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November 7 , 2003

P&S Council's choice: Academic calendar A

by Anne Krapfl
Academic calendar option A -- a status quo of the current calendar -- was the unanimous choice (27-0) of the Professional and Scientific Council in its final vote Nov. 5 on two calendar options. President Gregory Geoffroy has asked for comments and input on the two options by Nov. 14. He expects to make a decision by mid-December.

Council members offered various reasons for their preference for the status quo:
  • With mid-year budget cuts, the timing is not good to cover the cost of implementing a change
  • The J-term in option B actually shortens the between-semester break for many employees instead of lengthening it
  • The staggered class start time in option B creates too many scheduling headaches on and off campus and creates a really long school day, and
  • The current calendar simply still is the best option.
Other council members expressed interest in a hybrid of the two -- option A with a two-day October break or option B without a J-term, for example -- but noted that the university calendar task force is the group to develop a hybrid.

In other business, the council:
  • Tabled a motion that would encourage university leaders to open a retirement option window for interested employees, as a tool for managing the current budget reversion. Council members were directed to talk with their constituents about options; the discussion will resume at the council's December meeting.

  • Passed a resolution intended to encourage unit leaders to include P&S staff in discussions as decisions are made in the next month about how and where mid-year cuts will be made. The resolution reads:
    "In light of current budget challenges, the Professional and Scientific Council encourages administrators, faculty and professional and scientific staff to work cooperatively to address these challenges to maintain excellence at Iowa State University."
Assistant provost Ellen Rasmussen, liaison to the council, reported that outplacement services will be available to P&S employees who lose their jobs due to the mid-year budget cuts. She said the vice presidential offices will cover the cost of the services for employees who request outplacement assistance.

The council's next meeting begins at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room.

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