Students and Faculty

What are the consequences, positive and negative, of calendar reform on lower-income/first-generation students?  For international students?

How would graduate students be affected by the proposed calendar?

How does our calendar mesh with that of the local public schools and day-care centers?  How would calendar reform affect faculty members and students with children?

  • What are the consequences, positive and negative, of calendar reform on lower-income/first-generation students?  For international students?

The current calendar is punctuated with frequent breaks in the fall term, such that students often take (or must choose between) two trips home in December/January: once for the winter break in December, and again for the intersession break after the January exams.  Moving fall exams to December would allow students to choose when to return in January - either for all or part of the Wintersession, or at the start of the spring term. The change would also help to address the inequalities that students experience during a winter break in which many students feel expected to continue working on their courses in advance of fall final exams, but face different family circumstances and obligations off campus during that time.

One potential downside of the revised model, however, is that students will be completing the fall term later in December, when air travel becomes more expensive closer to the Christmas holiday.  However, exams would only extend until December 23 one year out of seven, and students without scheduled exams on the last day could leave campus earlier. 

  • How would graduate students be affected by the proposed calendar?

Graduate students would also benefit from completing fall term coursework - either as students or as AIs - before the December holidays.  Travel home for international graduate students would likely be centered around the holiday break.  Graduate students participating in exchange programs or cross-registration agreements with other institutions would be finished with fall term duties here before beginning spring term activities at the other institutions.  The general exam period in January would be maintained.  However, with the proposed calendar’s structure for January, in most cases students would no longer still be completing coursework or AI assignments at the time they are sitting for a general exam in January.  The non-credit bearing “Wintersession” period would be particularly beneficial for graduate students who wish to teach or take mini courses, participate in pedagogical or professional development programs, prepare grant or other applications, or interview for positions.  Graduate pay would be restructured to continue to provide full-year support.

  • How does our calendar mesh with that of the local public schools and day-care centers?  How would calendar reform affect faculty members and students with children?

In our current calendar, the fall term commences between September 10 and 16, approximately one week after local public schools have begun instruction.  Under the proposed revision to the calendar, the start date for the fall term would fall between September 1 and 6.  In most years (approximately 5 out of 7) the term would start after Labor Day, around the same time that local public schools are back in session.

If calendar change is approved, the committee recommends that the University provide additional, subsidized child care options for University students, faculty, and staff who require care for young children during the weeks leading up to and including the start of term, when most local day camps have concluded but local schools have yet to resume instruction.  The calendar for University-affiliated child care centers should also be altered to reflect the revised schedule of child care needs for faculty, staff, and students.

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