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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Line Hokie View Post
    Seriously, why do college students get a month off and return during the 3rd week of January?
    Because the faculty members need breaks from teaching so that they can do other things like research that really pay the bills?

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by HokieEngineer View Post
    Because the faculty members need breaks from teaching so that they can do other things like research that really pay the bills?
    Unless a professor takes off a semester to focus on research, then he/she will have to juggle their responsibilities. Besides, not all research can be done in that time period. Something else to consider is that a research project can have multiple PIs (i.e. professors from other schools, grad students, undergrad students) associated with them. In some cases, the grad student is the primary PI for the research project, where the information will be used in the dissertation, and the professor functions in an administrative/project managerial role.

    It is possible that professors need that time off to recharge their batteries (if they are juggling multiple responsibilities in the previous semester), time to submit lesson plans/book requirements for the upcoming classes, or work on research proposals.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Line Hokie View Post
    Need to bring back the quarter system when students came back in September (around the 3rd week of football season) and only had 2 weeks off for Christmas holiday break.

    Seriously, why do college students get a month off and return during the 3rd week of January?
    Really nothing to do with "needing a month off." I think it's just because the new winter session doesn't end until 1/18.

  4. #24
    Old Line Hokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HokieEngineer View Post
    Because the faculty members need breaks from teaching so that they can do other things like research that really pay the bills?
    Maybe? Every school is different. Ohio State went back January 6 while Johns Hopkins begins classes on January 27.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylons View Post
    Really nothing to do with "needing a month off." I think it's just because the new winter session doesn't end until 1/18.
    How long is the winter session? I know they changed to semesters a long time ago. Never knew they had a winter session. I know back in the stone age when I attended Tech (early-mid 1980's) that winter quarter began in early January. I was always envious of my sister getting a month off at UVa for holiday break and getting out in early to mid May while Tech's spring quarter ended in early to mid June. Of course they went back in mid-August and Tech started in mid September.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Line Hokie View Post
    How long is the winter session? I know they changed to semesters a long time ago. Never knew they had a winter session. I know back in the stone age when I attended Tech (early-mid 1980's) that winter quarter began in early January. I was always envious of my sister getting a month off at UVa for holiday break and getting out in early to mid May while Tech's spring quarter ended in early to mid June. Of course they went back in mid-August and Tech started in mid September.
    winter session is brand new...this is the first one under the semester system

    virtual (online) stuff started 12/28, in-the-flesh stuff started 1/2...it all ends 1/18

    only 1100 or so students participated in this winter session.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by HokieEngineer View Post
    Because the faculty members need breaks from teaching so that they can do other things like research that really pay the bills?
    They're going to have the same number of non-teaching weeks whether you put them in winter or summer. And plenty of research activity occurs during the regular semester as well...a prof at VT (or any other heavily research-oriented institution) is going to have half the teaching load of a prof at a "teaching university" that has little to no research expectation.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylons View Post
    Really nothing to do with "needing a month off." I think it's just because the new winter session doesn't end until 1/18.
    The starting date for spring semester is determined by MLK Jr. Day. Classes always begin the Tuesday after that.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylons View Post
    They're going to have the same number of non-teaching weeks whether you put them in winter or summer. And plenty of research activity occurs during the regular semester as well...a prof at VT (or any other heavily research-oriented institution) is going to have half the teaching load of a prof at a "teaching university" that has little to no research expectation.
    My comment was somewhat in jest. However, practically speaking much more research gets done during the breaks because graduate students do not have classes, giving them more time for research. Longer breaks are better for that.

    I do agree that faculty contracts are in general of the same length. However, there are exceptions. The U Michigan system has 8-month contracts. The academic semester at Radford is a week shorter than Virginia Tech.

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