Office of Registrar | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian
The academic calendar is the overarching structure of each semester.
It is determined and projected a few years ahead of time and is ratified by faculty through the faculty’s bargaining agreement, according to Amanda Steele-Middleton, the university registrar.
“[The academic calendar] doesn’t change much from year to year. We’re always looking for nuances about where holidays fall but by and large, there’s not a lot of wiggle room. It stays pretty consistent from year to year,” said Steele-Middleton.
Colleges and departments have a standard set of course offerings. They create and use a planning guide for courses to think ahead and determine which courses will be offered for certain programs and degree requirements, according to Steele-Middleton.
“I typically start the academic calendar, so the Registrar’s Office. I’ll get feedback from some of our faculty, curriculum and policy groups, the Provost’s Office particularly, if there are changes. Sometimes they’ll bring desired changes to me and then we incorporate those and send the draft to both the vice provost for faculty affairs and the provost,” said Steele-Middleton. “The vice provost for faculty affairs takes it through the faculty approval process and the provost signs off on it as well.”
The Registrar, Faculty Senate, faculty union (AAUP-WSU) and department chairs are all involved in producing the final schedules.
There are approved time blocks for certain courses to minimize overlap between courses necessary for particular majors or programs. The same final exam schedule is used each year and continues to be used until an issue arises.
AAUP-WSU is only involved in the process of creating the academic calendar and is not involved with courses being offered or finals week. The Registrar is required to inform or negotiate any changes, like how many weeks in a semester or any changes with holidays, with AAUP-WSU, according to Noeleen McIlvenna, president of AAUP-WSU.
There typically is not much change or need for negotiation, however, there was negotiation when the university moved from quarters to semesters, according to McIlvenna.
According to Wright State’s policies:
A proposal for a new course or proposal for modifying/deleting an existing course must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate department and college or school curriculum committee, the college or school faculty if required by that unit and the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
The Faculty Senate delegates to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee the authority to approve new course proposals and course modification requests, except where additional review and approval by the Faculty Senate is requested or determined necessary.