ESP Space Policy

Developed by Space Committee (Tomich, Handy, Sih, Carriere), 10 February 2022 Adopted by voice vote of faculty, 2 March 2022

ESP Departmental Space Allocation Principles

  1. Principles are developed and adapted (as needed) through consensus among current ESP faculty.
  2. Decision making rests with the department chair. The ESP department chair makes and adjusts space allocations, with reference to these consensus principles and UC Davis Campus Space Guidelines.
  3. Goals: To facilitate excellence in research, teaching, mentoring, service and outreach. The top priority is to provide an appropriate amount of good quality space for ESP faculty and their labs (i.e., their graduate students, postdocs, research employees, undergraduate interns, and academic visitors). Other important priorities are (1) good quality space for nonacademic staff, (2) meeting and teaching space, (3) common space for day-to-day interactions, networking and conviviality.
  4. Equity/fairness does not mean all faculty have equal space allocations. Although all faculty members should receive the space needed to carry out their job responsibilities, faculty members have varying space needs. In particular, it is important to ensure that early career faculty have the space they need to succeed. Actual space assignments also may vary due to availability of departmental space, existing floor plan configurations, and the chair’s discretion.
  5. Transparency. Information on all departmental space allocations will be available to all ESP faculty.
  6. Flexibility/adaptability. Space allocations are not permanent and may be adjusted (increased or decreased), depending on changes in personnel, research and educational needs, and grant activity.
  7. Non-disruption. Timing and nature of space reallocations will aim to minimize negative impacts on research, education, and public service during the course of an academic year.

ESP Departmental Space Allocation Practices

Overall. The departmental space inventory is kept in an online database developed and maintained by a staff member designated by the department chair and CAO, and updated annually. The department chair, designated staff member, and Space Committee will meet at least once a year to review space use, assess current and future space needs, and to determine if reallocation is needed. Both FTE and headcount are considered in this assessment. A relatively easily-applied metric for “under-used” space is square feet per person, with consideration to past trends and future plans. If a workspace is not actively used (e.g., occupant works off-campus or is on filing fee or leave of absence) that workspace is considered unoccupied and potentially available for reallocation.

Standing departmental space committee.  A standing committee of faculty and staff will advise the chair on space needs and generate creative ideas for improved space use.

Faculty offices. Each faculty member receives a private office with a window.

Faculty lab space. Laboratory space (or other research space) is allocated to faculty on the basis of programmatic needs and departmental priorities, and may be reassigned if those needs or priorities change. Graduate students, postdocs, interns, project scientists, specialists, and any other lab members are assigned space by their faculty sponsor.

Graduate students. The opportunity to mentor graduate students is essential for faculty members to carry out their professional responsibilities. Consequently, providing adequate space to support graduate students is critically important. The departmental goal is to provide sufficient graduate student work space for faculty members, in the form of a “grad lab” associated with one or more faculty members, and honoring this goal will be the top priority in decisions on graduate student/postdoc space. Students are, however, required to vacate and clean out their workspace upon completion of their degree. For smaller lab groups (1-2 graduate students), discussions will consider the option of having pooled/shared spaces with other lab groups with overlapping interests to provide potential advantages in critical mass, community, and flexibility.

Project Scientists, Postdocs, and Visiting Scholars. Each of these positions is associated with a faculty member. Space allocation is determined by the department chair, with clear definition of the terms of the appointment. An individual office for these appointees is not guaranteed; these appointees may need to share space with other personnel. If a faculty member has a stable number of these people, their space needs can be included with the graduate student count in the overall lab group size.

Emeriti. Retired faculty members who have been honored with the “emeritus” or “emerita” designation are valued colleagues and often continue to contribute through research, mentoring and other activities. Emeriti will be granted space on a case-by-case basis as their needs dictate and availability allows; this space is intended for active use and often such spaces will be shared among emeriti. Emeriti will be offered office space for a fixed duration, normally one year, renewable annually by application to the department chair. Emeriti generally are not eligible for lab space and are to vacate their lab space when they retire. However, if the emeritus faculty member has an active extramural grant hosted by ESP at the time of retirement, the date to vacate their space is determined by the department chair in consideration of the end date of the grant.

Staff. Office space is designated for administrative support services including: general administration, business office functions, IT, and safety personnel. The department chair, with input from the CAO, will allocate offices for these staff according to needs. Space will often be shared by two or more staff.

Conference and meeting rooms. . The ESP conference rooms are an integral resource for carrying out the ESP mission.  Priority is given to business, meetings and research that promote the ESP mission.  Specific conference rooms may be used for ESP classes or graduate classes taught by ESP faculty after first attempting to find space through the Registrar.  ESP undergraduate classes have priority in conference room 2124; and graduate classes taught by ESP faculty have priority in conference rooms 2120B and 2120J.  Conference rooms 1017 and 2133 (the Dumont Room) are reserved for department business, service and outreach, lab group meetings, and graduate committee meetings. To request meeting space, send an email to Jennifer Carriere (, or her successor as the ESP staffer in charge of facilities management, with the meeting time and number of participants.  It may also be possible to request bookings for these spaces via Outlook.  The ESP department chair may overrule reservations for departmental needs (e.g., recruitment meetings, merit and promotion meetings, and seminars).

Storage space. The ESP department has minimal storage space. All research data, samples, equipment, or any other material placed in storage must be labeled with a contact name (and affiliated PI) and date placed in storage. All material not labeled and/or abandoned material (by people who have left the department) is subject to disposal. Disposal decisions and allocation of storage space is the purview of the ESP department chair.