WMU News

January start-up date for winter semester classes delayed

Nov. 8, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University will delay the start of its winter semester classes to give University staff members two business days after Jan. 1 to check systems and assure a smooth computing transition into the new millennium.

WMU's winter semester classes will begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, and students and faculty need not report back to the University until that day. Staff members must still return to work on Monday, Jan. 3, and University offices will reopen, as previously scheduled, at 8 a.m. that day. Jan. 3, the first business day of the new year, had originally been planned as the first day for winter semester classes.

"By delaying the beginning of classes, we are allowing our staff members an opportunity to perform systems checks during the first two business days after the Y2K rollover," said WMU President Elson S. Floyd in making the announcement. "Our computer systems have been thoroughly tested to be Y2K compliant and we're ready for the event, but substantial interface with systems outside the University is part of the normal course of business. We plan to use the additional time to address any problems that arise once regular business operations resume."

Floyd noted that WMU is a designated Red Cross Emergency Center and could be needed if serious power failures or other infrastructure disruptions occur in the region as a result of Y2K. Delaying the return of large numbers of students would ensure that the University would be able to serve in that capacity. The delay also will allow students and faculty more flexibility in making travel plans to return to the University after the holiday break, since students will not need to travel on the holiday weekend.

University residence halls are scheduled to open for the semester at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4. Students who must return early to participate in designated student activities such as athletic practices or performance rehearsals may return as early as 8 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 2. Designated student employees also may return early. Adjustments to the academic calendar also have been made, extending the regular drop and add period to Jan. 11 and extending the last day to drop classes without academic penalty to Feb. 25. Details about student life and academic calendar changes were communicated to the University community today.

"We're taking this action to assure a smooth start to the semester," Floyd said.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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