In his first State of the University address Thursday, President Eric Kaler suggested the university consider moving to a year-round academic calendar, with three 14- or 15-week periods.
The proposal was met with mixed reactions from students and faculty. But Kaler said the benefits would outweigh the costs, the Minnesota Daily reported.
Kaler said the different calendar would allow students to earn 120 credits in less than three years which would make it easier to graduate in less than four years.
This calendar would work around the religious holidays in December and and the 10-day Minnesota State Fair, and include an extended winter session in January. The plan would also allow students to study abroad in a longer winter session or work under a new calendar, the Minnesota Daily reported.
Kaler also urged more robust state support as a way to minimize or eliminate tuition increases, previewed his upcoming budget and pointed out processes that ought to be speeded up and places where things can be cut, the Star Tribune reported.
"I was surprised to find out -- and you may be surprised, too -- that we have 265 academic centers and institutes," he said, "and they have budgets totaling more than $200 million."