Important Changes to Academic Calendar for 2019-2020

Posted Apr 11, 2019

Photograph of Towers Hall at Otterbein University.

The Otterbein Office of Academic Affairs would like to inform our community of a recent change to the Academic Calendar for 2019-2020. Recently, some member of the Otterbein community brought to our attention their concerns about Otterbein’s academic calendar for next year. Concerns included the timing of the last day of classes and finals week in relation to Thanksgiving break, and the early start to spring semester allowing for less time for the very important work that happens on campus between semesters — everything from restocking labs, making minor repairs to helping students get registered for the term. Additional concerns were raised, including the need to align our academic calendar with transfer partners like Columbus State Community College.

After careful consideration, the Senate voted on April 3 to move our academic year back one week. This means starting and finishing a week later in both fall and spring.

  • Fall semester will begin Monday, Aug. 26, and the last day of classes will be Friday, Dec. 6.
  • Spring semester will begin on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, and the last day of classes will be Thursday, April 23.
  • Commencement will be Saturday, May 2, for graduate students and Sunday, May 3, for undergraduate students.

This change will impact some activities, meetings, and events that occur in the weeks prior to the start of each academic semester (and in some cases, dates during the semesters), so please be advised to watch for those changes, which will be communicated by the offices or departments responsible for organizing them.

While the Senate only approved changes to the 2019-2020 academic calendar, we plan to have an updated five-year calendar sent out in draft form over the next few weeks, and once governance committees resume next fall, we will ask Planning Committee to provide feedback and Senate to vote on new versions of these calendars as soon as possible.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may pose, and assure you we will work with students as needed to accommodate any problems caused by this change. We believe the benefits of the change will outweigh this year’s inconvenience.