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September 12, 2003

Calendar discussion resumes this month

by Diana Pounds
Iowa State's next academic calendar may feature longer winter breaks and class periods, a shorter semester and a mini-term in January. Or it may look just like the current calendar. President Gregory Geoffroy will choose between a new calendar and the status quo in mid-December.

But first he wants to hear more from the campus community about the two calendars under consideration.

"What are the advantages and disadvantages of these calendar proposals?" "How can we improve them?" These are some of the questions we need to tackle over the next couple of months," Geoffroy said.

In addition to seeking input from campus groups, Geoffroy is asking individual students, faculty and staff to comment on the calendar proposals. Comments submitted through a Web site will find their way not only to Geoffroy's desk, but to the calendar task force and an online calendar discussion site.

"To promote discussion, comments submitted by faculty, staff and students will be posted to the site," Geoffroy said.

The discussion site is part of an academic calendar Web site that also includes an FAQ, reports from the Academic Calendar Task Force, and detailed information about the two calendars under consideration.

An April 2002 Faculty Senate resolution calling for a longer inter-session between fall and spring semesters prompted Geoffroy to set up a task force to consider academic calendar changes. Geoffroy asked the Academic Calendar Task Force also to consider calendar changes that would better meet the needs of students, faculty and staff and take advantage of such changes in higher education as new course offerings and new ways to deliver information.

Led by economics department chair Arne Hallam, the task force developed four calendar proposals that were submitted to the campus community in the spring of 2003. Geoffroy subsequently narrowed those proposals to the current two, after reviewing comments from several thousand faculty, staff and students.

The Academic Calendar Discussion site ( includes detailed info on the calendar proposals, an FAQ, a form for submitting your comments on the proposals and postings of others' comments.

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