Motions from the AP Committee
April 5, 2006
Beginning with the Fall 2007 semester,
start fall semester classes the Thursday 11 days before Labor Day, and have the final exam period start on the Monday morning
following the end of classes (on Wednesday),
except that when Labor Day occurs on the 6th or 7th of September, the exam period would start the
Saturday following the end of classes.
- Assuming the current amount of break time during the semester is maintained, this will allow for classes to end on a Wednesday,
which will allow for a four day reading period (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun) prior to final exams, which would start on Monday. This change will
allow for a reading day period to exisit even when Labor Day is relatively late (as it was in 2005), without making the fall semester
end later than current policy does. When Labor Day comes relatively early, and the current policy allows for a reading day period, by
starting earlier in August a reading day period can still exisit and the end of exams can also occur earlier, which may result in many
having a more pleasant holiday break.
- It should be noted that current policy does not allow for a one or two day reading period when Labor Day occurs relatively late.
For example, for the Fall 2005 semester, the reading day period was just part of a day, with exams starting at 4:30 PM on Monday.
A big disadvantage to not having a longer reading day period is that without the cushion
of a few reading days, it is more difficult
to make up classes missed due to snow, ice, hurricanes, etc. It should be kept in mind that when
a class which meets only one day a week suffers a cancellation, a whole week of material is lost, and it is often very desirable
to make up the missed class period. Since cancellations due to snow and ice are more likely to occur towards the very end of the
fall semester, without a reading day period which could possibly be used to make up missed classes, it may be
impossible to make up classes unless the Provost alters the exam schedule, which is a situation that undoubtably most students and
faculty would like to avoid.
The exception to start the exam period on Saturday during years when Labor Day occurs relatively late serves to
prevent the semester from ending so late in Decemeber. For example, in 2009 when Labor Day falls on September 7,
rather than have the last scheduled exam be Saturday 12/19,
the last scheduled exam could be Friday 12/18. Since the vast majority of students do not take Saturday classes,
this exception won't affect most students. Students with a Saturday exam would still have a reading period of two
full days, and then also have Sunday off after their Saturday exam.
Beginning with the Spring 2008 semester,
for spring semesters in years for which MLK Day comes relatively early, so that by current policy classes would begin the Monday
following MLK Day, begin spring semester classes the Thursday following MLK Day, and have the final exam period start the Monday
morning following the end of classes (on Wednesday).
(For spring semesters in years for which MLK Day comes relatively late, so that by current policy classes would begin the Tuesday
following MLK Day, continue with the current policy of starting classes on the Tuesday following MLK Day, ending classes on a Monday,
and having final exams start the following Wednesday morning (allowing for only one reading day).)
- In years during which MLK Day occurs relatively early, this change will result in the spring semester ending earlier, as some desire.
Although the shift is rather slight, it will occur on those years when the semester would end relatively late under the current
policy, thus providing some relief for those who dislike the spring semester ending so late. Also, on those years in which MLK Day
comes relatively late, it will allow for a longer reading day period (Thur-Sun) for the students without the necessity of changing the date of
graduation. Additionally, there will be more time between the end of the spring semester and graduation, which is something desired by the
- In years during which MLK Day occurs relatively late, and under current policy classes start the Tuesday after MLK Day, the
policy of not having classes on MLK Day makes it awkward to make any changes.
It should be noted that this proposed policy would not affect the next three year calendar because MLK Day occurs
relatively late during each of those three years, and so under both the current and the proposed policy, each year
would start the Tuesday after MLK Day.