As rumors have swirled about the possibility of Pacific University replacing the January term with a May term, students have been left with many different questions.
In charge of organizing any kind of calendar change is Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Mark Ankeny, who has been working with Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Provost John Miller and President Lesley Hallick on figuring what needs to be done in order to make a change by the 2019-20 school year.
“There has been discussion among the faculty as to whether a calendar change is just a calendar change or a curriculum change,” Ankeny said. “The College of Arts and Sciences faculty reps went to the faculty senate and the faculty senate said they wanted to see a proposal this past fall.”
Currently, the faculty within the College of Arts and Sciences is examining the notion of an intensive term and whether or not there is a need for an intensive term. If so, they will decide whether or not it should stay in January or move it to May.
“There is a recognition that what is happening right now, isn’t fully working for everybody,” Ankeny said. “Whether it’s because there is not enough faculty or teaching in it or that the curriculum is not attractive enough to students or whether it is the actual time it’s being offered. It’s not working as well as it should be.”
One rumor that has been swirling is the possibility of having both a January and May term. However, Ankeny feels that is something that is highly unlikely to happen.
“I think that if there was a January term than a May term would be more talked about as a summer session and we haven’t really had much traffic for a summer session here,” Ankeny said. “It’s just the nature of our students who like to get out early and compete for summer jobs.”
The goal is for the faculty to come up with some kind of proposal by the end of April to have some kind of curricular change by the 2019-20 school year, which still may be a January term but includes a way to take core classes in a new way.
“It could be something like starting the class in the fall semester and finish up the course in the January semester, but it’s unclear what it will be right now,” Ankeny said.
The idea of a calendar change brings differing opinions on what may be better for the university and what might not be effective. Ankeny and the higher ups know that change is not easy and will take some adjusting.
“Some faculty have said they prefer a term in January and some prefer a term in May, and we would also like to get students voices in there as well,” Ankeny said. “Any kind of change has a ripple effect, whether it’s the business office, financial aid, register’s office; clearly a January or May term creates a change in housing and residence life. The intent is to come up with alterations for the 2019-20 school year, which will need to be decided on by the end of this semester.”