November 12, 2003
Senate forwards four calendar votes to Geoffroy
by Linda Charles
There was a lot of voting going on at the Faculty Senate meeting Nov. 11,
but in the end, the senate had no single recommendation on the next academic
During the course of the evening, the senate voted:
Senate president Jack Girton will forward the results of all four votes to
the administration. President Gregory Geoffroy has asked for input by Nov.
14 on the two academic calendar options currently under consideration.
Geoffroy has indicated he will make a decision on the next calendar by
- Against calendar B (41-23),
- Against calendar A (33-27),
- In favor of a modified version of calendar A that would add an extra
week between fall and spring semester (57-13) and
- Finally, in favor of calendar A over calendar B (28-19, with 17
One option, calendar A, mirrors the current calendar. The other option,
calendar B, would extend class periods by 5 minutes, shorten the semester to
14 weeks, and increase the summer interval to 16 weeks. It also would
include a two-day class break in October, a four-week winter break and a
10-day, optional mini-semester in early January.
The senate meeting began with former senator Jim Hutter reminding the senate
that the current academic calendar discussion came out of an April 2002
senate resolution that called for an additional week to be added to the current
three-week winter break between fall and spring semesters.
Hutter, who authored that resolution, said, "I think what you are being
presented is an option (calendar A or B) you don't want at all."
The academic calendar used to include a four-week break between semesters,
and was changed to the current three-week break without senate input, Hutter
Girton noted that adding the extra week between semesters would put Iowa
State on the same academic calendar as the University of Iowa.
Much of the discussion during the evening centered around whether a
recommendation to modify calendar A would be taken seriously by
Geoffroy, or whether the senate should confine its recommendation to the two
options as presented.
Several senators pointed out the current calendar with an extra week between
semesters would resemble calendar D, another option that was considered
earlier this year. Geoffroy removed calendar D and a fourth proposal,
calendar C, from consideration last spring when he narrowed the proposals
under consideration to the two (A and B) that had received the most support
from the campus community.
After votes rejecting calendar B, and then calendar A, the senate seemed
ready to recommend calendar A, but state that its preference would be to add an
extra week between fall and spring semesters.
At that point, some senators called for a vote between calendars A and B, in
case Geoffroy would not consider a modified calendar A. Many senators
abstained from that vote, indicating they felt they had already decided the
It was then that the senate decided to forward the results of all the votes
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Published by: University Relations,
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