Summer Semester

Charge

President Rowe charged a tiger team to develop a robust, feasible undergraduate summer term proposal, characterize its benefits and challenges, test and evaluate that model operationally and financially and submit a final, actionable recommendation.

The Tiger Team
Henry Broaddus, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Public Affairs, ELT Co-Sponsor
Michael R. Halleran, Provost, ELT Co-Sponsor
Janice Zeman, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Team Leader
David Feldman, Professor of Economics
Sallie Marchello, Associate Provost and University Registrar
Kathleen Powell, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs for Career Development
Marc Sher, Professor of Physics
Tim Wolfe, Associate Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admission
Outcomes

In its report to the President (pdf), the Tiger Team identified benefits and challenges associated with implementing a summer semester at W&M and arrived at four initial conclusions:

  1. A more robust summer term would be part of what facilitates an incentivized absence in fall or spring, not what compels it.
  2. A substantial investment would need to be made in incentives for students.
  3. Reinvention of the academic calendar as a quarter system creates more tumult than benefit. We could elevate the summer term for undergraduate courses to be viewed as parallel to the fall and spring terms, as is already the case for some of our graduate programs.
  4. Expansion of opportunities at the W&M Washington Center and other domestic locations in the fall and spring, as well as ways to grow study abroad opportunities in fall and spring, should be explored as additional opportunities to accomplish the primary objectives of enabling enrollment growth and avoiding overcrowding in the fall and spring. 
Based on these conclusions, the Tiger Team recommended a pilot that expands summer offerings and opportunities over a two- to three-year period and the formation of a steering committee by the Provost to lead this work.