Change to the Start of the Spring 2018 Semester
January 13, 2018
I was up a good part of the night last night and have been thinking today about Highway 101. A significant number of our faculty, staff, and students, who live South of Santa Barbara, are affected by the 101 closure, making the start of our spring semester difficult to implement.
There are no good workarounds to this problem. We’ve talked about trains, planes, automobiles, boats, and buses in various brainstorming sessions. None of this really makes much practical sense and only creates further hardships.
Considering all of this and in speaking with staff and many of you, I have determined that one of the best solutions, while certainly not a perfect solution, is for us to shift the spring calendar. Specifically, I am adjusting the start date of spring semester by one week to begin Monday, January 22, 2018, and extending the end date of the semester by one week to Saturday, May 19, 2018.
This shift will not change the total number of instructional hours, and Spring break will remain the same, March 26th to 31st. I spoke with the state Chancellor this afternoon about this plan, and he approved it without hesitation. He was not in favor of or receptive to ideas to shorten the semester in any way.
This shift applies to all credit and non-credit classes. It is important to note that SBCC will still be open January 16-19, with all administrative offices open for business. This adjusts the academic start and end dates.
We have an extraordinary situation here, calling for extraordinary measures. It makes no sense for us to force the opening of spring semester to this coming Tuesday, January 16th, when the 101 is not open. In my mind, in addition to transportation, housing, and logistic issues, it is an equity issue for many of our students. Many of our students who cannot afford to live in Santa Barbara and have had to find more affordable housing in Carpinteria and points South. To now to put these students at a further disadvantage by making them ride boats, sleep on cots, etc., works against our core values and efforts of equity for all.
In the end, SHIFTING THE SPRING START TO MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 2018, is the best solution of those available. Thank you all once again for your patience and the work ahead making this decision work for us and our students. Our team will work on communications to students immediately.
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