9 Key Players for Creating a Campus-Wide Scheduling Strategy

October 22, 2018


Higher education institutions are undergoing a sea change in how they manage space and scheduling. As campuses face increasing demands to keep tuition affordable while managing aging facilities, they are also evolving to meet changing employee and student expectations, lowering costly real estate expenses, and shifting away from underutilized physical resources toward flexible, empowered spaces.

It’s an evolution that must include an institution-wide approach to be successful.

Leaders and staff across all departments benefit from campus space optimization, and it’s vital to bring multiple stakeholders to the conversation when choosing a space and resource management platform. Otherwise, your campus risks missing out on the benefits these solutions provide, including making your institution more efficient, engaging and secure.

Strengths and Perspectives 

Different stakeholders bring various strengths and perspectives to the table. For example, the events team can shed light on how inspire the student experience, while IT might focus on creating a simplified user experience that leads to faster adoption. And though their exact titles vary by campus, depending in large part upon the institution’s makeup, the key is to ensure all of these departments are involved – because all their voices are important.

  1. Registrars
    The Registrar likely already knows how to utilize robust scheduling to identify how best to use space for class planning. They understand what the faculty needs to have in a space to teach effectively, from room size to technology to other amenities, and they improve the student experience by making sure campus spaces are optimal for learning. Their input in creating an optimization strategy is vital in helping your campus select tools that ensure classroom and exam spaces are scheduled efficiently and cost-effectively.
  2. Campus Events Coordinators
    These individuals have a grasp of the complex workflows involved in the scheduling and coordination of events, spaces, meetings and services, and will simplify the meeting planning and management process using a single system of record and automated reporting, invoicing and notifications. With the right strategy, this group can help free up staff so they can focus on inspiring students by engaging them and giving them opportunities to broaden their skills and develop leadership.
  3. Events Services Managers
    For greater insight and control over event services, including cost savings from reduced food and inventory waste, the Service Manager’s inclusion at the table is critical. By making sure deliveries are on time, notifications are streamlined, budgets stay on track, and reporting gives greater visibility into the data, this team not only saves your institution money and resources, they also ensure that event attendees are impressed by a best-in-class experience.
  4. Provost Office
    As vital players who make informed business decisions for the future of the school, the Provost’s office is important in understanding the global sense of general administrative costs and the best overall ways to gain efficiency. They likely won’t be involved in the nitty gritty details of choosing or implementing a campus scheduling platform, but a campus-wide solution will give them the data they want, so they should have the opportunity to make sure all aspects for which they need insight are available in a single system of record.
  5. Real Estate Professionals
    Concerned with managing space so that it maximizes use for all campus constituents, the real estate team ensures that you make smarter decisions by using extensive data gathered throughout the university.  They often look at utilization stats to help guide capital planning, answering questions like, “Do we need to expand and build a new student wing?” or “How much more general-purpose space do we require?” with fact-based knowledge. The right platform can help them make strategic decisions that affect the overall financial health of your institution, so it’s important they have a say early on.
  6. Facilities Directors
    Experts in the day-to-day operations on campus, facilities individuals focus on resources and maintenance, and they report on space utilization. As masters of software and hardware systems such as HVAC, digital signage, and occupancy sensors, facilities directors heavily use the data that a scheduling platform provides to make informed decisions about key campus system integrations.
  7. IT Directors
    IT’s mission is to deliver intuitive technology that enhances the employee and student experience, and by creating a simplified and secure user experience, they make it easier for everyone to do their jobs and get the most out of their education. As part of the optimization conversation, they can guide your campus in replacing or integrating with existing systems, requiring fewer resources and less attention. It’s important to include them so that you have confidence your institution is choosing and correctly implementing the technology that will further your goals.
  8. Campus Security and Risk Managers
    Security and risk assessment is increasingly important on campuses these days. While the security team may not come to mind first when considering campus scheduling platforms, it is essential that they be able to view dashboards for all events and classes, gaining visibility into what is taking place on campus at any point in time and data about where everyone is in emergency situations. And via access to automated updates and notifications, risk managers can require and enforce all legal and environmental policies for managed events.
  9. Athletics Professionals
    Often a group unto themselves but with priorities and needs that overlap with those of many of the other players mentioned here, athletics and rec sports should be part of the campus-wide conversation because they, too, can reap benefits with the right campus scheduling strategy. The tools they use can enhance the student and the community experience, helping with everything from scheduling swim lanes to assisting external groups renting athletic space for local community events who need to be invoiced.

A Range of Stakeholder Input

No two campuses are alike, and there may be other roles at your institution (e.g., performing arts department, marketing professionals, graduate school strategists, etc.), that also should be involved in the conversation. But no matter the size or structure of your institution, it’s important to look at your whole campus and consider the fact that a scheduling strategy via a single system isn’t beneficial to just one group. A holistic approach benefits your entire campus.

Some voices are more important for the overall strategic vision, while others are more important for successful implementation, and you need both as well as those in between. It may not always be possible to have everyone involved from the start of the discussion, but we encourage you to get as many as you can to the table, as soon as you can. By doing so, you will achieve a better campus-wide understanding of the broader picture—and be better set for success.

To learn more about how EMS can help your campus drive value, please contact us.