Registrar eliminates paper version of course schedules

In an effort to save money and cut down on waste, the Registrar’s Office will post the 2009 Fall Semester schedule of courses online instead of printing paper copies for the student body. To receive a paper copy, students can opt-in on P-Web by March 10.

According to Registrar Cheryl Chase, the main motivation to move the schedule online was to cut the Registrar’s printing expenditures.

“If we quit printing the schedule entirely, meaning that faculty, nobody got it, we would save about $9,000 a year,” said Chase. “Printing for the students that want it and the faculty piece of it, I’m hoping I’m saving at least $5,000.”

The movement away from paper printings has been discussed since the beginning of the year, often in terms of the actions of peer institutions.

“In just working with my colleagues at other schools very few schools are printing a schedule of courses anymore,” Chase said.

Beyond saving on budget spending, Chase said that the online schedules will benefit the environment as well. A campus-wide email announcing the change asked students to “just say no” in an attempt to go “green.”

“I’m personally committed to not using as much of the environment that we tend to use,” Chase said.

Chase worked with several student and faculty groups and found many of them were very supportive.

Free the Planet, a student environmental group, independently approached Chase with the possibility of not printing the schedule just as she began working on this project. But while the Curriculum Committee was supportive of the change, some members had concerns about people who still want to look through a paper copy.

“It seemed like a common sense compromise to say if people really wanted the printed schedule then they could opt in to get one,” said committee member Dan Moskowitz ’09.

Charlie Kessner ’12, who plans to receive a paper copy of the schedule of courses, felt that a paper copy is more agreeable for organizing potential course choices.

“It’s much more of a hands-on tool when I’m trying to figure out what courses I’m going to take,” Kessner said. “With the paper copy, I can say like, I want to take this 200 level Anthro course and then I can highlight that. A lot of other people might use the digital one better, but for me, I’ll keep the paper copy.”

Other students said they feel that an online copy will be more accommodating than a paper version.

“I think it’s a little overdue,” said Robert Koenig ’11. “I don’t know of any other colleges that still do things the way Grinnell did. I transferred here from UW-Madison and everything was online there and [I] thought it was much more convenient.”

The schedule of course is not the only administrative publication that has been targeted for reduction. The Office of Admission said they might cut back on printing the Catalogue of Courses they print for prospective students.