Texas Tech University


[Date changed–posted 1/29/16 (replaces 2/21/12 edition)]
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 Texas Tech University academic coat of arms

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 61.23: Use of University Classrooms and Academic Facilities

DATE: January 29, 2016

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to ensure understanding and standardized procedures in handling matters related to scheduling classrooms by academic units, registered student organizations in accordance with the Student Handbook, and other support programs.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in January of even-numbered years by the Director of Academic Support and Facilities Resources (ASFR) and the Senior Vice Provost with recommended revisions forwarded to the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP).


1.  Priority

a.    Academic space and facilities of the university are intended primarily to support the on-going instructional program of the institution. Secondary priority is given to programs sponsored and conducted by university academic and administrative departments, by organizations affiliated with such departments, or by registered student organizations. Other use of campus space and facilities may be permitted for activities intended to serve or benefit the university community.

b.    With approval from the PSVP, space may be prescheduled and reserved before classes are scheduled (e.g., a national or regional conference that would bring significant recognition to the university might be scheduled). Once reserved (usually one to three years in advance), such space needs are incorporated into the university schedule plans. Temporary relocation of classes may be required during these activities.

c.    University academic buildings or grounds may be used only by individuals connected with the university. An individual who is not a student, faculty, or staff member may attend functions held on university property, but the function must be sponsored by and affiliated with a university department or registered student organization.

2.  Scheduling

a.    The use of academic space falls under the direction of ASFR; this includes all university owned schedulable space. ASFR will always take into consideration the tenants of the building when scheduling courses and events. The Office of Academic Support and Facilities Resources will remain a neutral party and base scheduling decisions on benefits to the majority of the student population. The following areas are not under the direction of ASFR:

Student Union, Law School, Student Recreation Center, West Hall, the Library, Museum, National Ranching Heritage Center, International Cultural Center, United Spirit Arena, Doak Conference Center, Frazier Alumni Pavilion, McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center, Kent Hance Chapel, Jones AT&T Stadium, residence halls, and other auxiliary or administrative buildings. Any use of academic space by student organizations must be approved by ASFR. The university is under no obligation to honor reservations made outside approved operating procedures. No department, student, or registered organization may reserve academic space or facilities on campus and then permit its use by a non-registered organization or off-campus group or person.

b.    Reservations must be made through appropriate offices for the use of rooms in buildings controlled by the university. Reservation requests must be made to ASFR, except for those buildings noted in 2.a above, and are granted based on availability and the priorities of the desired space. Applications from registered student organizations must be submitted either online at the ASFR Web site or in person at the ASFR office.

c.    Requests for heating or cooling outside of normal operating hours should be cleared with ASFR to confirm room and energy requirements. If such requests concern academic classrooms or facilities, they must be made in writing to the Office of ASFR and must include specific rooms, dates, times, and justifications. The university reserves the right to charge a utilities fee to organizations outside the Texas Tech community using academic space outside normal HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) operating hours.

3.  Academic Classes

a.    Academic units may schedule specified classrooms and class labs within guidelines and policies provided by ASFR.

b.    Space Use Policy – Reservations for academic classes outside user priority areas or for specific space, other than labs, must be scheduled through ASFR. When necessary, restrictions will be communicated to the academic units concerning the maximum number of sections that may be scheduled at any one time. Classroom assignments will be based on the most effective use of campus facilities.

(1)    The current methodology sets the goal/guideline for classroom utilization at 38 HPW for classrooms and 25 HPW for class labs.

(2)   Percent fill can be used to determine the need for additional facilities. To determine percent fill, an average number of seats filled per activity by room type (110 & 210). Currently 65 percent occupancy is the goal average for classrooms. A higher fill expectation is noted in laboratory areas (77 percent).

c.    Prime Time Usage Ratio – Departmental section schedules are to be distributed weekly throughout the standard times with 50 percent being held during off prime times and 50 percent held during prime times. Prime time is defined for long semesters as MWF classes 9:00 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. and TR 9:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. For summer semesters, prime time is defined as MTWRF 10:00 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.

d.    Time Grid Policy – Classes and labs are to be scheduled on standard university time-start and time-stop cycles. Justifications for deviations from standard time cycles must be submitted by the academic unit to ASFR for prior approval. Classes not meeting on standard time cycles normally will be scheduled during hours of non-peak usage. Classes scheduled between 9:00
a.m. to 3:00 p.m. MWF or 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p. m. TR must meet on time cycle unless scheduled in academic space that has been approved by ASFR to hold off-time cycle sections. Sections need no justification if starting at or after 3:00 p.m. MWF or 3:30 p.m. TR for irregular class times. Classes that are scheduled between 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. MWF or TR off-time cycle will need to submit justification to ASFR for approval. If a department can present academic reasons as to why this course should be allowed to meet off university approved time cycle, then the request will be granted. Classes that have a start time of 4:00
p.m. and later do not require approval. Class labs often require one-day meetings; however, they must start on time cycle and follow the directions stated above.

e.    Satellite Campuses – Many satellite campuses are operating in conjunction with other colleges and universities. Therefore, TTU satellite campuses are allowed to schedule off the Texas Tech University approved time cycle, but only after proper documentation has been received by ASFR.

TTU Approved Time Cycle

Summer Class Times
8:00-9:50 a.m.
10:00-11:50 a.m.
12:00-1:50 p.m.
2:00-3:50 p.m.
4:00-5:50 OR 4:30-6:20 p.m.
6:00-9:00 p.m.

4.  Security

a.    Requests for locking and unlocking outside doors in academic buildings on a one-time or continuing basis must be approved by ASFR. Texas Tech personnel do not unlock outside doors without prior approval from ASFR. Custodial Services personnel are not authorized to vary outside door locking/unlocking schedules.

b.    Students and faculty in academic space after hours should be able to produce a student identification card, faculty/staff identification card, or valid driver's license when one is requested by a university official.

c.    Academic departments are urged to avoid scheduling activities that necessitate having buildings unlocked on weekends and holidays; however, if they must occur, prior approval from ASFR is required.

d.    Keys to classroom doors are issued in accordance with OP 61.15. Academic departments choosing to lock classroom doors are responsible for authorizing the issuance of keys to instructors assigned classroom space in their building. If a department chooses to lock academic space, it is the department's responsibility to communicate this to ASFR so that outside areas are aware of the policy. Departments are also responsible for ensuring that instructors have access to classrooms until keys are issued. Classroom doors must be unlocked by academic departments during final examinations, including Saturdays.

5.  Final Examinations

a.    Final examinations are scheduled in accordance with OP 34.10. Room reservation requests for departmental or multi-section examinations must be submitted in writing to ASFR no earlier than 60 days and no later than 30 days before the first day of final examinations. Classroom space desired for final examinations (different from that assigned for class use during the semester) should also be requested in writing during this period. Reservations are confirmed in writing.

b.    Requests for changes in examination time must be submitted in writing to the Senior Vice Provost after being approved in writing by the appropriate dean and department chair.

c.    Meetings, conferences, etc., held during the final examination period should be restricted, particularly those using classroom space. No student meetings will be permitted in classrooms during this period.

6.  Student Organizations

a.    Any registered student organization may request space in academic buildings for specific purposes. These purposes may include, but are not limited to, regular meetings of honorary or professional organizations, one-time-only lectures, seminars, or workshops, study halls, and special programs or functions. Activities must be appropriate to the space and time. Application for such use must be scheduled through ASFR according to established procedures.

Students with approved reservations for academic space must be able to present a student identification card when requested by any university official. Failure to do so will result in the student or group being asked to leave the building. Student groups using academic space without permission are subject to loss of use privileges for a time specified by the ASFR director and/or other disciplinary action.

b.    All assignments are based on use consistent with the purposes of the university and on available space. This space is assigned under the following conditions:

(1)    The intended use is in keeping with the educational purposes of the university;

(2)    The intended use does not conflict with use by academic programs or academic organizations;

(3)    No suitable space is available in the Student Union; and

(4)    The intended use does not conflict with normal security, custodial, and maintenance schedules.

c.    Written requests from established departments or registered student organizations should be renewed each semester or at the discretion of ASFR. Rooms are not reserved for use during final examination periods. Academic use by departments and colleges has priority over other uses, and organizational assignments may be changed or cancelled if conflicts with regular academic programs develop.

d.    Registered student organizations must be out of the building by 10:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, unless authorized in writing by ASFR. Requests for extended hours, after 10:00 p.m. on weeknights or on weekends, must be presented in writing directly to the Office of ASFR at least ten days prior to the date of the event. At the discretion of ASFR staff, an organization or group may be asked to pay a predetermined fee to cover security costs. With very few exceptions, academic buildings are not available for use by student groups on weekends. The group using the facility is responsible for returning it to its original condition of cleanliness, chair arrangement, etc. Any group leaving a room in poor condition will be charged a minimum $25 fee for extra custodial service. Any organization that causes damage to university facilities, furniture, and/or audio/visual equipment may be held financially responsible for the repair/replacement of those items.

e.    Because academic classes may be meeting nearby, student groups using classrooms are expected to conduct their activities quietly. Complaints from instructors may result in the cancellation of a reservation. Disruptive behavior may result in a group being escorted from the building.

f.    Some academic spaces require the organization's full-time faculty/staff advisor to be present while in use by a student organization. If the organization's advisor is required to be present, the advisor must submit written notification to ASFR of their intent to attend. The advisor agrees to oversee the event and enforce the rules governing use of academic space.

g.    An organization that does not abide by the rules governing use of academic space may be denied further access to such space.

7.  Support Programs

Organizations such as the Center for Professional Development, Upward Bound, IDEAL, Special Services, Academic Testing Services, etc., may reserve rooms in academic facilities when space is available. Specific space reservations made with ASFR earlier than 90 days before the scheduled use may be preempted by academic needs. Reservations for recurring use must be renewed each semester. Academic use by departments and colleges has priority over other uses.

Operating Policies & Procedures