12.71 – Academic Facility Space Utilization and Scheduling

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Details

Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Administrative Rules and Procedures Chapter 12 | Physical Asset Management

Rule Administrator:

Last Updated: 08/13/2019

 

PART 1: PURPOSE AND SCOPE


Academic facilities are owned by New Mexico State University (NMSU), and operated to meet NMSU teaching, research, and service missions. The provost is ultimately responsible for effective academic facilities management, including the authority to assign, to relieve from assignment and to reassign academic space as necessary. The provost delegates to the registrar and to the Space Committee for implementation. This rule applies throughout the NMSU System, unless a campus adopts an independent space utilization and scheduling rule, which will be attached as an Appendix to this rule.

 

This policy sets forth the process used to assign academic space for academic activities; for use of NMSU space for non-academic activities, See ARP 12.70 –Use of NMSU Facilities.

 

PART 2: DEFINITIONS


  1. Course: A credit-bearing curricular offering of instruction, as approved by the University Curriculum Committee (UCC).
  2. Class: The period of time during which students meet to pursue a course. Classes are scheduled to meet in classrooms unless designated as online in accordance with ARP 4.69. Courses may be offered in multiple sections.
  3. Event: any meeting, programming or function that is not a course.
  4. Centrally Assigned Spaces: University spaces scheduled by the academic scheduling staff in the Office of University Student Records. The official record of all assignable space resides in the approved scheduling software system.
  5. Departmentally Assigned Spaces: University spaces scheduled by assigned departmental staff. The official record of all assignable space resides in the Scheduling software system.
  6. Prime time: is Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  7. Space Utilization Ratios: This ratio is the course specific fill rate calculated as average class enrollments divided by average class enrollment capacity. Balanced course ratios are between 70% and 95% with the goal being 85%.

 

PART 3: SCHEDULING GUIDELINES


  1. Centrally Scheduled Classroom Priority:
    1. First priority for scheduling centrally assigned space is given to courses. Class meeting times must be scheduled using standard time blocks as defined in section B, below. Classrooms are assigned so as to best match room capacity with class enrollment. Course capacity should be a function of instructional design and pedagogy and should rarely be set at zero (0) or a particular room size.
    2. Second priority for scheduling centrally assigned space is given to events, after all courses and related instructional activities have been scheduled in any given academic term.
  2. Standard Time Blocks:
    To ensure ease of access for students who are having to build a schedule of classes with the least amount of conflict, and efficient utilization of classroom space on all days of the week, standard time blocks have been established. Regular-session class meetings with standard time patterns are scheduled before class meetings with non-standard time patterns. Classes meeting on a non-standard pattern must be scheduled outside of prime time. Requests for classes to be scheduled outside the standard time blocks during prime time must be approved by the college dean and the Associate Dean’s Academic Council (ADAC). If approved the section will be assigned room space after all classes using the standard time block have been assigned space. Standard time blocks are determined by the Associate Deans Academic Council and maintained by the Registrar. See https://records.nmsu.edu/. Classes that have not been assigned a classroom are published in the Schedule of Classes with a TBA announcement until a classroom and time can be assigned. All class schedule information is entered into the Student Information System to capture and reflect accurate course, faculty and space related information.
  3. Minimum Class Size: Course thresholds are set at 10 or more for undergraduate courses and 5 or more for graduate courses. Deans have the authority to set higher thresholds for courses offered by their college.
  4. Prime Time: Prime time is Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Classes with non-standard patterns are to be scheduled before 8:30 a.m. or after 2:30 p.m. Classes using a one-day-only pattern and meeting for more than standard duration (e.g., three hour seminars) should be scheduled outside of prime time. Requests for classes to be scheduled outside the standard time blocks during prime time must be approved by the college dean and the Associate Dean’s Academic Council (ADAC). If approved the section will be assigned room space after all classes using the standard time block have been assigned space.
  5. Scheduling Priority:
    1. Classes scheduled within standard meeting times will receive first priority in classroom scheduling. Classes scheduled outside of the standard meeting times will be assigned classroom space after those classes scheduled during standard times. Where an academic unit has departmental space assignment responsibility, that unit will be given preferential scheduling within those spaces.
    2. Initial classrooms assignments are made based on pedagogical requirements and projected enrollment being equal to or greater than 85% of the room capacity. Past enrollments in comparable semesters will be considered. Classes with specialized pedagogical design are given appropriate consideration. Classes that don’t meet 85% of room capacity may be moved to a smaller room with equivalent media, if available. Classes scheduled after scheduling deadlines have passed are assigned classrooms on a space-available basis.
  6. Course Capacities: When scheduling course meetings, it is expected that accurate course capacities be included. Inaccurate course capacities negatively impacts space utilization analytics and skew predictive scheduling analytics. Course capacity should be a function of instructional design and pedagogy and should rarely be set at zero (0) or a particular room size.  No instructor or department may allow the occupancy of a classroom to exceed the limit specified by fire safety codes. The classroom capacity is fixed in the Student Information System and Scheduling Software System. It is the responsibility of the department and the instructor to ensure that actual attendance does not exceed classroom capacity.
  7. Room and Time Changes: Day and time changes are not allowed after students have begun to register for the term the class is being offered.  Room changes are accommodated if a room is available. Departments/instructors should NOT continue to add students in the expectation that a larger room will be available.
  8. Class Cancellations: If a class is cancelled, the Office of University Student Records must be notified so the class can be cancelled in the Student Information System and the classroom can be returned to available status. It is the responsibility of the academic unit to notify enrolled students when a class has been cancelled.
  9. Instructor Assignments: When scheduling class meetings, instructor names must be entered in the Student Information System using the instructor’s Aggie ID number. This ensures that the instructor’s name will appear in the online Schedule of Classes, in other electronic applications such as online grading, and in faculty workload reports.
  10. Teaching Assistant Assignments: When scheduling class meetings, graduate teaching assistant (TA) names and Aggie ID numbers must be provided to the Office of University Student Records. This ensures that graduate teaching assistants receive appropriate credit for work performed and that Graduate School funding allocation reports are accurate. The TA’s name will not appear in the online Schedule of Classes, unless the TA is also the instructor of record for the section.
  11. Final Examinations: Final written examinations, not to exceed two hours duration, are given only at the times and places established and published by the Office of University Student Records. Final examinations are generally held in the same room as class meetings. However, by prior arrangement with the Office of University Student Records, common final examinations can be scheduled and extra room locations may be booked on a space available basis. Changes in classroom location must be arranged through the Office of University Student Records. Examination codes, times, and locations are provided by the University Student Records Office and in the Student Information System.
  12. Specialized Classroom Needs: Needs for a specialized facility, such as laboratory demonstrations and unique media needs, are considered and accommodated whenever possible. Media-equipped (SMART) classrooms are assigned on a space available basis.  Departments needing a specific classroom should indicate these needs in the “Notes” section of the schedule proofs. However, standard time block and prime-time designation must be observed.
  13. Central Use of Departmentally Scheduled Rooms: Under prior agreement with the College Dean and/or Department Chair, departmental rooms may be scheduled by the Office of University Student Records.
  14. Maintenance and Development of Classroom Technology in Instructional Space: Centrally scheduled classroom space is maintained by central resources.  These resources are coordinated by Facilities & Services in collaboration with Information and Communication Technologies and the Office of the Provost.
  15. Accommodation/Accessibility (American with Disabilities Act Compliance): Arrangements can be made for the change of an academic classroom due to documented accommodation and/or accessibility issues. Changes of this nature should be handled by the Office of University Student Records.
  16. Use of Centrally Assigned Space for Non-Class Event Purposes: The Office of University Student Records will schedule centrally assigned space for events. However, class meetings always have priority. These requests are generally not processed until two weeks prior to the start of instruction of each term and are subject to change if space is needed for instructional activity
  17. Construction / Renovation: During periods of construction/renovation or in the event of an emergency, the provost may authorize exceptions to scheduling policies and require the use of departmentally assigned rooms to meet class needs.
  18. Change of the purpose of Classrooms: All classrooms are centrally assigned space by the registrar, unless authorized by the Office of the Provost for the exclusive use by a specific school, college or To change the designation of a classroom.  See ARP 12.75 – Space Use Management; Change Request Procedures.
    1. Request for a change in the purpose of a classroom space must be submitted to the University Space Committee by a Dean.
    2. The request must fully explain and justify the requested change.
    3. The request should be submitted 18 months in advance, to accommodate changes in scheduling of facilities.
    4. The University Space Committee consults with the University Registrar, and others as appropriate, on the impact of the proposed change in designation or usage.
    5. Any decision to change the designation of a classroom will be communicated, in writing, by the University Space Committee to the University Registrar and the Requestor.
  19. Conflict Resolution: In the event of conflicts, priority is given to class meetings which demonstrate the highest seat utilization based on current projections and census date enrollment for the last three terms the course was taught. Scheduling conflicts will be resolved by the Office of University Student Records in consultation with the course associate academic dean.  Space utilization and pedagogical issues are factors that influence decisions.