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Academic Calendar

To: Faculty and Staff
From: President Steven G. Poskanzer
Date: Thursday, May 6, 2004
Re: Academic Calendar

As you know, the final responsibility for promulgating the college's academic calendar rests with the vice presidents and I sitting together as a Cabinet. The Cabinet's deliberations are, in turn, shaped in large part by the faculty and professional staff's collective views about the calendar as elucidated through regular governance channels.

In my two-and-a-half years here, there have been annual, intense, and sometimes very painful debates about what our calendar should look like. The central feature of these debates has been whether the college's calendar should continue to recognize (as it has for many years) a small number of religious holidays.

At a recent meeting, the faculty agreed that the Cabinet should set the calendars for academic years 2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08. By resolving three calendars at once, the faculty was (wisely in my view) hoping to bring closure to these debates for a period of time.

The content of the academic calendar should reflect a broad and evident consensus across our community. Over time, community views will evolve and such changes will be reflected in the calendar. However, it is my belief that such consensus needs to be clear-cut before changes are implemented.

While there may be growing sentiment to change the calendar to reflect a more secular orientation, the requisite consensus to make such a change has not yet emerged. The wrenching and increasingly destructive debates I have heard about the calendar at our faculty meetings lead me to conclude that our community is best served at this time by retaining our traditional calendar.

Accordingly, the vice presidents and I have decided to implement a traditional academic calendar through academic year 2007/08 (see below) with the following minor modifications and supplements:

  1. In the proposed traditional calendar for spring semester 2007, students were scheduled to attend classes for 10 weeks before spring break. The vice presidents and I felt this was educationally unsound. Following special consultation with the Academic Affairs Committee (which concurred that Cabinet was empowered to make this change), we have adopted a slightly different calendar for this semester that places spring break in March. Consequently, for this year only, classes will meet on Good Friday. We regard this schedule as an aberration. Fortunately, because most Friday classes meet in the morning, those who wish to be home on Friday afternoon or evening can probably do so.
  2. We endorse the Academic Affairs Committee's suggestion for a diversity calendar and will implement this idea.

In time, we will revisit the policies and viewpoints that are reflected in our calendar. However, this resolution for the next three academic years is healthy and wise for our community.

The three years of calendars will be as follows:

Fall 05 Traditional

August 25
Thursday
Classes Begin
September 5
Monday
Labor Day NO CLASSES
October 3-4
Mon & Tues
Rosh Hashanah NO CLASSES
October 12
Wednesday
Classes are in session
October 13
Thursday
Yom Kippur NO CLASSES
October 14
Friday
NO CLASSES
November 23-25
Wed,Thurs &Fri
Thanksgiving NO CLASSES
December 13
Tuesday
Make up class / Study day
December 14
Wednesday
Common finals
December 15-21
Thurs-Wed
Final exams
December 23
Friday
Grades due by 2:00

Spring 06 Traditional

January 23
Monday
Classes begin
February 20
Monday
President's Day Break; NO CLASSES
March 20-24
Mon-Fri
Spring Break
April 12
Wednesday
No classes after 3:15
April 13
Thursday
Passover NO CLASSES
April 14
Friday
Good Friday NO CLASSES
May 9
Tuesday
THURSDAY CLASSES MEET
May 10
Wednesday
FRIDAY CLASSES MEET
May 11
Thursday
Make up class / Study day
May 12
Friday
Common finals
May 15-19
Mon-Fri
Final exams
May 21
Sunday
Commencement
May 23
Tuesday
Grades due 2:00

Fall 06 Traditional

August 28
Monday
Classes Begin
September 4
Monday
Labor Day NO CLASSES
September 22
Friday
NO CLASSES AFTER 3:15
October 2
Monday
Yom Kippur NO CLASSES
October 3
Tuesday
NO CLASSES
November 23-25
Wed,Thurs &Fri
Thanksgiving NO CLASSES
December 12
Tuesday
Make up class / Study day
December 13
Wednesday
Common finals
December 14-20
Thurs-Wed
Final exams
December 22
Friday
Grades due by 2:00

Spring 07 Traditional

January 22
Monday
Classes begin
February 19
Monday
Wednesday classes meet 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Classes after 3 p.m. are Monday classes.
March 19-23 Spring Break
April 3,4
Tues., Wed.
No classes.
Classes resume Wednesday at 3 p.m.
May 9
Wednesday
Make up class / Study day
May 10
Thursday
Common finals
May 11-17
Fri-Thurs
Final exams
May 20
Sunday
Commencement
May 22
Tuesday
Grades due 2:00

Fall 07 Traditional

August 23
Thursday
Classes Begin
September 3
Monday
Labor Day NO CLASSES
September 12
Wednesday
No classes after 3:15
September 13
Thursday
Rosh Hashanah NO CLASSES
September 14
Friday
NO CLASSES
September 21
Friday
No classes after 3:15 Yom Kippur
October 8
Monday
Columbus Day NO CLASSES
October 9
Tuesday
MONDAY CLASSES MEET
November 21-23
Wed,Thurs &Fri
Thanksgiving NO CLASSES
December 10
Monday
Make up class / Study day
December 11
Tuesday
Makeup class / Study day
December 12
Wednesday
Common finals
December 13-19
Th-Wed
Final exams
December 21
Friday
Grades due by 2:00

Spring 08 Traditional

January 23
Wednesday
Classes begin
February 18
Monday
Presidents' Day NO CLASSES
March 17-21
Mon-Fri
Spring Break;
March 21 Good Friday
May 7
Wednesday
MONDAY CLASSES MEET
May 8
Thursday
Make up class / Study day
May 9
Friday
Common finals
May 12-16
Fri-Thurs
Final exams
May 18
Sunday
Commencement
May 20
Tuesday
Grades due 2:00