Spring calendar change proposal

October 08, 2020

Dear colleagues,

We are reaching out to you about the spring semester calendar options that were recently presented and discussed in one of our regular meetings with academic, administrative, and student leaders. After incorporating some initial community feedback, the option that has emerged as the leading candidate looks like this:

  • Classes start two weeks late (February 16), enabling us to use the three-day Presidents Day weekend for move-in.
  • All undergraduates quarantine for one week (“Q-week”).
  • The first two weeks of the semester are fully-remote (“Q-week” plus one more).
  • In-person classes begin on March 1.
  • Spring Break is cancelled but several one-day holidays are dispersed throughout the semester.
  • The number of class days remains consistent with a typical semester (possibly reduced by one day).
  • Commencement is one week late, the end of the first week of June.

This option helps to achieve our public health goals by delaying the start of the in-person elements of the semester closer to the end of the winter, and it eliminates travel risks associated with long breaks.

Please let your department head know by next Tuesday, October 13, if you have any suggestions or significant concerns about this option. Your department head is being asked to bring any feedback they receive to your dean, who will then be in touch with senior officers and Faculty Chair Rick Danheiser. Rick will discuss calendar options with other faculty officers and the members of the Academic Policies and Regulations Team (APART) before we make a final determination about the spring calendar by the end of next week.

Thank you in advance for offering any insights you have on how we can best structure the spring calendar to achieve our public health and academic objectives.


Cynthia Barnhart, Chancellor

Martin A. Schmidt, Provost