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Students question UTM President's Day attendance

By Martina Conley
On February 24, 2009

Many students have been wondering why UTM does not observe President's Day when so many other schools, associations and government businesses do. Bud Grimes, from the UTM Office of University Relations, said the decision to not observe President's Day is not determined by UTM. The University of Tennessee Resource department is responsible for distributing all of the days of scheduled closings for all UT campuses and institutes. Also UTM wasn't the only school that was required to attend classes last Monday; Academic Records said that neither UTM, UTK, nor the University of Memphis had President's Day off.

Although some may think that other national holidays should be observed, there is just not enough room on the university calendar.

"I believe that the university observes an appropriate number of holidays. I've never had Presidents Day as a holiday, so personally, I don't have strong feelings either way about this particular holiday," Grimes said.

Also, because UTM receives the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday off, if President's Day were taken off too, then Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes, and other combinations of Monday, classes would lose a second day of instruction from the teaching schedule. It is a requirement that the university schedule an appropriate amount of instruction time for semester weeks as well as the correct amount of time spent in each class.

It is required that UT be in compliance with the state in regard to observed holidays. However, currently both UT and Tennessee Board of Regents institutions observe more holidays than the state of Tennessee. The state observes 11 holidays throughout the year, including President's Day, Columbus Day and Veteran's Day, while both UT and TBR institutions observe 13 holidays of administrative closings.

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