Jenn Smola, Campus Editor

The Miami University Senate held its first meeting of the new school year Monday, during which the body heard about new systems management tools and the new 2013-2014 academic calendar.

The Senate began the meeting with announcements from Provost Bobby Gempesaw regarding Miami’s large first year class and record international enrollment.

The Senate also heard from Michael Kabbaz, associate vice president of enrollment management, and David Sauter, university registrar, regarding the new academic calendar set to take effect next school year.

The new calendar will include 14-week semesters, plus a week of final assessment, whereas the current calendar has 15-week semesters, plus a week of final assessment, according to Kabbaz.

The new calendar will also include a proposed three-week winter term, which is currently pending approval from Miami’s Board of Trustees, according to Sauter.

“The Board of Trustees is reviewing and hopefully voting and approving the winter session [at its September meeting],” Sauter said.

According to Sauter, students could utilize the proposed winter term for taking classes, study abroad opportunities, internships, and work experience.

Sauter said there are still many aspects that need to be taken into consideration as the university moves towards the new calendar.

“We’re now into this deep dive, looking at a lot of ‘what does this mean for the ebb and flow of the university?'” Sauter said.

One of the uncertainties the university is working through is settling on a revised time block grid, or set class times, that adhere to the new calendar, according to Sauter.

According to Sauter, there are problems with the current time block model.

“When we run data now…every Monday-Wednesday class overlaps another time block,” Sauter said. “We’ve gotten out of kilter with the evenness of how we’re distributing classes,”

According to Sauter, an ad hoc committee has been formed to gather input for new time block possibilities.

With the implementation of the new calendar, Sauter said the university can develop an improved time block.

“If we have even a better time block model with no overlap, and spread it out, we’ll have greater success for the students,” Sauter said.

The senate also heard from Information Security Officer Joe Bazeley, regarding changes to systems management tools for computer workstations across campus.

According to Bazely, Altiris, a software currently on Miami workstations is being replaced by new software-System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and Casper.

Altiris, as well as SCCM and Casper, are necessary to deploy software and as well as perform software inventory to determine the best option for licensure, according to Bazeley.

“It will tell us what software is installed on your computer,” Bazeley said. “It’s very much from an inventory perspective.”

According to Bazely, the old and new software perform similar functions, but the new software will save the university a “substantial amount of money.”

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