LSU Scheduling

By Scott Branson | LSU Student

There is a possible solution to the semi-annual stress students endure scheduling semester classes if LSU can come up with the money.

LSU's course offerings are published in a "catalog," circulated during the course scheduling process. LSU university registrar Robert Doolos said the university's catalog is drastically outdated, making more work for the school and stress for students.

"Our web presence of the catalog sucks," Doolos said. "We would love to purchase new a catalog management system, but in the past we have been stymied in doing that because of the budget crisis."

LSU's catalog is updated after lengthy collaboration between academic departments, university relations and the registrar's office. The number of classes required, class sizes and class locations must be decided before it can be published.

The Registrar's Office receives departmental updates in a Word document before sending it to University Relations where it is converted into an online format.

Doolos estimates a new catalog management system would cost around $100,000, noting the cost would be recouped in a few years and the process would be much easier for faculty and students..

"It's a system that would make the staff's lives better and more efficient, and it would be a wonderful presence on the internet as a recruiting piece for potential students. We're not keeping up with the Joneses."

LSU's catalog currently includes only basic information such as course number, location and time, and the professor's name.

By comparison, modern catalog systems, such as the one employed by the University of Mississippi, includes a detailed course description, prerequisites, class type (lecture, lab or other) and related courses.

"It would be a huge help if LSU included that information in the catalog," said LSU senior Austin Thompson. "It's such a hassle trying to find that information."

LSU junior Don Ralph said scheduling classes is stressful enough without having to search for information for each course.

Doolos said LSU is looking to purchase an updated catalog system soon, and if purchased by July, the new catalog would be ready to use by the fall 2013 semester.