Page 2March 14, 2012
Trustees to decide on 4-1-4 in May
At their February meeting, the Board of Trustees authorized Mercyhurst University President Thomas Gamble, Ph.D., and the
Ofce of Academic Affairs (OAA) to con
-sider changing to the 4-1-4 calendar.If everything goes as planned, the trustees
will make an ofcial decision regarding the
calendar at their May 5 meeting.Until then, Vice President for Academic
Affairs Phil Belore, Ph.D., is collecting
information from academic departments. Heasked every department as well as graduateprograms to complete three tasks.
Belore asked departments to create a
plan of study on a 14 week-4 week-14 week
calendar system (4-1-4). This plan shows the
sequence of classes a student would take in adepartment to graduate within four years.He then asked departments to explainunique courses they could offer during thefour-week January or May term. At their May meeting, trustees will notdetermine whether the short term will takeplace in January or May. If 4-1-4 is approved,this matter would be decided either at the endof this year or the beginning of next.“I would hope the faculty and students would make the decision because the faculty and students are the ones that would live with
it,” Belore said.
Departments were also asked to determine
if switching to a 4-1-4 system would be s
-cally feasible and whether the addition of new faculty would be required.So far, about 12 departments have
responded to Belore’s request, and they have
all said switching to 4-1-4 is feasible.
Belore said that his recommendation tothe board will be based on the ndings from
his study.“If all the information comes back from
faculty, departments and Jane (Kelsey) that
this is feasible and we look forward to doing this, we will do it,” he said.
Once the necessary feasibility and scalinformation is collected, Belore and Michael
Federici, Ph.D., president of the Faculty
Senate, will present the ndings to the Aca
-demic Affairs Committee. This committee will then present the information to the Boardof Trustees at their May 5 meeting.
“I’m hoping at that meeting they’ll make anal decision,” Belore said.
Federici said the only reason he thinks thedecision would be postponed would be if thetrustees think more research needs to be con-ducted.Even so, much of the necessary informa-tion was collected prior to the February boardmeeting.Federici polled faculty in January and foundthat 73-25 were in favor of switching to a 4-1-4 or 4-4-1 calendar. A study of the number of classrooms oncampus has been conducted as well. Moreclasses would be offered at one time underthe 4-1-4 calendar, but not all classrooms areoccupied now. Therefore, there are enoughclassrooms available to make the change,Federici said. As of now, Federici has not come across any major issues or substantial costs that wouldprevent the change to the 4-1-4 calendar.Despite no known major issues with thecalendar change, there have been rumorsamong faculty that an administrator at theuniversity is not in favor of 4-1-4, and there-fore, the calendar will not be approved.
Federici would not comment, but Belore
responded to this rumor.“There may be some administrators who
may not prefer this, but I don’t know of any
administrators right now who would shoot itdown,” he said. The Board of Trustees approved the new college core at their February meeting. Thischange will take effect in fall of 2013. If 4-1-4 is approved, the new calendar will begin in2013 as well.“Ideally that would be great if we could do
them both at the same time,” Belore said.Belore said he thinks the board will votein favor of what the study nds.
Approval will depend on the board know-
ing the change to a 4-1-4 calendar is “scally responsible or scally neutral,” he said.
“If we present a report that is positive, I see
no reason they would reject it,” Belore said.
Federici discussed how much time andeffort has been spent on working on a calen-dar that will meet faculty and student needs.
“I’m condent the college will make an
intelligent decision at the end of the day,” hesaid.
By Kelly Luoma