Texas Schools Respond to Budget Constraints with Summit
Texas Schools Respond to Budget Constraints with Summit
Over 20 institutions will learn and share best practices at July Summit sponsored by Ad Astra Information Systems.
CONTACT: Tracey Mershon
MEDIA OPPT: In advance of the Higher Education Summit, interviews are available with school representatives to discuss what they hope to achieve and learn by implementing scheduling software, new policies and best practices.
Overland Park, KS (July 2, 2012) Responding to the need to trim budgets, increase classroom space and improve graduation rates, higher education institutions in Texas are turning to high-tech scheduling software to help manage their campus facilities and classroom space. More than 44 higher education leaders from 21 institutions will discuss higher education issues and best practices at the Texas Regional Higher Education Summit on July 9-10 at Baylor University.
"The goal with this Regional Summit is to bring together higher education institutions to offer them an opportunity to showcase solutions, initiate provocative discussions and share effective strategies on the many challenges facing our campuses today," said Tom Shaver, Ad Astra Information Systems Founder and CEO, which is sponsoring the Summit.
Some of the 21 institutions represented include Alamo Colleges, Baylor, SMU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, University of North Texas, and the University of Texas system. The schools all have a common goal to improve the quality of education while controlling their costs. Many schools are challenged with growing enrollments; students with diverse needs and course demands; and pressure to meet graduation mandates.
TCU Evaluates Expansion Options
One of the Summit participants is Texas Christian University (TCU) which has projected enrollment growth of 9 percent to 10,000 by the fall of 2016. Based on this anticipated growth, campus leadership needed to how the institution's current room inventory would serve student needs. They also wondered how they could make better use of classroom space, if any expansions would be necessary and how special-use facilities, such as dedicated labs, might limit growth.
To evaluate its current and future space needs, TCU commissioned a data-driven study by Ad Astra Information Systems. Called a Strategic Scheduling Check-Up, the study was designed to collect data on current classroom space scheduling practices at TCU and help determine if it is efficiently using space or if it needed more classrooms.
"The Check-Up showed that we can continue to support our educational mission with our current room inventory if we make high-impact changes, such as expanding class offerings throughout the day," said Patrick Miller, TCU Registrar and Director of Enrollment Management.
The Strategic Scheduling Check-Up found that TCU could significantly increase enrollment capacity, without costly new construction, by making several high impact changes such as more effectively matching room capacities with enrollments and enrollment caps and reducing non standard meeting pattern usage during primetime to limit wasted capacity to 5 percent from current levels of 19 percent.
In the past four years, the University has built 16 new buildings and believes it can use its space more effectively. Its next steps include establishing a permanent scheduling policy and practice task force that will set policies and monitor the institution's progress. For campus cohesion, the institution will integrate classroom-use strategies with the physical plant's long-term plans. Additionally, TCU plans to customize reports to help departments and deans meet new scheduling guidelines and to provide regular progress reports to the Chancellor's Cabinet. Miller added, "We're looking forward to implementing these changes to accommodate more students while continuing to provide the world-class, values-centered university experience for which TCU is known."
Texas Executive Summit
Texas higher education leaders will meet Dec. 6-7 at Texas Christian University for the Texas Executive Summit sponsored by Ad Astra to discuss statewide budget issues, enrollment growth, managing growth and change, and graduation rate issues. They also will learn about trends in scheduling software in order to make the best choices for their institutions.
About Ad Astra Information Systems
Based in Overland Park, KS, Ad Astra Information Systems has a North American presence with customers in the United States and Canada. More than 550 college and university campuses have licensed Ad Astra software products and services since 1996 to help them with their facilities scheduling, event management, resource management and more. The results of using the Ad Astra advanced technology include significant cost savings; better management of facilities, meeting space and classrooms; and greater student satisfaction and graduation rates. With scheduling and planning among the most strategically important activities in which an institution can engage, The Astra Schedule Suite has become the standard for higher education scheduling software. Ad Astra invests significant resources into research and development and was the first company of its kind to develop a web-based platform for higher education scheduling software. In 2010, the United States Patent Office issued Ad Astra a patent for its innovative method of determining student demand for academic course. The company is committed to improved student success and resource management efficiency in higher education. For more information, visit www.aais.com.