Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Cynthia K. Larive notified UCR students that Fall 2019 classes will begin and end ten minutes earlier in a May 7 email. In the campus-wide email, Larive stated that classes will begin on the hour and half hour. Larive claims that the new class schedule changes can be beneficial for on-campus and off-campus activities. In response to a recommendation by the Course Scheduling Committee, the Fall 2019 class schedule change was made. According to the “Course Scheduling Policy Workgroup Final Report,” the Course Scheduling Committee (CSC) collaborates with the Registrar to implement class scheduling policies and recommends class scheduling changes to the Provost.
The class schedule change is one part of a larger report published on March 26, 2018. In the “Course Scheduling Policy Workgroup Final Report,” nine recommendations are made. The Workgroup recommended the creation of the Course Scheduling Committee, classes beginning on the hour and half hour and other changes such as annual scheduling. This report was formulated by 15 individuals and showcased the scheduling practices of other universities, such as Ohio State University and Stanford University.
Associate Provost Ken Baerenklau highlighted the main reason for the schedule change: “The whole world kind of falls into this natural pattern of things starting on the hour and half hour. When you have classes that end on the hour and the half hour, you end up with students and faculty getting out of one obligation at the same time of the next obligation starting.” Baerenklau was the chair member for the “Course Scheduling Policy Workgroup Final Report.”
Similar to UC Riverside, the University of Michigan used to begin class ten minutes after the hour. “The University of Michigan was in a very similar situation up until a year ago,” said Baerenklau. “They used to call it Michigan time. Everything started 10 minutes after the hour or half hour.” Currently, the University of Michigan starts class on the hour and half hour.
Two students expressed concern over the class scheduling changes. Second-year political science major Adolfo Gonzalez does not agree with the class time change, “I feel like it’s crazy and unreasonable. A lot of students are already used to the system that we currently have.” Ynday Vallejo, a first-year chemistry student, said this policy could impact her as a commuter: “I usually use that ten minutes to get to class on time,” Vallejo added that her friends disagree with the policy as well: “They all agree with me because they are commuters as well. My friends said that at the beginning of the year students are going to be late because they are not used to this schedule.”
ASUCR President Semi Cole stated that students who are critical of the policy should voice their concerns to the student government, “If there is merit to the opinion, we would like to discuss in detail and bring it up to the administrators.” Cole added, “Though this is coming straight from the administration, I am eager to see how it turns out. I really recommend students be very vocal and transparent about their feelings towards this.”
The full “Course Scheduling Policy Workgroup Final Report,” can be found on the Course Scheduling Committee website.