posted on Jan. 5: New hotline eases instructors’ headaches


Classrooms without chalk or erasers. Lecture halls with broken seats or projectors. Rooms without light or heat.

According to a memo distributed to all McMaster instructors in December by Harvey Weingarten, provost and vice-president academic and Karen Belaire, vice-president administration, these and similar problems have become an all-too-familiar frustration for teaching faculty and lecturers.

“It appears that instructors are unsure who to contact to address these problems,” Weingarten says. “In some cases where individuals are contacted, instructors get little action. This is unacceptable.”

The solution is the creation of a classroom hotline: ext. 23073.

Beginning Jan. 3, instructors should call this hotline to report any problems with their classrooms, Weingarten says.

Alternatively, reports of problems can be sent via e-mail to (Scheduling issues or problems with class size should continue to be referred to the scheduling office at ext. 24453, or

The hotline will be answered between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.. If the staff person is away from the phone or the call is made after 5 p.m., instructors are encouraged to leave a voice message. (After 5 p.m., emergencies, such as a room without heat or with a burst water pipe, should be reported to security services at ext. 24281.)

All calls will be logged and action taken on all problems within two working days. The instructor will be contacted and informed that the problem has been fixed, or told why it cannot be attended to immediately.

“We will follow up to make sure that the fixes that were supposed to happen really did, and in the time frame indicated,” Weingarten says.

An analysis of the complaints received and the range/time frames of fixes will be done to provide assistance in changing processes and practices for handling these difficulties in the future, he adds.