At the first meeting of the semester for the University’s leading faculty governance body yesterday afternoon, Martha Pollack, the University’s vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, shared a solution to alleviate scheduling problems for students with members of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs.

According to an analysis performed by Assistant Vice Provost Frances Mueller, about half of University classrooms are not used between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Starting in winter semester 2013, in order to expand classroom usage, the Provost’s office plans to increase class offerings at previously under scheduled hours between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Fridays.

At the meeting, Pollack said about 200 to 300 classes cause explicit scheduling challenges for the University each semester, specifically in accommodating for classroom renovations and over-scheduling in specific time slots.

It was difficult to determine how best to solve the problem, since moving elective classes to earlier time slots could result in a loss of revenue and diminished attendance, SACUA Vice Chair Kim Kearfott, a professor in the Medical School and College of Engineering, said.

“The young adult mind of a freshman or sophomore doesn’t work well early,” Kearfott said.

Academic concerns were at the forefront of finding a solution to the scheduling problems, Pollack explained, adding that another element that adds to scheduling difficulties is misaligned class times — when classes do not start on the hour and make creating schedules more difficult.

According to Pollack, the University must spread out classes better and units must share more academic spaces. She added that the proposal attempts to enforce increased sensitivity to family commitments that prevent students from attending class.

Hanlon discusses salary increases for University deans

At the meeting, University Provost Philip Hanlon presented data on increases in dean salaries this year and explained the process behind the raises to the SACUA members.

According to Hanlon, deans receive a 10-percent increase in salary after five years in their position. If they leave their appointments but remain at the University, their salary returns to the high end of the teaching range.

At the end of every year, deans are evaluated on their appointment, where there is a 3-percent overall merit pool, Hanlon said. When hiring a new dean, a market study is done on peer institutions’ hiring rates.

Salary is more than compensation, and other institutions, like the University of Pennsylvania, pay the college tuition of the dean’s children, SACUA Chair Kate Barald said.

Business School Dean Alison Davis-Blake is the University’s highest-paid dean with an annual salary of $550,000, according to the University’s 2011 salary report. She is followed by Medical School Dean James O. Woolliscroft, who earns $524,509 annually.

-Lily Bonadonna contributed to this report.

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