President Wente convenes University Space Planning Group


In response to a key recommendation from the 2021-22 Space Utilization Study, President Susan R. Wente has initiated a University Space Planning Group (USPG) to ensure comprehensive and coordinated management of and planning for the University’s physical assets.

“To position the University to begin its third century, Wake Forest must realize the full potential of its physical space as one the most valuable resources in support of its academic mission,” President Wente said. “The USPG will ensure decisions regarding all consequential property will prioritize the academic mission and be made with intention, coordination, and care.”

During the 2021-22 academic year, Wake Forest began an analysis of the University’s current capabilities and capacities in the areas of people, space, and financial potential. This analysis included a Reynolda Campus Space Utilization Study conducted by the consulting firm, SmithGroup. As part of its findings and primary first steps, SmithGroup recommended enhancing campus space governance to ensure comprehensive and coordinated management of and planning for the University’s physical assets. The USPG will receive the full SmithGroup final report to review, and identify priorities for further analysis and actions. The USPG will also be charged with communicating the final decisions and recommendations with the University community.

These efforts are in service of the University’s strategic framework development process, which will take place during the 2022-23 academic year. Provost Michele Gillespie and Executive Vice President Hof Milam will chair the University Space Planning Group (USPG).

The USPG is composed of senior University leaders with oversight of and/or financial responsibility for significant University physical assets, as well as University leaders among faculty and staff responsible for critical facets of managing the University’s physical assets and/or advising on their use. Many USPG members served on the former University Space Allocation Committee (USAC), a group that managed university space requests for the past decade. The USPG will develop and implement core guiding principles to create an effective and efficient space governance process and guide decisions regarding space allocation, construction, and renovation.

Among the actions charged to the USPG:

  • Oversee a process to request new space in any University-owned or leased space, as well as a process for renovation requests with costs anticipated to exceed a threshold of $50,000.
  • Guide campus master planning efforts, capital project planning, and real estate transaction/strategy processes.
  • Support the Provost in developing and enacting a policy for shared University classroom utilization that maximizes efficiency of resources and available space for the benefit of all.

A website associated with the work of the USPG will launch soon, and will include more detailed information and an invitation to inform the core values this group will use to guide its work.

Categories: Inside WFU