By Metoka Welch
UNC Board of Governor members and student leaders are waiting for more details about a measure that would shorten the current academic calender for UNC-system students.
The UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Council passed a resolution Friday urging the BOG to allow individual system schools to shorten the 150-day academic year by as many as ten days.
A proposal by former UNC-system President C.D. Spangler increased the school year from 140 to 150 days in 1996.
The BOG will hear the Faculty Council's measure from UNC-CH Chancellor James Moeser this week.
The council cited summer internship and study abroad programs as conflicts students sometimes encounter with the current academic year.
Peter Keber, vice chairman of the BOG's Educational Planning, Policies and Programs Committee, said he has not seen the resolution but that a lot of information will need to be presented.
"To me, more days of instruction are better than fewer," Keber said. "But I will need to see the resolution at the meeting."
Patsy Perry, secretary of the educational planning, policies and programs committee, said she must also see the resolution before she offers her opinion on the matter. "We meet this week, and I need to look at the reasons (the Faculty Council) would see for shortening the semester," Perry said. "I would weigh the reasons for wanting to shorten the semester with the growth of students."
But UNC Association of Student Governments President Andrew Payne said UNC institutions remain in session longer than colleges in many other states, which makes students less competitive for summer programs.
"I think the students are in full support of the measure," Payne said. "The 150-day calendar puts a strain on students in internships, students who study abroad and participate at other campuses. It doesn't allow students enough time to adjust."
Payne said the ASG will submit its own proposal to cut the school year this month. "Before President Spangler enacted the current 150-day calender, we had 140 to 144 days, and students seemed to like this," he said.
Payne said cutting the calender also can be financially beneficial for the system. "In such a time of budget crunching, let's not look at raising rates but cutting back," he said. "This issue should be brought to the BOG's attention, and it is a worthy resolution."
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