Rutgers University Senate
Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee (ASRAC)
Academic Calendar, 2005 Commencement Date
April 2004

Charge S-0402: Consider the administration's request to adjust the University Academic Calendar to change next year's commencement date from Thursday, May 19, 2005 to Wednesday, May 18, 2005.

Need for Proposal and Report:

This charge was initiated by a request from Leslie Fehrenbach, Secretary of the Boards of Governors and Trustees, with the endorsement of the President’s Cabinet.  The full text of Ms. Fehrenbach’s correspondence is available at:

In her letter to the chair of the University Senate, Ms. Fehrenbach first described the current university academic calendar for commencement proceedings in both 2004 and 2005, and then outlined the various logistical problems with the calendar as it stands:

"As you know, we have moved the venue for University Commencement from the Louis Brown Athletic Center to Voorhees Mall.  Currently, University Commencement is scheduled for Thursday morning, May 20, 2004, at 9:00 a.m. and Rutgers College is scheduled in the same location at 2:30 p.m.  Holding these two large ceremonies on one day causes several logistical problems.

"1.  The most serious problem is the lack of parking for both ceremonies.  Rutgers College parents begin to arrive at 10:00 a.m. for the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.  At that time most of the parking on the College Avenue Campus will be taken by University Commencement.  Therefore, as you know, all faculty and staff have been asked to park at the stadium to free up scarce parking spaces.

"2.  At the time University Commencement concludes (approximately 11:00 a.m.), the 10,000 attendees to the Rutgers College ceremony will be attempting to arrive on the College Avenue Campus.  The traffic congestion caused by this change of ceremonies will be significant.  The planned Route 18 construction at this time will further add to the local traffic congestion.

"3.  There are several logistical issues relating to the setup for the two ceremonies that would also be resolved by holding these two ceremonies on different days."

Obviously, despite these challenges, the commencement calendar for 2004 will remain as is.  This request applies only to commencement in 2005.  After considering this request, the members of ASRAC have concluded that adjusting the commencement calendar for 2005 will be in the best interest of all constituencies.  With the proposed calendar adjustment, Rutgers College commencement will remain as currently scheduled, and the University Commencement will be changed from Thursday, May 19, 2005 to Wednesday, May 18, 2005.


Whereas, Rutgers College Commencement and University Commencement are currently scheduled for the same location on the same day in 2005; and

Whereas, the administration has requested adjusting the university calendar for commencement in 2005; and

Whereas, the University Senate’s Academic Standards, Regulations, and Admissions Committee has reviewed this request, and believes it to be in the best interest of all constituencies;

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Rutgers University Senate approves adjusting the University Academic Calendar to change next year’s University Commencement date from Thursday, May 19, 2005 to Wednesday, May 18, 2005.