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On behalf of the Calendar Committee, Chair Ted Odell (professor, mathematics) has presented the following report for discussion by the Faculty Council at its meeting on February 16, 2004.


Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council

Posted on the Faculty Council Web site on February 12, 2004. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.



Calendar changes in Texas high schools have made it impossible for some freshmen to start at UT Austin when our summer session begins. However, some freshmen are required to enter the University in the summer. In addition, they must take part in orientation and testing the week prior to the beginning of classes. These freshmen who are required to enter in the summer are called the Summer Freshman Class.

The Colleges of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences and the registrar’s office have used ad hoc measures to accommodate these students. Special sections have been created that follow a calendar different from the options in UT's official calendar. The current official options are designated f (first summer term), s (second summer term), w (whole summer session), and n (nine-week classes, beginning the same day as f/w classes). The ad hoc Summer Freshman Class (SFC) sections have used the w designation but have not followed the official w calendar.

The summer session typically begins midweek. Students taking Summer Freshman Classes this summer will have orientation the following week, with classes beginning on the second Monday of the f/w terms.

The Calendar Committee would like to formally acknowledge these classes and have them listed in the official University calendar. Dates for registration, orientation, first and last class days, and final exams for these classes would be included. Here are some possible options. We seek feedback to help us decide which option is best.

1) Add the SFC schedule to the published calendar and continue to designate SFC classes with w. Registration in SFC sections would be controlled by departments as it is now. Registration would typically be closed by the department during April (but might not be if the department allows continuing students to take the class as well). The Course Schedule could include wording to the effect that this course is restricted to incoming freshmen if that is the case. The changes would be minimal under this approach. We would just be seeking approval of what is now being done.

2) Create a separate designation for SFC classes, such as “t” for “ten-week classes.” Then it would be easier to control registration in SFC classes, since they would be separated from the usual w classes; this might also be easier to manage. Classes that serve continuing students as well would still have to have their registration managed in some way. (It has been suggested that creation of a new designation would introduce an extra cost, for new programming. If there is support for this option, more research will be done.)

3) In addition to either 1 or 2, change the beginning date for n classes to correspond to the beginning date for SFC classes. The n classes would meet as they do now except they would start later and their finals would be a week and a half later than they are now, which is one week before s/w/SFC finals. Finals for SFC classes would continue to be at the same time as those for s and w classes.

(We are not sure if this would create problems for some departments and colleges. One reason for the change is that it would make SFC and n classes easier to staff. Also, it could save money for some departments by reducing the total number of sections they would have to offer.)

4) A fourth option would be to change the starting date of the n classes to the second Monday of the f/w term and have them end with the s/w classes. The n designation would then be used by both the SFC classes and by current n classes. One advantage is that no difficulties would ensue as they now do in scheduling final exams for n classes. Conflicts that now exist for students in, say, both n and s/w classes, are handled as instructors see fit. In addition, this proposal would not require the creation of a new designation.

In all of these options, SFC information would be included in the official calendar.