Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Faculty recommends switch to semesters

Augustana faculty voted last week to recommend to the board of trustees a switch to a semester calendar system.
The faculty voted 124 to 47, with six abstentions, to recommend this switch said Sam Schlouch, director of Public Relations for the college.
“I look forward to working with the faculty in developing a new calendar that provides the best education for students,” said President Steve Bahls. “The administration will provide the support necessary during and after the transition period to craft the best possible semester calendar.”
The college is considering switching to a 4-1-4 academic school year. This would involve two longer terms with one short term called a “J-term” in between them. The J term would most likely be required for two years, and would be optional after that. Schlouch said other options will also be considered.
The faculty voted against a similar plan in 2012.
Schlouch confirms that people in favor of the switch believe it would provide financial efficiencies, increase student retention and make the transfer process more smooth for students trying to transfer into Augustana.
Previous conversations have suggested that the college could recruit 100 to 150 additional students over the course of the four year implementation.
The administration has previously estimated the switch to semesters would have the potential to generate $2-3 million in revenue from increased recruitment of transfer students.  (Read more about the debate to make this switch by clicking HERE.)
“It’s my sense that most faculty were convinced that given current demographics and various financial challenges that we needed to stabilize our enrollment,” stated Ellen Hay, chair of the faculty council, in an email. “Semesters will help us retain and recruit students.”
The college’s administration showed support for this decision earlier in the year. The calendar change has also been a year long conversation in SGA.
“We will work on holding workshops and events next year to help communicate to the students why the faculty and administration are standing behind the semester change decision” said Charlie Bentley, SGA president for 2016-2017 academic year. “I want to make sure we have a feel for how the students are feeling about the calendar change.”
Schlouch confirms that the board of trustees will likely vote on the switch at their October board meeting. If approved, the change would take several years and would likely not affect anybody currently enrolled.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Faculty recommends switch to semesters