A small pet peeve
I used to think it was SLAC -- the academic calendar is often hard to find, and we're lucky if it's set 6 months in advance. SLAC drives me crazy with its tendency for last-minute planning -- rooms not assigned until the week before classes start, finals schedules that make no sense, especially when there are often grades due before finals are given ...
I just looked at LDW's schedule, though -- or tried to. He teaches at a reasonably prestigious uni. There's no academic calendar at all. They've gone to a monthly calendar, and there are no dates set for the beginning of the fall semester. I'm annoyed, because long-distance relationships are hard enough. But I know that both SLAC and Prestigious Uni are enrolling more and more non-traditional (e.g., working) students. They are also both trying to deal with enrollment problems, in that they are chasing enrollments. I was a working student for much of my academic life. I never had to pay tuition and fees, but I had to live (the grad fellowship was not enough to live on, partially because Grad U housing cost half of my stipend ...).
Attention, you silly institutions! When you are trying to attract and cater to a non-traditional demographic, it isn't *just* about offering evening classes. Working people need to be able to plan their work schedules (and sometimes, babysitting schedules) so that they can both keep their jobs and do well in their courses. They need to know the exam schedules well in advance, because the kinds of jobs students usually hold are not particularly flexible. And if that helps poor faculty fools whose relationships stretch over time zones and miles, that's not a bad thing, either.