Faculty legislation defines the “free-time zone” to be Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 4:25pm and 7:30pm, Fridays after 4:25pm, Saturdays after 12:05pm, and all day Sunday. The idea is to create a dependable space for relaxation and outside-of-class activities.
Any course numbered 4999 or lower is an “undergraduate-level” course even if it is cross-listed with a course numbered 5000 or higher. All other courses are “graduate-level” courses. Graduate-level courses are allowed to meet during the free-time zone unless they are cross listed with an undergraduate-level course or co-meet with undergraduate-level course.
Undergraduate-level courses are generally not allowed to meet during the free-time zone. Notable exceptions are certain studio and performance courses that are essential to the offering unit’s academic program.
It is important that the intent of the free-time-zone policy be respected during the process of course scheduling. For that reason, the scope of teaching in the free-time zone will be reviewed annually by the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Dean of Faculty, and the University Registrar.
There are situations associated with undergraduate-level courses when use of the free-time zone (FTZ) is permitted without explicit approval:
- A visiting speaker cannot visit during the normal meeting time for the class. It is OK to use the FTZ but attendance must be optional.
- The class meeting time is too short to handle effectively a particular portion of the syllabus. It is OK to use the FTZ for the required teaching but the students concerned must agree with the scheduling.
- It is OK to schedule a review session in the FTZ provided an alternate review session is offered outside of the FTZ.
- It is OK to use the FTZ for make-up, alternate, and extra-time exams provided similar test-taking opportunities are offered outside of the FTZ.
- It is OK to hold office hours during the FTZ provided alternate office hours are offered outside of the FTZ.
- It is OK to use the FTZ for make-up classes that are necessitated by a snow day or other campus-wide emergency closure provided everyone agrees with the scheduling.
Questions and ambiguous situations relating to this list should be relayed to the Dean of Faculty.