Media Services policy change for Faculty and Staff

Posted on April 9th, 2010 by

This is a general announcement that the policy for Check-In and Check-Out times for Faculty and Staff will be changing as of June 1, 2010.  We wanted to give you a heads up so that you have time to prepare for this change.

The short version is that currently Faculty and Staff are allowed different check in/out schedule than Students, and we need to standardize to a single model since many assets are accessed by both classes of users.  Our current model has led to several conflicts that effect the academic goals of either a Faculty member not having the item they need for a class because a student still had it out (and was within their right to do so) or that a Faculty/Staff member had not yet returned something that a student needed to complete their course project.

The longer explanation is that for several years we have utilized what we call “The reverse hotel model” of check in/out with students that check out equipment for production classes.  This model was developed with the assistance of the Faculty teaching the production courses as we needed to standardize a way in which we have equipment come and go without people running into conflicts in which the previous user had not yet returned an item, but the next user was coming in to pick it up.  One of the Faculty said “yeah, it’s a lot like when you go to a hotel and they have people check out in the morning, there is a period of time for the Hotel staff to perform any maintenance that is needed, and then people check into the Hotel in the afternoon so that way their room is available and cleaned- only we do this in reverse since people come to take things from the office and bring them back.”  And from that day forward “the reverse hotel model” in which items are checked out in the afternoon and returned in the morning was put into effect and has been very effective in eliminating access conflicts that were occurring previously.

As our equipment pool has grown to include items that more and more faculty and staff are using on a regular basis, we have always asked that faculty and staff utilize the same schedule, but we have made exceptions to these times since many faculty and staff found them to be inconvenient for when they needed to access things (it takes a bit of planning to remember that you need to check out the item the day before if you are going to need it for that 9 am class the next day instead of just coming and getting it at 8:30am) so we have always allowed faculty and staff to side step the times in the name of academics.  Unfortunately, in doing so, what was once the exception has now become the norm, and we are running into a great number of conflicts with accessing the equipment, so we need to move to a more strict adherence of the check in and out times in order to eliminate these conflicts.  In addition, this change also standardizes how we define how many days a user has an item so that in the case of items that are charged a daily usage fee (or late fees should it come to that), we are able to consistently calculate that fee in a way that is understood by all.

Details about the Equipment check out Program can be found on our wiki here including the exact times.

Again, we are not strictly enforcing this change until the end of this academic year and the start of the next fiscal year, but we wanted to give everyone ample time to prepare for this change, and we appreciate your assistance in this matter.

For more information or clarification, please feel free to contact the Media Services Coordinator (Matt Dobosenski).


One Comment

  1. Chuck Niederriter says:

    This seems like something the IIAC committee should discuss and report to the faculty. Otherwise it isn’t clear anyone will realize there is a change. I didn’t even know of the reverse hotel “policy.”