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General Assignment Classroom Scheduling Policy

University of the Pacific: General Assignment Classroom Scheduling

Issuing Officer:  Provost
Responsible Dept: Office of the Registrar
Effective Date: 07-13-04

I. Scope

On the Stockton campus, the Provost is responsible for effective academic facilities management, including the authority to assign, relieve from assignment, and reassign academic space as necessary. Academic facilities are operated to meet the University’s teaching, research, and service missions. This policy sets forth the policies used to assign instructional space in General Assignment classrooms controlled by the Office of the Registrar.


II. Definitions

            A. Course: Definition of a Course. A curricular offering is a University course of instruction only if it is approved by Academic Affairs.


            B. Regular-Session Courses are courses with assigned course numbers that are taught within the approved semester academic calendar. Summer Sessions and CPCE courses are not Regular-Session Courses.


            C. A Class is the period of time during which students meet to pursue a course of instruction. Classes (except for on-line classes) are scheduled to meet in classrooms. Classes can have multiple sections.

1. Primary Class Sections are the main sections of a Class in which all students must enroll and usually where credit value is assigned. In most cases, the Primary Class Section is a lecture section.

2. Secondary Class Sections are additional Class meetings associated with a Primary Class Section. These are usually discussion or laboratory sections.


            D. General Assignment (GA) Classrooms are rooms in which Class meetings are scheduled for approved regular-session Courses. The official record of GA classrooms resides with the Office of the Registrar. Scheduling for General Assignment classrooms is controlled by the Office of the Registrar.



General assignment classrooms are classified in the following manner:

General Assignment - Standard = meets standard classroom needs.

General Assignment - with Special Characteristics = Classroom has specific equipment, labs, etc. which make it desirable for a particular department and/or class.

            E. Weekly Room Hours (WRH) is the number of hours used by regularly-scheduled Classes in a room or group of rooms during the entire week. Weekly Room Hour (WRH) figures are normally shown either as totals (WRH used in all rooms or a given group) or as an average (WRH/room). For example, total WRH for 100 General Assignment Classrooms might be 3,000. The average for this group (WRH/room) is 3,000/100, or 30 WRH/room.

            F. Weekly Student Hours (WSH) is the product of Weekly Room Hours multiplied by the number of student enrolled. For example, a Class which meets for three hours per week with 100 students enrolled has 300 Weekly Student Hours.

            G. Station Occupancy Ratio compares the number of students occupying a room to the room’s capacity. The ratio is used as an indicator of actual space utilization vs. the potential for use. Example: a Class with 60 students enrolled which meets five days per week in a 100-capacity classroom has a .60 Station Occupancy Ratio.


III. Statement of Scheduling Guidelines

Regular Session Courses approved by the Academic Affairs Committee, all related instructional activities such as review sessions, films, special lectures, midterm examinations, optional quizzes, academic tutoring, and final examinations have priority in General Assignment Classrooms over all other instruction (e.g. CPCE, Summer Session) or activities (e.g. Events, Educational Testing, etc.) for weekdays, evenings, and weekends, as applicable. Classrooms are assigned so as to best match room capacity with class enrollment. Class meeting times should be scheduled using standard time blocks with not more than 60% of Class meetings using prime time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and with at least 20% of Class meetings scheduled on Friday.


A. Standard Time Blocks (except for School of Pharmacy)

Regular-session Class meetings with standard time patterns are scheduled before Class meetings with non-standard patterns. Classes with non-standard patterns are scheduled before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m.


and then on a space available basis during prime time. Classes using a one-day-only pattern and meeting for more than normal duration (e.g., three hour seminars) should be scheduled in non-prime time.

In order to give fair access to all departments, under certain conditions, non-standard scheduling may be required to change to standard scheduling (e.g., MW two-hour time patterns may be required to change to MWF scheduling).

The following situations may require rescheduling:

1. When demand for classrooms in a particular range (e.g., large classrooms over 100 capacity) exceeds supply.

2. When demand for media-equipped classrooms exceeds supply.

To ensure efficient utilization of classroom space on all days of the week, the following standard time blocks have been established. Any modifications of these time blocks are approved by Academic Affairs in consultation with the University Registrar.

MWF and MW Standard Time Patterns

TR Standard Time Patterns

TR, MW, MF, WF Non-Standard Time Patterns

  8:00 –   9:20

  9:30 – 10:50

11:00 – 12:20

12:30 –   1:50

  2:00 –   3:20

  3:30 –   4:50

  6:00 –   7:50

  8:00 -    9:50

8:00  -   9:50

     10:00  - 11:50

1:00  -   2:50

3:00  -   4:50

6:00  -   7:50

8:00  -   9:50






Note that two-hour patterns do not have priority scheduling. If two-hour, two-day patterns are used, these are the times most likely to be scheduled...


Classes with no assigned classroom are published in the Schedule of Classes with a TBA announcement until a classroom and time can be assigned. All regular-session classes meeting in General Assignment Classrooms are entered into the Banner Student Information System to capture accurate course and faculty related information.


B. Minimum Size

Minimum class sizes are enforced according to policy outlined by the

Faculty Handbook, section 11.5 which states: . . . “At the end of the preregistration period for each semester, the University Registrar will distribute to the dean of each school or college a list of courses whose preregistrants are ten or fewer students in an undergraduate course or


six or fewer students in a graduate course.” The protocol for the review of courses that do not meet the minimum class size is:

            1. The Registrar will provide to the Dean or designate(s) of each academic unit a listing of the courses that do not meet minimum enrollments as specified in the policy on class size, Faculty Handbook 11.5.

            2. This listing will be provided

            a. At the close of the pre-registration period for each term

            b. At the end of the last orientation period prior to the beginning of each term

            c. At the close of the third day of classes for each term.

            3. At any point up to, but no later than the end of the fourth day of classes, the Dean or designate(s) will review under-enrolled courses and forward to the Registrar a list of any courses to be canceled.

            4. The Dean or designate(s) is responsible for notifying faculty of a decision to cancel a course. The Department of the cancelled course will be responsible for notifying any enrolled students of such actions and assisting them to register for other courses.

            5. A final list of under-enrolled courses will be produced after the freeze date for enrollment for each academic term. Using course type designations as well as information previously supplied by academic units, any courses which by nature are not expected to meet such minimums (for example, internships, independent study, dissertation, etc.) or for which lower than minimum enrollments have already been justified on an ongoing basis will be excluded from the list prior to sending it to the Dean or designate(s) of each academic unit.

            6. No later than the beginning of the next pre-registration period for the next term, the Dean must provide to the Provost’s Office, in writing, a brief justification for any courses not meeting minimum enrollments which were offered that term.

            7. The Provost’s Office will monitor the number of course cancellations and under-enrolled classes offered each term at the undergraduate, first professional, and graduate level for each academic unit to ensure that a reasonable efficiency is achieved in the allocation of faculty resources.


C. Prime Time

Prime time is considered to be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Departments are responsible for coordinating class times with faculty so that not more than 60% of their Primary Class Sections are scheduled in prime time. In addition, 20% of classes should be scheduled on Fridays.


D. Scheduling Priority

Priority in General Assignment Classrooms is determined by the Office of the Registrar per campus policy approved by the Provost. As referenced in ‘Policy for the Maintenance and Development of Classroom Technology in Instructional Facilities on the Stockton campus’ (9/1/03) the academic unit serving as steward of a building, as feasible, is given preferential scheduling within that building by the Office of the Registrar. Primary Class Sections are scheduled before Secondary Class Sections.


Required Secondary Class Sections are scheduled before optional Secondary Class Sections. Large classes are scheduled before small ones. Initial classrooms assignments are made based on projected enrollment being equal to or greater than 80% of the room capacity. Past enrollments in comparable semesters are considered. Requests that underutilize space are scheduled after other scheduling needs have been met.

Classes that meet using standard time patterns are given priority over those using non-standard patterns. Classes with specialized pedagogical design are given appropriate consideration. Schedules that vary greatly from the 60/40 prime time balance may be returned to departments for adjustment. Classes that don’t meet 80% 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.


E. Room and Time Changes and Cancellations

        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.

        Time changes are not allowed after enrollment has begun.

        • If a class is cancelled, the Office of the Registrar must cancel the class in the Banner Student Information System in order to return the classroom to available status.


F. Instructor Names

When scheduling class meetings, instructor names must be entered in the Banner Student Record System using the instructor’s university identification number. This ensures that the instructor’s name will appear in the Schedule of Classes, in other electronic applications such as online grading (Inside Pacific), and in faculty workload reports.


G. Enrollment Management

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 Banner Student Information System. However, to allow for attrition in classes, department chairs may contact the Office of the Registrar to raise enrollment limits up to 10% above the room capacity. It is the responsibility of the department and the instructor to ensure that actual attendance does not exceed classroom capacity.


H. Final Examinations

An instructor’s method of evaluation must be announced at the beginning of the course. Final written examinations may not exceed three hours duration and are given only at the times and places established and


published by the Office of the Registrar. (Faculty Handbook, Section 11.11)

Final examinations are generally held in the same room as Class meetings; however, by prior arrangement with the Office of the Registrar, 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 the Registrar. Examination codes, times, and locations are listed in the Schedule of Classes (hardcopy and online) and on the Banner Student Information System.


I. Priority Agreements with Departments

Specialized facility needs, such as laboratory demonstrations and unique media service needs, are considered and accommodated whenever possible. Departments needing a specific classroom may negotiate with the Office of the Registrar for Priority Scheduling. However, standard time patterns and prime-time quotas must be observed.


J. Multi-Media Requests

Specialized facility needs for media are considered and accommodated whenever possible within utilization guidelines, and media-equipped (SMART) classrooms are assigned on a space-available basis.


K. Use of Department Rooms

With the prior agreement of the Provost or School dean and with the approval of the department chair, departmental rooms may be scheduled by the Office of the Registrar.


L. Special Requests

All instructional activities related to regularly-scheduled classes such as review sessions, make-up classes, thesis defenses, films, special lectures, placement examinations, midterm examinations, optional quiz sections, and academic tutoring may be scheduled on a space available basis after regular class meetings have been scheduled and after an adjustment period for class changes (usually the end of the second week). After second week, instructionally related activities associated with a regularly-scheduled Class may be scheduled during the day, in the evenings, and on the weekends and have priority over non-instructional activities and over CPCE, Summer Session and Events scheduling.

Special requests that are not related to regularly-scheduled Classes are scheduled through the Conference and Events Office.


M. Accommodation/Access

Arrangements can be made for the change of an academic classroom due to documented accommodation and/or access issues. Changes of this nature should be handled by the Office of the Registrar or Center for Professional & Continuing Education (CPCE), as applicable.


N. Center for Professional and Continuing Education, and Conference and Events Office Use of General Assignment Classrooms

Center for Professional and Continuing Education (CPCE- Extension) and Conference and Events Office may schedule General Assignment Classrooms for evening activities starting at 6 p.m. on weekdays. However, regular-session class meetings have priority if such meetings are required.

Daytime weekday events during periods of instruction may be requested. These requests are generally not processed until after the second week of instruction and are subject to change if space is needed for instructional activity.


O. Department-sponsored Instruction/Activity

General Assignment Classrooms may be used to schedule department-sponsored instruction/activity. Ex. Library wants to offer staff training or workshop involving a general assignment classroom. However, regular-session Class meetings have priority.


P. Construction/Renovation Policy

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 departmental rooms to meet class needs.


Q. Change of the purpose of Classrooms

As indicated in the “Policy for the Change of the Purpose of Classrooms” dated 11/26/02, all classrooms are to be considered for general assignment by the Registrar unless authorized by the Provost for the exclusive use by a specific school, college or department.

The process for changing the designation of such rooms is:

                   1. Requests for a change in the purpose of classroom spaces must be submitted by a dean to the Provost. The request, which explains and justifies the requested change, should be submitted 18 months in advance, to accommodate changes in scheduling of facilities (which is done a year in advance).

                   2. The Provost consults with the Registrar and others, as appropriate, on the impact of the proposed change in designation or usage.



                   3. A decision to change the designation of a classroom from instructional to non-instructional usage, from general assignment to exclusive use, or from exclusive use to general assignment will be communicated in writing to the Registrar and the Requestor.


IV. Resolution of Problems

In the event of conflicts, priority is given to class meetings which demonstrate the highest seat utilization based on current projections and end of third week enrollment for the last three terms the course was taught.

Scheduling conflicts are resolved by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with the deans’ designee. Space utilization and pedagogical issues are factors that influence decisions.


V. References

University Faculty Handbook, (

Academic Council


‘Policy for the Maintenance and Development of Classroom Technology in Instructional Facilities on the Stockton campus’ (9/1/03)


‘Policy for the Change of the Purpose of Classrooms’ (11/26/02)

5/2003 (revised 6/2004)



Adopted 7/13/04 Council of Deans