Room Booking Principles

Establishment: Vice-Chancellor's Committee, 9 April 2014
Responsible Officer: Director, Buildings & Property Division

1.  Purpose

To provide guidance on the appropriate use of University facilities, to enable the distributed management of facilities and to support the effective and efficient use of associated University resources.

2.  Scope

This document applies to all bookable University resources, with particular reference to teaching facilities for timetabled classes, meeting rooms and rooms used for public events.

3.  Definitions

  • Academic administrative bookings: activities related to the organisation of teaching, including: enrolment and orientation events, class or placement administration.
  • Bookable space: all spaces, including external facilities such as sports fields, that are booked for on either the Timetabling system or on the calendar system as per these principles.
  • Buildings and Property: the central office responsible for the management and maintenance of all of the University’s assets both built and natural.
  • Calendar system: Microsoft Outlook is the system used for staff calendar / diary management.
  • Meeting rooms: rooms used primarily for formal and informal meetings of University staff for both academic and administrative purposes, and not normally used for teaching.
  • Non-teaching bookings: any booking of University space not intended for teaching activity, including:
    • University meetings: of formal committees (e.g. Council, faculty boards, school, department, unit)
    • Allied activities: bookings aligned with the University’s core roles of teaching and research (e.g. conferences / symposia; short courses and continuing education; meetings of learned societies; student meetings, activities and sporting events, alumni events, Open Day, student recruitment activities)
    • External events: bookings comprising commercial hire of facilities for commercial or private purposes (e.g. commercial conferences, social functions) of hire of facilities for community activities (e.g. theatre productions, film screenings, sporting events and community education activities such as University of the Third Age)
  • Resources: teaching rooms and teaching equipment (e.g. audio visual facilities, lecture recording and video conferencing, specialist or experimental equipment).
  • Specialised teaching space: space designed for specific teaching and learning purposes (e.g. science labs, clinical and professional training labs such as anatomy labs and moot courts, editing suites, observation facilities).
  • Teaching Activity: refers to taught or supervised classes associated to a topic (e.g. lectures, tutorials, placements, practicals). Teaching activities may also include: replacement classes; self-study or peer-support learning; preparation for student class presentations; tests, examinations and practical assessments; small-group 'break-out' study groups.
  • Teaching space: any room or combination of rooms used to conduct teaching activities.
  • Timetabling Services: the central office responsible for the management of the University timetable.
  • Timetabling system: Syllabus Plus is the system used for the timetabling of teaching activities and the booking of non-teaching events in teaching spaces, known as the timetabling system at Flinders.
  • University space: all buildings and rooms managed by the University, whether owned, leased or shared with another organisation. [In the case of shared space, additional management principles may be applied by the sharing partner(s).]

4.  Principles

The University owns and manages a large number of different spaces, including academic and administrative offices, general purpose teaching rooms, specialist laboratories, theatre spaces, accommodation facilities and sports fields. The main purpose of these spaces is to support the delivery of high-quality teaching, to provide space for productive research and to create a campus that plays an active role in the community.

The effective and efficient use of its resources, consistent with good educational practice, is the primary goal that drives the University’s management of its space: its rooms are intended to support the University’s diverse roles.

The University, rather than any organisational unit or individual, is the owner of its physical assets. As a critical asset, space is to be shared and used in a flexible and co-operative way to achieve the best outcomes for the university community.

The use of the University’s physical facilities by individuals, groups or organisations external to the University must be compatible with the University’s mission and goals.

The University may refuse any request to hire space if the proposed event is inappropriate for a University venue.

5.  Management Responsibility

Buildings and Property is responsible for ensuring the ongoing management and usage analysis of the University’s facilities. This includes responsibility for the ongoing management, planning and provision of teaching and meeting space.
Buildings and Property is responsible for classification of general and specialist teaching spaces, and for maintaining and disseminating complete, accurate and up- to-date information about teaching and meeting spaces for use on the timetabling and calendar systems and other systems as required. This will require the provision and coordination of information by other units (e.g. audio-visual equipment).

Buildings and Property has responsibility for the management of non-teaching bookings. Delegation of responsibility for the management of bookings in specific rooms will take place within published guidelines and principles.

6.  Bookable Space

Buildings and Property, in consultation with faculties, schools, departments and administrative units, will identify those bookable rooms that are never used for timetabled classes and which can be designated as meeting rooms and listed on the calendar system. Any non-teaching booking of Teaching space must be done in accordance with the University Timetabling Principles.

Buildings and Property is responsible for the naming conventions and related information (e.g. maximum capacity) for the rooms listed on the calendar system, and the protocols for the maintenance and amendment of the rooms list. Room data modification, and the removal or addition of rooms requires the prior approval of Buildings and Property.

7.  Booking Systems

Student Administration and Systems is responsible for management of the timetabling system including the web room booking module used for making non- teaching bookings in teaching rooms.

Information Technology Services is responsible for management of the calendar system used for making non-teaching bookings in meeting rooms.

Every bookable space must be listed only once on either the timetabling, web room booking or calendar system.

8.  Booking rights

Once teaching activities for a year have been scheduled, non-teaching bookings may be made on a ‘first-come, first served’ basis by any member of the University.

External events may be booked by any person to whom Buildings and Property have delegated authority to manage bookings. Normally university meetings and allied activities will take precedence over external events.

In rooms designed for teaching, teaching activities will be given priority over other types of room bookings. No adjustments will be made to the academic timetable to accommodate non-teaching bookings other than in exceptional circumstances (e.g. international conferences and symposia, significant University-wide events) which must be approved by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) (or nominee).
Conflicts arising from the application of these priorities and related decisions will be initially dealt with via communication between the relevant booking parties and their managers. Where a satisfactory resolution cannot be found the matter will be referred to the Director, Buildings and Property (or nominee) for a decision after appropriate consultation.

Buildings and Property has the right to refuse or revoke any non-teaching booking not in accordance with these Principles.

9.  Conditions of Room Use

All persons booking University rooms, or, where applicable, the nominated person on whose behalf the booking is made, are required to ensure that their use of the room conforms to the following principles:

  1. Rooms, equipment and fittings may be used only for the purpose stated on the room booking, which must also be consistent with the purpose for which the space is designed. Equipment or furniture may not be moved except with the University’s permission.
  2. Rooms may be used only for activities conducted in a manner consistent with the University’s Health & Safety policies, in particular ensuring that the number of persons attending does not exceed the stated capacity of the room.
  3. Room users must familiarise themselves with emergency evacuation procedures detailed in the room and/or building.
  4. Noise levels must be kept at an appropriate level, and instructions from University security staff to reduce noise levels must be followed.
  5. Users should ensure that the space is left in a clean and safe condition, and that any safety concerns are clearly conveyed to responsible staff.
  6. External users must adhere to the University’s Facilities Hire Conditions (available as a separate document).

If a room booking is made for a third party by a person who will not themselves be present at, and responsible for, the activity then full details (name, address and contact details) of the responsible person must be provided at the time of booking.