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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 9
Pizza Cat Vol. 9
Deirdre Northrup-Riesterer April 17, 2024

Committee considers change to calendar

The Calendar Committee of the Academic Senate is looking at several different changes to the 2011-2012 Academic Calendar, which could affect students all across campus.
One proposal being considered suggests a 12 week semester in the fall and in the winter. Should this proposal go through, the fall semester would end before Thanksgiving, and the winter semester would begin in early February. Classes would be longer in both semesters, and night classes might be eliminated.
“There are things that we need to look at that impact athletics, that impact the community, that impact people across campus,” said professor Larry Pagel, a member of the Calendar Committee. “We’re looking at this much more broadly than just one proposal.
This year, the administration has been looking at several different ways to reduce the costs of the budget. Pagel said this search factors into the academic calendar proposal process.
“President [Wong] really set the tone and said we need to look at all the different ways to possibly save money. And so we’re looking at different options that we might have,” Pagel said.
He cautioned that nothing yet is set in stone. The discussion about calendar changes is still early in the process.
“There’s nothing magic about that 12 week semester. It could be less than that, which would be very unlikely. It could also be 13 weeks,” Pagel said. “We’re really looking at everything from that proposal to every other possibility. And certainly we keep going back to the regular calendar that we’re accustomed to.”
Jason Morgan, ASNMU president and student representative on the Calendar Committee, said that while the twelve week semester proposal is currently being discussed the most, it is not the only one being considered.
“We’ve been discussing that [proposal] pretty extensively and talking to students in between our meetings to see what kind of input we’re getting back,” Morgan said. “Right now we’ve been keeping an open mind about it.”
Morgan said that the changes the Committee will make could be extensive, or they could be very minor.
“We’re looking at all available options for possible changes to the calendar. That could include something as radical as switching a semester to the summer and having a summer fall semester,” he said. “Or we could essentially not make any changes to the calendar.”
The ad hoc committee is formed every few years to discuss possible changes to the academic calendar, which then must be approved by the Academic Senate. Then these proposals move on to the Provost’s office and the Board of Trustees. The current calendar goes for another year.
“Sometimes, the changes made are minor, and sometimes they make substantial changes, like how long Thanksgiving break should be, that sort of thing,” said mathematics Professor Andrew Poe, chairman of the Academic Senate, who formed the ad hoc committee.
In the 2009-2010 school year, the fall semester started two weeks before Labor Day, when in previous years it started a week before. This change was done by the previous Calendar Committee, who was concerned that the fall semester would end too close to Christmas.
“They made a change to make the semester start a week earlier than it otherwise might. These things happen sometimes,” Poe said.
Poe said he felt that it was very important to get student feedback on the possible calendar changes. He said that students should make their concerns known to Morgan, the student representative on the Calendar Committee.
“Obviously, the students are the people most impacted by the academic calendar, simply because there are more of them, and that’s why it’s important to have student representation,” Poe said.

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