In 2007 the University Planning and Resources Committee approved the Timetabling Project as a separate project, to be administered as part of the SLIMS Programme. It provided seed funding for the Project to develop a refined University Timetabling Policy, and a business case outlining how that policy would best be implemented at UTAS. The new Timetabling Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor in 2008. Although the University Planning and Resources Committee endorsed the project Business Case, a budget was not allocated for the Project for 2009. As a result, the Project was put on hold until September 2009, when the Committee undertook a further review and the Project was allocated the needed funds to proceed. In January 2010, the SLIMS Timetabling Project Board approved the purchase of a new, commercially available timetabling application. The application selected was Syllabus Plus. Syllabus Plus was approved on the basis that it was the best fit for the University’s requirements, having been tried and tested at a number of other Australasian universities, and had an established interface with the TechnologyOne student management system to be introduced by the SLIMS Student Management Project.
Discussions about the approach to University timetabling were ongoing from 2006, when the University Teaching Facilities Management Group (TFMG) considered a timetabling discussion paper informed by student focus group feedback. Previous to the introduction of Syllabus Plus, the University was using a room allocation program primarily designed to book centrally managed teaching space, and not equipped to schedule classes. The SLIMS Timetabling Project was designed to address Strategy E10 of the University’s EDGE2 Agenda. This Strategy related to maximising support for the University’s core activities by aligning resources and improving business services and, in particular, calls for a review of the timetabling of teaching and learning activities.
The core objective of the Project was articulated in the UTAS Timetabling Policy. This Policy states that the University should have an efficient and effective teaching timetable that:
In real terms, this means the Project aims to introduce an approach to timetabling that:
Centralised timetabling introduced a number of key changes relevant to academic staff. Essentially, these are:
In particular, School/Centre Timetabling Officers were asked to input and check information relating to the following:
Information was also gathered regarding individual School/Centre requirements such as intensive/block or stream teaching arrangements, use of specialist spaces. In 2010, the Project focussed on installing the new system and produced the first live timetable for the 2011 academic year. Rollout of Syllabus Plus to Schools was accomplished in 2011.
Authorised by the Associate Director, Enterprise Business Services
9 August, 2012