Adding classes in Weinberg to be easier with new policy

Miki Johnson and Miki Johnson

Next quarter’s registration process should be a lighter burden on the Northwestern community following changes to class-add requirements for the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Students were notified by e-mail Tuesday that they now can use CAESAR to add open Weinberg classes during the drop-add period. Students previously needed permission numbers to add open classes after the first day.

“The bottom line is that students should have an easier time adding courses,” Associate Weinberg Dean Craig Bina told The Daily in an e-mail Thursday.

The change, which other schools already have implemented, also is designed to decrease the workload for NU faculty and staff who no longer will have to generate and process the numbers.

Fall Quarter problems with CAESAR also prompted the school to modify its policy for adding classes.

“It seemed a good idea to do whatever we could to reduce the load on the registration system prior to the next round of registration,” Bina wrote.

Although CAESAR glitches helped determine the change’s timing, Bina wrote that he has been discussing the possibility with faculty, staff and Weinberg students for two years.

“Almost everyone has been enthusiastically in favor of the change,” Bina wrote, adding that a few faculty members were worried they wouldn’t be able to retain manual control of waiting lists for classes in which spaces open up.

To accommodate the professors, departments may choose to make a course “by-permission-only” after it first fills. “First-day-mandatory” classes also will convert to “by-permission-only” the first day of class, and other “by-permission-only” classes will continue to require permission numbers, according to Tuesday’s e-mail.

Bina said he first gauged school sentiment through a final poll sent to Weinberg department heads “to make sure (he) hadn’t missed any potential problems” and then distributed notices to the school’s faculty, advisers and dean’s staff.

“This seems to be one of those situations where everyone benefits,” Bina wrote.