Inside Iowa State
January 7, 2000
Senate to review length of winter break at January meeting
by Linda Charles
Faculty senators will debate expanding the break between fall and spring semesters from three weeks to four during the Jan. 11 senate meeting. Prompting the discussion is a recommendation by the University Calendar Committee to continue the current three-week break for 2003 through 2005.
Some faculty members have voiced support for a four-week break, both during the December senate meeting and through the "facultyvalues" e-mail group.
Reasons for a four-week break include:
Reasons for a three-week break include:
- Professional societies hold meetings during the first half of January because many universities are not in session then.
- Three weeks does not provide sufficient time to finish fall semester activities, participate in holiday plans and prepare for spring courses.
- Additional time for classrooms and residence facilities maintenance, and for Registrar's Office staff to process paperwork.
- Better chance of good weather for spring field trips.
- The university would save money from reduced heating bills.
- Earlier graduation date gives students an advantage in the summer job market.
- An extra week in the summer provides better weather for activities and vacations than a week in winter.
- Parents prefer the shorter break in the winter because students' high school siblings are back in school shortly after New Year's.
- The earlier starting date corresponds to the University of Northern Iowa. (The University of Iowa starts a week later.)
Tom Loynachan, calendar committee chair, said the proposed calendars for 2003-2005 are ready to present to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, though he would, with "some trepidation," take the calendar back to the committee if necessary. Senate president Dean Ulrichson said he won't know until after the senate meets whether the group actually will make a recommendation.
The senate meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, in 260 Scheman. Check "Today's News" on Iowa State's Web site for next-day results of the meeting.
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