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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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President Tripathi officially approves fall break, other academic calendar changes

Tripathi’s approval — the final step in the process — follows more than a year of debate

<p>President Tripathi's approval was required to implement the calendar changes.&nbsp;</p>

President Tripathi's approval was required to implement the calendar changes. 

UB President Satish Tripathi officially approved a modified academic calendar early this month, implementing a two-day October break that aligns with Indigenous Peoples Day among other changes, according to a university press release

The Faculty Senate approved the calendar amendments 40-8 in December, but Tripathi’s signature was required to implement the changes. 

In addition to the two-day break, the new calendar cancels classes held on Juneteenth, shifts dates for the winter sessions, maintains the length of summer break and ends the spring semester one week early to eliminate the overlap between commencement and exams. It also starts the fall semester one week early some years, the first of which will be the 2026-27 academic year, to ensure exams don’t extend past Dec. 20.

“Providing a break mid-way through the fall semester addresses our students’ need to pause from the demands of their academic schedules so they can then resume their coursework with a relaxed and rejuvenated mindset,” Tripathi said in a statement. “Moreover, intentionally aligning UB’s academic calendar with Indigenous Peoples Day and Juneteenth offers our students an opportunity to reflect on our values as a diverse, inclusive and equitable scholarly community.” 

Tripathi had remained silent on the issue, even after the full Faculty Senate’s final vote in December. But Provost A. Scott Weber, UB’s no. 2 administrator, had previously said that he “fully support[ed]” the new calendar. 

A majority of students appeared to be in favor of adding a fall break. Two surveys with over 400 collective respondents found that more than 80% of students supported the resolution. The Graduate Student Association e-board, the undergraduate Student Association e-board and Resident Hall Association President Brennan Gorman also submitted letters of support to the senate. 

“While there is little scholarly evidence on the benefits of implementing a fall break, the GSA strongly believes that the proposed break will reduce our academic stress and benefit our mental health,” Graduate Student Association President J Coley, Vice President Jennifer Schechter and Treasurer Joshua Joseph wrote in their letter of support. 

Grant Ashley is the managing editor and can be reached at grant.ashley@ubspectrum.com


GRANT ASHLEY
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Grant Ashley is the editor in chief of The Spectrum. He's also reported for NPR, WBFO, WIVB and The Buffalo News. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on the platform formerly known as Twitter at @Grantrashley. 

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