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Academic Affairs

Responsible Office:

Procedure Title:
Calendar, Development of Campus Instructional Procedures

Document Number:

Effective Date:
February 18, 1981

This procedure item applies to:
Community Colleges
State-Operated Campuses

Table of Contents

Related Procedures
Other Related Information


The Board of Trustees, at its January 28, 1981 meeting, adopted Guidelines for Development of the Campus Instructional Calendar. This action was designed to return to the campuses the responsibility for the design of their respective calendars. It places the focus of the activity on the scheduling of classes rather than on State University of New York observance of designated religious holidays.


The following guidelines should be observed in the development of campus instructional calendars.

The guidelines are not addressed to the issue of uniformity, nor do they attempt to prescribe specific numbers of days or hours of instruction, other than to support items in the Commissioner of Education’s Regulations. Course requirements have been described by the New York State Regents and by normative academic practice. Rather, these guidelines specify a common procedure in several areas, specifically length of instructional year, observance of holidays and utilization of campus facilities.

These guidelines are intended to apply to normative campus-based situations of regular instruction.

Each campus should give careful attention to the relationship between the calendar and the number of hours of weekly obligation of faculty and students, and should take into consideration in calendar development the effect of the holiday guideline upon the total period of instruction.

The instructional year shall include a minimum of 30 weeks instruction, inclusive of periods for examinations. If the conventional semester plan is followed, no single semester shall consist of fewer than 14 weeks instruction, with a total of 30 weeks instruction for two semesters, inclusive of periods of examination. Other patterns may be developed subject to approval of the chancellor.

In developing the campus instructional calendar, campuses should try to avoid the scheduling of classes or other courses of instruction on those days when a significant number of members of a religious faith at that campus typically observe the expectation of their faith and wish to be absent from school or work. Campuses should assure that instructional time or work requirements are met by other scheduling or calendar arrangements.

Within the instructional calendar, on those days when members of a religious faith at that campus typically observe the expectation of their faith and wish to be absent from school or work, campuses shall avoid the scheduling of such events as registration, examinations, the first day of classes, or student convocations.

Under existing State law (Education Law §224-a), campuses are required to excuse without penalty individual students absent from class because of religious beliefs and to provide equivalent opportunity to students to make up study or work requirements missed because of such absences.

In developing the instructional calendar, attention should be given to the possibility of closing all college offices and not scheduling classes on those days observed by the state as holidays which fall on a Monday or Friday.

Attention shall be given to optimal utilization of campus facilities, with special consideration given to the summer period(s) of instruction.

A copy of the campus instructional calendar shall be filed with the chancellor or designee.


There are no forms relevant to this procedure.

Related Procedures

There are no related procedures relevant to this procedure.

Other Related Information

There is no other information relevant to this procedure.


The following link to FindLaw's New York State Laws is provided for users' convenience; it is not the official site for the State of New York laws.

New York State Education Law §224-a (Religious beliefs and registering for and attending classes)

In case of questions, readers are advised to refer to the New York State Legislature site for the menu of 
New York State Consolidated.

State University Board of Trustees Resolution 81-1A, dated January 28, 1981


   Memorandum to Presidents 81-3 dated February 18, 1981.

   Memorandum to Presidents 80-2 dated April 1, 1980.

   Memorandum to Presidents 77-14 dated July 8, 1977.


There are no appendicies relevant to this procedure.