Part 3 - Core Requirements

2.11.2  The institution has adequate physical resources to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services. (Physical Resources)

Partial Compliance


The University of New Orleans operates and maintains physical facilities that appropriately serve the needs of the University’s educational programs, support services, and other mission-related activities.

Mission and Scope

The Mission and Vision Statement of the University of New Orleans describes the mission of the University as “a comprehensive urban research university” and the scope of the University as granting “baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees in academic colleges, including but not limited to, business administration, education and human development, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences, as well as interdisciplinary studies”.

Campus Facilities

The University is located within the city limits of New Orleans along the southern edge of Lake Pontchartrain. The University of New Orleans occupies land that was the former Camp Leroy Johnson Naval Air Base. Today, the main campus consists of 300 acres of grounds and 48 buildings with over 2.5 million square feet of gross building area. A complete list of buildings is updated annually in a report submitted to the Board of Regents. The campus is relatively modern as the oldest building was constructed in 1960. A list of buildings [Page: 36] , including when each was constructed, is found in the Master Plan.

The East Campus, located a short distance from the main campus, consists of Lake Front Arena, the Athletic office facilities; the Maestri baseball field complex; and the tennis center.  Adjacent to the main campus is the Research & Technology Park which is managed by the University of New Orleans Research and Technology Foundation. The Research Park includes the Center for Energy Resources (CERM), a $20 million, 104,000 square feet multi-purpose research and conference center facility, which opened in 2002.  This facility houses research programs in engineering, energy, environmental studies, information technologies and provides space for companies interested in establishing a long-term space in the park.

The Jefferson Center is an off-campus instruction site located in suburban New Orleans. The University also supports two art museums located on sites away from the University proper but within a thirty-mile radius.  A Campus Map provides a visual representation of the campus and a Photo Tour of the main campus is available on the website.

Impact of Hurricane Katrina

On August 29, 2005, the University suffered a high level of damage due to Hurricane Katrina, one of the costliest and deadliest natural disasters in the history of the United States. Due to the level of damage and the requirements associated with accessing federal assistance to repair state-owned facilities, directives issued by the Governor’s office required that hurricane-related repairs be managed by the Office of Facility Planning and Control located in Baton Rouge. This means that the typical procedures followed by the university for building repair and renovation were not followed for those projects related to storm damage. Overall, a total of $106,487,485 was contracted out to accomplish the repairs. Table 1 provides a summary of key projects completed with federal “put back” funds. These projects began in 2005 and continue today. Although the circumstances leading to the repair of campus facilities were extremely unfortunate, the current condition of campus facilities has been significant improved as a result of the storm. A more extensive list of repairs is provided.

Table 1: Summary of Major FEMA Funded “Put-Back” Projects

Project Description
Earl K. Long Library Repair of roof and restoration of interior spaces affected by water
University Center Complete restoration of 132,000 sq. ft. facility completed in 2012
The Cove Complete renovation of the facility which includes dining facilities and performance areas
Electrical Grid Entire electrical grid has been rebuilt to current codes and standards
Roof Replacement and repair of water damage Completed on several buildings including Recreational and Fitness Center, Engineering Building, Milneburg Hall, Fine Arts Building, the Cove, Center for Entergy and Resource Management, Alumni and Development Center, Lakefront Arena, Long Library, University Center
Levee and Campus Access Hurricane protection levees surrounding campus have been elevated by the U.S. Corp of Engineers (with other funds) and a new entrance to campus constructed in 2011 to provide an entrance from Lakeshore Drive
Wireless Internet Access Investment of approximately $500,000 to expand wireless service to over 20 buildings including all academic buildings and student housing


In addition to the many repair projects undertaken following the storm, three new buildings have been constructed in the current accreditation cycle. The Pontchartrain Halls dormitory complex is comprised of two buildings with a total capacity of 740. A new facilities services building is currently under construction to replace the building destroyed by the hurricane.

A 2011 study by the University of Louisiana System thoroughly reviewed and outlined the University’s greatest challenges in terms of growth and enrollment projections. The study identified several factors responsible for the drop in enrollment:

1. Changes in the demographics of the city of New Orleans and the region following Hurricane Katrina

2. Regional competition among universities for enrollment, particularly on the Northshore which once was an important source of the University’s enrollment

3. Implementation of stricter admissions standards in Fall 2012 which reduced the number of local high school students eligible for admission

Facilities Campus Master Planning

Master plans for the University were prepared in 1969, 1981, 1990, and 2002.  The 2002 master plan was focused on the University’s growth potential as a commuter student based campus:  however, the implementation of the 2002 master plan was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. 

Following the appointment of a new President in 2012, a Master Planning Committee was formed in November 2012 to develop a new Master Plan (1; 2; 3; 4; 5) since the plan previously developed in 2002 was no longer appropriate for the campus. A Master Planning Committee comprised of key stakeholders was charged with developing the new Master Plan which was completed in 2014. The Master Plan will be used to guide efforts to design, develop and renovate campus facilities. The Campus Master Plan addresses the design, land-use, housing, vehicular and pedestrian movement, parking, physical improvements, safety, security and social amenities of current and future campus teaching, research, and residential facilities. Specific sections of the Master Plan focus on Academic Programs Framework [Page: 39] , Student Life Framework [Page: 2] , and Research and Core Services Framework [Page: 10] .

With the change in the manner by which public universities are funded in Louisiana, the University now has a focus on regaining the enrollment levels it had attained just prior to Hurricane Katrina (over 17,000 students), and to do so as quickly as possible. This will require a fundamental shift in the nature of the university, and in the nature of the physical campus. Currently, two-thirds of the university’s student body lives in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. The demographics for high school graduates in those parishes, and across Louisiana, are not encouraging for growth. Therefore, the strategic imperative for the university is to grow by attracting students from outside the state.

To complement and assist in the achievement of this strategy, the campus Master Plan reflects a fundamental shift in the expectations for campus life. The campus will need to be transformed from a serviceable set of buildings oriented to a commuter lifestyle to one that creates a sense of life and activity on campus as a 24/7 living and learning space. Important aspects of such a destination campus will be additional housing opportunities, a pedestrian, rather than vehicle, orientation, and a design that evokes a sense of being part of New Orleans. The new Campus Master Plan addresses those challenges and opportunities. Furthermore, the Master Plan is aligned with the 2020 Strategic Plan for the University.

Capital Outlay Plan

Current long term initiatives for the University, according to the recently completed 5 year capital outlay plan, address much needed building renewal as well as the addition of some new facilities.  The plan recommends about $112 million in spending on University facilities over the next 5 years.  Replacement of the library roof ($1 million) and build-out of the fourth floor of the library ($5.9m) are the top priorities to protect and develop a core campus structure.  Renovations and major repairs are projected to use 40% ($44.5m) with the bulk going to the Science Building ($20m), Bicentennial Education Center ($6.2m), and Milneburg Hall ($9.1m).  New facilities occupy the remaining 60% ($66.5m) with the majority projected for campus housing ($26.5m), a new music complex ($26.5m), and an international studies building ($5.1m).

Capital Projects are re-prioritized annually and submitted to the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors for review and consideration.  Prioritization of projects is primarily based on the University’s academic needs as identified in the 2014-2020 Strategic Plan as well as an analysis of other data resulting from accreditation reviews, annual program reports, and the recently launched effort to assess every program of study currently offered to determine those programs in need of investment to increase university enrollment. Also, project prioritization reflects the University’s shift from a commuter campus to a destination / residential campus.  

Facilities Inspection and Assessment Summary

Documentation and observations within the University Facilities Assessment establish a record of the general conditions of campus infrastructure, buildings, and amenities.  This assessment was performed and documented in support of the campus Master Plan and the recommendations contained therein.  Data contained in this document were collected, all or in part, through the research of the Louisiana Board of Regents Facilities Inventory System, interviews conducted with University Administration and Staff, review of University CAD records, and on-site building surveys.

Practices to Ensure the Condition of Physical Facilities

The Facility Services staff responsible for day-to-day maintenance routinely assess the condition of all physical facilities.  Facility Services Building Managers are assigned to each building and based on information provided from the maintenance staff recommend necessary maintenance, renovations or other improvements.  This information is compiled in the Facilities Condition Assessment [Page: 2] Report to pro-actively forecast and prioritize facility’s needs.  In addition to Plant Operation and Maintenance funding, the state legislature provides annual funding for repairs, capital renewal and deferred maintenance.  Additional details are addressed in section 3.11.3.

Buildings are cleaned by a full service internal staff based on an assignment of 30,000 square feet of space per day per custodial worker.  The staff operates five days a week.  Contracted services are hired to maintain the exterior grounds.

Space Utilization

The most recent space utilization plan for the University projects a zero net change from the previous year in classroom facilities, student labs, office facilities, study areas, general use facilities, supporting facilities, and unclassified facilities based on an estimated 8,000 FTEs for 2014-2015.  All instructional needs can be met with the existing inventory of classroom and laboratory space. The most recent report submitted to the Board of Regents [Page: 3] is based on the FY 2012 data and calculates classroom and class laboratory space in relation to use. The process involves all public universities in Louisiana and provides benchmark comparisons with other institutions. The space report calculates a space factor for classroom space and assigns institutions to three categories: 1) those with a space factor of 1.0 or less that may need additional space, 2) those with a space factor between 1.0 and 2.0 that need no action taken, and 3) those with a space factor greater than 2.0 with a need to develop a plan to reduce their classroom space.

With regard to laboratory space, a space factor of 2.5 or less is considered reasonable utilization. A buffer zone was established for institutions with a space factor between 2.5 and 3.9. Institutions with a space factor of 4.0 or higher have an excess of lab space and must develop plans for the utilization of that space.

The University of New Orleans was assigned a classroom space factor of 2.06 and a class laboratory space factor of 7.20. The report noted an excess of 5,048 square feet of classroom space and 27,946 square feet of laboratory space. The response by the University to the report is provided.

Off-Campus Instruction Site

The University of New Orleans has one off-campus instructional site – the Jefferson Campus, located in Metairie (suburban New Orleans). The four story building comprises approximately 61,446 square feet and includes 21 classrooms, a computer lab, a student lounge, administrative offices, and six tenants occupying leased space in the building (a public television station and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center are the anchor tenants).

A survey was conducted in 2012 to examine the demographics of students who use the Jefferson Center and to determine key factors associated with choosing classes offered at that location. The majority of the 375 students who completed the survey indicated that they also took courses at the main campus. The primary reason provided for attending the Jefferson Campus was location (Jefferson Parish is the largest Parish in Louisiana in terms of population). Course availability was also a primary factor for attending the Jefferson Campus.

In recent years, classroom space at the Jefferson Campus is more than adequate to cover the number of courses offered at that location. In 2013-14, additional compensation was permitted for faculty to teach a course at the Jefferson Campus to boost enrollment at that site. The practice will not be continued for 2014-15 as the results were not promising. A recently convened committee recommended that the Jefferson Campus be continued for credit coursework and non-credit coursework for the 2014-15 year but that more of the space be leased in 2015 to offset the cost of maintaining the property.


Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconFac_Cond_InvUniversity of New Orleans Facility Condition Inventory
Document IconGov_Off_DirectiveExecutive Order KBB 06-01 Emergency Procedures for Repairing, Renovating, or Replacing State Owned Buildings Damaged by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita
Document IconMajor_Repair_PriorList of Major Repair Priorities for UNO Fee Use in 2014-2015
Document IconSpace_Utilization_Report_SummaryFindings of Board of Regents for University of New Orleans Space Utilization Report
Document IconUNO_Bldg_InventoryCollege and Universities Facilities Utilization Report for the University of New Orleans - 2013
Document IconUNO_Campus_MapUniversity of New Orleans Campus Map
Document IconUNO_Cap_Out_PlanUniversity of New Orleans Five Year Capital Outlay Plan
Document IconUNO_Jeff_Campus_WebUniversity of New Orleans Jefferson Campus Webpage
Document IconUNO_Master_Plan_Part_1University of New Orleans Master Plan - Part 1
Document IconUNO_Master_Plan_Part_2University of New Orleans Master Plan - Part 2
Document IconUNO_Master_Plan_Part_3University of New Orleans Master Plan - Part 3
Document IconUNO_Master_Plan_Part_4University of New Orleans Master Plan - Part 4
Document IconUNO_Master_Plan_Part_5University of New Orleans Master Plan - Part 5
Document IconUNO_Mission_and_Vision_2_11_2University of New Orleans Mission and Vision Statement
Document IconUNO_Photo_Tour_WebUniversity of New Orleans Photo Tour Website
Document IconUNO_Res_Tech_ParkUniversity of New Orleans Research and Technology Park Website
Document IconUNO_Response_BoR_2013_Space_Utilization_StudyUniversity of New Orleans Response to the Board of Regents Space Utilization Report
Document IconUNO_Strategic_Plan_2015-2020University of New Orleans Strategic Plan: UNO 2020