By Casey S. Elliott
Ohio University's Quarters to Semesters Transition Team hopes to reach consensus next week on its recommendation for a semester system academic calendar. The goal, members say, is to arrive at a proposal that offers as much flexibility as possible for accommodating instructional needs.
The team has been meeting weekly since September to develop recommendations on the timeline and guiding principles of the conversion, which is slated to take place in fall 2012, as well as the structure of the calendar. The team is to present its recommendations to Executive Vice President and Provost Kathy Krendl and President Roderick J. McDavis by the end of winter quarter.
Members have settled on recommending a standard semester calendar consisting of 15-week fall and spring semesters with an additional week for finals.
Discussion in recent weeks has centered on the length of winter break and how summer session would be divided. Some university groups favor a longer break to provide for study abroad opportunities or research. Proponents of a shorter winter break cite a desire to have a longer summer session for those purposes. The team will highlight the pros and cons of three- and four-week breaks in its report and so that deans are fully informed as they decide on the best option for the university as a whole.
Also discussed recently is the length and composition of summer session. Earlier discussions focused on dividing the summer into three sessions: a four-week session or "Maymester" and two five-week sessions. However, team members recently have discussed two six-week summer sessions to accommodate courses of that or shorter duration.
"We were looking at options for maximum flexibility," Department Classics and World Religions Chair Tom Carpenter said.
This summer setup also leaves time for compiling spring semester grades before the summer session starts, and gives time for Residential Housing to prepare residence halls for the upcoming school year.
The team hopes to finalize its recommendations regarding the calendar at its meeting next week.