The University of Western Ontario

Proposal for Academic Space Re-Alignment

to Accommodate Instructional Space Requirements

(November 17, 1998)

A. Introduction

Over the past two years, the profile of Western's academic units has changed significantly. These changes -- stemming from the academic priorities articulated in Leadership in Learning and responding to evolving societ al requirements -- include:

i. The creation of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS).

ii. The introduction of new undergraduate programs in the two new Faculties B the BHSc in FHS and the BA (Media, Information, and Technoculture) in FIMS. Both of these programs have been extreme ly successful in attracting well-qualified students in their first two years of operation. Steady-state enrolments are projected to be over1000 in the BHSc and about 400 in the MIT program.

iii. The Federal and Provincial Governments' support of university research B as evidenced through the CFI and ORDCF programs. Western's success in the initial CFI competitions is a direct credi t to the efforts of outstanding researchers across campus.

iv. Increased emphasis on graduate student recruitment and enrolment. Full-time graduate FTE enrolment has increased from 2400 in 1994-95 to 2800 in 1998-99.

v. The Provincial Government's targeted funding of increased enrolments in Computer and Information Technology disciplines through the Access to Opportunities Program (ATOP). At Western, the current plan is to more than double enrolment s in both Electrical/Software/Computer Engineering and Computer Science (including joint programs with other Faculties and Departments). The expansion in Engineering is expected to result in a steady-state increase in full-time enrolment of about 450 and the expansion in Computer Science is expected to result in a steady-state enrolment increase of nearly 250. The ATOP initiative may also lead to increases in graduate enrolments.

vi. Plans are underway to increase enrolments in high-demand Ivey programs B including the HBA, MBA, and E/VMBA. In the fall of 1999, the HBA program will be expanded by an additional section (s teady-state increase of 150). MBA enrolments are also expected to increase.

B. Urgent Academic Space Requirements

The above changes within Western's academic units has direct and urgent implications for our resource requirements B both budgetary and space. The need for projects to accommodate these chan ging requirements was anticipated in Western's 1998-99 Operating Budget. Specific recommendations on project design and cost will be discussed with those most affected and brought forward for consideration for approval by the Property and Finance Committe e.

There are a number of urgent space requirements associated with the academic restructuring which must be addressed immediately. These requirements must be in place for the Fall of 1999 in order to meet the teaching requirements of new/e xpanding programs. The specific requirements are as follows:

  1. Engineering. The University's budgetary commitment to Engineering has resulted in the addition of faculty appointments over the past few years, which in turn has increased the need for research and office space. As mentioned earlier, the ATOP initiative will result in significant enrolment increases as well as some new faculty appointments. The projected ATOP-related increases will result in a significant shortage of teaching/student space B specifically in a shortage of classrooms and instructional labs.
  2. Richard Ivey School of Business. The Ivey School is currently experiencing space shortages as a result of increases in MBA enrolments, faculty appointments, and staff appointments B a ll of which are directly related to the conversion of the MBA program to a full-cost-recovery program. The planned fall 1999 expansion of the high-demand HBA program will further add to the space pressures which cannot be ignored. The specific needs are f or additional classrooms, faculty office space, and student space.
  3. Faculty of Health Sciences. The planned expansion of the BHSc program and the new PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences will result in significantly higher enrolments as well as some additional faculty appointments. Addition al classrooms, faculty office space, and student space are required.
  4. Additional Classrooms. The introduction of new programs, expansion of some existing programs (as identified above), and the rationalization of course offering in many Faculties and Departments has resulted in a need for addit ional mid-size to large classrooms. (Note: Any new classrooms will be considered General University Classrooms, and will be made available for use by all programs across campus through the Registrar's Office).

C. Proposal for Space Re-Alignment

In order to address the teaching-related space requirements identified above, the following space re-alignment plan is proposed (some further refinements of specific reallocations may emerge as the planning process proceeds):

  1. Assign the upper floor of Elborn College to Faculty of Engineering Science B to provide faculty offices, classrooms, and instructional computer labs.
  2. Assign the main floor space in Elborn College (formerly occupied by the GSLIS Administrative Offices) to the Faculty of Health Sciences B accommodate the needs of the BHSc and the PhD progra m in rehabilitation sciences.
  3. Convert Somerville House, a central building on campus, to academic space and use the converted space to accommodate the University's overall classroom requirements and the needs of the Ivey School.

 The conversion of Somerville House to academic space will require the following actions:

Clearly, many individuals and units are affected by these changes and several rounds of discussions have been underway over the past 6-8 weeks. In addition to addressing the challenge of meeting the requirements of academic units most c entrally involved, these discussions have focussed on the relocation of a number of other units. Although these discussions will continue throughout the planning and implementation of this program, the relocations appear to have met the requirements of th ese units; in some cases, the new locations appear to have distinct advantages.

The proposed move of Peacock Room-related Food Services facilities from Somerville House to Talbot College could have an impact on the operations and plans of the Faculty of Music. These issues have been discussed with Dean Stokes over the past few weeks and an understanding has been reached on two important issues. First, the current renovation plans do not involve a move of the RAP studio, a music research studio on the first floor of Talbot adjacent to the current cafeteria. Should a ny need to relocate the studio emerge, it would be necessary to identify another location that meets the needs of the Faculty; the costs of any such relocation would be funded centrally. Second, the Faculty of Music's evolving 125th campaign is likely to involve an enlargement of the Music Library as a high priority. It was envisaged that this expansion would involve the current cafeteria space. It is understood that the movement of the Peacock Room operation to Talbot College would make this p articular Library expansion plan impossible. Initial investigations by the Dean and IPB suggest that the Library expansion could be accommodated elsewhere in Talbot, probably on the third floor. Such a Library expansion would eliminate some classroom and other space but we are confident that the current uses of these rooms could be accommodated elsewhere. Thus, should the Faculty ultimately wish to pursue the Music Library initiative in their campaign and if the funds are raised, the project will be able to be accommodated within the larger space reallocation plan.

The plan will see the dislocation of those functions of the McIntosh Gallery now located in Talbot College. The Chair of the Board of the McIntosh Gallery and the Director of the Gallery have approved the plan as it affects their operat ions, and will be working with the Vice-President (External) to incorporate the plan into the Gallery's 125th campaign. The Director of Libraries has accepted the move of the Cataloguing Unit and Storage Space from Somerville to Elborn, the sta ff have inspected the new space, and detailed plans for the relocation will proceed as soon as approval is granted. As indicated in the attached covering memorandum, Food Services is fully engaged in discussions regarding the complex but potentially excit ing move of the facilities now in Somerville to the Talbot cafeteria and adjacent space. The Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences has visited the space on Western Road and discussions regarding renovations to accommodate the Centre for Olympic Studies h ave started.

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Last updated: 1998/11/19