Faculty Feedback on JMU Academic Calendar Plan

Report to the JMU Faculty Senate

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Morgan C. Benton

Recap: Calendar
Revision Goals

  • Compliance with federal financial aid guidelines
  • Provide additional flexibility for students to facilitate timely graduation
  • Generate revenue for JMU
  • Give faculty members additional opportunities to:
    • Innovate
    • Generate income 


  • Provost's Office
  • Registrar
  • Residence Life
  • Facilities Management
  • Financial Aid
  • Business Office
  • Faculty (Senate)
  • SGA
  • Athletics
  • Events & Conferences


  • 50/75/150
  • 11 MWF timeslots
  • 14~15 weeks
  • No reading day
  • No Labor Day
  • No Winter term
  • 3 4-week Summer terms
  • Friday exams in Spring
  • No Sunday exams


  • 55/80/160
  • 10 MWF timeslots
  • 14 weeks
  • Reading day Fall & Spring?
  • Labor Day still not observed?
  • 3-week Winter term
  • 3 4-week Summer terms
  • No Fri or Sat exams?
  • 2 Sunday exam slots?
  • 7:35AM slot MW, WF, MF

Key Changes

APC Feedback Plan

  • Academic Policies Committee will coordinate and collate the feedback generation process
  • Proposed calendar details to Senators by 2/2/17
  • Units/Programs will discuss during February with goal of providing feedback to APC by 3/1
  • APC will collate and summarize feedback during March
  • Collated feedback presented to Senate at 3/30 meeting for discussion (and action?)
  • Final senate feedback delivered to Academic Calendar Committee by mid-April


  • ~34 out of 43 departments responded
  • ~80% participation rate
  • This is what shared governance looks like

Where We Agree

  • 3 weeks is too short for summer terms
  • Worried about snow days in shorter Spring
  • Don't love the idea of Sunday exams
  • Skeptical of the effectiveness of Reading Days
  • While not upset about extra 5 minutes in classes, don't think it adds to student learning and may detract

Where We were Mixed

  • Labor Day and other 1-day holidays have a differential impact across programs:
    • Space constrained programs (sciences, music) have a problem
    • Writing-intensive programs welcome extra time for reading and grading papers
  • Some welcome "reading" day as extra grading day


  • Nobody is excited about reworking course schedules, but very few came across as up in arms about this
  • Many of impacts were idiosyncratic
  • We are jealous of the time we spend with our students
  • Scheduling space (e.g. classrooms) is already challenging; proposal won't help; uncertainty is unsettling

What Happens Next?

  • Full results and summary report will go to the Academic Calendar Review Committee
  • A recommendation will probably be made to senior leadership in early summer
  • Further discussion/negotiation will occur over summer and fall
  • Decisions will be made in fall followed by concrete plan that could take effect as early as Fall 2018

Thank you to APC

  • Laura Atkins
  • Dmytro Babik
  • Brian Flota
  • Chrisi Hughey
  • Bill Van Norman
  • Cathy McKay
  • Aaron PeeksMease
  • Sharlene Richards
  • Dave Shonk
  • Ping Wang
  • Toni Whitfield
  • Michele White
  • Marilou Johnson


APC Calendar Study Feedback

By Morgan Benton

APC Calendar Study Feedback

  • 1,079