Rise and Whine for 8:40 am Lecture

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Your mornings, next year.

You may need a few more of these.

Big schedule changes are in the pipes for Fall 2012, Columbia. Bottom line is that 8:40 am lectures and 8:00 am sections will exist. Today’s email from the Registrar is after the jump.

Yesterday, Bwog met about the change with Barry Kane, Associate Vice President and University Registrar, and Margaret Edsall, Associate Vice President for Academic Planning.

According to Kane, the “Classroom Committee convened for two years” regarding business “mostly to do with classroom.” Exciting stuff! They were tasked with figuring out how to allocate classrooms between departments and professors most efficiently. The Classroom Committee strongly recommended a new class schedule model; the unenviable task of putting that “conceptual” model into practice fell to Kane’s office.

Quite simply, we don’t have enough space. Due to recent incremental class size increases as well as expansions of majors and programs, there isn’t enough room. Unsurprisingly, “Faculty like to teach when they want to teach, and students like to learn when they want to learn.” This leads to “clumping” of like classes around popular time slots, like 10:35 am and 1:10 pm. Kane explains that when, for instance, a class ups and changes time and place without warning three days before class begins, it’s because there wasn’t a room for it.

Kane openly admits that the change is “not intended to provide a better schedule.” Rather, it is very pragmatically intended “to enhance the availability of classroom space.” This meant treating Arts and Science classes, SEAS classes, and language classes, differently. This isn’t even a solution, Kane contends, but really more of a stopgap measure.

Classrooms “directly affects the transmission of knowledge,” according to Edsall. You’ll see she’s right, if only you’ll consider the difference in quality between a discussion sections in classrooms with floating desks and those in rooms with a kitchen table. This is why departments will get the option of scheduling lectures as early as 8:40 am and as late as 7:40 pm and of scheduling sections as early as 8 am and as late as 9:10 pm.

However, there is hope for the future in Manhattanville: “If we got Uris, that would make a tremendous difference.”

Full e-mail:

Dear Students:

As you know, the initial registration period for fall classes takes place the week of April 9-13, 2012. As you begin to think about your fall academic program, we wanted you to know that, starting this fall, we will be using a new Master Schedule of Classes, which is attached to this memorandum. Also attached are the class schedules that will be used by the School of Engineering and Applied Science and by the foreign language departments in order to best accommodate their unique requirements.

These schedules were developed by the Arts and Sciences Ad Hoc Classroom Committee that completed its work last year. The Committee took a comprehensive look at patterns of classroom use and identified a range of things we could do to improve scheduling and the way we allocate our classroom spaces. The Committee consulted broadly, taking the classroom scheduling patterns of Arts and Sciences departments and schools, as well as Barnard and SEAS, into consideration. It made recommendations to address a broad range of issues, the two most pressing being the availability of electronic classrooms and the challenges of finding suitable classrooms, especially at hours of peak use.

One important outcome of the new Master Schedule of Classes is the addition of new lecture periods on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, which will significantly increase the number of classes that can be scheduled in existing classrooms.  This, however, means that not all classes will begin and end at the times to which you are accustomed.

As you plan your academic program for the fall, we ask that you begin preparations for next year’s curriculum with the new Schedule of Classes in mind. You may consult with your adviser if you have additional questions.

Finally, we are also pleased to announce that, in response to the Classroom Committee’s recommendations, 46 classrooms have been outfitted with electronic podiums, projectors, and screens and are in use this year, bringing the total number to 88 out of 116.  We hope to complete the conversion of our remaining 28 classrooms into electronic classrooms by summer of 2013.

Best wishes for the rest of the semester.

Rude awakening via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Truth  

    Seems inevitable that something like this was going to happen with class sizes and what have you. My question for Bwog is who was on this "Classroom Committee"? Was this facilities? Faculty? Students (God forbid, don't let the students have an actual voice in these decisions)? Can you (or someone else) find out for us?

  2. Anonymous  


    Someone please shoot me now.

  3. Anonymous  

    I barely go to any of my 9AM classes, and neither do a lot of my friends. Guess what attendance will look like at 8:40?

  4. Anonymous

    Please start decreasing the freshman class size! The best part about Columbia is all the small classes and intimate campus.

    • Alum

      That would be great, but Columbia can't afford to lose the tuition revenue. The class size was expanded, in part, to pay for renovations, new construction and additional faculty. Columbia has already made those investments and needs the tuition to pay them off. Unless the university unexpectedly gets hundreds of millions of dollars worth of unrestricted endowment, reducing the class size won't be feasible.

  5. Anonymous

    Did Columbia ever convert all the old science library space into labs and classrooms?

    • Anonymous  

      Fairchild (old Biology library) is now where Continuing Education is located and Pupin (old Physics library) is going to become space for graduate students. Those libraries weren't really that big to begin with anyway...

  6. Anonymous

    Add more floors to NoCo.

    • Anonymous  

      Might not be able to, due to NYC building codes.

      • Alum

        It's not just the codes. Once it's fully equipped, stocked, populated and furnished, NoCo will be almost as heavy as the gym underneath it can hold. (The funky pattern of trusses is a high-tech way to make the building lighter than it would otherwise be. Without that system, it couldn't be as big as it is now.) Adding more floors would make the whole structure collapse.

  7. Anonymous

    When are Fall 2012 courses going to be posted? Registration is in a little over a week and a want to plan my schedule!!!

  8. Anonymous  

    rise and wine*

  9. Anonymous  

    Considering a lot of people stay up until 3-4 AM doing work, yes, that is very little sleep we are running on. Asshole.

  10. Anonymous  

    And the senior fund asks why I don't want to donate money to this caring institution...

    • Anonymous

      Did, you go to school 5 days a week, at seven am, miles away for years before this? My how time evaporates your memory.

      • Anonymous  

        yea...and I'm even LESS likely to give money to my high school.

      • Anonymous

        It's just another example of Columbia not caring about students when making decisions. They keep increasing class size to get more money and then punish students because of their decisions. The constant mess with housing, no class space, not enough space for clubs (because they rent out Lerner during business hours instead of letting students use it), not letting students on the lawns because we might ruin them, etc etc.

        I also didn't have to be in school at 9pm in high school.

        • Alum

          Increasing the class size has benefits as well as costs. If you only look at the costs, then of course you'll think it was a dumb thing to do. But adding students allowed Columbia to expand the faculty, build Lerner (trust me, it's a lot better than FBH) and new dorms, renovate older buildings, etc.

  11. Coming from South Park...  
  12. Anonymous  

    Cmon guys this reaction makes us look so privileged and whiny. It's not that big of a deal. Don't sign up fo them if you don't like waking up that early.

  13. anon  

    people stay that late because they are dumb and either can't plan their work... or are too ambitious. sorry folks.

  14. alum

    In fall 2008, Game Theory, originally scheduled for 10:35am got moved to 7:45am. Halfway through the semester, even the prof wouldn't show up until at least 7:50. boy that was painful

  15. ...  

    ahh class crunches, they'll probably also schedule finals for 7:30pm on 12/24...

    but you know what, i don't care because i won't be here.

    sooooo long suckerzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  16. Steven Castellano  

    Thanks for the love, everyone (particularly whoever sent the link above). I think the worst part about all this is that there has been no discussion about this with students until now. After I found out about this practically by accident from an administrator, my follow-up conversation with the registrar could have been found on the pages of Catch-22. Knowing "something" was up, I then found out from academic advisers and professors that the plan was to start lectures at 8:15 until it recently turned out that no professor was interested in that time (similar to alum's story above). Throughout this whole process, we have been largely kept in the dark until just now, days before registration and still without many of the course times posted. Not cool.

  17. Anonymous

    Fuck this fucking fuck of a fuck-hole

  18. Anonymous  

    "enhance the availability of classroom space"

    Really dude? Enhance the availability of.... fuck man.

    Just say "make more space" for the love of God.

  19. Deantini 2012

    Deantini will end early classes.

    Deantini will tear down the Lerner spiral staircase.

    Deantini will give you a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend, if you're female and gay. If you're straight and male he will buy you a unicorn bridle so you can gallop through your nonexistent meadows forever. When you come out the closet, he will have the good grace to be surprised.

    Deantini will bring back the old Facebook.

    Deantini will make that guy in your CC class stop talking.

    Deantini knows a doctor who will totally give you Adderall.

    Deantini will always pour out the first ounce of his 40 for Moody-Adams.

  20. The Shadowy Tuber  

    Having the bwog do your dirty work, spec. I always knew that you were in their pants squirming around. I will not stand for such collusion in an open market economy. I hope that you are happy with yourselves. You have crushed the journalist dream of every Columbian since Leroy Jenkins, a loyal supporter of my cause. Learn more at spec

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