Skip navigation

Physical Plant

Design & Space Review Committee

Page Content

Space at the University is shared space for all entities and must be utilized in a coordinated effort in order to maintain efficient utilization of this valuable resource.  When space needs to be adjusted to accommodate the needs of the University, a formal request must be submitted to the Office of the Provost with the Design and Space Review Request form via the Mach form link below. The University’s Design & Space Review Committee will review the request and respond appropriately.

To submit a request: 
1. Download and complete the form found here: Request Form

2. Obtain the necessary documentation and signatures.

3. Scan the completed form and email it to



Design and Space Review Committee By-Laws Approved by the DSRC on April 22, 2015; updated 10/3/17; April 15, 2021  


CHANGE and update throughout: Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA) and the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA)  

Article I.  Purpose

The Design and Space Review Committee (DSRC) is appointed by the President of the University and reports through the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost.  The DSRC has the two-fold purpose of (1) reviewing project design in accordance with the current Master Campus Facility Plan and the Campus Design Guide, and (2) monitoring the effective and efficient use of space on all USM campuses and other University owned and operated sites as appropriate. The DSRC makes recommendations to the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost, who then recommend to the President for approval.  

Article II. Guiding principles

Physical space at The University of Southern Mississippi is a valuable institutional resource that must be managed carefully and used efficiently. The State of Mississippi, through the Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning, owns all university land, facilities, and buildings, regardless of the original source of construction or acquisition of funds.  Responsibility for the design of new buildings, the renovation of existing buildings, and the allocation and use of space at The University of Southern Mississippi resides in the Office of the President.   All University employees have a vested interest in the physical environment in which they work.  While space is assigned to academic and non-academic areas to carry out its function within the university, all employees should take pride in the University’s physical environment.  The academic, research, or administrative unit that has been assigned space is responsible for ensuring space utilization is consistent with the purpose for which the specific space was assigned.  Furthermore, they should communicate any issues as they arise to their supervisors and/or building liaisons who work with the Physical Plant in order to provide a safe and comfortable workplace and learning environment.   The policies in this document contain the procedures for reviewing campus design issues, for requesting and changing space, and for developing criteria used for the space utilization and allocation processes. The guidelines for the committee’s purpose, objectives, structure, and processes are included in this document.  

Article III. Membership

The Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost will recommend the cochairs and members to the President, who will approve the membership of the committee.  The membership will include two chairs (co-chairs) along with the following representatives:

• Associate VP for Facilities, Planning and Management  

• Director of Residence Life  2  

• Director of Gulf Park Physical Plant and Campus Architect

• Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Events

• Architect and Manager of Space Utilization

• Learning Space Committee Representative (ad-hoc) (subcommittee, convened when needed)

• Faculty Member, School of Construction and Design (3-year rotation)

• Student Affairs Representative (3-year rotation)

• Office of the Vice President for Research Representative (3-year rotation)

• Student Government Associate Representative (1-year rotation)

• Staff Council Representative (1-year rotation)  

• Faculty Senate Representative (1-year rotation)

• iTech Representative (3-year rotation)  

Article IV. Meetings

The DSRC will meet at least once a semester or more often as needed. Some committee work may also be accomplished through electronic communication.  

Article V. Meeting minutes

The Committee co-chairs will select a staff/faculty member to record minutes at each scheduled meeting. The minutes will be used as a basis for developing the required annual report submitted to the Committee on Committees, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Provost and the President at the end of each academic year.  

Article VI.  Appointment of Officers

The DSRC will have two chairs (co-chairs) appointed by the President from the recommendation of the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost. The Committee reports to the President’s Office through the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost.  Additional officer positions or sub-committees are appointed as needed by the cochairpersons.  

Article VII. Appointment of Members

The Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost may solicit recommendations for membership as appropriate and appoint other members as required because of their administrative positions. If a member leaves the DSRC before their term is completed or for any other reason, a replacement will be appointed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost. For those positions that have a term ending date, a replacement will serve the remainder of the term. Replacements are eligible for reappointment to a second term. Consideration should be given to appointing representatives who have general experience with issues related to facility management in Hattiesburg, Long Beach and/or all Gulf Coast sites.  

Article VIII.  Length of terms

Due to specialized expertise required for the DSRC to effectively operate, some members will have permanent committee appointments based on their administrative positions. Other members shall serve a three-year rotation and can be reappointed for one additional three-year rotation.    

Article IX. Removal from Committee

Committee members who fail to attend meetings or to actively engage in the business of the committee may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the remaining committee members. In such case that a member is removed by a vote of the committee, the chairpersons will be responsible for notifying the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost to request that a new committee member be appointed. Committee chairpersons can be removed by the President if required.    


Article X.  Guidelines that direct projects to the DSRC

All minor or major projects with significant impact to USM campuses and other University owned and operated sites as appropriate must be reviewed by the DSRC for compliance with the current Master Campus Facility Plan and the Campus Design Guide.  The committee will focus primarily on how a project affects the public use of spaces, the skyline of the University, issues of sustainability and accessibility, compliance with campus design features, and how the project enhances the overall goals of the Campus Master Facility Plan.  

Article XI.  Non-compliance with DSRC recommendations

Should the DSRC determine non-compliance with the current Master Campus Facility Plan and the Campus Design Guide, a formal written recommendation from the Committee shall be made to the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost for final resolution.  The Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost will update the President.  

Article XII. Design guidelines

A committee review is required for any new architectural and/or site development project or any project that affects or changes the public spaces of the University or a building appearance through replacement, repair, or restoration. All major landscape projects and building projects will be reviewed. Smaller projects will also be considered for review, although an abbreviated administrative process may be utilized. In some cases, these projects may create opportunities to initiate a transformation in the design character of the campus and should always be evaluated for that potential. A primary criterion triggering review by the DSRC is whether the project affects or changes the public spaces and skyline of the University.  

Article XIII. Review criteria

1. The project must meet the criteria located in the current Master Campus Facility Plan and the Campus Design Guide.

2. The project falls within the following Planning Principles found in the most current Master Campus Facility Plan:

a. Protect historic open spaces and buildings

b. Extend and enhance the character of campus through the contextual design of future buildings and open spaces

c. Create and promote safe environments for learning, research and social engagement

d. Promote sustainability, environmental design and energy conservation

e. Develop an integrated circulation system

f. Integrate modern technology

g. Implement strategic growth practices

3. If a new construction project is proposed, the project site should be designated within the current Master Campus Facility Plan or should be approved by the Master Planning Committee with final approval of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Provost and the President of the University.  


Article XIV. Space requests, reviews, assignments, and general policies

The DSRC is charged with maintaining an inventory of all available space on campus in academic and non-academic units. In addition, the DSRC will maintain a process for (1) adding space to the inventory as it becomes vacant and (2) providing a mechanism by which members of the University community can submit a formal, written request for additional/vacated space or for the change in function of space. The committee will meet as needed to provide a timely response to all requests for space.  

1. Criteria for Space Assignment  

a) Space assignments are made after careful consideration of all relevant factors and in consultation with respective administrative units involved.  Appropriateness of the space to the function to be served influences assignment and reassignment of space.  

b) Physical proximity of the space in cases where operations and activities can be enhanced by close geographical locations

c) Accessibility of the space to the disabled and compliance with regulatory codes

d) Priorities for research, academic programs, and support services as established by the University

e) Maintenance of accreditation requirements

f) Minimal disruption to ongoing activities of students, faculty, and staff

g) Net gain of space (adding or expanding facilities) releases previous space for reassignment

h) Availability of resources to pay for renovation of space  

2. Instructional Space  

Instructional space is a vital resource to the educational experience at the University.  Because of the value and strategic planning for this resource, rarely does the use of instructional facilities change without the input from the University constituents. Requests involving the conversion of instructional space for other uses must be approved through the appropriate Academic Dean, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the DSRC.  

a) Most changes of function or physical configuration in currently assigned space must be submitted to the DSRC for consideration prior to any action being taken.   This may not include reassignment of office space within a Department, School, College, or Division, physical alterations which cause a change in the square footage of a room(s), and any change in the purpose or function of a space.

b) All changes of occupant, such as faculty switching offices, will be provided annually in order to maintain accurate assignment information.

c) If a space assignment has an identified end date through reorganization, relocation, or downsizing the space reverts back to the DSRC for reassignment, and must be vacated by the user within 30 days of the identified end date.

d) Prior to consideration by the DSRC, requests for changes to gathering/social spaces and enlarging building footprints must be approved by the Master Planning Committee.    

3. Research Space  

a) DSRC acknowledges the University’s obligation to provide space for externally funded grants.  

b) DSRC recommends that research space needs be monitored in order to better understand and plan for space requirements of funded research.  This could be accomplished by assessing dedicated research space using the space inventory, and by monitoring space requests included on the Internal Approval Form during the grant submission process.  

c) Project directors/PIs should specify detailed space needs on the Internal Approval Form during grant submission.  They should submit the Request for Space Form for funded research to the DSRC as early as possible in the award process, but not before Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) has received preliminary communication from the funding agency that an award is pending.  

d) Externally funded projects will occupy the assigned space until 30 days following the grant end-date, at which time the space will be vacated.  

e) In the event that a project extension is required, or new or renewed funding is anticipated, or that the Vice President for Research has agreed to provide internal funding as a bridge until a new grant award is made, the project director/PI must request a new research project end-date from the Vice President for Research.  A letter from the Vice President for Research will be sent to the DSRC co-chairs certifying the new end-date for the grant space. The Vice President for Research is the final authority for establishing new end-dates for grant assigned space.  If new or renewed funding is not forthcoming (internal or external), the project will vacate the space as specified above.    

Article X. Definitions  

Administrative Unit – Administrative units refer to all departments, units, and areas of the University, including, but not limited to, athletics, student services, auxiliaries, and support services.  

Design Review – The committee is charged with insuring that the proposed design of any new construction or the renovation of any existing structure is in compliance with the Planning Principles and the Planning Design Section of the most current Master Campus Facility Plan. Forms and details about the review process are located on the Physical Plant website:    

Space Utilization – The committee is charged with monitoring the use of all space on campus, reviewing requests for changes in the use of space, and making recommendations concerning the 6  use of space to the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the President. The DSRC will consult with the respective Space Coordinators  

Space Request Forms – Forms for requesting space (additional and/or vacated) and for reassigning space (changing the function) can be found at All forms must be reviewed and signed by the appropriate supervisors/directors and responsible Vice-President, as indicated on the forms.  

Approval for the Use of Space – Final approval for the use of all University space is made by the President of the University upon recommendation by the DSRC and the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost.  

Committee Decision Making – All decisions of the DSRC are to be made with no less than a majority vote, with at least 2/3 of the full committee present. As much as possible, the committee will attempt to arrive at consensus decisions that reflect the diverse perspectives represented on the DSRC.  

Article XI. Changes to By-Laws

Committee by-laws are subject to change as needed by a majority of the voting members, with final approval made by the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Provost, and the President of the University.  

Committee by-laws may be updated to reflect administrative/grammatical changes in titles, unit names, and other non-substantive policy or procedural items. These changes do not require committee approval but do require that they committee is notified and has an opportunity to address or discuss the administrative changes. 

Committee By-laws (PDF) 

Name Title Representing Term
Teresa Crum

Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life   Staff Council  1 year; ending 2023-24
Damon Franke Associate Professor, School of Coastal Resilience Faculty Senate  1 year ending 2023-2024
Alyson (Aly) Gonzalez  

Student  Student Government Association 1 year; ending 2023-2024
Kelly Darnell  
Director of Gulf Coast Research Lab  Research & GCRL 3-years; ending 2024-2025
Claire Hamilton

Associate Professor, Interior Design  School of Construction  3-years; ending 2024-2025
Keith Hill  

Dir Tech Ops & Infrastructure  • iTech Administration iTech 3-years; ending 2024-2025
Jeff Taylor 

Director, University Union and Hub
Student Affairs  3-years; ending 2024-2025
John Eye 

Dean University Libraries  Master Planning Committee (Chair) 3-years; ending 2025-2026
Jason Cantu

Assistant Director Campus Projects and Space Utilization, GP Physical Plant  O&M Admin Gulf Park, Planning and Design, and ADA

Compliance Permanent



Architect and Manager of Space Utilization

Physical Plant and Space Inventories


Tim Atkinson    

Assoc. Athletic Director, Facilities & Event Operations Athletics


Teresa Crum  

Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life Housing and Residence Life


Brian Hauff    


Assoc. Vice President for Facilities and Planning Physical Plant

Permanent (co-chair)

Julie Howdeshell   

Director, Quality Enhancement Provost's Office

Permanent (co-chair)




Master Plan

Planning Principles

The purpose of the Planning Principles is to guide the development of The University of Southern Mississippi. The Planning Principles and tenets express the vision and mission of the University and are intended to span decades of change while also serving as an ongoing guide to incremental decisions with regard to consistency and long-term planning strategy for all Southern Miss locations. These principles guide the University’s essential obligation to protect its unique built and environmental assets, through program planning, land use planning, sustainability planning and historic preservation. 

• The character of the historic buildings at all locations will be preserved.
• The significant open spaces at all locations will be protected and enhanced.
• The nature of the original historic fabric of the University will be maintained, preserved and carefully safeguarded with respect to the future use and occupancy of historic buildings and landscapes.
• Participation in capital projects will appropriately maintain, renovate and/or adaptively reuse historic buildings.

• Future buildings and landscape design should complement the positive precedents of the adjacent buildings and open spaces.
• The scale, massing, proportions and materials utilized in adjacent buildings and open spaces will be considered in future designs.
• The university will implement sustainable land use practices and densities to control expansion, to conserve space, to maintain the contextual qualities of the campus and to favorably maintain a positive symbiotic relationship with the community within which the University resides.

• All locations will be developed as learning environments, emphasizing flexibility, innovation, collaboration and social engagement.
• All locations will be planned and designed to engage populations and individuals of all abilities and to enhance the experience of visitors through outreach efforts, improved accessibility, expanded accessible routes, an integrated signage system and optimized way-finding efforts.
• Integrate student life and academic spaces, including landscaping, where informal gatherings, collaboration and social interaction can occur.
• Architectural planning and design will facilitate views of outdoor spaces.
• Nodes of interaction between the University and community will be established in a manner which is mutually beneficial.
• Physical developments will incorporate compliance with applicable codes and will consider other measures to ensure a sense of well-being and to provide environmental controls that create a safe and secure sense of place.

• The University will work toward achieving sustainable/maintainable mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems within a workable utility infrastructure that is planned for the future.
• Landscape architecture will be developed to enhance the pedestrian environment, provide shade, and address environmental impacts that include stormwater, habitat and air quality.
• Architectural and renovation projects will be designed to conserve energy and respond to the climate through building orientation and color, shade and roof form.
• Planning for future buildings and renovations shall consider sustainable design goals to minimally include energy conservation, use of local resources and environmental stewardship.
• Sustainability/maintainability efforts will be embedded through governance, culture, and education, as well as in operational areas of planning, design, construction, transportation, food service, energy use, water use, waste and recycling.

• The University will employ a coordinated approach to inter-campus and intra-campus circulation systems that will include pedestrian, bicycle, electric cart, transit, automobile, service, disability and emergency access.
• In conjunction with efforts to increase campus residential life, the University will promote existing and new pedestrian-oriented environments emphasizing accessibility, shade, safety, security and comfort with a goal of achieving easy access to academic destination points.
• Strategically located concentrated parking facilities will be placed at peripheral locations and linked to the academic core via the enhanced pedestrian network.

• The University will sustain and improve access to technology at all locations.
• Current and emerging technologies will be incorporated into campus designs.
• Implementation of live and online instructional delivery methods, wireless access, security systems and energy management controls will be seamlessly integrated to meet the changing needs of the University community.

• Academic facilities will be concentrated in the pedestrian core of campus, will consider locational advantages and will be linked via pedestrian networks to all campus areas.
• Planning for renovation of existing buildings/facilities, as well as development of new buildings/facilities, should address the long- term needs of the University and meet the current standards for energy efficiency and workplace quality.
• Residential living opportunities should be located in relation to student amenity and support facilities.
• Planning for new facilities shall account for/address comprehensive operational costs.
• Planning of future facilities will consider the re-purposing, displacement and/or replacement of existing uses.
• Strategically repurposing of facilities to provide temporary swing space that meets the needs of the University by providing flexibility in phasing.
• Planning for future facilities will emphasize continuity of operations based on regional topography and functional insights gained through experiences with previous natural disasters.
• The Plan should maintain or improve upon the existing land use relationships with the surrounding commercial and residential districts in order to facilitate growth opportunities that are mutually beneficial to, and compatible with, the local community.
• Partnership ventures should be carefully considered relative to their impact on the University’s academic enterprises with regard to increased opportunities for economic, cultural, housing, recreation and other community assets.
• A Master Planning Committee and a Design and Utilization Review Committee will be established to assist University administrators in implementing the Planning Principles (see Section 4.3 for details).

Download (PDF)

Contact Us

Physical Plant
118 College Drive, #5058
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
3105 West 4th Street

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map