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Report 90-3 : A Capacity for Learning: Revising Space and Utilization Standards for California Public Higher Education

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

January 1990

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This is the final report for the Commission's review of space and utilization standards in California public higher education. It represents the culmination of a process that began in 1985 and that involved a major effort by the Commission, the Commission's consultant, MGT, Inc., and an advisory committee with membership from the Department of Finance, the Legislative Analyst, and the segments.

The report contains an executive summary that lists conclusions and recommendations, a background statement and history of space and utilization standards in California, a description of the consultants' work on the national survey and changes in academic disciplines, and four chapters analyzing specific space requirements for classrooms, teaching laboratories, research areas, and faculty offices.

The report offers a number of principles that should govern changes in space and utilization standards generally (1) they should be conceptually simple, consolidating various formulaic elements into single standards wherever possible, (2) at the State level, they should be administered flexibly, thereby encouraging creativity at the campus and systemwide levels, (3) they should be interpreted broadly and not become highly specific design standards where the exact sizes of rooms are dictated without regard to need or function, (4) they should encourage balance among all physical facilities, (5) they should be accompanied by strong accountability and reporting requirements, (6) they should be reviewed on a regular basis, and (7) they should not be changed unless a compelling case for change can be demonstrated.

Using these principles, the Commission recommends a modest relaxation in the current classroom standard and -- in particular -- the utilization component of that standard, virtually no change in teaching laboratory standards, a continuation of current practice in the funding of University of California research space, and some improvements in faculty offices -- particularly for the California Community Colleges. It also recommends the submission of regular classroom and teaching laboratory utilization reports from each of the segments and the establishment of the Commission's Advisory Committee on Space and Utilization Standards as a permanent forum for discussion of problems and needed adjustments in the standards.

The Commission adopted this report at its meeting on January 22, 1990, on recommendation of its Policy Evaluation Committee.


Related Topics: Enrollment Demand and Capacity Analysis | Facilities Review
 

Further information may be obtained from the Commission's Research Staff
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at Research_Staff@cpec.ca.gov.

A copy of any publication may be requested from the Commission's Publications Unit
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at Publication_Request@cpec.ca.gov.

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