Growth brings challenges. The Pipe Dream’s editorial staff identified one of the challenges in its recent editorial, “After Hours.”
To serve our growing student population better, Binghamton University has added almost 100 tenure-track faculty and dozens of new courses during the past three years. That’s a good thing. We have lowered the student-faculty ratio, offered students additional academic opportunities and strengthened research.
The University has also added classrooms to accommodate additional faculty, classes and students. In January 2015, a major renovation of the Student Wing that will add over 20 new, state-of-the-art classrooms begins. Progress has its price, however; 20 existing classrooms will be out of service during the spring 2015 semester, making class scheduling more challenging.
To accommodate this temporary reduction of classrooms, we have asked schools and departments to spread their courses across the day and into the evening. Some classes will end as late as 10 p.m.
The new scheduling guidelines will certainly inconvenience some students and faculty.
Fortunately, the inconvenience will not be as great as the Pipe Dream editorial suggests. In spring 2015, only 34 classes will end at 9:30 p.m. or after. More than half are graduate classes or health and wellness classes, offerings that frequently meet at night. Indeed, only two more classes will end at 9:30 p.m. or after in spring 2015 than in spring 2014. To sum up, a total of 34 classes out of 2,520 scheduled for spring 2015 will end at or after 9:30 p.m.
And while there may be inconveniences, the new scheduling guidelines have distinct benefits for students. By ensuring that classes are more evenly distributed across the day and week, students will encounter fewer conflicts among classes they need or want to take and will be better able to graduate in four years.
I regret the inconvenience our new policies may cause and appreciate the cooperation we have received from schools and departments in developing the spring 2015 schedule. As we have more classrooms available in fall 2015 and after, we will revisit our class scheduling guidelines and schedule fewer evening classes. However, we remain committed to an approach that minimizes class conflicts for students and promotes timely graduation.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs