01.B.06 – Facilities Reservation and Rental

Section: General Administration

Area: Facilities and Physical Plant

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1.1. The responsibility of the Board of Regents to operate and maintain an effective and efficient system of institutions of higher education requires that guidelines be developed to direct activities on the grounds and in the buildings and facilities of the University of Houston System (UH System) universities. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that facilities owned or controlled by the UH System are maintained and used for the roles and missions of each UHS university.

1.2. This policy has been developed to ensure that all space and facilities owned and/or controlled by the UH System are used in compliance with the law and for purposes that benefit the UH System, its faculty, staff, and students, and which serve a valid public purpose. This policy is applicable to all UH System facilities and grounds.


2.1. Auxiliary Space: Area of a university campus that is self-supporting non-classroom space. Examples include: performance halls, athletic facilities, recreation centers, student union buildings, etc.

2.2. Education & General (E&G) Space: As reported on the university's facilities inventory, it is space used for academic instruction and support of the institution's mission. It does not include auxiliary enterprise space or space which is permanently unassigned. E&G space is supported primarily from state-appropriated funds.

2.3. General Purpose Classroom: A classroom used for academic instruction that is not totally within the designation of an academic department. All classrooms are considered E&G space.

2.4. Grounds: All exterior acreage not covered by buildings, including plazas, parks, parking lots, roadways, and any other outside space.

2.5. Lessee: Any individual or group, whether internal or external to the System or one of its universities, or whether sponsored or not sponsored (in the case of external individuals or groups), who reserves and uses any university facility or space for a purpose other than that for which it is provided.


3.1. Facilities owned or controlled by the UH System are to be used for the purpose of supporting the UH System's mission of teaching, research, and public service. UH System facilities are not available for unrestricted use for other purposes. However, UH System facilities may be reserved/rented by internal or external individuals, groups, or organizations for other purposes as long as such use does not interfere with the purposes for which the facilities are provided, and does not materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the institution.


4.1. For the purpose of this policy, UH System facilities are essentially classified into three categories. Most are categorized as E&G and are supported primarily by state-appropriated funds. Others are auxiliary facilities, which are supported by locally generated funds and receive no income from state appropriations. All other space falls into the grounds category.

4.2. E&G space may be used for non-E&G purposes. Under certain conditions described in this SAM, such use shall be subject to charges that, at minimum, ensure recovery of that part of the operating cost of the facility attributable directly or indirectly to such use.

4.3. Organizations associated with the UH System or one of its universities may request the use of E&G space for non-E&G purposes on a first-come, first-served basis at no rental charge (though fees to recover certain costs may be assessed). Persons or organizations not associated with the UH System or its universities may use E&G space on a first-come, first-served basis, only if sponsored by a university administrative, academic, or student unit.

The UH System and its universities have absolute preemptive priority over all non-System persons or groups. The UH System and its universities reserve the right to cancel, postpone, or alter arrangements for any event if the space is needed for System or university purposes.

4.4. Events may be sponsored only by a university administrative, academic, or student unit, not an individual. Sponsorship includes being actively involved in the event, monitoring its progress, and taking overall responsibility for its success and policy compliance. Sponsoring organizations include the following:

• Colleges, divisions, or departments of a university

• Organized faculty or staff bodies (i.e., Faculty Senate, Staff Council, etc.)

• Officially recognized student organizations

• Academic and/or administrative committees consisting substantially of persons conducting official university business.

4.5. If it is available, auxiliary space may be reserved and used, subject to pre-approved rental rates and/or other terms and conditions set by the UH System, the university, and/or the group with oversight authority over the space. Sponsorship by a UH System entity is not required.

4.6. Persons or organizations wishing to use UH System facilities for purposes other than those for which the space is provided must submit some form of written request, as stipulated by each university, to the appropriate reservation office or unit with oversight authority over the space.

4.7. The UH System fully complies with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) , in ensuring that its programs, practices, policies, or procedures do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities. Persons or organizations wishing to use UH System facilities must comply with all ADA standards as a condition for such use.

4.8. Food and Beverages:

4.8.1. For reservations involving food and beverage service in facilities where the university food service provider has exclusive rights, all arrangements must be made through the campus food service provider. Catering services may be used in facilities where food service is permitted; however, it is recommended that the campus food service provider be contacted first because they are familiar with on-campus facilities and are generally able to respond more quickly and with greater flexibility than other providers. Off-campus providers must show proof of insurance and provide a temporary alcohol license if serving alcohol. Individuals and groups are prohibited from bringing in food and beverage to be served at events without proper approval by the appropriate university authority.

4.8.2. The System has an exclusive contract to supply cold beverages (defined as all forms of non-alcoholic liquids intended for human consumption and all beverages bases from which these can be prepared. Questions regarding compliance with this requirement should be directed to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration.

4.8.3. Alcohol:

a. It is the UH System's policy that all members of the university community and guests are required to comply with federal, state, and local laws regarding the possession, consumption, and distribution of alcoholic beverages.

b. Possession, consumption, or distribution of alcoholic beverages in public areas is subject to each university's policies and procedures governing such activities.

4.9. Each university must comply with federal guidelines for Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) when renting facilities to a non-university lessee. Universities should contact the Office of Tax Compliance in this situation, especially when providing services with the rental (beyond customary utility and custodial services) and when the non-university lessee is not an exempt organization.

4.10. If a UHS university allows non-university individuals or groups to reserve its facilities, it must allow political organizations to use its facilities in the same manner, subject to applicable use fees. Universities may not use any money under their control, including appropriated money, to finance or otherwise support the candidacy of a person for an office in the legislature, executive or judicial branch of state government, or of the government of the United States. A state officer or employee may not use official authority or influence or permit use of a program administered by the state agency of which the person is an officer of employee to interfere with or affect the result of an election or nomination of a candidate or to achieve any other political purpose. Officially recognized student organizations may sponsor political activities (forums, debates, etc.) in accordance with all applicable UH System and university rules. The sponsoring organization or group must make it clear that the organization, and not the university, is hosting the event and that the views expressed do not represent the views of the university.

4.11. The UH System may permit use of certain facilities and premises for commercial purposes (movie shoot location, print and television advertising, etc.). For further information on these requirements and on requesting permission, contact the university office for marketing and communications. Use of UH System facilities and premises for such purposes shall be and remain subject to all of the following factors:

a. minimal disruption of the academic and business functions of the UH System or university;

b. compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, ordinances, agency opinions, and UH System and/or university policies and procedures;

c. restoration of facilities after completion; and

d. enhancement of the reputation of the UH System.

4.12. Any use of UH System nomenclature or graphic elements must be approved in advance through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications.

4.13. Non-System and non-university entities or individuals using facilities must make it clear that the organization, and not the UH System or university, is hosting the event and that the views expressed do not represent the views of the UH System or university.

4.14. Each university shall develop and implement procedures to ensure compliance with this Administrative Memorandum, under which individuals and organizations may reserve the facility for their use. They should include a rate schedule for the use of facilities, and procedures for the assessment, collection, and handling of all appropriate fees.


Issued: 08/30/2000
Last Reviewed/Revised: 03/12/2020
Responsible Office(s): Administration