January 22, 2001
Resource 25 makes room scheduling easy
By Eric Rangus email@example.com
Historically, scheduling and reserving rooms for classes, events and meetings on the Emory campus has been quite a choreas it would be on any campus for that matter.
Schedulers from one department would call their equivilents in other
departments inquiring about room availability, maybe sending out an e-mail,
leaving some messages and returning others, in a marathon of touching
base and catching up.
No longer. An online scheduling system called Resource 25 allows users
to electronically schedule space for classes, events and other gatherings
in any building with just a few keystrokes.
Space is the single hot-button issue on campus, said Marcy
Alexander, educational analyst for IT teaching and research services.
Who controls and manages it? Whose space is it anyway? We were trying
to look at [space] as a Universitywide resource.
The development of Resource 25 began in 1995 as part of the Facilities
Information Management System (FIMS). But the system didnt truly
begin to take shape until December 1996, when the projectas Resource
25was approved and the perameters of the system were defined.
Emory needed a low-cost, integrated product that would place all its
schools on one page. Since each school did its own scheduling independently,
compatibility across campus proved to be an early hurdle.
Implementation of the system began in 1997 with the business school as
the pilot project. Goizueta seemed like a prime candidate for testing
since it had just moved into its new building. The School of Public Health
followed in October 1998, then the medical school and then the School
When the nursing school signs on this spring, the entire Atlanta campus
will be hooked up to Resource 25. Oxford will be Emorys last piece
to be outfitted with the system.
When the nursing school does sign on, it will jointly schedule its classes
with the School of Public Health, since crossover between the two will
not be uncommon.
Thats the first time two schools have gotten together for
something like this, Alexander said.
In the summer of 1999, Valeria Burian of the regis-trars office
audited every college building for classroom space. The effort took a
month as she entered building after building on campus, writing down logging
crucial information such as seating capacity and available equipment.
There was a lot of work to do on the front end, Burian said.
There is still a lot of checking up behind it.
Once the preferences are defined, Schedule 25 can set up 800 classes
in 40 seconds, said Beverly Cormican, assistant vice president of
the Office of Business Management, which oversaw the project.
For instance, a biology class would have a preference built in for certain
types of lab equipment and a search for classroom space limited to rooms
that could accommodate those needs.
The major difference between Resource 25 and the popular scheduler Meeting-Maker
is that the latter programs deals with scheduling people for meetings,
classes or gathering. Resource 25 deals exclusively with physical space
instead of the humans that fill it up.
Classes, events, conferences and meetings can be scheduled into all spaces
and rooms in the Resource 25 database. Event and space preferences by
organizations such as academic departments and student groups can be automatically
programmed. Space features such as access for the disabled, special equipment
and layout are all part of the Resource 25 system.
If several departments utilize a space (such as classrooms in Callaway
Hall, for example), Resource 25 can be set up so that schedulers can use
rooms outside their direct control. The system also allows users to schedule
rooms for specific hours.
Were at the point right now where weve overcome all
the technical obstacles, like Mac versus PC, that sort of thing,
said Felicia Bianchi of ITD, who manages the system. Weve
created an environment where all schools can decode the information, and
get it in a read-only format and perform their duties.
The system is remarkably easy to use, and the data is churns out are
completely user friendly. Information can be viewed in several different
ways: a rooms daily or weekly schedule can be posted, and events
can also be listed campuswide by time.
Scheduling confirmations include contact names and numbers, sponsoring
organizations, room requirements, brief descriptions of the class or meeting,
and, of course, the time.
Rooms can be reserved with a few simple clicks of a mouse, and room availability
is color-coded onscreen for ease of use.
For more information contact Bianchi at 404-727-0582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.