The spring 2021 academic calendar was carefully determined by the university administration and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, with multiple, complex considerations taken into account. The main concerns were the health and safety of the campus community and the need to align with academic continuity guidelines issued by SUNY. Those guidelines state that spring holiday periods will not be permitted given the associated risks pertaining to the spread of COVID-19.
Multiple considerations needed to be taken into account when determining the calendar for this semester, including ensuring the calendar met all accreditation, federal and state education department and financial aid requirements. Allowing for single days off during the week may have resulted in further changes to the academic calendar, for example extending the semester by a week which would interfere with clinical experiences, internships and summer classes, and would also delay degree conferrals. Changing the academic calendar once the semester begins could potentially impact financial aid and accreditation requirements.
Some instructors have elected to provide accommodations, such as modifying assignment due dates, allowing for more exam preparation, or changing the pace of assignments over the course of the semester. Decisions regarding structuring assignments or providing accommodations is at the discretion of each instructor.
Students are encouraged to plan ahead; to assess their course selections and workloads; to communicate regularly with their advisers and professors; and to seek support whenever needed. A variety of resources are available, including academic support, virtual wellness workshops and mental health counseling. Student Life and UB’s counseling center offers online workshops, resources and events, focused on stress management and personal health. Resident Life staff are planning events throughout the semester with a special focus on stress-relief and wellness. Students can visit the calendar of events for more information.
Updated March 24, 2021