Faculty Handbook 2019-2020

F.4.b. Class Scheduling Guidelines

The schedule of classes and the general division of the day were designed along principles of transparency, fairness, and respect. Faculty could view the schedule of classes as the clearest guideline for class meetings. The following policies are offered with a view to promoting fairness, safeguarding students, and encouraging respect among classroom teachers.

The expectation is that Faculty should plan to be on campus for some scheduled activities such as classes, labs, or office hours a minimum of four days a week unless permission to do so otherwise is received in advance from the Committee on Faculty. The expectation for adjunct teaching staff is that an appropriate schedule of availability be approved by the Department or Program Chair.

In constructing a schedule, it is important that class offerings are distributed across the daily schedule, thus minimizing the number of class conflicts students must contend with in building their class schedules, maximizing the opportunity for faculty/student contact outside the classroom, and increasing the likelihood that the most desired classroom is available.

The Registrar provides typical room allocations and times. Conflicts over rooms are adjudicated by the appropriate Area Chair. Chairs should keep the following guidelines in mind as they construct departmental schedules:

  • Lecture classes should be scheduled during the twelve available MWF(A) and TTh(B) periods. Exceptions require the approval of Academic Policy. The faculty has approved the following courses for use of the four-day (C) lecture periods: first-year foreign language courses, MATH 130-14-, CSCI 150-151, and MUSI 201-202. Seminar (S) periods are reserved for seminars that function as components of the department’s Capstone Experience.
  • Each department should assign 2/3 of its lecture offerings on MWF and 1/3 of its lecture offerings on TTh. (Ideally, individual faculty follow this guideline.)
  • Each department should offer 1/3 of its lecture offerings during the five non-prime periods MWF/8:10-9:00; MWF/2:10-3:00; MWF/3:10-4:00; TTh/8:15-9:30; TTh/2:45-4:00. (Ideally, individual faculty follow this guideline.)
  • The Engaged Citizen course will be scheduled for MWF during the A2 and A5 periods. Therefore, half of the lecture classrooms during these periods will be unavailable for departmental course offerings.

The following notes may aid in interpreting the above guidelines.

  • Note that the phrase “lecture offerings” used above refers only to A and C periods for MWF and B periods for TTh. Lab, studio, and seminar periods are not included in this phrase but can be used to offset what would otherwise be an imbalance.
  • Academic Support has often given the following rule of thumb to students: every hour spent in a typical lecture meeting of a Hendrix class corresponds to up to three hours of work outside the class. Classroom teachers should be mindful of this rough guideline in designing activities such as homework assignments and take-home tests.
  • Section D of the Faculty Handbook contains the following language (under Examinations and Grading): “…requests by classroom teachers to change the time of final examinations must be approved by the Council on Academic Policy.”
  • Remember that music ensembles, theatre rehearsals, athletic practices and physical activity classes are usually scheduled beginning at 4:00 p.m., after the final academic class period of the day.

The following notes describe the process for resolving room conflicts that occur during the schedule building process:

  • When the course schedule has been entered the Registrar runs a room schedule report to identify any courses that have a room conflict so they can be corrected before the schedule is final.
  • The Area Administrative Assistants, Department Chairs, and Classroom Teachers are notified that there is a room conflict.
  • The two departments usually work out a resolution and notify the Registrar of the new rooms.
  • If they are unable to find a resolution, then the Area Chair is notified and makes a decision on a room change or possibly even a time change. The Area Chair then notifies the Registrar's office of the changes that should be made to the schedule.
  • The Engaged Citizen sections have room priority and are set up in the system before any other classes.
  • Explorations are assigned openings like all the other lecture sections.