The verdict is still out on a proposal to drop the quarter system for a semester system at Utah Valley Community College - at least as far as faculty members are concerned.
UVCC President Kerry D. Romesburg on Monday discussed the proposal with about 65 faculty members. He didn't have an answer for every question, but Romesburg said the proposal's pros and cons would be closely examined before a final decision is made."I would like to see us do that (make the change). I think it makes a lot of sense for this institution."
Romesburg said UVCC administrators, faculty and staff must decide whether the change is in the college's best interest. If they do, he said, they also must decide when to adopt the new system. Romesburg said he would like to see a semester system in place next fall.
"That's a big undertaking, I realize that."
Faculty members balked at taking a straw poll Monday to gauge preliminary support for the proposed change, saying they need more information before they can formulate opinions.
Some members expressed doubts about academic advantages Romesburg identified in a handout made available at the meeting. According to the handout, a semester system also would offer several financial advantages and would greatly benefit students concurrently enrolled at Brigham Young University or who plan to transfer there.
"Our focus has got to be the students. That's the way I feel," Romesburg said.
And though UVCC would be out of step with the state's eight other public colleges and universities, UVCC would be in step with most of the colleges and universities across the nation, he said.
Romesburg said he prefers a semester schedule with classes running Aug. 28 through Dec. 19, and from Jan. 8 through April 24, followed by two, short summer sessions. Currently, UVCC students attend classes during three quarters from Sept. 28 until June 9. A summer quarter follows from June 19 to Sept. 1.
The proposed schedule would closely resemble BYU's schedule. Tuition for two semesters would be the same currently charged for three quarters.
Some of the faculty concerns aired Monday include the difficulty in preparing new class catalogues and adjusting class schedules from the quarter to the semester system. Asked why he wants to move so fast toward implementing a new schedule, Romesburg said he doesn't want to prolong the transition if it meets with faculty, staff and administrative approval.
"Believe me, I'm not looking at change for change's sake," he said.
Some faculty expressed concern for those students who would have to undergo an adjustment in credit hours earned should the change be made half way through their academic program.
"Whenever we convert, if we convert, there will be some students caught between the systems," he said. Romesburg welcomed the suggestion that the college offer another year of quarter classes to cater to second-year students.
Romesburg said he doesn't feel faculty would have to work harder under the new system, and he assured those attending the meeting that the new system would be an attempt to save administration revenue, not to eliminate faculty or increase their load.
The proposal is on next month's state Board of Regents meeting agenda as an information item. The Regents will support the proposed change, Romesburg said, if they're convinced it is in UVCC's best interest.
"By November we've got to be ready to commit if we're going to do it," he said.