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Change the Foltian Calendar
Carol Folt’s only visible legacy at Dartmouth (as opposed to hundreds of behind-the-scenes mistakes) is the new calendar. It allows students to finish fall-term exams before Thanksgiving so that they may celebrate the holiday with their families without having to return to Dartmouth for examinations. As a result of the extended Christmas break, the College saves a marginal amount of money on energy.
But at what cost? The lengthy six-week break between the end of fall term and the start of winter term is only achieved by the further compression of our already-tight quarter system. Students dislike the new schedule for a wide range of reasons. Time pressure during and between terms is higher than previously. The final football game of the season falls in the middle of final exams (not so great for 100+ players). And international students, most of whom can’t afford to go home for Christmas, are marooned in Hanover for what seems like forever in December. Here’s a typical comment — from the Improve Dartmouth website:
Phil should get busy revising the current calendar to allow for longer reading periods and more substantial between-term breaks. The first step would be to have fall term extend until mid-December, say December 17 this year. That end-of-term date still offers students and staff an eighteen-day break between the fall and winter terms. Then take the three weeks that you have gained and make sure that all three other terms are of sufficient length. You might even give some extra days to the period between the end of summer term and the start of fall term so that Freshman Week is a full seven days.
This set of ideas is not rocket science. If the administration’s goal is to provide the best educational experience possible, the calendar should be organized with that goal in mind — not just in an effort to save some energy and allow some students to travel less. What are our real priorities?
Addendum: If the administration wants to save money, how about cutting the College’s costs so that we spend per student as much as Brown, but no more? If we did so, there is more than $200 million/year to be had, money that then could be used to cut tuition and make many other worthwhile expenditures that could improve a Dartmouth education.
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…