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On behalf of the Calendar Committee, Professor Kenneth Ralls (mechanical engineering and committee chair) submitted the following proposal to revise the Principles for the Development of the Academic Calendar. The secretary has classified this proposal as general legislation. It will be presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 19, 2007.

Greninger signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council and General Faculty


These principles were originally promulgated in April, 1975, and amended by the University Council in April, 1979; March, 1983; and February, 1984; and by administrative action in June, 1990. They were amended again by the University Council in April, 1992.
1. Coordinating Board guidelines shall be followed in establishing the beginning dates, length of session, and ending dates of all sessions.
2. The committee considers a seventy-five day semester ([comprised of] comprising forty-five Monday, Wednesday, and Friday meeting days and thirty Tuesday and Thursday meeting days) to be ideal in length. Realizing the impossibility of achieving this in the fall semester, the committee holds that there shall be a minimum of seventy class days in a semester (forty-two Monday, Wednesday, and Friday meeting days and twenty-eight Tuesday and Thursday meeting days).
3. In the fall, Labor Day will be observed and the three-day Thanksgiving holiday (Thursday through Saturday)1 will be observed [and Labor Day will be observed].
4. In the spring, Martin Luther King Day will be observed.
5. In the spring, the University will recess for one week’s vacation beginning [with the end of] the Monday after the eighth week of classes. [When Easter occurs at the end of the seventh or ninth week of classes, the spring vacation shall occur during the week that includes Easter.] {1}
6. In the summer, Independence Day (July 4) shall be observed if it falls on a weekday[, unless for exceptional reasons relating to the final examination schedule this recess is not feasible]. {2}
7. Long-session semesters should begin on Monday whenever possible. Long-session graduation days should occur on Saturday, except when the fall graduation day would otherwise be on December 25, then Friday, December 24, will be designated graduation day.
8. The following pattern for setting final examination periods in the long session should be observed:

Friday [(or Saturday)] — Last class [meeting] day {3}
Sunday — No-class day
Monday — No-class day
Tuesday — No-class day
Wednesday — Exam day #1
Thursday — Exam day #2
Friday — Exam day #3
Saturday — Exam day #4
Sunday — No-class day
Monday — Exam day #5

1 Friendly amendment accepted by the Faculty Council during its meeting on April 16, 2007.



Tuesday — Exam day #6
Saturday — Graduation day

9. There shall be at least one full week between [commencement] Commencement in the spring and the beginning of the summer session and at least one full week [after] between graduation day in the summer and the beginning of the fall semester [(field house registration), except in the Law School].
10. The summer session shall be of eleven weeks duration, [comprised of] comprising two five and one-half week terms (including registration, class days, and examination days). A schedule will also be provided for nine-week and whole-session courses. There will be a minimum of twenty-five class days in the first term and twenty-five class days in the second term. Second-term registration will run concurrent with the first-term final examinations.
11. Two-day periods for examinations shall be provided for all summer terms and sessions.
12. [The Law School’s calendar requires seventy class days and twelve days of examination in each of the long-session semesters. The summer calendar requires the equivalent of twenty class meetings of seventy minutes each for two-hour courses, thirty class meetings for three-hour courses, and forty class meetings for four-hour courses. The class day requirements are mandated by the American Bar Association Rules and the New York Bar Examination Rules, which are applicable to several of our students each year. During the summer session, the Law School has only one ten-week term.] The calendar of the School of Law is established by the School of Law. It must conform to Coordinating Board principles and to the rules of the American Bar Association. In setting its calendar, the School of Law shall also follow the pattern established by the preceding principles as closely as possible. {4}

[Reporting Procedure for the Calendar Committee]

[1. One faculty member and one of the two student members assigned to the Calendar Committee shall also be members of the University Council.]
[2. The Annual Report of the Calendar Committee shall be forwarded from the Calendar Committee to the President.]
[3. The Principles which determine the University Calendar shall be brought before the University Council for reconsideration and possible revision (a) at the request of the two Committee members who also serve on the University Council or (b) by majority vote of the Calendar Committee. (Naturally, the University Council itself may decide to reconsider the Calendar Principles at its will.)] {5}

Rationale for proposed changes

1. (a) The current language is ambiguous: it is unclear what is the intended difference between “[the week] beginning with the end of the eighth week of classes” and the “ninth week of classes.” (b) Because Easter cannot be earlier than March 22, it cannot occur “at the end of the seventh...week of classes” as long as classes begin prior to February 2. (c) It is academically more appropriate for spring vacation to be determined by the beginning date of the semester than by the date of Easter.
2. In current practice, Independence Day is always observed.
3. The last class day hasn’t been a Saturday for many years.
4. This item has always described the law school’s practice at the time the principles were revised. Since the ABA requirements that the law school must meet may change independently of these principles, it makes sense to omit this description.
5. The section on reporting procedures is unnecessary.

The remaining changes are editorial.

Distributed through the Faculty Council web site on March 16, 2007. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.