Class lists moving to electronic-only distribution

Begin­ning sum­mer quar­ter 2009, class lists (both first– and tenth-day) will no longer be printed and dis­trib­uted to instructors.

Why is the Reg­is­trar putting an end to this prac­tice? For many rea­sons, but pri­mar­ily because there is and has been for years an alter­na­tive in place: Class lists can be gen­er­ated (and printed if desired) right from the “Teach­ing” tab of MyUW. Printed class lists become out-of-date quickly as stu­dents add or drop classes dur­ing those first weeks of a quar­ter; online class lists are always cur­rent. Plus, that alter­na­tive got a lot bet­ter recently with the recent addi­tion of stu­dent pho­tos to class lists. The pop­u­lar­ity of the photo class lists will fur­ther lessen the need for the paper copies of names-only class lists printed from our office.

There are other rea­sons for the switch, too, all of which strengthen the deci­sion. We hope that these make sense to you and you’ll appre­ci­ate our efforts to main­tain and improve ser­vice while adjust­ing to other factors:

  • Resource sav­ings — Each run of class lists requires a whop­ping 7 boxes of paper. Each box con­tains ten, 500-sheet pack­ages. And since we printed class lists twice per quar­ter (on the first and tenth days), that’s 70,000 sheets of paper per quar­ter!
    Accord­ing to Conservatree.org and the Envi­ron­men­tal Defense Paper Cal­cu­la­tor, one tree yields 8,333 sheets (16.67 reams) of copy paper. So a quarter’s class lists require almost eight and a half trees to print; that’s roughly 32 trees a year, or just over one ton of paper. Pro­duc­ing that much paper requires 19,075 gal­lons of waste water, 2,278 lbs. of solid waste, and 5,690 lbs. of green­house gases.
    Now those are some “green” rea­sons to stop print­ing class lists!
  • Cost sav­ings - That much paper costs the Uni­ver­sity nearly two thou­sand dol­lars a year. Given the bud­get short­fall we’re fac­ing, sav­ing every penny is not only fis­cally respon­si­ble, it’s nec­es­sary.
  • Labor sav­ings — Print­ing and dis­trib­ut­ing printed class lists required a lot of staff time upwards of 24 hours a quar­ter that is bet­ter used in other ways. With the recent (and upcom­ing) staff cut­backs, find­ing ways to work smarter becomes even more important.
  • Pro­tect­ing stu­dent data — Class lists con­tain personally-identifiable stu­dent infor­ma­tion and there­fore fall under FERPA reg­u­la­tions. Accord­ingly, old class lists must be shred­ded before being recy­cled at addi­tional cost, time, and effort.

There are legit­i­mate needs for advis­ers and other non-instructors to view class lists and we’ve made sure there are options for them:

  1. “Dept­Info” - The new Enter­prise Data Ware­house initiative’s Class List func­tion­al­ity will soon be online. It will pro­vide all the infor­ma­tion avail­able now through the exist­ing Depart­men­tal Infor­ma­tion ser­vice, but with com­mon data, tools, and def­i­n­i­tions, as well as a con­ve­nient web access. Sound good? Send an e-mail to dmc-support@u.washington.edu and specif­i­cally request access to the “New Dept­Info” Class List report.
  2. SDB — The SRF130 screen within the Stu­dent Data­base (SDB) pro­vides class list infor­ma­tion (instruc­tions on the screen are avail­able online).

Although we hope the impact of this change is min­i­mal on you while pro­vid­ing sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings to the Uni­ver­sity, we are happy to help answer your ques­tions or address any con­cerns you may have.

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