Classroom Utilization in Departmental Controlled Spaces

All departments are expected to utilize their own classrooms 30 hours per week for scheduled instruction BEFORE requesting the use of university classroom space. Classroom utilization statistics will be reported to the Provost Office. Underutilization of classroom space may lead to a reversion of that space to Classroom Scheduling.

Although the standardized time frames are a requirement in university classrooms only, should a departmental course need to be relocated from private controlled space to a university classroom, a change in class time might be required in order to secure teaching space within the university classroom inventory pool. 

University Classroom (UCR) Scheduling Policies and Regulations

The primary goal of the Office of the Registrar is to maximize courses, staff, and teaching spaces while reducing operating costs to be fiscally efficient and environmentally responsible. This focus is especially imperative in these fiscally challenged years ahead. Following standard set scheduling patterns with compatible start and ending times, the overall schedule fits together with less conflict in a consistent and equitable manner. In order to achieve these goals, revised scheduling policies and procedures have been established by Classroom Scheduling and approved by the Office of the Provost. The scheduling regulations apply to those colleges who utilize university classrooms from the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Education, and Engineering, and Tippie College of Business. Use of scheduling regulations permits efficient exercise of available classroom space as well as provide an orderly framework for instructional planning to reduce course concentration. Use of standard time blocks also allow students greater flexibility and opportunity in scheduling classes offered by different departments or colleges.

University classrooms (UCR) are scheduled on a 50-hour week. UCR are scheduled by use of standardized class hours, Monday–Friday, which incorporate both daytime and evening class hours. Standardized class hours begin at 8:30 a.m. on MWF and 8:00 a.m. on TTh. Evening class hours typically begin at 6:30 p.m. M, T, W, or Th evenings. Departments are required to distribute their courses in a variety of meeting patterns (MWF vs. TTh) throughout the full academic day, avoiding concentration during the peak hours of 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 

Policy on Departmental, Non-credit Bearing Use & Sharing of University Classrooms

The Office of the Registrar’s Classroom Scheduling unit oversees and assigns University Classroom spaces, which are primarily used for credit-bearing courses. Courses for credit receive priority in University Classrooms. Classroom Scheduling has formalized scheduling protocols to enhance campus efficiencies and equity to support this charge.

University Classroom space may be available by request to departments to facilitate non-credit bearing activities. Departmental space requests are considered on a first come, first-served basis after the schedule of courses for each semester is set and are reserved with the right to recall. The ability of the Office of the Registrar – Classroom Scheduling to assign space outside of the schedule of courses is based on the number of classrooms available for allocation.

The total number of university classrooms can fluctuate within the classroom pool due to space reassignment, classroom renovations, and classroom and building construction; consequently, the overall availability of classroom space can vary widely from semester to semester. Therefore, departments should no longer assume or expect that University Classrooms space can be used to support non-credit bearing activities of any kind.  Departmental use of conferencing technology such as Zoom, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams is encouraged where limited large gathering campus space can be identified.

As a result, effective January 2022, the Office of the Registrar – Classroom Scheduling will no longer enter into agreements of shared University Classroom space with academic and/or administrative departments to satisfy space solutions in remodel or new building programming nor guarantee any previously shared space agreements can be upheld into the future.

Standardized Time-Block Model

Standardized Time-Block Model for University Classrooms (UCR)

Due to the limited quantity of specialized resources, all classroom assignments to TILE classrooms must adhere to the Standardized Time-Block Model.  Consideration of exception given only in the instances of “non-prime” class times on a session-by-session basis.

Exceptions to Standardized Time-Block Model

All classes should adhere to the standard time-block model. Any deviation from the standard specified start and end time for a class must be approved by the departmental DEO and the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education (APUE). To request approval from the APUE, the department DEO should e-mail Renee Houser at Classroom Scheduling with a subject line of: Request for Non-Standard Class Time. The following information should be included in the request: (1) class name and number; (2) desired time (3) rationale for request. Classroom Scheduling will route the e-mail to the APUE for review and response. Courses scheduled off-cycle without prior approval will be moved to a standard time block. We expect few exceptions to be granted.

Policy on Changes to Schedule of Courses

The following course offerings scheduling policy applies to all regular (on-cycle & off-cycle) sections assigned to University Classrooms (UCR) and all undergraduate courses, numbered 0000–4999, whether or not scheduled in UCR spaces. Changes in the location, start and end time, or start and end date can be loaded on MyUI up until the deadline date of January 1 for Spring offerings and August 1 for Fall offerings. After the offerings deadline date, course scheduling changes will only be approved with sufficient justification provided on the workflow request. The only justifications for a change in the location, start and end time, or start and end date for a course are an extreme emergency involving an instructor (death or disability) or a desire for a larger room to accommodate more students. As always, departments are responsible for student notification of any changes.

Right to Recall

Any special event reservation processed prior to the third week of either fall or spring semester will be scheduled with the right to recall.  However, unforeseen classroom emergencies that may arise will override this policy granting Classroom Scheduling authority to redistribute classroom assignments as necessary. This stipulation is placed on all events to ensure university classroom space availability for the schedule of courses which has the priority placement within these facilities. 

The user will be notified as soon as possible if the event must be relocated to alternate classroom accommodations. If no university classroom space is available, Classroom Scheduling will assist in locating other campus facilities for the relocated event.

Policy on Pending Courses in University Classrooms

University Classroom (UCR) space is tight, especially during prime time hours, 9:30 am-4:20 pm, Monday-Thursday, and 9:30 am-1:20 pm, Fridays. In an effort to use our space efficiently, we will be canceling on August 1st and January 1st all pending classes that are scheduled in UCRs. If you anticipate needing the pending course due to enrollment projections related to students who register between the deadline and the start of classes, please send a request that we not cancel the class to Include in your email a subject line of Pending Courses, the full course number (including section), title of the course, and the reason for your request.

Courses which remain in pending status at the close of business the first day of classes in either fall or spring will be canceled by Classroom Scheduling.

Enforcement of Scheduling Guidelines

The Office of the Registrar has been granted authority by the Office of the Provost to apply and enforce these policies for equitable distribution of university classroom facilities. If departmental appeal is desired, written justification of circumstance, approved by Departmental Chair, may be submitted to the Office of the Provost for further review. 

One Day a Week Courses Greater than 120 Minutes or Two Contact Hours

Standard class times will be strictly adhered to when the course is open to undergraduate enrollment in university classrooms (graduate sections are exempt). However, in some cases, a desire to schedule a single day of the week that extends beyond 120 minutes exists. In order to do so, the course requires justification from the Department Chair to be e-mailed to, who will route the e-mail to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education for review. Further, these courses must be scheduled on the Monday/Wednesday/Friday standardized meeting pattern and paired in some manner with an alternate course(s) to fulfill the three-day meeting pattern and eliminating classroom inefficiency during prime time. One day a week classes scheduled at 5:30 p.m. or later on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday; or at 5:00 p.m. or later on Tuesday or Thursday; do not require pairing. Currently, film screening section types are exempt from this rule and require no prior approval; however, course pairing is still encouraged to eliminate inefficiencies that film screenings may create.

Graduate-Level Scheduling Policy

Standard class times will be strictly adhered to when the course is open to undergraduate students; in the new numbering system, these are courses numbered below 5000. For courses numbered 5000 and above, the following policies will guide decisions about requests for non-standard class meeting times. In this document, prime time is 9:30 – 4:20, Monday – Thursday, and 9:30 – 1:20 on Friday.

  • Graduate and professional programs serve specialized students populations; in many cases, these students have obligations or circumstances that warrant off-cycle class meeting times.
  • Many graduate and professional courses are not scheduled in University Classrooms (UCR); these courses are not subject to the standard class time schedule, nor to any of the other provisions outlined below.
  • Courses that meet during prime time in UCR must conform to the standard class start time schedules; exceptions are granted only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Unless there are good reasons to do otherwise, graduate classes that meet in the evenings should have standard start times
  • The following classes will have lower priority during prime time in UCR spaces and will only be scheduled during prime time if space is available after other scheduling is completed. There is no guarantee that these classes will be scheduled in specific classrooms or buildings:
    • Classes that are scheduled to meet for more than 75 minutes in a single class period (for example, a 3 s.h. class that meets for 150 minutes on one day).
    • Seminars and workshops whose meeting times exceed the hours associated with the credit offered. These include 0 s.h. classes and 1 s.h. classes that meet for more than 50 minutes per week. These courses must start at the standard start time.

Seat Fill Requirements

Departments whose maximum enrollment does not meet 65% or more of the available seats within a university classroom capacity may find reassignment to smaller teaching space initiated by Classroom Scheduling. We will take into consideration projected enrollments, actual enrollments, historical enrollments and semester timing.

Seat fill in certain situations might need to be lowered in the instances where classroom assignment is based on classroom need for particular seating, equipment or materials found in a home building location.

Typically, university classrooms are considered efficient when used a minimum of 32 hours per week [teaching week is based on 50 hour week, ten periods a day, five days per week] or at the targeted 70% utilization rate. 

Pass Time Between Courses

Classroom Scheduling processes course and event scheduling with minimum of 10 minutes intervals between sessions. This short intermission of time is intended to be shared between the instructors occupying the same classroom space for students’ questions or audio visual setups while allowing students to arrive to the next class in a timely fashion.

Classroom Reassignment- Initiated by Classroom Scheduling

From time to time, relocation of courses may occur to accommodate a classroom upgrade or maintenance issue. Classroom Scheduling will exercise every effort in relocation to a suitable campus space.

Departments may pursue a room swap with another department by contacting the alternate departmental scheduler. If agreement is reached, Classroom Scheduling must be notified with details of the agreement. 

Supplemental Instruction Scheduling

All supplemental activities related to schedule of courses such as review sessions, film screenings, lectures, or help sessions can be scheduled on an ad hoc basis after completion of the new schedule of courses term. This occurs after the download of information to the student system (MyUI). 

Help Session Policy

The following policies apply to use of the University Classrooms (UCR) by UI departments for help session assignments.  A help session is defined as an optional, secondary meeting time, not listed on MyUI, offered to students for further assistance or guidance in coursework.  Only departmental representatives may schedule help sessions in university classrooms.  Individual students are unable to secure university classrooms. 

University Classroom space is tight across our campus, especially during prime time hours, Monday thru Fridays.  Consequently, limited options exist for help session assignment during peak demand class times.  However, evening hours provide Classroom Scheduling with more flexibility in scheduling options therefore opening more opportunities for supplemental classroom usage.   

  1. One-Time Help Session Assignment
    • UCRs can be scheduled with the Right to Recall as soon as academic term has been downloaded to MyUI
    • Help session scheduling must follow standardized class time meeting patterns
  2. Semester-Long Help Session Assignment
    • During Prime Time (8:30 am – 5:20 pm M,W, F or 8:30 am – 4:50 pm T,R)
      1. One 50-minute period using a UCR can be scheduled with the Right to Recall during the prime time hours
      2. Assignment of prime time help session space can be scheduled at close of 2nd week of classes in a new academic term
      3. The help session must be scheduled same day and time for the duration of the semester
      4. Help session scheduling must follow standardized class time meeting patterns
      5. Any additional help session classroom assignments must be made during non-peak times (see next section)
    • During Non-Peak Times (5:30 pm M,W,F; 5:00 pm T, R or Weekends)
      1. UCRs can be scheduled immediately during the first week of classes in a new academic term
      2. There is no limit on the number of help sessions scheduled during non-peak class times
      3. The Help Session must be scheduled same day and time for the duration of the semester
      4. Help session scheduling must follow standardized class time meeting patterns
      5. The Help session must take place during operational building hours, unless prior approval granted by Classroom Scheduling

Departments are reminded to consider usage of on-line technology applications such as BBCollaborate (formerly known as E-luminate) as another forum for help sessions should coordination of common meeting times with student schedules become prohibitive.  Please contact the ITS Help Desk for more details at (319) 384-HELP (4357).

Provost Initiative for Increasing Friday Utilization

Classroom utilization on Fridays is currently well below the campus standard. Therefore, departments who schedule one day a week discussion sessions or required courses on Fridays would expand the current level of usage and return student focus towards the classroom. 

Scheduling Priorities for Classroom Assignment

  • The priorities for classroom assignments emerge from the fact that the core of the university is academic and that we are committed to educating students.
    • Classes listed in the schedule of classes at primary meeting times
    • Examinations for classes in the schedule of classes
    • Class-related supplemental activities (e.g., review sessions, make-up testing)
    • Student recruitment activities (e.g., Hawkeye visit days)
    • Other academic activities (e.g., colloquia)
    • Non-academic university activities (e.g., student organization meetings)
    • Outside users