UT academic calendar to change for 2022-2023 school year

Hope Unger, News Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the March 29, 2022 flipbook.

Starting this upcoming fall term, classes will begin Monday, Aug. 22, and fall break will be extended to a full week, according to an email sent to the UT community Thursday from Sharon Wood, executive vice president and provost.

Fall or spring long semester will now be called fall or spring term, allowing two optional terms, winter term and May term, according to the email from Wood announcing the changes. The final exam schedule for both the fall and spring terms will take place over four days instead of six, with options for two-hour exams and three-hour exams. 

“These modifications include changes that will create more opportunities for innovation in our curriculum, better support our students’ well-being and success and help advance our academic mission while also ensuring federal and state compliance,” Wood said in the email.

Mark Simpson, who serves as the academic calendar modifications committee co-chair with Tim Shanahan, said the committee has received a positive response from students about the longer fall break. 

“The feedback that we’ve received from our students is they’re really looking forward to that time to either be downtime or also catch up time,” said Simpson, assistant vice provost for enrollment services and university registrar. “It’s a couple of weeks before finals kick in, big papers are due, etc. Students are really looking forward to being able to leverage that time with some flexibility that they haven’t had in the past.”

Steven Ding, a management information systems and urban studies senior, said he has been involved in the calendar discussion and is a part of the academic calendar implementation committee. 

“I wish the university did this more where they brought a lot of folks from different units into one room to talk about issues like this,” Senate president Ding said. “It’s been such a productive conversation just to talk through how everyone’s work is impacted and how everyone’s life is impacted in different parts of campus.”

Spring term will begin on Monday, Jan. 9, which allows the term to end two weeks earlier. The last class day will be April 24, according to the 2022-2023 academic calendar. Finals will be held during a four day window, ending the spring term on May 1. 

“(Ending spring term earlier) gives opportunities for different classes and opportunities to be scheduled during those terms and allows us to diversify our course offerings,” Ding said. “Because we are ending a lot earlier, it gives students more time in the summer to do other things like internships or study abroad.”

Ding said the new calendar was approved by the faculty council, provost and president in fall 2021. He said it is an ongoing discussion about how to regularly communicate with the campus community about the changes. 

“I know they really wanted to think a lot about how they were going to communicate this out,” Ding said. “I know they released a website and everything to go over some of the key dates, but I sincerely doubt anyone is actually monitoring the registrar’s calendar website.”