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By Amanda-Marie Quintino

After years of late convocation date releases, Ryerson is planning to speed up its scheduling process.

Registrar Keith Alnwick is looking to put a plan in action that will ensure that the dates are released earlier. “It’s safe to assume this year will be the last late announcement,” he said. “We expect to dramatically advance this process for June 2007 so convocation dates should be available much earlier than in past.”

Along with notifying students of their convocation date earlier, Alnwick hopes to confirm honorary doctorate certificate recipients sooner.

Historically, the university has begun consideration of these recipients in the fall of their anticipated graduation year, he said. This caused scheduling difficulties because the university is unable to set a convocation date until the recipients are finalized. At the beginning of each academic year, students expected to graduate are told they will have their convocation sometime in June, but are not given a definitive date until around mid-March.

This year, students were only notified of finalized dates last Friday. But Levy wants to pick up speed on such scheduling at Ryerson, which would allow students to plan ahead for the months to come without worry.

“I’m looking into the whole issue of convocation now and we have to move to get this information out much, much earlier,” said Levy, who can’t wait to shake hands with graduates. “We have to line up our honorary graduates much, much earlier so there has to be a real review of this whole issue. I can’t think of any logical reason why we can’t do this.”

Levy doesn’t want students to have to miss their own convocation because of the university’s slow date releases. “I am going to set up (a task force), work with academic council and the provost in setting up a commission just to give advice and recommendations.” Fourth-year information technology management student Blair Robinson doesn’t think Ryerson is doing all it can to accomodate students’ schedules.

“The date should be set in stone a lot earlier in the year,” said Robinson, who has a job in place at a software company once his exams end. Alnwick wants the university’s tardy release dates to be a thing of the past.

“The experience is that students have challenges from getting convocation dates confirmed so late with having their schedules booked well, well in advance,” he said. “We want grads to go to their own graduation — no more empty seats. Grads should be there to receive their diplomas.”

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