The CSC submits to the faculty for consideration and approval a calendar that will allow for orderly planning of events two years in advance, and works with the Registrar to prepare departmental and program schedules of classes, days/hours, and rooms, distributing fairly the class blocks and rooms among all members of the faculty. Here is more information about the duties and membership of the CSC.
CSC Chair Memo re: 2023-24 Schedule
Class Block Grid (congested blocks are color-coded)
Class Block Request form
Evening Exam form
Potential Academic/Athletic Conflicts
In order to protect the wealth and diversity of activities available to students at Williams—first academics, but also athletics, the arts, cultural events, volunteer work, evening speakers, and evening exams—Williams has reserved the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday as well as 7:00 pm to 9:40 pm Monday and Wednesday evenings for academic courses. All required class meetings and curricular activities, including tutorial meetings should be scheduled during these hours. Unless meeting in the Monday evening time slot, all classes, including labs, should conclude by the end of the academic day, 4:00 pm. All other activities, including practices and rehearsals, should be scheduled outside of that time. As a rule, athletic practices begin at 4:15 pm.
Exceptions to Division of the Day
The CSC must approve all exceptions to Division of the Day. Course instructors who plan an academic activity that falls outside of Division of the Day and where attendance is mandatory (e.g., evening exam, film screening, performance, field trip) must petition the CSC for approval. Email David Zimmerman, CSC Chair and Kath Dunlop, Registrar.
Courses may hold evening examinations (except on Monday and Wednesday evenings) with the approval of the CSC. One class must be cancelled for each evening exam. In cases where conflicts occur between requested times for evening exams in different courses, or where the student enrollment for simultaneously scheduled exams overlaps significantly, the CSC Chair will ask the relevant course instructors to try to work it out between themselves.
- Before scheduling an evening exam time, please check the schedule of already-approved evening exams and if possible, avoid conflicts.
- Use the Evening Exam form to submit your request.
- Exam times must be offered one ending by 7:45 pm to accommodate 8:00 pm rehearsals and a later one starting no earlier than 7:15 pm to accommodate athletics.
- Alternative arrangements must be made for students with legitimate conflicts.
- Exam rooms can be reserved through the online room scheduling system.
- Please include evening exam dates in the course syllabus, and announce all required evening exam dates in class before the end of drop/add period, so students are aware of this requirement.
Class Field Trips
Class field trips (one per course) do not require approval by the CSC, but faculty should make a good-faith effort to schedule trips to minimize conflicts with students’ other academic and extracurricular commitments.
- Please list the trip and the date on the course syllabus, and advise students to check with other instructors during the first week about missing class for the trip.
- While you do not need approval from the CSC for one field trip per course, you do need approval for more than one—prior to the start of classes please provide the David Zimmerman, CSC Chair with the name of the course, the place of the field trip, and the date and time, so it can be listed.
Class Meetings Outside Regular Hours
- All class meetings should be scheduled during the regular class hours described above.
- Exceptions must be approved by the CSC. Course instructors should make a good faith effort to assure that enrolled students can attend without conflict.
Class Events Outside Regular Hours
Some important class activities, such as attendance at performances or evening lectures, cannot be scheduled during regular class hours.
- Course instructors who wish to make attendance at specific events mandatory—with no flexibility in allowing students to avoid conflicts with other commitments—need approval from the CSC.
- The CSC does not need to approve these events when attendance at an event is optional (i.e., missing a particular event does not affect a student’s grade), or when students may choose among several evenings or several events.
- Please list optional or required dates for class meetings outside of regular hours on the course syllabus and announce those dates in class before the end of drop/add period so students are aware of course requirements.
Athletic Conflicts During Regular Hours
As noted above, all extra-curricular activities including athletic practices and suiting up should be scheduled outside of regular class hours.
- Athletic competitions involve the coordination of schedules with other schools, and travel to competitions may conflict with Division of the Day guidelines. Please refer to this list of potential conflicts, which is monitored by the Athletics Committee.
- Course instructors should expect students to consult with them at least a week before missing classes.
- Concerns over athletic conflicts should be addressed to the Athletics Committee.
75 Minute Class Blocks
- (O) MWF 8:30-9:45 am
- (P) MWF 11:00 am-12:15 pm
Classes scheduled during these time blocks meet two of the three days based on the instructor’s weekly schedule preference.
Evening Class Blocks
Required courses should not be scheduled in any of the following evening blocks unless there is a second section scheduled during the day:
- (H) Monday and Wednesday 7:00-8:15 pm (2 x 75 minutes)
- (I) Monday and Wednesday 8:25-9:40 pm (2 x 75 minutes)
- (K) Monday 7:00-9:40 pm (240 minutes)
- (J) Wednesday 7:00-9:40 pm (240 minutes)
Exceptions to Class Blocks
Any faculty who would like an exception to the established class blocks must complete the Class Blocks Request form.
It is the sole discretion of the individual instructor to excuse or not excuse absences due to athletics (e.g., games), academics (e.g., field trips in other classes), or any other type of conflict. Faculty should include their attendance policy in writing in the course syllabus and announce that policy in class before the end of drop/add period, so students are aware of course requirements.
Concerns over any type of conflicts should be addressed to the CSC.
This is a reminder that, in order to celebrate Mountain Day, classes will be cancelled at the President's discretion on one of the first three Fridays in October. This traditional and unique feature of the Williams calendar may pose some complications for those who teach or schedule other activities on Fridays. Please keep it in mind when planning assignments, exams, speakers, and other activities.
Although Mountain Day may create complications, it is important to note that a class day is not lost. By faculty approval, an extra Friday has been added at the end of the semester, delaying the beginning of exams by one day.
Here is a helpful explanation of Mountain Day:
The first known allusion to Mountain Day is made by Williams President Edward Dorr Griffin in his notebook on college business. Under 'Holidays' he writes: "About the 24th of June a day to go to the mountain. If not then about the 14th of July. Prayers at night." —Edward Dorr Griffin. Williams College directory containing the code of common law 1827. (Williamstown, 1827)
On May 12, 1830 a group of students directed by President Edward Dorr Griffin, improved and further cut a trail from the end of the Hopper Road to the summit. Today this route is the Hopper Trail, on which a traditional climb up Greylock by Williams students continues each fall during "Mountain Day." —From a Wikipedia entry on Mount Greylock.
Today Mountain Day occurs during fall foliage season on one of the first three Fridays in October, when it is declared by the President and announced with the ringing of the Chapel bells. It is considered a "free day" in which students may or may not elect to commune with nature (prayers also are optional). Dining Services provides a meal at one or more designated sites. If Mountain Day does not occur on one of the first two Fridays of October, then it will be held on the third Friday of October regardless of weather, and alternative activities will be planned in the event of inclement weather.
In February, Chairs and Administrative Assistants will receive an email from Amanda Turner—this email will include a link to your unit's scheduling spreadsheet.
Due March 13
Please do everything in your power to distribute your department’s course offerings as evenly as possible across the Class Blocks grid.
Be aware, if faculty have specific classroom needs (e.g. language courses), it may be difficult for the Registrar's Office to accommodate those needs if a class is scheduled during a congested block.
- In order for a student to be able to register for a course, it must be listed on the spreadsheet (this also includes labs, studios, conferences, independent studies, and theses)—indicate TBA if class block has not been determined.
- Stay within the CSC established scheduling guidelines indicated at the top of your sheet:
- A2, A3, A4, and A5 cells should be yellow and green.
- Red cells indicate a warning that your schedule falls outside the guidelines and requires adjustments.
- Email Amanda Turner once your schedule is ready for review by the CSC. The Registrar's Office and the CSC have access to the collaborative spreadsheet, there is no need to email an attachment.
Please do not wait until you have all details to submit your proposed schedule. Construct your best forecast of all classes you plan to offer and their days and times. Include any courses that might be added later, for example, those taught by visitors, new hires, and post-docs. Please give these anticipated courses a course prefix, designate the course type, and assign it a class block.
The CSC may contact you for clarification or to request adjustments to your proposed schedule.
- Black triangles in the top right corner of cells indicate there are instructions for filling out a particular column—simply hover over the cell with your mouse for the pop-up to appear.
- Drop-down menus, where appropriate, have been provided for ease of scheduling:
- Column B menu is a list of your unit's courses. If a new course is still in workflow (CourseLeaf), that course may not appear in the drop-down menu. For courses that do not appear in the drop-down menu, please type in prefix, number, and title.
- Column G menu provides a list of standard class blocks.
- Column H is to schedule TBAs, labs, studios, and any other non-standard class meeting times.
- If you'd like to request a class block exception from the CSC, please submit the Class Block Request form.
CSC annual reports for faculty review.