Update on New Course Scheduling System

April 2, 2019


Members of the Rutgers Community:


As part of an ongoing effort to improve the student experience at Rutgers, over the past two years we have been working toward the implementation of a new computer-based course scheduling platform for the University. The new system will take advantage of sophisticated software to optimize course locations, make it easier for students to take courses they need for their majors, and reduce students’ time-to-degree. We are writing to announce that we will be delaying the “live” implementation of the new system until course scheduling for the Fall 2020 semester, in order to incorporate additional insight gained from our first two “shadow” runs and to respond to the thoughtful feedback we have received from schools and departments.


Rutgers is not breaking new ground with the computerized scheduling platform. We are currently the only school in the Big Ten, and one of a very few in the entire Association of American Universities (AAU), not using such a system.


The decision to postpone the official launch of the new system was not made lightly. Many hundreds of people from across Rutgers have already dedicated the past two years to preparing Rutgers for the transition, including the completion of two scheduling simulations (a third simulation is currently under way). With each simulation we have learned more about the complexities of the schedule and have made critical adjustments to improve the model. We have also used system data to help schedule University buses at Rutgers–New Brunswick. 


The feedback we have received in the last three months reflects a recent deeper engagement with the system by departments and schools. This thoughtful feedback has led us to conclude that running one additional simulation, before the system goes live, would allow the implementation team to confirm again that there are no issues that had not been discovered and corrected.


Each of the previous three simulations has been carried out in five-week blocks separate from and after the scheduling process takes place. The final simulation will be run in “real time” and in parallel with the current scheduling process. This will allow all departments to become familiar with the timing and sequencing of the new system. This extra time also will allow for more departmental training on the new platform and allay concerns from departments about their preparedness to implement the system.


We are excited by the progress we have made in preparing the new scheduling system and greatly encouraged by the very positive and useful feedback the departments and schools have provided. The bottom line is that we are well on our way to creating a scheduling system that works best for our students—a system that eliminates bottlenecks to their timely completion of a degree, optimizes our use of classroom resources, and reduces travel between classes as much as possible.




Robert Barchi



Barbara Lee

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs