Senate vote on new schedule postponed
The Syracuse University community was about to wrap up its debate over the potential changes in course scheduling, but a change in the University Senate’s agenda could carry that debate on for another month
USen’s Agenda Committee has decided to postpone the vote on the scheduling paradigm until USen’s November meeting, said Nahmin Horwitz, a physics professor and chairman of the committee.
The Oct. 15 meeting, during which the vote was originally scheduled to occur, will instead be used allow senators to debate the various proposals before making a final decision.
The committee and Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw were afraid that there would not be enough time to hold both the debate and the vote in the same meeting, said Ronald Cavanagh, vice president for undergraduate studies and one of the plan’s creators.
Horwitz said the format for the October meeting is still being worked out, but it is likely to include presentations by Cavanagh and biology professor Ernest Hemphill on the new paradigm. Student Association President Andrew Thomson said he and philosophy professor Robert Vangulick, both of whom have crafted their own scheduling proposals, will be given time to present their alternatives. The presentations will be followed by open debate, which will be allowed to continue at the beginning of the November meeting, Horwitz said.
Cavanagh said he believes Shaw chose the postponement to allow the Senate to adequately consider all the alternatives. He does not see the decision as a major setback in the scheduling process or as a sign that Shaw is wavering on the issue.
‘I don’t see this as a significant postponement,’ Cavanagh said. ‘I don’t think this chancellor is afraid to take a stand.’
Cavanagh believes that this is likely to be the only postponement of the vote.
‘Once you have looked at all the options and alternatives, choosing a new proposal should be pretty easy,’ he said.
Horwitz also said it isn’t likely USen will push back the vote again, as officials in the registrar’s office have said they need to begin work on restructuring the schedule by November, no matter which plan is chosen.
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