Final exams conflict with spring 2014 commencement ceremonies

On February 16, 2014

Final exam schedules will conflict with spring 2014 commencement ceremonies due to a scheduling error. UB's new winter session caused changes in the spring calendar.

The Office of Special Events is responsible for scheduling commencement, and the Faculty Senate schedules the academic calendar.

"The overlap between commencement and finals was part of the calendars that were proposed and promulgated in March 2013," said A. Scott Weber, the senior vice provost of academic affairs, in an email. "However, I feel responsibility for not recognizing this overlap and addressing [it] with our students sooner."

The university believed this overlap was manageable and referenced other universities, such as the University of Florida and the University of Minnesota, which have successfully done the same.

Weber said the Office of the Registrar worked to minimize conflicts as much as possible by working with the most impacted departments.

The conflict affects the Thursday, Friday and Saturday commencement ceremonies, specifically the School of Management commencement (Friday).

UB has also been contacting the faculty of different departments to remind them the error was not the fault of the students but rather the university.

"We have communicated to all faculty that graduating students should be permitted to attend their commencement ceremonies and faculty should make accommodations to enable students to do so (such as holding their exam at another time)," Weber said. "This scheduling conflict is through no fault of the students, and we recognize that commencement is a very important milestone in a student's life."

Weber said in spite of the calendar changes, the winter session proved successful and he believed it allowed 30 students to graduate before the spring semester.

In an email to the English department, Weber wrote that if the instructor cannot resolve the conflict, students should refer to the appropriate department chair or dean. And if those officials are not able to help, students should contact him.



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