University officials on Thursday pushed back spring class registration a week in order to change meeting times for up to 200 courses and alleviate an overbooked schedule.
Students were informed of the move in a mass e-mail sent out by Craig Linebaugh, associate vice president for academic planning and development. Registration for non-hours undergraduate students is set to begin Nov. 15, six days after the original start date.
In an e-mail to The Hatchet, Linebaugh said registration was pushed back because students need enough time to view a spring schedule that will undergo significant changes before the Nov. 15 registration date. The changes are necessary because academic departments put too many courses in some time bands.
“The schedules that were submitted included more classes with specific enrollment capacities in many time bands than the classroom inventory can accommodate,” Linebaugh said. “Therefore it is necessary to change the day and/or times of a significant number of classes.”
Meetings times for about 150 to 200 classes may change before the new registration date. Classes between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. will undergo the majority of scheduling modifications, but neither the current time band schedule nor the amount of time in between classes will change.
Linebaugh said sufficient class space exists, but the previous schedule failed to “optimize the use of the available classrooms.” With construction of a business school building rendering most Funger Hall classrooms unusable, officials have scheduled more 8 a.m. and Friday classes.
Some departments will be affected by the changes more than others, said Linebaugh, who was unable to disclose information about specific programs. He said the departments that will be affected most are those with a large number of classes in particular times bands.
The changes in spring classes forced the second delay in scheduling this year. Officials did not release meeting times for fall final exams until early October because of scheduling complications associated with newly implemented time bands. Final schedules are typically made public in early September.
The two delays, which have been heavily criticized by students, have led officials to review administrative policy on scheduling compilation.
“We are undertaking a comprehensive review of the course scheduling process at GW and expect to make a series of recommendations regarding increasing the efficiency of the process within a few months of the arrival of a new University Registrar in late November,” Linebaugh said. The former registrar, Dennis Geyer, left GW in October to take a job at California State University-Monterey Bay, according to his answering machine message.
Student Association President Omar Woodard said he feels the delay was a result of “a discombobulation among the faculty.”
“I’m upset with the fact that so many things have been pushed back and there really hasn’t been much explanation,” Woodard said.
Woodard said the SA is working on a plan to ensure such delays, and their subsequent inconveniences, are prevented in the future. The delay in releasing final exam dates has left many students with two months to make holiday travel plans.
“The first thing we’re going to do is communicate to the University how unbelievably challenged students are by these schedule changes,” Woodard said.
Woodard said a lack of uniform standards across departments has been the source of the problem.
He said, “I’m concerned as a student most of all as to why the academic administration doesn’t have their feet on the ground when we’re already well into the first semester of the year.”