Vance Ricks sent me an e-mail looking for ways to provide a discussion space for those who support and are excited about the 12-3 change. We agreed that a Moon Room post might be a good place to help facilitate that discussion. He wrote up the following and asked me to post it for him. Please feel free to comment here.

“Dear colleagues,

There ARE some faculty (and staff) who want and like the adoption of a 12-3 calendar. I’m writing to ask and encourage them to speak up — not just to each other, but also in public venues such as this one. To me, the public conversations here and in many faculty gatherings have felt dominated by expressions of skepticism about (or at best lukewarm support for) that adoption. That isn’t a criticism! But it means that I think I’m getting a distorted picture of the landscape of campus opinions and of what it’ll take to discern or build some kind of consensus.

Just to be clear, I should explain that I’m asking specifically about support for the adoption of the calendar itself — not about support for the path that led us to this point, if we can (for the sake of discussion) pull those things apart. Why do you like it? What excites you about it? And by that, I’m asking: is it support specifically for the 12-3 calendar, or for a distinct alternative to our current one (such as the 8-8 that Thom proposed, or the Colorado College model, or…)? Is it support for the 12-3 calendar as a package? Is it support for what could occur during the “3” part of it, separable from liking the “12” part of it? Is it support for it on principle (e.g., even if it did nothing to attract or retain more students than we have now, we should still do it because of its other advantages over the status quo)?

From where I sit, the plan to adopt a 12-3 calendar seems to have the weight of presidential, administrative, and trustee support behind it. So (again from where I sit), I really don’t think that anyone ought to feel that they’re “unsafe” to express their own support for that plan. And I’m asking a genuine question, not trying to set anyone up for a fight.