California State University Long Beach

California State University Long Beach

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CSULB: Attacks Capacity Bottlenecks to Support Enrollment Growth

California State University at Long Beach (CSULB), needed to accommodate annual enrollment growth of 2.5 percent in the next 10 years. Renovation and construction plans called for nine small and mid-sized classrooms to be added. These rooms would offset some of the rooms temporarily lost during renovation. No new large lecture rooms, the type that are most heavily utilized at CSULB, were planned. The scheduled loss of two of these rooms by 2010 would continue to impact capacity negatively.

Strategic Space Management

Karen Cizmar, Assistant Director of Academic Support at CSULB, and others on campus engaged Ad Astra Information Systems for a Capacity Management Study.

The study showed very high utilization of lecture and auditorium lecture spaces during CSULB’s prime-time scheduling week—creating hard-to-manage space bottlenecks on campus. In response, CSULB developed reports to support four scheduling strategies: (1) Monitor meeting times’ compliance with the existing scheduling policy; (2) Improve the enrollment/capacity ratio; (3) Allocate unused rooms; (4) Spread the schedule outside of impacted time periods.

The Classroom Utilization Campus Committee and Academic Scheduling/ Enrollment Services teamed with Academic Affairs to communicate with the campus. They “waited for a big storm to erupt,” Cizmar notes, but with evidence supporting the changes, the reaction was “wonderful.”

“By the time students began enrollment, all our lecture classes were in compliance with the scheduling policy or had an approved exception,” Cizmar reports. Plus, CSULB had 43 percent fewer classes without rooms after the initial Fall 2007 department schedules were completed.

Using evidence from the study, 15 proprietary rooms were identified that could hold other departments’ lecture classes. Eleven are now available to the Academic Scheduling office. Classes that formerly could not be offered due to lack of space, are now scheduled into these rooms.

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