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Faculty Senate approves academic calendar changes

October 20, 2016
Photo: Keith Woodward teaching class

Assistant professor Keith Woodward speaks with students in his Geography 101 course in Science Hall on the first day of classes in fall 2014. Photo: Bryce Richter

The Faculty Senate has approved revisions to the Academic Calendar for academic years 2017 through 2021, including the creation of more predictable, even-length semesters of 69 days of instruction over 15 weeks. The summary period will also be shortened by one day and no exams will be held on the day of commencement.

The approved calendar builds on the changes made in October 2015, which eliminated a Friday start to the fall semester and set the spring semester based on counting backwards from commencement (set on the second Saturday in May).

With these changes, fall semester always starts on Wednesday and spring semester on Tuesday. The semesters end sooner, allowing more time between the last fall exam and the winter holiday, and more time for departmental commencement events in the spring. The extra time between semesters will make it easier to process grades and other academic actions.

The calendar adjustment also shifts — but does not change the length of — the 9-month faculty contract, eliminating an overlap with the 4-week summer session.

Secretary of the Faculty Steve Smith says these changes were based on information and feedback from two working groups, the chancellor, the provost and the Faculty Senate.

The revised calendar can be found here.  A printable version of the overall approved calendar is available as well as year-by-year versions.

If you have any questions regarding the calendars, please contact the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty at