The following message from Provost Sanders Huguenin addresses many questions regarding the modified class schedule:
Q: My classes are all caught up. Why do I have to have longer class days?
Presently, we have about 2,000 students taking more than 700 classes. Each has a unique schedule. Under these conditions, having every professor independently scheduling two weeks worth of make-up activities on Saturdays and evenings would become very complicated. In fact, it would inevitably require students to be two places at once. This requirement would collide with the limitations of time and space, which I have not yet been able to defeat. Under these conditions, we have budgeted all classes time which they can use to catch up. Not all faculty will use this time or use it in the same ways.
Q: How do I read this new schedule?
For most classes, it should be easy. Most are scheduled in one of 20 standard class blocks. The beginning and ending time of those blocks will change for the five weeks of April. MWF classes will become longer, increasing to 75 minutes. The break between classes will decrease to 5 minutes. This allows us to fit five days of class time in four days, Monday through Thursday. This leaves five successive Fridays in April free to replace five lost class days.
Q: When does this begin?
The extended class schedule begins on March 30 and lasts for exactly five weeks, ending on May 1. This makes it shorter than Lent, deer season, boot camp, or most Peter Jackson movies.
Q: Will I be penalized for being late to class?
The Department Chairs and I have discussed this issue at length. They understand that, for students with back-to-back classes, making it across campus may be challenging. Inevitably, some students will be a little late. Faculty understand the confines of the time-space continuum and are expecting some students to be late. Please try to be discrete and respectful.
Q: Does this mean that we will have class on Saturday?
Maybe. We have scheduled two Saturdays (April 11 and 25) as optional make-up days for MWF classes. We did this at the request of faculty in courses like Pre-Calculus and Chemistry, who need to cover required material in order to prepare students for subsequent courses. It is up to each faculty member whether they choose to meet on these two days.
Q: I have an evening class, when will it meet?
This is indicated in the schedule. My Tuesday 6:00-8:45 Western Civilization class will move to a later time. It will now run from 7:15-9:45. Moving the schedule as we have has affected night classes the most in terms of how far they have shifted from their original time.
Q: I have an impossible situation: the new schedule simultaneously puts me in a class at UVa-Wise and in a class at Mountain Empire. This violates the limits of space and time! What do I do?
Please come talk to us in the Office of Academic Affairs and give us a chance to try to resolve it. Impossible situations are in our administrative portfolio.
Q: Will you give me a free iPad, if I send you a picture of a cat?
I might, but it would have to be a really awesome picture of a cat. If you send me a pretty good picture of a cat contemplating the April 2015 schedule, I’ll send you a free tee-shirt that our interns designed.
The following questions all have the same answer:
Q: When the heck will my TR 4:00-5:30 class meet? It’s not on your schedule.
Q: I have a MW class. What do I do?
Q: I have a class that spans Blocks 8 and 9. This puts half my class on MW and half on TR. What do I do?
A: The short answer to these questions is to ask the faculty member teaching your course. The longer answer for future brain surgeons, digital entrepreneurs, hedge fund managers, and NASA engineers is as follows: We have only a few classes that do not follow the normal class blocks. However, in almost every case, these classes commit the space they are in for the entirety of the blocks they cross. In other words, a TR 4:00-5:30 class crosses blocks 17 and 18 – no other classes will be scheduled in that room during these blocks. This means that under the new schedule your faculty has a lock on their classroom for an impressive two hours and thirty-five minutes! This gives them a lot of leeway in how they want to schedule their class. They could almost show The Two Towers. It’s best to ask them when they want to hold class.