Desk Allocation at CCRMA
Here is the algorithm used for allocating desks to PhD students and other people who might want a desk at CCRMA. As of 10/30/18, this process is completely developed and in use.
When to Assign Desks
Desks should be (re-)assigned when there is a vacancy coupled with several people interested in having a desk. Since there are not enough desks at CCRMA, this is expected to happen every time there is a vacancy. If multiple desks are expected to become available around the same time, the process should be postponed until all of the desks are free; in the interim, the free desks can be treated as an open work space for PhD students.
Values of Assigning Desks
- Don't disrupt the work life of people who currently have desks. People grow to depend on having their own work space and so a desk assignment should not be forcibly removed from someone.
- For new desk assignments, prioritize PhD students at key later milestones of their PhD, followed by PhD students who are currently TAing for the department.
- People who take a desk should work in it for a significant portion of the day at least 3 days a week on a normal week, or arrange to share their desk with someone else.
How to Assign Desks
The priority order for assigning new desks is:
- 5th year PhD students
- 4th year PhD students
- 6th year PhD students
- 3rd year PhD students
- 2nd year PhD students
- 7th year PhD students
- 8th year PhD students
- 1st year PhD students
- Visiting scholars (note: the CCRMA page on visiting scholars explicitly states that visiting scholars will NOT be assigned an office space and should use the open space office environment)
If multiple people from the same priority class want desks, have them flip a coin to determine who picks first. If whether a person gets a desk at all comes down to a coin flip, the people involved might be encouraged to share desks with each other.
Note also: if a 5th, 4th, 6th, 3rd, or 2nd year student needs a desk and is currently not assigned to any desk, they may evict a 1st year or visiting scholar to claim a desk. A 7th+ year student cannot evict anyone or be evicted.
Here is the procedure for assigning new desks:
- PhD students who have a desk already can keep their desk and not participate in the process. It is understood that Jonathan Abel, an Adjunct Professor at CCRMA, will keep his desk in the upstairs desk area.
- Obtain a list of people who might want a desk, including all current PhD students and upcoming visiting scholars. Circulate the announcement that desk assignments will happen soon.
- Determine who wants a new desk, including students who do and don't already have an assignment.
- Create and circulate a map of the current desk assignments, indicating which desks are free. For those students looking to switch desks, free up their space on the desk map.
- Perform a "mock" assignment. In order, ask each student in the priority-ordered list of people who might want a desk to select a desk they would hypothetically want to take.
- Once the mock assignment is complete, each student who currently has a desk and opted to join the mock bids can decide whether they want to pull out of the process and keep their current desk.
- Perform the actual assignment. Once again, in order, ask each student in the priority-ordered list of people who definitely want a new desk to select their desk from the list of remaining options.
- New PhD students should be directed to this page to understand the desk assignment procedure.
- If someone cannot use their desk for a full quarter, their desk will be assigned in the desk assignment process, BUT they will be allowed to claim their desk when they return. The person who claims their desk in the interim must understand that they will be left totally without a desk once the original owner of the desk comes back.
- If someone wants to amend this algorithm, the process is:
- Give all current PhD students a notice announcing what is your problem and any potential fixes
- Include in the announcement a method of selecting a meeting time for anyone who wants to discuss
- Anyone who wants to have an input to the decision needs to email their position to the meeting organizer ahead of time or attend the meeting
- The decision at the meeting becomes final
- If someone feels that another student is not using their desk enough of the time to warrant being assigned a desk, we will NOT forcibly evict the person not using their desk. Unfortunately we feel there is no fair way to determine whether someone should be evicted. HOWEVER, a person who is accused of not using their desk enough should be able to articulate why they need the desk and also either:
- consider sharing the desk with a person who has a different work schedule
- put up a schedule of when they will definitely not need the desk so other people can use it when they are not there
- put up a sign saying that anyone can use the desk when they are not there, but that they need to leave immediately when they arrive
- Two people who currently both have desks can switch desks with each other without participating in this process. A person who does not have a desk may not take the desk of someone who wishes to no longer have their desk; in that case, the people would need to participate in this process.