Pacific University is thinking of doing away with January term in favor of a May term. This would mean that instead offering the classes in winter, the courses would be held in summer after Spring term. Moving the term to May would help avoid weather related problems such as those that occurred last Winter. Due to the large amount of snow, campus was closed for almost a week leaving those taking classes rushing to make up for the time lost.
Winter term already requires the courses to move at a faster pace given the fact that they are just over two weeks long. This makes every moment of class time valuable and therefore leaves little room for cancellations due to weather. If the term was held in May, it is unlikely the university would need to worry about a snowstorm shutting down the campus.
Moving the term to summer may also be helpful for students who travel between Fall and Winter or Spring term. Instead of having to come back to campus right after New Years, which is a popular time for traveling as everyone is trying to get back home after the holidays, students would not need to get to campus until the end of January.
This change could also make travel courses more appealing if the classes were held in May. Because the Summer term would be the last one of the school year, students would not have to worry about having enough time after the travel course to get settled in before a new term starts.
Summer travel courses would also have the advantage of not having to commute during the holiday season or worry about the weather impacting the travel plans. A May term could also be helpful for students, especially seniors, that find themselves in a situation where they need to make up a course before the school year ends.
Overall, trading out the January term for a May term seems like it would be beneficial for both the university and students.