Priority Scheduling

4 Replies

Priority Scheduling

Posted by Kyle Augustitus on Jun 18, 2019 11:34 am


I wanted to gather information on how others handle their priority event scheduling for when you open up the following academic year calendar.  For us at the University of Cincinnati we have created a priority list.  This list enables these groups to schedule all of their events before opening up scheduling to the entire campus.  As you could imagine the Presidents Office, Admissions Department Events, Orientation, and Commencement are at the top of the list.  It is the events such as student organization weekly meetings and banquets that have been added to the list over the years that has caused the list to get out of control, as everyone thinks their events are priority.  I am here to see if I can gather some ideas to incorporate a new policy that is fair and inclusive to all.   

Any comments back would be greatly helpful and appreciated.

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Re: Priority Scheduling

Posted by Nora Molloy on Jun 19, 2019 6:38 am

Ah perennial problem for all of us! Sounds like you need to establish some definitions. We are a large building doing about 9000 meetings and events annually and these policies in roughly this same format have been working for us for many many years.
For our 2 largest Banquet Rooms (largest on campus):
  • During non academic times, can be scheduled 3 years out, no formal priority process as we are currently not in over-demand situation outside of June orientation.
  • During academic times, can be scheduled 1 year out.
    • ---Priority is given first to the "required for core mission" campus events - admission, orientation, undergrad research conference etc.
    • ---Second priority is given to annual traditional events that are a part of the campus culture -and most of these are tied to specific dates or months. For us this includes things like an Annual Veterans ceremony in November, and LGBTQ breakfast in April, International Community Reception in Sept., some of the Cultural related dates like Diwiali or Black Family Weekend. These can be dept. or student events. My scheduling office collects everything and then, for example, at the end of Nov, beginning of Dec, will confirm all the Nov. requests for next year. So that month by month happens on a rolling basis and we can negotiate and massage dates within a couple days or weeks to get most everything in. There are always a few "political" calls. Typically for us, if this is a first time event that isn't core mission, its not going to make priority status if there is a conflict. If a conflict is not automatically sorted by the above process, if it is student event vs. dept event, for us, students get priority. If it is dept. by dept., and we couldn't negotiate somehow, we might even toss it up to the appropriate Deans and let them fight it out. Then you aren't in the position of needing to justify whose event is more important. That is a dangerous slippy slide I don't generally want to touch.
    • ---Depending on the event, there are sometimes exceptions made to include other "smaller" rooms with the reservation for the large space.
For our the rest of our movie theaters and 20 or so meeting rooms of various sizes:
There is a "priority scheduling" window that opens beginning of Feb for about 6 weeks. During that time, everyone submits their requests for the coming academic year. At the close of the window they are confirmed int his order:
  • Anything that might fall into the core mission or campus traditions as described above.
  • Anything for student orgs
  • Anything for departments
  • Anything for external groups
All of these events are processed at the end of 6 weeks. We do some negotiating and moving of folks to give them a date and time but maybe a different room etc. Any requests that are submitted after this 6 week window are handled on a first come first served basis no matter who you are or which space you want.

We use EMS for scheduling and collect almost all of this information through the web app. So if you are on EMS or other online request system, I can talk to you about how we manage that large volume of things coming in at once, by assigning request statuses.

Breathe deep and forge on!


Nora Molloy
Univ. of NH

Re: Priority Scheduling

Posted by Katie Wilson on Jun 19, 2019 9:43 am


At Armstrong Student Center, we are completely student fee funded so our policy prioritizes student events...and admissions/enrollment events. Additional events are approved by the student board.  Other than student government and the programming board, approval is by event not by department.  We do some one time exceptions for celebrations and other things that might be one time events but need to be scheduled further out than is normally allowed.  We have one weekly meeting on the list and, frankly, it is so large (300+) it was easier for us to just schedule it than leave it up to chance that they would forget to do it on the first day.  I weave it into the schedule after all other events are set and they are not guaranteed a space for every week.

Priority Scheduling Policy:
Events approved for priority scheduling are:

  1. Events approved by the Armstrong Student Center Board for Priority Scheduling
  2. Armstrong Student Center Board events
  3. Miami Activities and Programming Events
  4. Approved Associated Student Government Events

Criteria for priority scheduling approval

The Armstrong Student Center Board will consider requests for priority scheduling (before the student organization advance reservation period) for a limited number of events. This process is designed to provide special consideration for events:

  • Targeted at admitting students or accepted students who have not yet enrolled;
  • That can only be held at a certain time of the year (university academic calendar or a cultural, religious or national holidays, etc.); or
  • That can only be held in the Armstrong Student Center due to the size and logistics of the program.

With the exception of admissions related events, events approved for priority scheduling should also meet these criteria:

  • Has occurred on campus at least one time prior to submission of the request;
  • Are expected to occur annually;
  • Will be open to all students; and
  • Is primarily targeted at students.

Process for requesting priority scheduling approval

Step 1. Submit letter of application (e-mail) to the Director of the Armstrong Student Center and ASC Board. The request must include a justification for the request, as well as the specific dates/time period/date range, space(s) and times that are being requested. 

Step 2. The Armstrong Student Center Board will discuss the request to determine the impact on other campus events. Pending “preliminary approval” by the board, the Director (or designee) will invite the requesting department or organization to attend a Armstrong Student Center Board Meeting to discuss the request.

Step 3. During the Armstrong Student Center Board (or sub-committee) meeting, the requesting department or organization will be given the opportunity to communicate the request and the Director (or designee) will provide information on the impact of the request. A discussion with members will follow.

Step 4. The request will be tabled to the next Armstrong Student Center Board meeting at which time a vote will be taken. The Board may decide to approve the request, approve a modified request or deny the request.

Step 5. Continuing approval for priority scheduling is not guaranteed. Sponsoring organizations will submit updated information, a confirmation of continuing need and date(s) of event(s) annually. Sponsoring organizations that do not request dates for two consecutive years will lose their approval and must re-submit their application the following year.

Re: Priority Scheduling

Posted by Katie Wilson on Jun 19, 2019 9:44 am

Sorry--forgot "signature" on my last post re. Armstrong Student Center policies

Katie Wilson
Director, Armstrong Student Center
Miami University 

Re: Priority Scheduling

Posted by Brian Koehler on Jun 19, 2019 11:27 am

We are fortunate enough to have a centralized scheduling process for all spaces on campus - therefore we have a pretty simple process (although we have run into a few political landmines from time to time - but that usually comes top-down, so everyone just gets out of the way and does not question too much)

We are on a quarterly system here at Central Washington.  Academic scheduling takes priority over anything else, and schedules classes a quarter in advance.  Therefore, non-academic event scheduling is only allowed to schedule for the current quarter and the next quarter up to finals week.  Once academic scheduling is finished placing classes - it is open to the general community.

We allow events to be scheduled in the Student Union, Library, or Recreation controlled spaces up to 1 year in advance because classes do not get placed into these locations (ie Today is June 19, 2019.  Therefore if you wanted to schedule for June 21, 2020, you would need to wait until tomorrow).

We schedule ALL groups on a first-come, first-serve basis.  We do not have any other priority process.

Departments can submit requests for future use of their own spaces, and our office will create a DRAFT event for those dates.  The draft acts as a ticket for a holding place in line - for example the gymnasium (athletic department controlled space) is used for academic classes as well as athletic practices.  Therefore, we cannot technically schedule the basketball practice times until Winter classes get placed - meanwhile the coaches want to ensure their practices are in a holding pattern.  We create draft events for the practice times and that acts as the coach's "first in line ticket" for the space once it is available to be scheduled.