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Board of Governors to vote on calendar

Dec. 11, 2012 @ 11:30 PM

HUNTINGTON -- The Marshall University Board of Governors will convene Thursday morning, Dec. 13, for its final meeting of the year.

The agenda includes voting on the 2013 academic calendar and approving a contractor for improvements at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Both the Finance, Audit & Facilities Planning (John Spotts Room) and Academic & Student Affairs (2W37) committees will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Memorial Student Center, then convene in the Shawkey Dining Room for the main meeting.

The calendar for the next academic year includes a few minor changes that will benefit the faculty and staff, while adding a bit of ease for students during final exams, officials said.

The proposed calendar includes 153 instructional days from August 2013 through May 2014. That includes class dismissals for Labor Day, Thanksgiving week, winter break, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and spring break. Saturdays are not counted even though graduate level courses are offered on the weekends.

Included in those instructional days are five final exam days included in both the fall and spring semesters. The primary change is the exam schedule for the fall semesters, which would drop the split and allow a full five-day exam week. The modification results in two fewer instructional days for the fall semester.

Currently students attend classes until the second Tuesday in December, with final exams beginning Wednesday at 3 p.m. Students then have two full days of exams on Thursday and Friday, followed by winter commencement on Sunday, then two more days of exams. Faculty members turn in grades by the following Thursday at noon.

In the agenda, it is noted that the current schedule has created two problems. "Winter commencement should be the final event in the fall semester. This year, students celebrate completion of their studies Sunday, Dec. 16, only to return to exams on the following Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 17 and Dec. 18, respectively," the summary states.

The summary also notes an anomaly in the current schedule has placed undue pressure on the academic offices. This year, grades are due at noon on Thursday, Dec. 20. However, at 5 p.m., university offices are scheduled to close for winter break. And letters of suspension must be mailed as soon as possible, which means the registrar's office and IT support need to work that evening to get both those tasks completed.

"The proposed calendar remedies both of these situations. A five-day exam week schedule, rather than a split week calendar, allows faculty to turn in grades ... (and) gives the dean's and academic support offices four days, during regular business hours, to process grades and mail letters of suspension and probation to affected students."

Commencement in 2013 would be held Sunday, Dec. 14, and be the final event for students for the fall semester.

The other agenda item requiring a vote by the board of governors is for a contractor for the stadium upgrade, a project which includes four additional suites on the Sky Deck level, new restrooms and a third elevator.

The next meeting is Feb. 27, 2013.

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