Carnegie Mellon University

Calendar Innovation Committee

The Calendar Innovation Committee, convened in 2019, was originally charged with reviewing our academic calendar and making recommendations that advance student-centered efforts to provide a strong academic experience that is supportive of creative pedagogy and community well-being. In 2020, the committee pivoted its work to provide recommendations in response to the pandemic, resulting in a proposed 14-week semester, which was piloted in the fall  2021 and spring  2022.

Throughout the pilot, the committee monitored and listened to our community's feedback. Its work was highly collaborative, looking both qualitatively and quantitatively at the perspectives of our faculty, students and advisors across all schools and colleges, including undergraduate and graduate programs.

Taking all this into account, the committee has recommended that we continue our pilot of the 14-week semester next year and in addition insert and evaluate a week-long fall break. The purpose of this pilot extension is to put the committee’s full set of recommendations into practice and assess their effectiveness before making a final decision.

The 14-Week Semester Pilot

Benefits

  • Student health and well-being
  • Symmetry between the fall and spring semesters
  • Mid-semester respite for our teaching and learning community
  • Breaks that allow time for true rest and restoration

Resources

Background

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View [pdf] version for a transcribed narration.

Adjusting Your Course to a 14-Week Format (via Zoom)

Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, from 10 - 11:30 a.m. ET

You have various options to consider in adjusting your course from a 15-week format to a 14-week format. Attendees will explore a menu of small adjustments that are both efficient and effective for student learning, to help account for the 1-week reduction. Additionally, participants will learn about technologies and techniques to make grading more efficient for you or your TAs. Colleagues will discuss how best to implement these strategies and formulate an action plan.

Register here

Listening Sessions (In-person and via Zoom)

The Provost will host listening sessions for faculty to attend to discuss the 7x1x7 calendar pilot on Wednesday, August 24, from 4 - 5 p.m., and Thursday, August 25, from 9 - 10 a.m.

These sessions are intended for you to ask questions about the pilot continuation and to share feedback on its implementation.

Register here

Faculty Consultations with the Eberly Center

To support those seeking strategies to adjust their courses for the upcoming academic calendar, the Eberly Center will provide individualized faculty consultations. Contact eberly-assist@andrew.cmu.edu to request a consultation.

Note: faculty teaching courses in a sequence may sign up as a group. In this case, the Eberly consultant will share a process for coordinating curricular adjustments across courses.

Academic Calendar Innovation Committee Charge

The Academic Calendar Committee is charged with advancing student-centered efforts to provide a strong academic experience that is supportive of creative pedagogy and faculty, staff, and student wellbeing.

This committee consists of faculty, staff and students from across the university. It is my hope that this group can use their various perspectives to enhance the academic calendar to further  Carnegie Mellon’s mission “To cultivate a transformative university community committed to (a) attracting and retaining diverse, world-class talent; (b) creating a collaborative environment  open to the free exchange of ideas, where research, creativity, innovation, and  entrepreneurship can flourish; and (c) ensuring individuals can achieve their full potential."

This committee was tasked with making recommendations for: 

  • three breaks in addition to Carnival during the spring 2021 term; and
  • the summer 2021 term support academic instruction and students' for-credit internships.

This is in addition to the committee’s original charge which is to:

  • explore calendar and scheduling innovation including a review of academic terms, length of  the formal semester and the addition of other breaks in the semester;
  • lead the effort to formalize the adoption of Tartan Community Day into the official Calendar as well as;
  • address student, faculty and staff concerns about the moratorium period.

Committee Members

Rebecca Nugent, Co-Chair, Head, Department of Statistics & Data Science, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Mark Stehlik, Co-Chair, Assistant Dean for Outreach, School of Computer Science

Wendy Arons, Professor of Dramatic Literature, College of Fine Arts

Kathryn Barraclough, Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, Tepper School of Business

Amy Burkert, Vice Provost for Education

Sue Collins, Reference Librarian, University Libraries & Academic Services

Linda Gentile, Director, Office of International Education

John Hannon, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs for Community Life

Kenneth Hovis, Assistant Dean for Educational Initiatives, Mellon College of Science

Divyansh Kaushik, President, Graduate Student Assembly

Michael McCarthy, Associate Teaching Professor of Information Systems, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy

Joseph Mertz, Director of the Undergraduate Information Systems Program, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy

John Papinchak, University Registrar

Frank Pfenning, Professor of Computer Science, School of Computer Science

Jackie Speedy, Associate Dean, School of Public Policy and Management, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy

Emily Daniels Weiss, Senior Teaching Consultant, Eberly Center

Lisha White, Ph.D. student, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering; Representative, Graduate Student Assembly

Patience Whitworth, Associate Vice Provost for Operations and Strategic Initiatives

Jimmy Williams, Distinguished Service Professor, Engineering and Public Policy
Director, Engineering & Technology Innovation Management Program, College of Engineering

Mason Xiao, Chair, Academic Affairs, Student Government