IVC and Saddleback propose new calendar

Matt Garvey

     Academic Senates at both Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College are in the process of reviewing proposed calendars for the academic year 2012 to 2013.

Upon approval, both calendars will be submitted to the South Orange County Community College District for a final decision on which calendar to use.

On Sept. 29, the calendar committee at Saddleback College made a presentation about the proposed calendar for 2012-2013.

“The calendar committee looks at Ed Code, Title 5, board policy, and the faculty contract when considering a calendar to present to the Academic Senate,” said Distance Learning Librarian Elizabeth Horan.

The calendar submitted by Saddleback for 2012-2013 differs from this year’s calendar in two main ways including the starting date and the elimination of flex week.

Under the proposed calendar, fall semester would begin Aug. 13. This year classes began Aug. 23.

“It might be a little too early,” said Hayley Wood, 21, nursing. “I like to get in vacations during summer and have things settled before starting school.”

Staff development days, or flex week, are not included in the proposed calendar as they were for this year.

ASG Business Science Senator, Dustin Kachad, 20, economics, attended last week’s meeting, and commented that faculty expressed their views.

“I couldn’t say whether they were for or against [the] removal [of flex week],” said Kachad. “I think they were concerned at whether it would affect their contractual agreements, work load, and other tasks they would usually perform during flex week.”

IVC’s potential calendar maintains the staff development days with fall semester beginning Aug. 27. This calendar also includes a new winter intercession in January 2013. IVC Academic Senate has already approved this calendar and is awaiting a decision from the district.

“The task of the committee calendar is to present the Academic Senate the best version of an academic calendar, [finding] the best scenario for every stakeholder in the Saddleback College community,” Horan said.

There is the possibility that the district could approve both calendars, which would mean Saddleback College and IVC would be on different schedules for the first time in several years.

“In the past they have picked one calendar for both campuses, but they may approve separate calendars for each college,” Horan said.

“It might change my mind if I can start my classes later,” Wood said. “But it would be nice if a class at Saddleback was closed and then I could petition a class at IVC when that class starts. It wouldn’t be such a scramble.”

Representatives of the Saddleback College Academic Senate are likely to raise questions about the elimination of staff development days, the quick turnarounds between sessions, and potential impact on enrollment if Saddleback College starts two full weeks before IVC’s start date.

“Summer school ends Aug. 10 and I think starting school on the following Monday does not give students or faculty enough time to catch their breath,” Horan said. “The semesters are equal. In the past, the spring semester has been four days longer.”

Kachad believes the issue is mainly with faculty.

“What did relate directly to students was the syncing of IVC’s calendar with Saddleback,” Kachad said. “The Academic Senate discussed how matching the two calendars would largely convenience students and faculty who attend both campuses.”

The Academic Senate asked faculty representatives to gather opinions about the proposal and report back on Wednesday at their scheduled meeting.