Campus-wide celebration to mark RIT’s milestone academic calendar change

Highlights include installing time capsule denoting switch from quarter system to semesters

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Students, faculty and staff of Rochester Institute of Technology will gather Aug. 29 to celebrate the efforts of everyone involved in helping the university move from a quarterly academic calendar to one based on semesters.

The calendar conversion, first announced in 2010, was a complicated process that involved the collaboration of the entire university. A group of committees that included faculty and staff, often in consultation with Student Government leaders, has overseen everything from converting our academic programs from quarters to their semester version, and designing the new calendar to converting to a new student information system to making sure every student received advisement during the transition.

To mark the occasion, RIT President Bill Destler, Provost Jeremy Haefner, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Jim Watters, Trustee Charles S. Brown Jr. and Calendar Conversion Project Director Fernando Naveda will host a special event, beginning with a reception at 2 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge.

At 3 p.m., the community is invited to gather in Ingle Auditorium to hear a few important remarks and view a video produced by Frank Cost, professor and program chair in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences’ School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. Cost’s video includes interviews with students, faculty, alumni and staff, gathering their impressions of what the calendar conversion will mean to the future of RIT.

A longer version of the video, containing full-length, uncut versions of the interviews, is being placed—along with a proclamation by the RIT board of trustees and other commemorative items—in a time capsule to be installed on the campus in the First Ladies Garden near the west entrance of the Ritter Ice Arena. Plans call for the capsule to be opened in 50 years.

“The calendar conversion has been a success so far because of the dedication of RIT faculty and staff, who worked very hard to ensure that the process went as smoothly as possible,” Naveda says. “The time capsule ceremony is a celebration the commitment of our department and program leaders, faculty and staff to the university and our students.”

The change to a semester calendar was designed to put RIT on a comparable schedule with most major universities —improving cooperation in areas such as credit transfer, student exchange and study abroad.