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Department and Class Preferences

Department Preferences

The algorithm for bulk scheduling relies on department preferences in order to place classes in the appropriate vicinity for each department.

The configuration described below, and endorsed by the University Space Use Advisory Committee, aims to increase the effectiveness of the algorithm while supporting the sense of community provided by a proximity to the department’s “home building”.

The Department Preferences configuration in the scheduling system is composed of four tiers:

  • Tier 1: Department discretion - typically “home building”; may include other buildings
  • Tier 2: Department discretion – may include one or more preferred buildings
  • Tier 3: Must include “neighboring” buildings that aren’t already in Tier 1 or 2; may also include additional buildings at the department’s discretion
    • The application of “neighboring” roughly equates to a distance of 1/8mile, and generally includes buildings within an academic quad or with doors that are reasonably navigable from the doors of the department home building.
  • Tier 4: Reserved for administrative purposes to accommodate optimization for exams
Notable changes from the previous scheduling system: the same building may not appear in more than one Tier, and location characteristics/features are not included in the Department Preferences setup.

Department Preferences will be reviewed by the Office of the University Registrar and departments on a regular basis, and the resulting configurations will be posted to college and department SharePoint pages.

Class Preferences – Buildings

Certain classes may need to deviate from the department building preferences that are accurate for a department the majority of the time. When this occurs, the building preference for the class should be indicated in the Course Class Interface (CCI), after which it will be transmitted to PeopleSoft and brought down to the scheduling system through the interface.

A building preference indicated at the class level will override the department preferences.

Class Requirements – Location Characteristics/Features

Classes may require specific room characteristics or features in order for faculty to be able to conduct the academic activities of their curriculum.

Specific class needs related to location characteristics/features should be indicated in the Course Class Interface (CCI), after which they are transmitted to PeopleSoft and brought down to the scheduling system through the interface.

If the scheduling algorithm is unable to find a location that meets the characteristic/feature requirement for a class, the class will not be placed in a room.