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OSH Rebuild-Classroom Scheduling Plan / Ruth Watkins Memo

TO: Council of Deans, Chairs and Classroom Schedulers

FROM: Ruth Watkins, Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs

RE: Classroom Scheduling Plan AY2016-17

DATE: September 16, 2015

The campus is now enthusiastically moving forward with a much-needed, long-awaited project to rebuild Orson Spencer Hall. OSH will be off-line for classroom assignment beginning May 2016. As the most heavily used classroom space on campus, completing this project requires us to optimize use of all available educational spaces. Note that roughly 15% of sections offered during our educational “primetime” (M-F 8:35 am- 2 pm) will be displaced in the Fall 2016 course schedule. A new approach to how classroom assignments and course times are requested and accommodated in both general assignment and right-of-first refusal classrooms is needed. The new approach is summarized in this memo. Thank you in advance for your partnership in enacting the schedule accommodations that are necessary to enable the University of Utah to create a 21st century teaching and learning hub that will benefit our students and our faculty.

First, please know that every effort will be made to accommodate the preferred teaching schedule and locations of faculty and instructors.

Second, for courses and sections that cannot be accommodated in their historical or requested schedule blocks, the following guidelines will be implemented to optimize classroom space use, and to increase transparency and equity in assignments:

  • Courses where the actual enrollment was previously less than 75% of the room capacity may be evaluated for repositioning (room or time adjustment)
  • Spaces deemed as “right of first refusal” will have classes placed as indicated on the initial proof only, following posted scheduling deadlines. Any unused days/times in those rooms may be assigned to other classes by the Registrar’s Office.
  • Courses with historical enrollment less than 10 will be candidates for repositioning, giving preference to higher level undergraduate courses. Departments and colleges will also be asked to evaluate whether offering these courses is necessary and in alignment with appropriate resource use.
  • Courses following University Standard Time Blocks and using Friday meeting times will be given priority in scheduling.

To facilitate scheduling, we ask that you prepare your course schedules to:

  • Follow University Standard Time Blocks
  • Evaluate and adjust course capacities to ensure that classes can be placed in appropriately sized rooms. Courses that have not had sufficient historical enrollment may be repositioned
  • Pair Hybrid classes and Discussion sections for optimum room utilization (example: M 11:50- 1:10 must have matching W 11:50 -1:10 section)
  • Review room assignments on the proof and indicate if there is a room you will not need. Department building preferences will be observed, but cannot be guaranteed
  • Internally prepare alternative solutions in the event that you do not receive a room assignment, as not all classes will be placed during primetime.

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Last Updated: 7/12/18