Faculty voted to move the start of spring semester classes from Feb. 3 to Feb. 15 during a meeting held on Dec. 15. Eighty-seven percent of the faculty, or 161 members, voted in favor of the motion, while 24 members voted against.
Supporters cited the need for a longer break in instruction after the January term, which ends on Jan. 26, better conditions to limit the spread of Covid-19 and more opportunities for outdoor instruction, while critics noted the loss of time for faculty research and student summer employment, among other reasons.
Along with moving the start date, the newly approved schedule will include days off from classes on March 19, April 19 and April 20. The last day of classes is scheduled for May 19. Reading period will take place from May 20 to May 23 with finals beginning May 24 and ending on May 28.
The proposal arose after a competing academic calendar — in which the beginning of classes would be pushed back to Feb. 23 — was released in November in response to concerns with the original schedule. The Committee of Educational Policy (CEP) compared the two schedules and recommended an intermediate start date of Feb. 15, which the Committee of Six then forwarded to a general faculty vote, echoing the recommendation.
This is a developing story. We will update it as soon as more information is released.