Dear Members of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Community:
I want to give you a new update on the course scheduling software platform being implemented at Rutgers–New Brunswick. As you may know, this new scheduling system is part of a broader effort to improve our students’ educational experience and reduce both their course-related travel and their time-to-degree. We have already used information about our students’ schedules to influence housing decisions in order to reduce travel time. As a result, bus congestion has gone down even with our increased enrollment.
Now we are moving to implement the course scheduling platform, and we are being deliberate in this process so we can be sure to produce a scheduling system that is properly tested and works well for both students and faculty.
The Office of Scheduling and Space Management has been collecting individual instructor availability and has begun to run the second scheduling simulation on the Spring 2019 schedule using the new platform. As President Barchi has stressed, this new course scheduling system will help us reduce course-related travel and, more importantly, time-to-degree. But the platform will also help us better accommodate our faculty’s schedules. In addition to compiling the responses, the scheduling office has collected feedback from faculty on the availability form, which is vital to further refining this process.
To ensure adequate time to thoroughly analyze the Spring 2019 scheduling simulation and make any needed adjustments for the subsequent semester, the project team will delay the full launch and will begin production scheduling using the new platform for the Spring 2020 semester. While the delay is unexpected, we want to get this right.
Running a third simulation on the Fall 2019 semester schedule will also enable the Office of Scheduling and Space Management to provide additional training on the new platform to the school and departmental scheduling officers. Moreover, it will give departments more time to modify their course scheduling workflow, further ensuring a smooth transition once we launch the new system.
Finally, I’d like to thank the staff from the many offices working tirelessly on this important initiative, and the faculty who are assisting with the simulation and testing. Together, they are providing yet another example of our collective commitment to continuing to improve our students’ Rutgers experience.
Christopher J. Molloy, Ph.D.
Interim Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick