Provost Fuchs: Administration Approves Calendar Changes
Posted by Alfonse Muglia on September 12, 2012
Provost Kent Fuchs announced in a statement this afternoon that the administration has approved a changes to Cornell’s academic calendar, as recommended by the University’s Calendar Committee last spring.
The changes will go in effect in Spring 2014.
“The committee’s objectives were to re-examine the existing calendar with an eye to proposing changes that would: address concerns about student stress and mental health related to prolonged periods of instruction without multi-day breaks, enhance educational opportunities, and comply with New York State Education Department requirements,” Fuchs released in a statement. “I applaud the committee’s dedicated service.
Under the changes, classes will begin on the Tuesday before Labor Day. The only other change in the fall is that the day before Thanksgiving will be a full day off, as opposed to a half day as it is now. This change brings the total number of instruction days from 67.5 to 68.
The spring semester changes are more oriented around reliving student stress. Instruction will resume after winter break on the Wednesday after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. A break will be added on the Monday and Tuesday of President’s week. Classes will end on a Wednesday in early May. This change will reduce the number of instruction days from 70 to 69.
There will also be an additional study day in the middle of the exam schedule, in both the fall and spring semester. The exam period will be reduced from 9 1/3 days to 9 days in both semesters.
One of the most contested aspects of the new calendar was the reduction of Senior Week. While accepting the change, the provost charged the final exam committee to consider orienting the schedule so that the majority of exams in senior classes ended before the last day of exams.
The proposed changes to the calendar had been denounced by the Student Assembly last Spring via Resolution 47.
“Despite [the committee's] purpose, there has been substantial criticism of the proposed calendar with students concerned that the changes will, in fact, increase stress and harm student mental health,” stated the Resolution.
Both undergraduate members on the calendar committee (including former Student Assembly President Natalie Raps, ’12) voted against the changes.
The entire statement can be found here on the University’s website.