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February 2011

Quarters to Semesters Update 

February 2011

Dear Colleagues,

Despite winter’s cold, work to ensure a seamless conversion to semesters continues at a heated pace. Though crucial to that effort, much of this work is largely invisible to the university community. Let us start this February issue of QSU with an update on some of the important behind-the-scenes steps that are guiding Ohio State from quarters to semesters.

Review of Faculty Rules, policies, deadlines. A recent priority has been to review what Faculty Rules and other policies and deadlines the university might need, or want, to change in conjunction with the conversion to semesters.

Some Faculty Rule changes were accomplished last spring, including the new four-digit numbering structure for semester courses. Then, last fall, the Council on Enrollment and Student Progress, a University Senate committee, made additional recommendations, some of which were forwarded directly to the Senate Rules Committee. Recommendations that potentially impacted academic substance were forwarded to the Council on Academic Affairs (CAA) for its consideration. CAA should complete its analysis in February. Other appropriate Senate committees (for example, the Council on Student Affairs for changes to the Student Code of Conduct) will be involved in reviewing the Faculty Rules as well, as will Faculty Council. The goal is to finalize all changes through the University Senate by the end of this quarter.

There has also been a review of other administrative deadlines and policies, including registration, fee payment, refund, and forfeiture deadlines. Recommendations not directly related to the semester conversion are likely to be implemented beginning autumn quarter, 2011.

Once the Faculty Rules and other administrative deadline changes have been finalized, they will be posted to the semester conversion website.

New advising tools being developed. Several technical tools are currently under development to support the work of our academic advisors.

In addition to the Transitional Academic Plan (see last month’s issue of QSU), enhanced functionality in the Student Information System will create checklist items to identify and remind students who still need to complete a plan. A course conversion guide will identify equivalencies for semester and quarter courses, both at Ohio State and other institutions. As information about programs and courses becomes available, the Office of the University Registrar is working to develop multiple versions of the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) to help both advisors and students track the conversion of completed course work and progress toward a degree.

These new tools will help our academic advisors better assist students in making the transition to semesters.

UCAT Roundtable Series on Teaching in the May Session. On Thursday, March 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) will sponsor a roundtable on Studying Columbus in May Session. Facilitated by Alan Kalish (UCAT), Tim Gerber (School of Music), and Rick Livingston (Humanities Institute), the roundtable will focus on the ways Ohio State students can use the city of Columbus as an object of inquiry, allowing them to blend real encounters in the city and region with their educational progress. For example, a music course might take them to live performances and historic music venues. A science course could include exploring campus energy use or local watershed issues. The roundtable will take place in Room 150, Younkin Success Center, 1640 Neil Avenue.

Reminder: course and program submission procedure. By now, several thousand courses and hundreds of programs have now been entered into the Course and Program Entry and Approval System ( If you need to enter a course or program into the system and do not have access, please contact Assistant Provost Jay Johnson.

Continuing thanks for the selfless service that countless of you are contributing to the semester conversion. As this and every issue of QSU makes clear, we are making the progress that will enable Ohio State to move easily into its new academic calendar in summer, 2012.


 W. Randy Smith
Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Co-Chair,
Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee

 Steven S. Fink
Associate Professor of English and Co-Chair,
Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee

Questions or comments about the transition to the semester calendar?
Contact Assistant Provost Jay Johnson,