Dear Senators,
I would like to voice my concerns on the proposed changes to the Spring 2021 academic calendar. I understand the reasoning behind the benefits for delayed start section, but I disagree that finals week can be counted as a week of instruction; 1) no class meetings other than the final exam time is scheduled during finals week so there is no class instruction that week; 2) many classes do not require a final exam so again no meetings that week. MWF classes historically lose 2 lecture days per semester and that will not change so now MWF classes will lose 5 lectures; essentially another week of instruction lost.
I agree with part of the proposed changes. Moving back the semester start by nearly two week, cancelling Spring break to eliminate potential corvid transition due to travel is appropriate. We are an institution of higher education and so we should be doing what is in the best interests of our students rather than undermining their education. Eliminating a full week of instruction is not in the student’s best interests.
I urge all Senators to amend the proposal and require 15 weeks of true instruction followed by a week for final exams.
The Spring 2021 semester would start as proposed on Wednesday January 20, 2021 and end 1 week later, so final examinations will begin on Monday May 7 and end on Friday May 14.

Thank you for your consideration.

Response:  This COVID-19 emergency measure was put forward from the Provost’s Office, discussed during the September 24 and October 8 Faculty Senate meetings and then passed by the Faculty Senate on October 8.