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Week of May 7, 2012

Better use of space is focus of new policy for classroom scheduling

A new classroom scheduling policy will help the university make better use of existing classroom space and spread out classes throughout the day and throughout the week.

The policy will take effect for the Winter 2013 curriculum-planning period. The Office of the Provost developed the policy in partnership with the Registrar’s Office as part of the university’s ongoing cost containment and space utilization efforts.

“The policy is designed to both make better use of existing classrooms and help departments that are challenged to place classes, especially during the popular hours of 10 a.m.-2 p.m.,” says Martha Pollack, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs.

Highlights of the new classroom scheduling policy include:

• Shared scheduling, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.: Departments and the Registrar’s Office will share classroom-scheduling responsibilities between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. A similar scheduling approach between 8 a.m. and noon was tested over the past few years.

“This approach gives us much greater and much needed flexibility for assigning classes to classrooms, and will help us better meet the scheduling needs of the entire campus,” says Paul Robinson, university registrar.

Units will continue to have the first opportunity to schedule classes and key academic events in the rooms they manage. When openings exist in classroom schedules, the Registrar’s Office may then fill the openings with classes needing classroom assignments.

• Consistent start times: Class start times will be standardized to begin on the hour or on the half hour.

• Improved distribution of classes: The new policy also will help create a better spread of classes throughout the day and week using specific scheduling distribution goals.

“Yes, that probably does mean more classes before 10 a.m., after 2 p.m. and on Fridays,” Pollack adds.

Pollack says the new scheduling policy comes after careful consideration of existing campus scheduling practices and input from schools and colleges.

“We’re asking departments to review their existing curriculum scheduling practices and make changes as needed to support broader campus needs. By sharing classrooms and changing scheduling practices, we can ensure that classes can be placed and avoid the cost of building more classrooms in the future,” Pollack adds.

 

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