Finding Additional Campus or Leased Space for Unit Needs

The Provost’s Office is able to work with your unit in identifying short- and long-term solutions for planning for strategic growth, dealing with a temporary space need or relocation, and so on.

For additional information and to request assistance, units may fill out this Space Needs Request Form. Please note that only a dean or director’s office representative should fill out this form.

More on finding additional space on- and off-campus

The need for a unit to find additional space either in a University building or off-campus in leased space most often arises from a shortage of space at a current campus location; a short- or long-term need to relocate due to a construction project; or a poor fit of current space with the programmatic needs of a specific academic, administrative, or research function.

Units may initiate the process of finding additional space by first reviewing the contents of this page and then by filling out the request form below.

NOTE: Units seeking major renovations, building additions, or new buildings should follow the Capital Planning Process.

Request Form

Request Form for Additional Space (webform should be completed by unit budget administrator or designee)

Roles & Responsibilities

Though all space needs and requests are unique, the following three individuals/offices must be involved in the process of finding new space and remained involved throughout the entire process:

  • The unit budget administrator, or designee, identifies the space need, fills out the webform, and identifies funding sources. Once endorsed by the Provost’s Office, the unit budget administrator remains involved throughout the entire process or designates another representative(s) within unit to act on his or her behalf.
  • The Provost’s Office validates all space requests with the unit budget administrator and assists units identifying potential on- and off-campus solutions. The Provost’s Office typically remains involved in the throughout the entire process.
  • The U-M Real Estate Office is involved if the need requires off-campus leased space. The Real Estate Office is the official, authorized University liaison to all landlords and leasing agents, as stated in SPG 601.23, Real Estate Transactions. In this role, it arrange tours of leased space, negotiate lease terms, and work closely with units and landlord’s representatives in getting leased space ready to be occupied.

NOTE: U-M students, faculty, and staff are not permitted to contact anyone outside of the University regarding real estate and leasing matters, which includes contacting landlords or leasing agents regarding potentially available spaces.

SPG on Leasing & Real Estate Transactions

Per the Real Estate Transactions section of the U-M Standard Practice Guide (SPG 601.23), any matters related to the sale, acquisition, or leasing of space, property, or land must be handled through the U-M Real Estate Office, under the Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

U-M students, faculty, and staff are not permitted to contact anyone outside of the University regarding real estate and leasing matters, which includes contacting landlords or leasing agents regarding potentially available spaces.

Process Overview for Finding Additional Space

Depending on the space needs, the process for accommodating a new space need can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more. Even though needs vary, the typical process for securing additional space, either on or off-campus, is outlined below:

  1. Unit budget administrator or designee fills out the Request Form for Additional Space.
  2. Provost’s Office discusses and validates the need with the unit budget administrator and determines the funding source for the space and any renovation or construction needed.
  3. The unit, Provost’s Office, and U-M Real Estate Office assess the need and potential solutions and determine if it should be addressed in University space or in leased space. The decision to seek additional space needs to be carefully made, taking into account a number of factors, including:
    • How much space is needed?
    • How long is the space needed and when is it needed by?
    • Where is the function for the space need best suited?
    • What type of unit funding is available to pay for the cost of additional space and the cost to renovate or construct additional space to accommodate the need?
    • What opportunities are there to partner with other units to meet the need?

The remaining steps describes the process if leased space was determined to be the best way to address the need. The process to accommodate needs in University spaces varies depending on who manages and administers the space.

  1. The Real Estate Office identifies potential leased spaces and arranges tours with unit representatives. The unit budget administrator identifies tour participants, which typically includes the programmatic lead (e.g. faculty member or director), department administrator, and facilities manager.
  2. Once the tours take place, the unit budget administrator, in coordination with the Provost’s Office, determines which leased space will best meet the unit’s needs and institutional needs.
  3. Once the space is selected, the Real Estate Office informs the landlord that the University is interested in the space and begins negotiating the leasing terms.
  4. The Real Estate Office, Provost’s Office, and the unit hold a kick-off meeting to define any renovations that are needed and the renovation budget. Unit representatives typically include the unit budget administrator, facilities manager, and programmatic lead.
  5. The Real Estate Office submits the renovation needs (also known as tenant improvements) to the landlord and negotiates the final lease terms and construction costs. At this point, the unit may need to adjust their needs to fit within the identified budget.
  6. The Real Estate Office submits the draft lease to the following units for review:
    • Office of the General Counsel
    • Risk Management
    • Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH)
    • Facilities and Operations
  7. The Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) reviews and signs lease on behalf of the U-M Board of Regents.

NOTE: Once the lease is signed, no changes can be made to the terms of the lease or scope of the construction without a lease amendment.

  1. Construction/renovation to the leased space begins. The unit representatives work closely with the Real Estate Office and with landlord and landlord’s construction team.
  2. Once construction is complete or near complete, municipal inspections take place before the University is able to take occupancy.
  3. The unit occupies space.

Classroom Planning & Needs

The Provost’s Office monitors the inventory of classrooms campus-wide to ensure that the overall pool of classrooms continues to meet campus demands, paying particular attention to the number and sizes of classrooms available campus-wide and by geographic area. The Provost’s Office is also knowledgeable about recent classroom renovation projects and stays current on campus trends in design and instructional technology.

Long-term classroom planning

Your unit should involve the Provost’s Office as early as possible in any classroom construction or renovation project. Provost’s Office staff are able to share best practices from recent construction or renovation projects and advise on future campus classroom plans that may influence or affect your unit’s needs.

Provost approval is required prior to work beginning in the following situations:

  • Construction of a new classroom
  • Removal or repurposing an existing classroom
  • Significant change in the seating capacity of an existing classroom (e.g., +/- 20%)
  • Key design decisions when central resources are used to fund a classroom project

Email space.utilization@umich.edu with details about your needs to request assistance and approval.

Short-term classroom needs

If your unit has a pressing classroom scheduling issue or unique need for a specific class, the Provost’s Office and Registrar’s Office are able to assist in identifying spaces on campus to meet your needs. Email space.utilization@umich.edu for assistance in identifying these spaces.

For additional information on curriculum planning and deadlines at the University, refer to the Registrar’s Office Curriculum Resources page.

New Buildings, Renovations & Expansions

Requests for new buildings, major expansions or renovations at an estimated cost of $5 million or more, are required to follow the Capital Project Guidelines. Please refer to Capital Planning for more information.

For renovations to existing spaces, projects with an estimated cost of $2 million or more must be cleared with the Office of the Provost prior to work beginning. In some cases, the project may also need to follow the Capital Project Guidelines. Email space.utilization@umich.edu to request approval for such renovations.

Ad-Hoc Analysis of Space-Related Data

The Provost’s Office is able to assist in interpreting campus space-related data, as well as assist in tying it to other sets of data (enrollment, financial, HR, etc.), to address internal unit space planning questions. Email space.utilization@umich.edu with additional details about your needs to request assistance.

For More Information

For other space questions or needs, contact space.utilization@umich.edu.