News of a potential schedule change next semester has been met with objection by St. John’s faculty members.
The Faculty Association, an organization designed to promote the interests of university teachers, laid out their issues with the new schedule in a letter sent out to all faculty members.
The letter, dated Feb. 23, states that the University did not disclose the details of the schedule change prior to enacting it. According to the association, there was no communication between administrators and teachers, and the schedule change was a complete surprise.
University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington announced the new schedule on Feb. 8 in an internal e-mail sent to faculty and administrators. Since then, both students and faculty have been raising questions and concerns.
The group also filed a grievance against the University, stating that “the proposal constitutes not only a change in working conditions, but it also is a violation of past practice.”
Executive board members of the association have expressed concern for the welfare of the students, as well as the teachers.
Several members said that they were under the impression that the schedule would be changed to a format different from the one set to go into effect in the fall.
Joseph Marotta, vice president of the Faculty Association, said that the organization is waiting to hear back from the administration as to what will be done.
“We’re hoping that the administration will stop going forward with the new schedule and go back to the old schedule and take into account the problems it has created,” he said.
In response to the concerns being raised, Student Government, Inc. sent out a survey on Feb. 25 asking students for their reactions to the changes. They asked if students believed that the new schedule would “benefit their academic experience” and explain why.
They will also be hosting two events March 16 to give students an opportunity to express their views and concerns to administrators. The first will be an Academic Forum, where University provost Dr. Julia Upton and academic deans will be present.
There will also be an opportunity for some students to discuss the issue with faculty and administrators that night.
The University declined to comment until the class schedule is set in mid-March.
Chris Marino, a sophomore, said he thinks that the schedule will impact attendance and affect student performance.
“It’s terrible,” he said. “Why would you want a three-hour class? That’s why people don’t take night classes.”
Other students said they have concerns with the decrease in common hours. The new schedule limits common hour to once a week on Wednesday, a day when there are only three-hour classes.
“People aren’t going to come to school on Wednesday just for common hour,” said Jenn Mavra, a junior. “I don’t think it’s going to work.”