Faculty Assembly to consider sweeping calendar changes

Alondra Campos
News Editor

The University of La Verne could move to a 17-week semester with two 8-week terms embedded beginning Fall 2021, following a Faculty Senate vote Monday in support of the change.

This calendar resolution addresses University–Department of Education compliance and financial aid concerns, as well as putting most University programs on the same schedule, officials said. 

“This change in our calendar schedule would allow flexibility for students, allow registration across terms, and allow undergraduates to take grad classes before they finish their bachelor’s degrees,” said Kathy Duncan, professor of management.

Juli Minoves-Triquell, chair of the undergraduate academic policies committee, said the schedule change would be better for students and professors.

“The majority of UGAP was in favor of the calendar resolution and it would be best for ULV to be in accordance with more of a common schedule,” said Minoves-Triquell, associate professor of political science. 

In addition, if passed, the calendar resolution could generate significant savings that approximate to $1.5 million through “scheduling efficiencies,” said Mary Aguayo, vice president of strategic enrollment management.

While some Faculty Senate members expressed concerns about shortening 10-week terms to eight weeks, Provost Jonathan Reed tried to reassure them. 

“If you don’t think you could go from 10 weeks to eight weeks then you have the option to embed in two eight-week modules, or go for an entire 17 weeks,” Reed said.

Another more heated calendar issue faculty will take in coming weeks, has to do with moving the University’s January term to May. 

Faculty and students said the University should think hard before making this change.

Christine Broussard, professor of biology, said moving January term to May could make some special classes prohibitive. 

“We have students who travel during the Jan term who may not have the chance to travel outside of the term,” Broussard said. 

“Faculty and students also do research during Jan term that help them progress and prepare for graduation,” she added.  

The Associated Students of the University of La Verne surveyed undergraduate students last month about this prospect.

According to the survey, over 89% of the students who responded said they preferred to keep the one month term in January, and over 93% said they enjoyed the month-long term during the month of January. 

“Jan term has been really useful for all undergraduates,” Sarah Morales, ASULV president, said. “Whether we take a class or not, that month has so many different purposes for us.”

Many undergraduates said  that January term was one of the reasons they chose to attend the University in the first place, said Morales.

“Our student athletes also appreciate Jan term because it serves them as a break between seasons, something they wouldn’t have if the term was moved to May,” Morales added.

“I don’t feel comfortable making a decision based on the faculty’s perspectives on what will be best for students,” Broussard said.

On Thursday the Provost’s office sent out its own survey seeking student input on possible changes to the University’s academic calendar.

The Faculty Assembly is expected to vote on the topic at its Nov. 18 meeting.

Alondra Campos can be reached at alondra.campos@laverne.edu.

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