Winter break will be extended by seven days next year to accommodate the University-wide Commencement Ceremony in May.
The 2012 spring semester starts Jan. 17, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, rather than the Monday before the holiday, like it did this year.
University spokeswoman Jill Sankey said the switch is not to extend winter break, but rather to accommodate the scheduling of Commencement Weekend.
Sankey said Commencement always occurs the Sunday after Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day in 2011 occurs May 8, making Commencement fall on May 15. Mother’s Day in 2012, however, takes place May 13, pushing Commencement back one week to May 20, 2012.
The University calendar must then allow time for a final exam block of eight days, along with 14 scheduled Monday classes, any designated make-up days and one reading day.
The schedule will revert back in 2013, when spring classes start Jan. 14.
Sankey added that in light of the calendar change, the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service is exploring options for scheduling and planning activities for the MLK Day of Service in 2012.