CTF proposes two May Term options to dean

by Vania Quiroz


The Calendar Task Force has submitted two options for Simpson’s academic calendar to Academic Dean Bruce Haddox.

The two options proposed by the task force are changing to a traditional semester of 15 weeks plus finals week or making some adjustments to the current May Term.

While both options include significant changes to May Term, Bruce Sloan, professor of mathematics and chair of the Calendar Task Force said the group didn’t focus only on May Term.

“The Calendar Task Force was a much broader issue than May Term,” said Sloan. “May Term happens to be part of our current calendar, and since we’re under a 4-4-1 school year, … Dean [Haddox] wanted to see if that was the best way for us to support our academic program.”

John Epperson, professor of political science and chair of the division of policy studies, agreed with Sloan that the calendar needed examined.

“Every calendar has advantages and disadvantages,” Epperson said. “We really haven’t looked at the current calendar for 15-20 years. It wasn’t like something broke and we had to fix it.”

Haddox doesn’t want the community to think the whole purpose of the Calendar Task Force was to eliminate May Term.

“The issue is not how many people want to get rid of May term and how many want to keep it,” Haddox said. “The issue when we look at these two proposals is which one, given where we say we are at Simpson and given what we’re trying to do, is the best way to go.”

Haddox intended to discuss the proposals with the faculty this semester, but he decided to wait until there was more time to consider them.

“What [the division heads] suggested was that it was awfully late in the year for such a complicated subject,” Haddox said. “Because of the timing of the semester and the change of the president, it seemed to me it was unwise to discuss it.”

Haddox has already mentioned the issue to Simpson’s President-elect John Byrd.

Haddox will propose the task force’s final report to the Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee, which, in turn, will present it for consideration to the faculty next fall.

Then the faculty will vote and the resolution will be presented to the board of trustees for final approval.

Haddox said the process will take time.

“It could take years,” Haddox said. “My guess is that no student on this campus right now will be affected.”

Haddox hopes that when the faculty debates the issue, it does so based on what’s best for the college, not their personal preferences.

“Everything we do has consequences,” Haddox said. “We need to think about what those consequences are, and then which ones are the best. That’s why I don’t think we’re ready at this moment to talk about it.”