April 24, 2012 Forum on Proposed Academic Schedule

Dear Faculty,

You may have heard from your Dean or Department Head that federal financial aid requirements require us to make some adjustments to our academic calendar, both for next year and for the longer term. We have been working with the Instruction Committee, and also consulting with the Faculty Steering Committee and the Department Heads, to review our options for next year, and we believe that the necessary adjustments will be relatively minor. For fall semester, they may be as simple as a reordering of exam/crit week or the shift of some initial classes within the first week. For spring semester, they likely will involve adding one class day, along with a reading day and an extra day for crits. We do not need, and do not intend, to make any adjustments to Wintersession, and we believe that we can accomplish what we need with either a 5-week or 6-week Wintersession calendar.

In order to get everything into place and allow people to make plans for next year, we will need to bring this issue to the May 2 Faculty Meeting. We realize, however, that this is a great deal to digest and that there likely won’t be enough time to fully discuss the issue at that meeting. To give everyone an opportunity to learn more about the issue and participate in the discussion, we therefore will be holding an open forum for faculty from 6:30 to 8:00pm next Tuesday, April 24, in the Portfolio CafĂ©. Jean Eddy, Bill Decatur, Steve McDonald, Anthony Gallonio, and representatives of the Instruction Committee will provide an overview of the issue and answer questions. Light refreshments will be served.

We are close to finalizing a set of proposals for next year based on both 5-week and 6-week Wintersession calendars and will post them and additional background to the Academic Affairs web site as soon as they are available.

Once we have a plan in place for next year, we will continue the discussion of longer term plans in appropriate faculty committees and forums. We invite and look forward to your involvement and input at both stages.

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