I. Purpose

Physical space at the University of Colorado Boulder is a finite and valuable asset. Given our primary mission of teaching, learning and discovery , all instructional spaces shall be controlled and managed in such a way as to maximize their utilization and ensure appropriate usage. This policy addresses effective scheduling of instructional spaces and appropriate technology and ongoing maintenance of this space, while recognizing the need to remain current with emerging pedagogical practices and tools.

II. Policy Statement

The intent of this policy is to ensure that instructional spaces are managed, maintained and scheduled in a deliberate, equitable and appropriate manner that promotes CU Boulder’s instructional needs and academic mission. This includes:

  1. Making instruction the top priority for instructional space
  2. Improving the utilization, management, and scheduling of instructional space
  3. Enhancing the teaching and learning experience

III. Procedures

A. Scheduling

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for assigning space for instructional activities within the parameters of this policy. It is authorized to optimize assignment of centrally-scheduled classrooms and instructional labs based on enrollment and pedagogical needs. This authority extends to operational decisions such as specifying that some number of classes be scheduled outside peak hours, fixing minimum target enrollments for rooms, canceling sections with no or low enrollments, and adjusting room assignments based on scheduling, capacities and technology requirements.

  1. Instructional space in new or significantly renovated buildings will be designated as centrally-scheduled, unless an exception is granted by the Provost and the Chief Operating Officer.
  2. Centrally-scheduled classrooms , which include classrooms designated with department-priority, must adhere to standard meeting patterns. See F. Definitions. a. Exceptions to standard meeting patterns must be approved by the Office of the Registrar, and may require an approved memorandum of understanding (MOU).
  3. Departmentally-scheduled classrooms will be scheduled as follows:
    1. Departments are responsible for the scheduling and efficient utilization of departmentally-scheduled classrooms .
    2. Departmentally-scheduled classrooms may be scheduled in non-standard meeting patterns as needed.
    3. Departments must report the locations of classes scheduled in departmentally-scheduled classrooms to the Office of the Registrar before the first day of classes each term.
    4. Departmentally-scheduled classrooms may be available for student, faculty, and staff use during unscheduled time as appropriate.
    5. Departmentally-scheduled classrooms that are underutilized for instruction or other purposes and/or are needed for emergency uses may be considered for centralization.

B. Technology, Infrastructure and Support

Instructional spaces, including both centrally-scheduled classrooms and departmentally-scheduled classrooms must be equipped with minimum standard furniture and technology in order for students and faculty to have a unified experience. The Office of Infrastructure and Sustainability is responsible for the maintenance, repair, renovation, and furniture in these spaces.

  1. Instructional spaces may have significant technology as an attribute of the room, to support instruction.
    1. Classes that utilize the specific technology in those instructional spaces will be given priority in those spaces over those that do not use the specific technology. This applies to both centrally-scheduled and departmentally-scheduled classrooms. Classes that do not utilize the specific technology may be restricted from being scheduled in those spaces, regardless of where they are located.
    2. Technology deployed in instructional spaces, including centrally-scheduled classrooms and departmentally-scheduled classrooms, will adhere to minimum standards for instructional technology in classrooms as determined by the Office of Information Technology.
    3. The Office of Information Technology is responsible for on-call technology support in centrally-scheduled classrooms . Departments are responsible for on-call technology support for departmentally-scheduled classrooms.
  2. Instructional spaces may have unique facility or furniture attributes to support specific modalities of instruction.
    1. Classes that utilize the specific facilities, equipment or seating configurations will be given priority in those instructional spaces over those that do not require those specifications. This applies to both centrally-scheduled and departmentally-scheduled classrooms. 
    2. Facility maintenance, repairs, and renovations will be completed or managed by the Office of Infrastructure and Sustainability in both centrally-scheduled and departmentally-scheduled classrooms. 
    3. Furniture will be provided and maintained by the Office of Infrastructure and Sustainability in centrally-scheduled classrooms .

C. Funding

Instructional spaces, including both centrally-scheduled and departmentally-scheduled classrooms consist of four funding elements for technology and furniture: 1) initial build, 2) renovation, 3) repair, 4) renewal and replacement (R&R). A fifth funding element, unique to technology, is on-call tech support. A mix of funding sources, either central or departmental, can comprise the strategy for funding an instructional space.

  1. For centrally-scheduled classrooms , including department-priority classrooms , initial build, renovation, repair, and R&R for either technology or furniture may come from the General Fund, dependent on the campus priority for the use of space and available funding. These decisions will be made in coordination with the Budget Office and managed by the Office of Information Technology and/or Office of Infrastructure and Sustainability who will perform the work.
  2. Departments will maintain control over departmentally-scheduled classrooms that are technology-refreshed utilizing department funds.
  3. Departmentally-scheduled classrooms that are significantly renovated , regardless of source of funds will become centrally-scheduled.
  4. Any departmentally-scheduled classroom being converted to a centrally-scheduled classroom , whether an existing space or new, will require coordination with the Budget Office to determine timing and availability of funding for repair and R&R funding.
  5. On-call tech support for centrally-scheduled classrooms is the responsibility of the Office of Information Technology. Each fiscal year by October 1, the Office of Information Technology will provide a reconciliation of on-call support increases or decreases accounting for rooms being included or taken off of the centrally-scheduled classroom inventory. The Budget Office will assess whether additional funding is available to accommodate increases or whether funding should be reduced to account for decreases.
  6. Departments are responsible for repairs and R&R for either furniture or technology as well as on-call tech support in departmentally-scheduled classrooms.
  7. D. Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy must be detailed in an Instructional Space MOU and approved by the Provost and the Chief Operating Officer. Types of exceptions include, but are not limited to:

  • Central-scheduling priority of departmentally-scheduled instructional space
  • Department-priority of a centrally-scheduled instructional space
  • Re-designation of departmentally-scheduled instructional space to central scheduling
  • Re-designation of centrally-scheduled instructional space to departmentally-scheduled
  • Day/Time restrictions of a centrally-scheduled instructional space
  • Semester/Term restrictions of a centrally-scheduled space
  • Furniture/Furnishings
  • Technology/Maintenance and Support

E. Reporting

The Office of Space Optimization, in conjunction with the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Information Technology, and the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Resource Management or their designee will regularly review classroom effectiveness and utilization statistics to ensure highest value and make adjustments as necessary. They will make recommendations to the Provost, Chief Operating Officer, and the Capital Governance Group for any modifications to the designation of classrooms as either departmentally or centrally controlled.

F. Definitions

  1. Centrally-scheduled classrooms are instructional spaces scheduled by the Office of the Registrar. Approximately, one-third of the classroom inventory is centrally-scheduled. A current listing of centrally-scheduled classrooms is maintained and published on the Registrar’s website.
    1. Department-priority classrooms are centrally-scheduled classrooms in which designated departments have scheduling priority for their instructional needs.
  2. Departmentally-scheduled classrooms are instructional spaces managed by departments, programs, schools or colleges in which classes, as well as other non instructional unit activities, may be scheduled at the department’s discretion.
  3. Instructional Spaces are physical spaces used on campus, designated for instructional activities. These primarily include classrooms (see definition below) but temporarily could be applied to other spaces on campus such as outdoor spaces, athletic assembly spaces, conference rooms, etc. 
    1. Classrooms , as defined by the Postsecondary Education Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual (FICM), are rooms or spaces used primarily for instruction and that are not tied to a specific subject or discipline by equipment in the room or the configuration of the space. The Office of Space Optimization determines primary use through surveys, client interviews, and/or scheduling data.
  4. Instructional Technology Minimum Standards OIT will maintain and publish a current set of specifications to achieve appropriate standards consistent with teaching modalities and classroom capabilities and types.
  5. Significantly renovated is defined as a Level 2 alteration or greater, per the International Existing Building Code definition. Level 2 alterations include the reconfiguration of space, the addition or elimination of any door or window, the reconfiguration or extension of any system, or the installation of any additional equipment.
  6. Standard meeting patterns define the room rotation by which academic units and the Office of the Registrar schedule classes in centrally-scheduled, including department-priority classrooms. See Office of the Registrar Class and Facility Scheduling.

Original Authors:

Chris Ewing; Space Utilization Steering Committee: Ann Carlos, Chris Ewing, David Hamrick, William Haverly,

Carla Ho-a, David Jacobs, David Kang, Bill Kaempfer, Kambiz Khalili, Mary Kraus, William Kuskin, Larry

Levine, Stacy P Lindholm, Alexis Macklin, Ben Neeser, Debbie Otterstrom, Cindy Pickett, Patricia Rankin,

Leslie Reynolds, Catherine Shea, Zack Tupper, Steve Vassallo, Kristi Wold-McCormick, JoAnn Zelasko.

Revision Authors

Kevin Griffin, Marin Stanek, Kristi Wold-McCormick

Origional Effective Date

July 28, 2016

Revised Effective Date

July 19, 2021

Approved By

Philip P. DiStefano Chancellor