University Instructional Facilities

UCIF - University Committee for Instructional Facilities

The UCIF is made up of a committee of 15 members and is responsible for determining classroom projets and for the allocation of funding for classroom projects. The committee:

  • Acts as guardians of classroom resources
  • Sets policies and goals
  • Assures adequate spaces that support enrollments
  • Encourages experimentation with new instructional and learning models

Mission

To act as stewards of the generally scheduled instructional and learning facilities at The Pennsylvania State University for the faculty and students.

Vision

To anticipate and facilitate the Continuous Quality Improvement and transformation of instructional and learning spaces to meet the needs of the academic course offerings.

Strategic Goals

Provide Leadership in Innovative Instruction:

  • Experiment with new interactive environments, configurations, technology and furnishings by working with faculty and students.
  • Research learning and teaching environments at other institutions and industries to stay current with new classroom and laboratory model environments.
  • Add wireless opportunities and other new connectivity to selected classrooms such as video and response systems to enhance instruction.
  • Recruit additional faculty and student involvement in the UCIF and improvement process.
  • Improve and enhance the UCIF relationship and team spirit with our Faculty Senate.
  • Develop a standard survey and review process for our general purpose classrooms involving our faculty and students.
  • Improve environments outside of the classrooms to extend learning experiences in lobby and other common areas of our instructional facilities.

Assure all General Purpose Classroom Learning Environments Facilitate 21st Century Learning:

  • Develop a baseline quality rating for every general purpose classroom.
  • Develop a replacement plan for all inadequate general purpose classrooms.
  • 100% of our general purpose classrooms will have fixed and flexible technology.
  • Complete an ADA survey of every classroom to assure that all rooms are accessible.
  • Improve our classroom environment knowledge and strengthen our ties with the Commonwealth Campuses and Colleges.
  • Continue the "Clean Classroom Campaign" to bring attention to the trash and litter problem in the spaces and to promote Penn State Pride and individual responsibility.
  • Add attractive recycling and trash receptacles in and around all our classrooms in a convenient location to promote recycling.
  • Add seating to the hallways and lobbies adjacent to classrooms to improve student comfort between classes.

 UCIF Sub-Committee - Operational Committee

  • Composed of 20 representatives from Office of Physical Plant, Media & Technology Support Services, Information & Technology Services-Teaching Learning Technology, Information & Technology Services-Telecommunication Networking Services, Police Services
  • Identify needs
  • Day-to-day servicing of classrooms
  • Works to develop all design parameters for new or renovated classrooms

What is a GPC?

A GPC is a General Purpose Classroom.  The GPC's are a community resource for the entire campus with a priority mission to provide high quality environments and tools to enhance the credit-bearing educational experiences for our students and instructors.  If a GPC is not scheduled Monday - Friday, it is open and available for individual study by students, instructors or staff members. 

GPC's can also be scheduled for student groups in open time periods.  A list of sanctioned student groups is maintained by Student Affairs, which consults with Tom as a check on the appropriateness of the use for the room.

To qualify as a GPC, a classroom must be designated to be scheduled by the Office of the University Registrar

How many GPC's do we have at Penn State?

Currently, we maintain 361 GPC's at University Park which provide 21,515 seats in 346,250 sq ft for our students. University-wide, we maintain a total of 942 GPC's which provide 44,691 seats in 837,887 sq ft of space. 

OPP Staff

Tom Kase, RA, serves as the design professional for The University Committee for Instruction Facilities (UCIF). His duties include review of all of the existing General Purpose Classrooms (GPC) and determining the renovation needs for each one, review classroom designs and specifications in new buildings for compliance with UCIF standards, and administrator for the multi-million dollar UCIF budget.  He works closely with the UCIF on allocation of funds and handles the disbursements for projects at University Park and the other PSU campuses.

Tom also has the task of reviewing and recommending new equipment for classrooms and determining the proper furniture for each of our GPC's.  Desired seating capacity, type of furniture needed for the educational paradigm, appropriate lighting requirements, color scheme and barrier-free design are just some of the issues that must be addressed in each classroom design. 

Tom is charged with the task of in addition to planning the best time to renovate.  Our GPC's are used very heavily, so renovation projects require a lot of pre-planning as alternative space must be identified for classes if renovations occur during the semester.  Tom works closely with the planners, university technology groups, telecommunication people, media-technology, police services, end users, estimators and renovation crews at OPP to make sure these projects happen in a timely fashion.  Because classrooms are scheduled many semesters in advance, it is imperative that this work be completed on time so that the rooms are available for the first day of the scheduled semester.

Mike Weaver serves as Facilities Coordinator for GPC’s, coordinating day-to-day issues that arise and must be addressed promptly. He is in charge of monitoring all classrooms for maintenance issues so our instructional facilities continue to be fully functional.

Mike maintains a set of photographs and furniture layout drawings for each and every classroom showing all aspects of the room.  Our Facilities Information System tracks the features in these rooms.

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