I hope you are all doing as well as possible, given the circumstances. Thank you for your patience as our faculty and academic administrators worked to revise the academic calendar for the fall 2021 semester. As you know, canceling classes for two weeks creates some challenges. For accreditation purposes, we must have a certain number of class meeting times for each day of instruction, so we have to find a way to make up these missed days. We believe this plan is best in terms of making up those days, while keeping in mind our students overall wellbeing.
In the original academic calendar:
In the new academic calendar for this semester:
Because Fall Break eliminates a Thursday/Friday class session, we will make these up on Monday, December 20th and Tuesday, December 21st. On Monday the 20th, students will attend their Thursday classes, and on Tuesday the 21st, students will attend their Friday classes. Again, this is so we have the appropriate amount of class meeting times as required for accreditation.
There will be no finals period. Faculty may not schedule any exams during this period outside of their scheduled class times. Faculty will be permitted to use the final class meeting (or the final two or three class meetings) to administer exams. No papers or other projects can be due after December 22nd. (This is the day after classes end to add in the possibility of additional flexibility) For some classes this likely means that the final exam is cancelled and the course grade will be assigned based on the material other than the final.
Faculty can add asynchronous work and other outside-the-classroom learning hours to their courses, either to cover all of the necessary material so that they may use class times to administer exams, or to substitute for in-person meetings.
The Thanksgiving holiday will be observed as originally planned, and we avoided scheduling classes on the remaining weekends. Given the stresses of the semester we thought it best to preserve that downtime for our students.
All of these changes will be updated in the Fall 2021 revised academic calendar. Again, we believe this calendar is the best option for not only our students, but to accommodate the complex nature of our undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding.
Dean of Students