Editorial / News

EDITORIAL: A botched vote

The Academic Senate met Tuesday to vote on the new academic calendar, and the meeting ended with confusion instead of clarity.

The Senate voted 54-46 in favor of keeping the academic calendar as is, but, due to confusion with the wording, it failed to meet the needed two-thirds majority to pass.

Meaning the academic calendar will change, at least for now.

In light of the meeting, it’s apparent that the discussion about the academic calendar is far from over. Not only are A-Senate members confused, but the conversation about the calendar hasn’t been focused on what it should be: Academics.

Provost Gary Shapiro submitted a report to A-Senate earlier this month outlining the implications the calendar would have on the university in terms of finances. The report found the university would lose roughly $3 million from a calendar change. As President George Ross previously pointed out, $3 million is only a drop in the bucket for the university, which spends just over $1 million per day to operate.

The financial discussion surrounding the calendar debate should be secondary to education. If the academic calendar change is implemented, students will be losing a week of education while paying the same amount per credit hour they are now. This means a week’s worth of information will either have to be crammed into a 15-week lesson plan or eliminated from the curriculum.

How is that fair to students and professors?

Not only will students be sacrificing their education, but professors will be faced with deciding what topic can simply be skimmed over as opposed to being carefully taught.

The conversation about the calendar needs to be revisited, this time from an academic viewpoint. A-Senate needs to consider what students would lose in terms of classroom time and curriculum and decide from there.

A-Senate must lay everything out on the table and make sure senators understand what they are voting for. Confusion isn’t acceptable, especially when it comes to the education of Central Michigan University students. They do not deserve to see the quality of their academics fall because of some arcane A-Senate rule.

4 Comments

  1. “students will be losing a week of education while paying the same amount per credit hour they are now. This means a week’s worth of information will either have to be CRAMMED into a 15-week lesson plan or eliminated from the curriculum.

    How is that fair to students and professors?”

    Crammed??

    Much of the class is wasted time that goes to the professor’s anecdotes, trying to figure out the projector, trying to figure out how to get quicktime to work, etc….

    You honestly believe, deep down, that professors will have to skim valuable material off their lesson plan? Even 500 and 600 level classes could be condensed some to be more effective. (There are exceptions, I realize that, but in the grand scheme of things, it would be worth it).

    I will admit. There are professors that walk in passionately and engage students in a topic before the professor even sets his or her notes down, and I won’t name names, but those are the ones that would survive a schedule change. It’s the other ones who would complain.

    Paying MORE for a condensed class sometimes makes financial sense. When a student signs up for a Kaplan MCAT/LSAT/PCAT course….the course doesn’t span six months. It’s a quick slap-in-the-face boot camp to get your brain going, and it should be the same for academic classes. I don’t know many people who enjoy paying to sit in a class that moves as slow as molasses.

    Ever taken a summer class, something like chemistry? Talk about being engaged. That’s how it should be. If you use your same logic and apply it to the current system of summer classes, then the science kids taking anatomy and chemistry are missing a lot of valuable coursework, and those summer classes should be abolished.

    Just walk through the academic buildings one day and look into the classrooms. Are they truly engaged? Learning information that, in no way, can be condensed any further? No.

  2. The line “the academic calendar will change, at least for now” is not accurate. Just because the vote wasn’t overturned in the Senate doesn’t mean it goes into place. The academic calendar is a bargaining item and the University and FA still need to bargain the item. If the university says no, it doesn’t change.

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