Academic Senate President Dustin Hanvey confirmed that the college will be on a 16-week semester for the 2013-14 academic year at the Senate meeting on Jan. 28.
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Academic Senate President Dustin Hanvey confirmed that the college will remain on a 16-week semester for the 2013-14 academic year at the Senate meeting on Jan. 28.

There has been considerable talk of a 17 or 18-week semester, but Hanvey said courses will still have to be scheduled to fit 54 hours of instruction.

“It was brought up in the town hall meeting last November and the consensus was not there,” Hanvey told the Senate, referring to the discussion of the Carnegie Hour at a meeting held by the Senate on Nov. 29. “So therefore the focus of the Ad-Hoc Committee [on Scheduling] has changed.”

The newly formed Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Scheduling will grapple with classes overlapping and finding locations to hold courses, especially those that require specialized classrooms, such as chemistry or automotive courses.

“The committee will be focusing on what is called “block scheduling” and figure out how we can better schedule our classes within 16 weeks,” said Hanvey. “No cutting of the number of hours, no additional weeks to the semester, just trying to find a way to make it work.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Hanvey said his understanding is that block scheduling will integrate courses, especially those in English and math, and help the deans of each division coordinate when their classes are scheduled so that they will not overlap with other required courses.

With new pressure on the committee, Hanvey asked if the current seven potential members would like to step down from it, and laid out one of the new important tasks the committee will have to take on.

“You’ll have an choice: are we going to have a schedule friendly to students and sacrifice some of the classroom issues or vice-versa?” said Hanvey.

Hanvey said in the interview that the Senate is in agreement it wants what will be best for students’ schedules in order to get the classes they need.

Of the seven members originally requesting to be on the committee, two have already backed down. Confirming that they still want to serve on the committee were Carrie Anne Starbird of mathematics, Philip Ricards of the Social Sciences division, and Paul Jarrell of the Natural Sciences division.

Yolanda Mckay of the Visual Arts and Media Studies Division, who was appointed chairwoman of the committee at the Senate meeting on Jan. 14 decided to step down as the chair but decided to remain on the committee, feeling that someone else may be better qualified for the position.

The executive board assured the Senate that while an 18 week calendar will not be considered for the 2013-14 academic year and possibly the following year, that the issue may come up again in the future.

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