Two years ago, when I moved into a Tenure-Track position I was given lab space. I told them "I don't have any hardware projects, so I don't need this space right now." I was told that yes I do need that space, because space is like gold - you horde it and don't give it up.
So, I used the space to teach in. I have a lab class in which they build stuff. Instead of using the crowded student labs and have to work out schedules with the other faculty to share the space, I just use my own lab space for student activities. About a week ago, my department chair comes into the office and asks me what I am using my lab space for, since we are hiring new faculty and we need space (and he knows that I don't have a hardware project right now). I tell him that I am using it for student space. He coughs a bit and tells me that I am not supposed to do that. There is student lab space for student activities. I tell him that it is crowded etc. He basically says so what, and I am pretty sure he is going to take the space away.
I just got off the phone with the building manager, who asked me what I am using my lab space for. Hint hint. The end is drawing near.
I have been writing grants and such to actually get hardware projects. We just need a little patience. But, my department chair doesn't have patience. So, I will probably lose my lab space. And the students will then lose their space. And this will happen the same month that I win a grant to do hardware. I am absolutely sure of this.
So, NSF program directors, if you are listening, please give me even a tiny bit of money, so I can convince my chair to let me keep my lab. Please.
This really sort of pisses me off, since I didn't want the damn space in the first place. Now that I am actually using it for what I think is a good cause, they are going to take it away because education is not important in our department. Space is important.
7 months ago