Future Academic Calendars - Newsletter May, 2001

Those of us who have been at TSC/TCNJ for more than a few years know that there have been many different versions of academic calendars including those with Saturday classes, no exam period, fall semesters ending after the holiday break, no classes before Labor Day, different length fall and spring semesters, those with a different number of M, T, W, R and F during the semester, and many other variations "on a theme."

As you know, things change and our current contract has a provision for the academic year to begin up to one week before September 1 as long as the number of weeks of instruction is not extend beyond what has been the
normal past practice but any such change must be discussed with the AFT Local before adoption. On our campus there was considerable discussion about starting the fall semester before September 1 with many supporting the idea and other less convinced of its value.

The matter of the "ideal" academic calendar has come up in recent Academic Leaders’ meetings and the Faculty Senate but there has been no formal survey of faculty and professional staff on this topic as far as we know.

In order to determine your ideas on the best calendar for TCNJ, we are planning a survey to be distributed in the fall. Your input will be helpful when we discuss future academic calendars with the Administration. Other groups will be providing input and our survey will allow AFT unit members to express their views on this important subject. It is not likely that everyone will agree on the "perfect" calendar but everyone's opinions and ideas should be considered.

It seems reasonable to expect that a five year calendar ought to be able to be developed and put in place rather than go through this process each year as has been done recently. It is always possible to revise the calendar if something unexpected occurs but that should only be done under extraordinary circumstances.

If you have any questions about this process or any suggestions, please send an e-mail to aft@tcnj.edu