Garrett Kirk ’24
The faculty met on Mar. 16 and 18 to consider two academic related motions. Discussion of the first motion, discussed Mar. 16, proposed that the College implement hybrid and remote learning options to supplement in-person classes for the Summer Session II and 2021 fall term.
This motion was drafted in order to “[m]aintain the primacy of the instructor in controlling the content of the course and the means of assessment of the students;[u]phold the authority of individual departments and programs in determining requirements for the completion of their own majors or minors based on their expertise; [and] ensure that students enrolled in a course do not lack the resources necessary to complete the course.”
The final part of this respective section stated that “this particular motion is adopted for potential use only in the continuing COVID-19 emergency.”
The motion additionally stated that “[f]aculty should be prepared to teach a version of [their] course which fulfills all of the learning objectives which would, under normal conditions, be associated with the course material.”
“There was a good bit of discussion on this motion, both this afternoon and tonight, but it passed by a wide margin,” said Associate Professor of Economics and Faculty Secretary Mark Stater.
The second motion proposed a specific academic calendar for the 2021-2022 academic year. The curriculum under this motion retains the 13-week semester format, although this calendar does provide changes from the 2020-2021 schedule.
Under this plan, there is a shorter J-term semester that begins Jan. 3 and ends Jan. 21. During the J-term period, “[s]tudents may enroll in only one J-term course for up to one credit.”
Based on this calendar, the next academic year is scheduled to begin on Sept. 7, with Commencement occurring on May 22.
The Thanksgiving vacation is supposed to last from Nov. 24 to Nov. 28 as stated in the motion. There is also a spring break under this format, which will occur from Mar. 19-27.
Both the fall and spring term will include “Trinity Days,” with these two-day recesses occuring Oct. 11 and Feb. 24, respectively, that were absent this year.
The motion additionally indicates that “[r]evisions to the academic calendar remain contingent on compliance with any federal or state aid requirements” and the conditions that may arise during the ongoing pandemic.
This motion was voted on during the Thursday meeting rather than on Tuesday, Stater added, and “after a brief discussion, the faculty passed the academic calendar by a wide margin.”
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