Charles River Campus classrooms and labs will open two Saturdays over the next six weeks to make up some of the instruction time lost by this semester’s five snow-forced University closures. Under the plan, faculty may also add makeup time to evening classes throughout the rest of this semester. Online courses will continue to operate as normal, including any scheduled “live classroom” sessions.
In a memo sent Tuesday to students, faculty, and staff, Provost Jean Morrison announced that CRC classrooms and labs will open Saturday, February 28, to make up regularly scheduled Monday daytime classes. CRC classrooms and labs will open Saturday, March 21, to make up regularly scheduled Tuesday daytime classes. Morrison said classes will meet on these two Saturdays at the same time and in the same location as the regular Monday or Tuesday class.
In her message to the community, Morrison wrote, “While faculty may require attendance on these Saturdays, we ask that faculty communicate with their students and with any relevant graduate teaching fellows well in advance about their expectations for attendance on these days. Further, we ask that faculty work closely with students who have conflicts, such as work commitments or religious observances, that would prevent their attendance, to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by an excused absence.”
“So on Saturday February 28, the University will be prepared for faculty to hold classes as if it is a regular Monday,” she said. “While ultimately it is up to each faculty member to decide if he or she will hold class, we anticipate that most will because we have lost so many class days to snow closures. Likewise, on Saturday, March 21, the University will be prepared for faculty to hold classes as if it is a regular Tuesday. Faculty may require attendance on these days.”
Morrison announced the plan as BU closed a second straight day February 10 and MBTA rail service was shut down to continue cleaning up from the third major snowstorm in two weeks. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency the evening of February 9, and asked that all nonessential state employees in Boston and surrounding areas stay home February 10.
The five canceled instruction days this year “are a lot of days, and we need to make them up,” the provost said. “Faculty have already done a lot to make up the loss,” and administrators believe that the additional class days proposed by the plan will be sufficient, provided we don’t lose too many more days to snow.
The BU administration recommends that professors not schedule exams or quizzes on the makeup Saturdays, she said. Professors should also alert department or school scheduling coordinators if they intend to use rooms or labs those days, to make sure that the rooms are prepared. The deadline for notifying coordinators for the February 28 makeup day is Monday, February 23; for the March 21 makeup day, it’s Monday, March 16.
In adding makeup time to evening classes, faculty should make sure that doing so would not conflict with other classes already scheduled for the same facilities, Morrison said.
“We hope that these opportunities for faculty and students to meet enables full consideration of all the material that was initially included in the syllabus,” she said. “By adding these class days, we want to ensure that the critically important work of the semester can proceed so that the learning goals established for each class can be met.”