MU Faculty Council recommends no make-up for snow days

Friday, February 14, 2014 | 8:01 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA The MU Faculty Council has recommended that no additional days be added to the university’s calendar to adjust for this year’s weather-related closures, according to a statement approved Thursday.

Due to the nature of the closures, which took place Feb. 4 and 5, Faculty Council members said there was no compelling purpose in revising the academic calendar by adding additional days of classes

Faculty Council Chair Craig Roberts explained the decision-making process that led to the recommendation, saying that there was some flexibility in the academic schedule.

“Had we missed one more of either the Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday course patterns, we would have to reschedule,” he said.

Part of the reason days will not be added to the calendar was because cancellations were evenly distributed between classes that meet three times each week and those that meet twice weekly, Roberts said.

The fact that the cancellations took place early in the semester, with more time for faculty to readjust their lesson plans to adapt for the change, also affected the council’s decision.

MU's scheduling guidelines, set by its Collected Rules and Regulations, dictate that each semester's academic calendar must account for 43 class days for Monday-Wednesday-Friday courses and 29 class days for Tuesday-Thursday courses.

Currently, the two missed days put the number of possible Monday-Wednesday-Friday course days at 42. However, these guidelines only dictate the number of classes that must be scheduled, not the days that must be fulfilled, said Nicole Monnier, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.

Following the decision made by the Faculty Council, its recommendation will be sent to MU Interim Provost Kenneth Dean for approval. The recommendation is expected to be met with approval, Dean said.

"We normally go along with the recommendation made by the Faculty Council," Dean said.

In this case, individual faculty members are left to decide how they want to handle any adjustments to their schedules to account for the missed days.

February's snow days mark the eighth time in MU's 175-year history that campus has closed for a period of time. Four of those closures happened in the past 10 years.

"The knee-jerk reaction in the past was to never cancel classes," Monnier said. "Now, there's a more measured understanding of safety concerns."

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