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From the President

Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Response to Senate Recommendation: Academic Calendar Revisions

At its April 8, 2016, meeting, the College Senate voted to recommend to the president revisions to the Academic Calendar construction guidelines.
 
It was determined that the guidelines currently used to set the Academic Calendar (voted on in the Senate in 2010) were never adopted into DOPS. It was also determined that these guidelines do not bring the college into compliance with SUNY calendar day guidelines. As a result, the College Senate recommends that the following resolution be adopted to ensure that Buffalo State College follows the SUNY policy of 15 weeks of instruction each semester, inclusive of final exam week:

WHEREAS, SUNY policy requires that campuses provide a minimum of 15 weeks of instruction each semester; and

WHEREAS, a 15-week semester schedule requires the equivalent of 42 Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes or 28 Tuesday/Thursday instructional days each semester for regularly scheduled classes, plus CEP week; and

WHEREAS, our students benefit from a greater exposure to and interactions with faculty in the classrooms; and

WHEREAS, Buffalo State’s current calendar construction policy, adopted by the College Senate in 2010, provides fewer instructional days than prescribed by SUNY policy and generally acknowledged as being required for awarding credit, particularly for 3-credit-hour courses meeting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the following revised version of the Academic Calendar Construction Guidelines Policy be adopted:

Policy Number: 1:19:00
Date: April 2016
Subject: Academic Calendar Construction Guidelines

In establishing the instructional calendar, the following trustees’ policies and/or legislation apply:

New York State and Trustee policy requires that the instructional year include a minimum of 30 weeks of instruction during the traditional nine or 10 months of instruction, inclusive of periods of examinations. If the conventional semester plan is followed, a semester must contain 15 or more weeks of instruction, inclusive of periods for examinations. Other patterns may be developed with the approval of the chancellor; however, the total of all instructional periods must provide the equivalent of a minimum of 30 weeks during the 12-month period. (Source: Memorandum to the Presidents, dated February 18, 1981. Subject: Guidelines for Development of the Campus Instructional Calendar.)

Colleges must allow sufficient time in the instructional calendar for students to register for courses, and makeup examinations and other assignments due to religious observance. University policy specifies that campuses accommodate, to the extent possible, religious holidays when developing the instructional calendar. (Source: Education Law, Sections 224-a.)

The following guidelines, as approved by the College Senate, are hereby approved for the construction of Buffalo State academic calendars:

Fall semester:

  1. The first day of classes will be the last Monday in August with classes not held on Labor Day.
  2. There will be a two-day Fall Recess beginning on the second Monday of October, which will coincide with the legal holiday Columbus Day.
  3. No classes will be held Wednesday through Saturday during the week of Thanksgiving Day.
  4. The final day of the regular instruction schedule should be the Friday in December at the end of the 15th week of the semester. This will be followed by a period of four days with a revised schedule during which students will have final critiques, present final reports, or take final examinations.

Intersemester:

  1. There will be a three-week intersemester beginning the first Monday in January, unless the first Monday is the legal observance of New Year’s Day. In such a case, the intersemester will begin on the Tuesday after the holiday. In years that the intersemester begins on the Tuesday, the registrar will adjust instruction periods as necessary to ensure compliance with SUNY guidelines regarding contact hours required for credit.
  2. Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be a holiday with no classes.
  3. Should weather require the cancellation of classes, the college will hold classes on the final Saturday of the intersemester.

Spring semester:

  1. The first day of the spring semester will be the last Monday in January.
  2. There will be a Presidents Day recess using the Monday legal holiday in February. The Monday will be a holiday on which the college will close in observance of the legal holiday.
  3. There will be a spring recess of six consecutive days without classes beginning on the Monday of the ninth week of the spring semester.
  4. The final day of the regular instructional schedule for the spring semester will be the Friday in May at the end of the 15th week of the semester. This will be followed by a four-day period with a revised schedule during which students will have final critiques, present final reports, or take final examinations. This week will be followed by Commencement.

I hereby accept the recommended revisions to the Academic Calendar Construction Guidelines presented by the College Senate. I charge the provost with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the changes and ensuring that the new calendar guidelines and resulting academic calendar are communicated broader and widely to all faculty students and staff. These changes will be implemented with the fall 2016 semester.

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