shared or open office if there is a true demonstrated need.
  • Unoccupied/Underutilized Offices:  When offices are left unoccupied for a significant period of time or are underutilized, departments should utilize these spaces to alleviate any pressing space needs. If offices remain unoccupied for over six months, the space will be turned back over to the university for reallocation.
  • Emeritus Office:  emeritus faculty with significant continuing research and/or teaching responsibilities may be provided shared office space (private or open), if available, as long as they remain engaged in department activities.
  • Visiting Scholars:  visiting scholars may be provided shared office space (private or open) if available.

Office Space Allocation Table

Office Type Space Type NASF per FTE Typical Assignment Functional Notes
Large Office Private Office 150—300
Goal of 200
President, provost, Vice president, vice provost, dean, department chair, executive directors 1.0 FTE staff/faculty that require frequent meetings with four or more others and/or require confidentiality, security, visual and acoustical privacy
Regular Office Private Office 90-120
Goal of 100
Faculty, academic professionals, directors, managers 1.0 FTE staff/faculty that require frequent meetings with up to two others and/or requiring confidentiality, security, visual and acoustical privacy
Regular Open Office Private Open Office 42-72 Professional staff, support staff, faculty, academic professionals Encouraged for all 1.0 FTE staff/faculty whose function does not require additional space for meeting and whose need for confidentiality, security, visual and acoustical privacy can be accommodated in a breakout room
Regular Shared Office Shared Private Office 90-120
45-60 sf/person
Faculty and academic professionals Below .5 FTE staff/faculty with functions that require meeting with up to two other and/or requiring some confidentiality, security, visual and acoustical privacy
Regular Shared Open Office Shared Open Office 42-72
21-36 sf/person
Support staff, student employees, graduate assistants and interns Below .5 FTE staff/faculty whose functions do not require additional space for meeting and/or require confidentiality, security, visual and acoustical privacy