U of M Pres. Kaler wants to move to three-semester academic yearby Alex Friedrich, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS — The president of the University of Minnesota wants to move to a year-round academic schedule.
The university should have three semesters, each about 14 to 15 weeks long, said University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler in his State of the University address.
The new calendar would mean bachelor's degrees could be completed in three years instead of four.
One faculty member in the audience told Kaler the new calendar might speed things up too much. Students would have no time to experiment with classes. She said the university might crank out degrees with little regard for how much is learned in the 120 credits required for a bachelor's degree.
"The faculty own the curriculum. What goes on in those 120 credits is up to you," he said.
The new calendar would also allow students longer internships and study-abroad sessions, he said.
Kaler wants to try out the idea on the Twin Cities campus. Campuses in Duluth, Crookston, Morris and Rochester would have the option to join.
"As in all ideas there are challenges. Chief among them here is managing the financial aid for our students," Kaler said. "There are also valuable programs on our campuses in the summer that would have to be accommodated. And we need a transition time to move to a new model."