The contractual academic year shall consist of a full nine months (39) weeks and shall include not fewer than 34 weeks of organized services for students including classroom instruction, registration, advising and examining. The chancellor of each institution, in consultation with the faculty, should determine the primary divisions of the academic year calendar. The calendar may be organized in two semesters, three quarters, or modules of semesters or quarters and shorter terms (mini-sessions, inter-sessions, etc.) within the academic year period. After the institution has determined its calendar and designated periods for instruction, registration, advising, examination, and official state holidays, the time remaining which is not on the organized calendar shall be used by faculty members for scholarly pursuits and instructional development as individual, self-directed professionals.
Conclusions concerning the academic calendar, excerpted from Faculty Documents 269 (7 February 1977) and 285 (9 May 1977 and reaffirmed 6 March 1989), follow:
The University of Wisconsin-Madison should continue the use of a two-semester academic calendar.
From an educational point of view, the problems associated with the unequal length semesters of the present calendar are serious enough that the University of Wisconsin-Madison should further investigate the possibility of using a calendar having semesters of more equal length.
In its attempts to obtain a calendar having semesters of more equal length, the University of Wisconsin-Madison should not consider the use of a calendar having a lame duck session after the Christmas holidays.
Assuming that the University of Wisconsin-Madison continues to use the traditional final examination period, then in its attempts to obtain a calendar having semesters of more equal length, it should not consider the use of a calendar having no closed study days or a final exam period of less than seven days.
It is a hardship on students, and perhaps on faculty, to schedule final exams through December 23.