Analyzing Trimesters: Academic Calendar Changes timeline

Nov. 11 2002 At a Faculty Assembly Meeting, University President Steven Joel Trachtenberg proposes a 14-week trimester calendar in which students attend two of three terms. His proposal is an idea to increase GW’s revenue and “efficiency.” Trachtenberg also calls for the formation of an ad-hoc research team to explore the matter extensively.

Janury 2003 Trachtenberg appoints a committee of administrators, faculty and one student to research the pros and cons of a 14-week summer session. The taskforce also would consider a quarter system – where students attend four equal terms – and is given a May 1 deadline to reach conclusions.

March, 27 2003 Chairs of the academic calendar committee release a statement in By George abandoning the idea of a trimester system. Instead, the committee proposes developing GW’s summer programs by mandating a 10-week session for all rising juniors. The committee also says it would explore an option to change the credit system to a “four-by-four,” in which students typically take four classes a semester each worth four credits.

May 1, 2003 The calendar committee postpones the release of its final report. Members say more time was needed to do further research. The committee completes its report on May 30.

June 2003 The calendar committee releases its final report explaining the pros and cons of implementing a mandatory summer and a new credit system. The full report is posted online, and the GW community is given until Nov. 1 to respond.

June 18, 2003 The first comment on the report is received via e-mail to To date, 101 e-mails have been received.

Nov. 1, 2003 The last day for University administrators to accept comment from the GW community. The Student Association and the Faculty Senate will submit formal statements or resolutions to administrators.

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