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Capital Project Decision Process


Proposal

In order to streamline and clarify the Capital Project Decision Process approved by the Regents in October 2011, the President, the Director of Capital Planning and Space Management and I are proposing that the Capital Project Decision Process by modified:

  1. Establishing project thresholds and limits for projects brought to the Board; and,
  2. Clarifying components of the process for departments implementing and using the process.

Background

In October 2011, the Board of Regents approved a memorandum outlining a capital project decision process to assure close alignment between the University Administration and the Board of Regents regarding the priorities and planning of major capital projects.

This approved process included three formal endorsements during the life of a capital project:

  1. University Master Plan approval
  2. Capital project(s) planning approval
  3. Capital project(s) design and budget and financing approval

At each stage, the proposed capital projects would be reviewed by the relevant committee and recommended to the full Board for approval.

Since the approval of this process, the University has advanced several projects from Master Planning approval to Pre-Planning and Programming using this process. These include the Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Eberhardt School of Business and the Conservatory of Music projects. At the January 17, 2013 meeting, a request for advancing the Athletic Precinct projects is also being made. Implementation of this process has allowed the Regents to affirm these recommendations of the administration and has assured that the Board has been kept adequately informed of our capital project planning efforts.

As this process has been implemented and University administration has been developing processes and procedures for project delivery, various clarifications, definitions and thresholds would help to streamline this process. This will allow minor capital projects to advance through the planning and design process more efficiently, more effectively addressing program needs. There has also been discussion about the impact this policy and the thresholds could have on emergency projects, projects being completed with alternative delivery methods, or projects that are visible and/or deemed sensitive. Accommodations may be needed for special circumstances such as emergency projects or projects that require approvals be combined.

Following is the recommended revised capital project decision process, with definitions, clarifications, and thresholds:

  1. MINOR CAPITAL PROJECT DEFINITION: A minor capital project is defined as a project with a rough order of magnitude total project cost less than $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars), as confirmed by the Office of Capital Planning and Space Management.
  2. MAJOR CAPITAL PROJECT DEFINITION: A major capital project is defined as a project with a rough order of magnitude total project cost of $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) or more, as confirmed by the Office of Capital Planning and Space Management.
  3.  Minor capital projects with a rough order of magnitude total project cost in excess of $250,000 (Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars) as confirmed by the Office of Capital Planning and Space Management must be approved for development and commitment of University resources by the President.   
  4. Projects in excess of $500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) will be reported on to the Board of Regents through ongoing project status reports.
  5. Competitive selection of design professionals is required for major capital projects.
  6. Board of Regents approval is required at the following times during the life of a major capital project:

a) University Facilities Master Plan:

Based upon review of University Facilities Master Plan and Amendments, ADOPTION BY THE BOARD of a University Facilities Master Plan and Amendments following Finance and Facilities Committee recommendation.

b)     Pre-Planning and Programming Phase:

Based upon review of a project justification statement, APPROVAL OF THE FINANCE AND FACILITIES COMMITTEE to proceed with the Pre-Planning and Programming Phase of major capital projects advanced by the President with Cabinet and vetted on campus.

c)      Schematic Design/Design Development Phases:

Based upon review of Pre-Planning and Programming Phase work and recommendations, APPROVAL OF THE FINANCE AND FACILITIES COMMITTEE to proceed with the Schematic Design and Design Development Phases of major capital projects.

d)     Construction Phase:

Based upon review of Schematic Design/Design Development Phases work and total project budget and finance plan recommendations, APPROVAL OF THE BOARD to proceed with the Construction Phase of major capital projects following Finance and Facilities Committee recommendation.

e)     Project Budget Increases:

APPROVAL OF THE BOARD to increase the total project budget of a major capital project when the total project budget exceeds 105% (One Hundred and Five Percent) of the established budget or $100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars), whichever is greater, following Finance and Facilities Committee recommendation. For a project increase that would trigger Board approval but where the needs of the project would require action before a full Board meeting, the Finance and Facilities Committee could determine that serious harm to the Project or a significant increase in cost would be incurred by the University by taking the time to get Board approval (collectively, "Emergency Situation"). Upon a recommendation by the Finance and Facilities Committee to the Executive Committee of an Emergency Situation resulting in an increase to the total project budget, the Executive Committee would have the authority to determine whether an Emergency Situation does exist and, if so, to approve the project budget increase. The Executive Committee would report the Emergency Situation and project increase to the Board at the Board's next regularly scheduled meeting.

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About This Policy
Last Updated
1/18/2013
Original Issue Date
10/7/2011

Responsible Department
Board of Regents