OSU Senate Votes In Favor Of Semester System

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The Ohio State University Senate voted yesterday in favor of switching from a quarter based academic year to a semester-based year. If the change is approved by the university’s board of trustees, Ohio State would be the last public institution of higher leaning in Ohio to decide to make the switch.

Courses at Ohio State University have been taught on the quarter system since 1922. Two attempts during the last two decades to change to semesters failed. The change has been a contentious issue among faculty. During the meeting OSU Professor Rich Hart spoke in favor of maintaining the quarter system:

“Having smaller time periods encourages more diversity and a wider range of courses,” Hart said. “The breadth of offerings in a quarter system simply cannot be matched by a semester system. Whereas the depth of coverage offered by quarters is at least as good or better than semesters.”

Professor Richard Gunther took the opposing position. He reminded the Senate that the other 12 public universities in the University System of Ohio either use the semester system or they’re in the process of changing to semesters

“We are now an integral part of the University System of Ohio,” Gunther said. “And one of the prime goals of the governor and the chancellor for higher education is to enhance accessibility by improving the transferability of our courses.”

After more than an hour of discussion members of the Senate cast their ballots. OSU President Gordon Gee announced the results:

“Ladies and gentlemen I have before me the vote,” Gee said. “The vote is 91 in favor, 19 against, so our committee will continue to do its good work and thank you very much “

If the board of trustees approves, the change to semesters would occur in 2012. That’s when Ohio University, Wright State University and the University of Cincinnati will also change from quarters to semesters.