Biologists Suggest Shift In Calendar
A University-wide committee of biologists will propose that the College and the Medical School move their calendars closer together to allow students to take courses at the two schools simultaneously next year.
The University Committee on Biological Sciences, established by President Bok last spring to foster interaction between the two schools, will ask the Faculty to start classes a week earlier, and the Med School to open a week later than planned.
The proposed calendar would mean the College would start on Sept. 19, rather than Sept. 26, and would split reading period with half on either side of the winter break. The Med School, now scheduled to begin Sept. 12, would begin several days later.
John E. Dowling, professor of Biology and a member of the committee, said yesterday the proposal would help undergraduates interested in taking Med School courses, who now arrive to find the courses have already been in progress for two weeks.
Manfred L. Karnovsky, White Professor of Biological Chemistry and a committee member, said yesterday that although the program at the Med School permits students to take liberal arts courses, they do not often do so because of calendar conflicts.
Dowling said the committee does not believe splitting reading period poses a serious problem, because he said many students already leave before vacation officially begins anyway.
Only 16 students crossed over between the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Medical School last year, but Dowling and Karnovsky said that number would probably increase if the calendar reform goes through.
Francis M. Pipkin, associate dean of the Faculty for the Colleges, said yesterday the proposed calendar would allow undergraduates to cross-register more easily at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which begins classes early in September.
Calendar changes are subject to Faculty approval. Dowling will propose the reform to the Faculty Council this week, and Karnovsky said he will bring it to the Med School faculty "in the near future."
Konrad E. Bloch, Higgins Professor of Biochemistry and chairman of the committee, said yesterday if the Faculty decides to adopt the measure, it will have to do so before Christmas to allow the University time to adjust its schedule to the change.