The university's Quarters to Semesters Transition Team concluded Wednesday that an academic calendar featuring two regular semesters of 15 weeks of classes and one week for exams makes the most sense for Ohio University and would mesh well with the calendars of other schools.
The team has been meeting weekly since September to complete revisions to a draft outlining assumptions, constraints and principles related to the conversion by the end of winter quarter.
Transition team members said it was important to resolve the semester structure early in their deliberations so departments have the information necessary to begin converting their courses to the new system.
Ohio University is among four public universities in the state that plans to transition to semesters in 2012. The University System of Ohio has encouraged the move in order to increase collaboration between the schools and make it easier for students to transfer from one institution to another.
Although most classes would last 15 weeks, shorter courses would be an option in cases where it makes good academic sense, the team decided.
"There will be flexibility for a department or a college to break that into half-semesters," team co-chair Tom Carpenter said after Wednesday's meeting. "It will be for those cases where it makes pedagogical sense."
Determining the semester structure is the first step in finalizing a full academic calendar, which will spell out when semesters begin and end and when breaks occur. Before that can be finalized, other issues -- such as whether there will be a winter or spring intersession and how that decision affects the length of the summer semester -- must be addressed.
The team began a discussion of those issues Wednesday and will continue it next week.
The guiding principles of the transition include ensuring it does not set students back in their graduation timeline, that faculty workload remains neutral and is determined by individual departments, and that curriculum revisions in one department do not adversely affect those in another.
Minutes of the Quarters to Semesters Transition Team meetings can be found on the Web at www.ohio.edu/provost/q2s.cfm.
-- Casey S. Elliott