Profs adjust courses as University closure complicates nearly 2,200 classes


Infographic by Max Gleber

Rebecca Savransky, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern professors continue to restructure classes and syllabi after the severe weather cancelled nearly 2,200 classes during the first two scheduled days of Winter Quarter.

Nearly 15,000 NU students and 1,400 faculty, excluding those in the Feinberg School of Medicine, were affected by NU’s two-day closure, University Registrar Jaci Casazza said.

The enrollment deadlines originally scheduled for Friday have been extended to Tuesday, Jan. 14. Students may add or drop a class until then and have their tuition adjusted, according to an email sent by Casazza on Thursday. The drop deadline remains unchanged.

The registrar’s office is working with professors to find ways to make up for the lost classes. It is too early to tell how many professors will want to reschedule as students and faculty are still just arriving back on campus, Casazza said.

“I think it was a good decision, but it is difficult to accommodate,” Casazza said. “Most classes were scheduled to meet at least on one of those days.”

Sarah Mangelsdorf, dean of the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is giving professors the option of holding classes during the first two days of Reading Period to make up for the cancellations. If professors want to meet outside of the period, the registrar’s office will find dates and times that work for students in the class.

Political science Prof. Ian Storey said he will attempt to combine two classes into one in order to avoid rescheduling classes for the Reading Period.

“In general I prefer to infringe as little as possible on students’ Reading Period because I think that’s a really important academic time,” he said.

Storey said he has dealt with academic cancellations in the past and plans to adjust his syllabus slightly to accommodate the weather.

Casazza said rescheduling has been more difficult than previous cancellations. The last time a full day of classes was cancelled was Feb. 2, 2011. Evening classes and final exams were also cancelled last June due to severe thunderstorms, but they only affected as many as 800 students, according to the Office of the Registrar’s figures.

“The last time was just one evening of exams,” Casazza said. “Of course not every class has an exam, and I think it has the potential to be much more serious than just one pretty intense storm projected to be for a few hours.”

The registrar also had to relocate some classes indefinitely after a pipe burst in University Hall on Wednesday.

Political science Prof. Reuel Rogers plans to hold a makeup class during Reading Period. He said he welcomed the opportunity because it will give him more time to go over the material and will eliminate the need to rush content.

McCormick sophomore Kelly Hyland said her physics professor added an additional class on Thursday to make up for lost instruction time. The class meets Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but her professor originally cancelled the first Thursday class before the University closure.

Hyland said she was glad her professor found a way to catch up earlier in the quarter.

“It was a good idea to make it up from the get-go because it doesn’t impact exam dates or anything,” Hyland said. “It’s nice to still not have class during Reading Week.”

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