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.