Jan. 30-Feb. 12, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 2
Back Issues
Darden to run ethics institute
First Lady of Virginia, Lisa Collis, a leader in public service
Facilities focus of BOV’s Student Affairs meeting
Headlines @ U.Va.
Undergrad wins Mitchell Scholarship
Online COMPASS makes room reservations easy
Humans began altering global climate thousands of years ago
Xiaoming ‘Peter’ Yu
Revisiting Racial Diversity
2004 Black History Month Calendar of Events
Stem-cell researcher finds unusual ally in GOP leader
Can the spam: E-mail filter weeds out those unwanted messages
Collage glues together numerous pespectives
What’s a Didjeridu?
Mini-med school accepting applications until Feb. 27
Students drive real estate market

Online COMPASS makes room reservations easy

compassBy Anne Bromley

Until recently, faculty, staff and students seeking to reserve rooms for meetings or events on Grounds had no central location to find information and nothing to guide them. Since last fall, though, they have a COMPASS — the Catalog of Meeting Places and Student Spaces, a Web-based reservations request system where they may view different kinds of spaces and send an e-mail to the appropriate coordinators, checking on their availability.

For example, if a new faculty member wanted to change a course’s classroom prior to the advent of the COMPASS system, he or she would have to identify the person in charge of rooms in that building, department or school — a job done by about 40 different space administrators or office assistants. With COMPASS, faculty or staff can check the Web site, www.virginia.edu/
compass, look at any of almost 400 rooms (with more to be added) and then submit a request to see if it is available. The e-mail request will be routed to the right person. Space “owners” still control the rooms, but all the information is stored in one, central database.

COMPASS, built by ITC, is only an interim measure toward meeting the University’s goal of having a comprehensive system to track all available spaces on Grounds and allow people to make reservations electronically. With process-simplification teams tackling the problem, U.Va. plans to introduce a permanent system by early 2005 that will allow users to reserve rooms instantly.

Key collaborators on the project include the University Registrar’s office, which presently has its own separate system; the Newcomb Hall staff; and individuals from offices around Grounds who have participated on the two process-simplification teams: one for student organizations and programming, and one for space utilization. Overseeing these efforts is the Student Enrollment Services Process Owners’ Group. Eventually all the schools at U.Va. will be consulted to coordinate their policies regarding space usage.

The major responsibility for scheduling courses in appropriate classrooms belongs to the Office of the University Registrar, Carol “Stash” Stanley, and her staff, who will oversee the new system. Although their present software is lightning-fast, scheduling 4,000 classes in about four seconds, only a few people may access the information.

“You shouldn’t have to know the name of a person to reserve a room,” said Stanley.

There are other benefits as well, said Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “I see this as an opportunity to improve our historical data regarding space use, maximize the use of our existing space and ongoing event management, and build smarter in the future.”

With a comprehensive system to track space availability on Grounds, the University will be able to create comprehensive reports on the use of its buildings, a feature benefiting security, daily maintenance, cleaning, parking and transportation management, special events and capital planning.

Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget, and responsible for Process Simplification, said, “this project illustrates what units can accomplish together, through our Process Simplification effort, by taking a University-wide perspective and allowing their own priorities to become secondary to the greater good.”


© Copyright 2004 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

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