The University of Minnesota president proposed a year-round academic calendar in his speech at Coffman Union Theater on Thursday, according to the Minnesota Daily.
With an academic calendar of three 14- or 15-weeks periods, Kaler said that it would ultimately help students graduate faster. His proposal had mixed reactions from faculty and students alike.
Undergraduate student body president and U of M student, Lizzie Shay, said that she believes more students are looking to finish school early and they would take advantage of the opportunity, according to Pioneer Press.
"If students can complete their degree faster and with more flexibility, it seems like a no-brainer. I see this as part of an organizationwide movement to a more flexible, interesting and exploratory U," Shay told the Pioneer Press.
Mechanical engineering professor, Caroline Hayes, told the Daily that a year-round calendar might be problematic, given that there would be a strain on hiring more faculty and teaching assistants as well as it would detract from students working over the summer.
The altered academic calender would increase tuition revenue, Kaler said, and would allow more faculty to be hired. "Faculty would still teach two semesters a year but could have two consecutive semesters dedicated to research. Alternatively, faculty could decide to work nine months in a year and teach three semesters from time to time for additional compensation," the Daily wrote.
Pioneer Press highlighted the fact that year-round school calendars are rare, but does allow more students to be admitted.
Kaler said that the University of Minnesota administration will be looking into the alternative school calendar proposal more intricately at the Twin Cities campus before consulting with other campuses on the proposal.