Senators approved the schedule change by voice vote. The vote is final and does not require action by the university board of trustees.
The senate measure calls for Purdue to begin its break one week later than now scheduled. The 1999 spring break, for example, was scheduled to begin March 7 but now will be begin March 14. West Lafayette schools have agreed to make a similar change to stay in step with the Purdue schedule, and Tippecanoe School Corp. has agreed to begin its break one week earlier so that it, too, is in step.
The idea to attempt to coordinate breaks for all school corporations in Tippecanoe County originated with the Student Senate about a year ago. Student senators asked the University Senate, which has authority over the academic calendar, to contact the school districts and attempt to convince all districts to adopt the same spring break schedule.
The West Lafayette Community School Corp. traditionally times its spring break to coincide with Purdue's. Tippecanoe County, Lafayette public and Lafayette Catholic schools traditionally have not coordinated spring breaks with Purdue.
Originally, the University Senate had requested that all school corporations in the county adopt the same break schedule.
West Lafayette and Tippecanoe schools agreed to coordinate breaks. The Lafayette School Corp., which negotiates the timing of spring break with the Lafayette Education Association teachers union, declined to coordinate with Purdue because the union opposes the change. Typically, the Catholic schools schedule spring break for the same time as Lafayette schools.
In the past, the Purdue and West Lafayette breaks were in the ninth week of the semester, and the breaks of the Tippecanoe, Lafayette and Catholic school corporations were at least two weeks later.
The University Senate surveyed of the heads of more than 40 Purdue academic and administrative units, including the Calumet, Fort Wayne and North Central campuses. The survey sought opinions about whether scheduling spring break a week later would be disruptive.
"The responses were overwhelmingly in favor of delaying spring break one week or were neutral," William Ray, professor of biology and chairman of the Educational Policy Committee of the Senate, told senators during their Jan. 27 meeting.
The measure was introduced during the Jan. 27 meeting for first reading.
Source: William Ray, (765) 494-4957
Writer: Jay Cooperider, (765) 494-9573; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
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