U gives priority to 13-credit class loads

Micah Johnson

It might be time for studio arts junior Matt Bakken to change his routine.

“I’ve only taken 12 credits every semester up until this one because I work so much,” he said.

Because the University is implementing a new registration system based on a 13-credit minimum, Bakken will fall to the bottom of the queue for his class if he doesn’t pick up at least one more credit than usual.

Craig Swan, vice president and provost for undergraduate education, said the 13-credit minimum would apply to all incoming students, including freshmen and transfers.

Current students won’t be required to take 13 credits but will receive later registration times during future registration periods.

“Eighty-five percent of freshmen already take 13 credits,” Swan said. “Seventy-nine percent of sophomores take 13 credits. For most students, the minimum will not make a big impact.”

Swan said the new system will work together with a proposed tuition plan, which University President Mark Yudof will present to the Board of Regents on Friday.

Under the plan, students taking at least 13 credits would pay a flat rate. Each credit above 13 would be free, making it attractive to take more than the minimum load, Swan said.

“Students need 15 or 16 credits to graduate in four years,” he said. “This reflects the institution’s expectation of students.”

Swan said not all students will be required to take 13 credits, and they can apply to the implementation committee for exemption.

The committee, comprised of students and faculty, has already determined that handicapped
students and those with temporary illnesses will be exempt.

Senior biology major Khaled Dajani, Student Senate Consultative Committee chairman, said the implementation committee will encounter opposing interests, which might affect student applicants.

“I think it’s going to be a fight,” Dajani said. “The faculty will demand the least number of exemptions, and the students will want the most.”

Dajani was concerned that some students, like Bakken, will suffer because their problems don’t seem significant.

“(The implementation committee) will have to figure out what really constitutes part time. Student seniors don’t need 13 credits. Student parents have obligations. How many hours does a student have to work for an exemption?” Dajani said.

Swan, however, said the committee will handle each request fairly.

“We need to look at this holistically, in terms of a student’s life circumstances,” Swan said. “I have absolute faith in them.”

Micah Johnson welcomes comments at [email protected]