Summer classes with lowenrollment will be axed

Laurie Kemp

For the past 20 years, the University has guaranteed that classes listed in the summer session course directory will be offered. But a new policy effective this summer will subject classes with low enrollment to cancellation.
“It’s not something we want to do,” said Jack Johnson, the director of summer session. “We were just spending too much money on classes that didn’t benefit a lot of students.”
Faced with budget cuts, Johnson said, the office looked for ways to reduce spending.
The policy requires 1000- and 3000-level courses to have at least eight students registered in order to be offered. At least five students must be registered for 5000- and 8000-level courses. Courses with fewer than the required minimum registrants will be cancelled at least five working days before the first class day.
If the policy had been implemented in 1995, Johnson said, the Summer Session office would have saved $300,000.
“Don’t wait until the last minute to register for a class or it could be cancelled,” Johnson said. “Register early.”
The policy applies only to structured courses, not individualized instruction. Cancellation will be based on the sum total enrollment of cross-listed — courses listed in two departments — and concurrent courses. Instructors will not be paid for cancelled classes.
Departments may seek exceptions to the cancellation policy. Johnson said it is impossible to give examples of situations where exceptions will be granted, but the impact on students will be a determining factor. Requests for exemptions must be received in the Summer Session office no later than May 29 for first summer session and July 5 for second summer.
Before each term, two warnings will be given to academic departments about classes that are at risk of cancellation, Johnson said. The Summer Session office will automatically cancel courses with insufficient enrollment by the cut-off date.
The cut-off dates will allow about a week for students to receive cancellation notices. Students will not need to cancel registration in these classes. Courses that drop below the enrollment cut-off after the cancellation dates will not be subject to cancellation.
The Summer Session office will notify the Registar, colleges, departments and college advising offices if a course is canceled, Johnson said. Special courses and workshops that do not begin at the normal start of first or second summer session will be handled on an individual basis.
Twenty years ago, Summer Session had the same cancellation policy. But it was discontinued because of faculty requests and available money, Johnson said. Some colleges and extension classes have a similar policy for classes during a normal school year.
“In spite of this change in policy, students will still have an enormous selection of summer classes to choose from,” Johnson said.