The issue of classroom utilization is complex. The campus has a finite number of general assignment classrooms (129) and at the prime time hours of the day (beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m. PT), the demand is great enough to justify and consider classrooms a scarce resource.
A UC Davis Task Force Committee on Classroom Space completed a study of classroom scheduling and availability. There were 13 original recommendations developed by the Classroom Utilization Task Force in 1988 and 1992.
The following five recommendations #1, 2, 4, 6, and 11 continue to be in practice:
1. Departments should be required to schedule at least 25% of their undergraduate courses in non-prime time hours. “Prime time” hours are between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (PT), Monday through Thursday and between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon (PT) on Friday.
Note: Due to the seriously inadequate supply of lecture halls, beginning in winter quarter 2002, a new guideline specifying that among all of a department’s course sections with projected enrollments of 150 or above, 30% of total class hours must be scheduled outside of “prime time." Courses with projected enrollments of fewer than 150 may continue the long standing practice of classes being distributed across the instructional week with 25% of total class hours scheduled outside of prime time.
2. To ensure equal utilization of classroom space on all days of the week, the concept of standard times for three and four unit courses are defined in standard day class patterns.
4. Tuesday/Thursday classes meeting three hours per week should begin at 7:30 a.m. (PT). This allows an additional 1 ½ hour class period in the daytime hours.
6. The practice of allowing a given course to remain indefinitely in its present time slot and location (“squatter’s rights”) must be modified to allow reasonable access to new offerings.
11. As campus enrollment grows and additional large service courses/sections are added, these should be scheduled outside of prime time hours.