Having completed the flagship schools, I turned my attention to the localities where I found the least use of Friday. Harvard has among the lowest use of Friday in the Ivy League. Is this to reduce commuting time as might be argued in LA and NYC, other (even bigger) big cities. In NYC and LA I limited my comparisons to four year state schools. In Boston the only school of this sort is U Mass Boston. (I didn’t count the College of Art and Design this way.) Of course there are many private schools and I choose to look also at the most elite of these, MIT. Of interest, these schools are much more respectable in their use of Friday. In Spring 14 MIT had 46 percent of its courses meet on Friday but there is a marked difference between its humanities courses and the engineering courses. This is the same as we see across the country; engineering schools and programs seem to think traditional schedules are important. They still use the MWF sequence while the shift to MW courses is popular in most of the rest of academia. U Mass Boston has pockets where MW courses are popular but like flagship schools it has resisted the four day week. 43 percent (S14) of its courses meet on Friday in S14. That is very similar to U Mass Amherst, which had 40 percent of its course meet on Friday in F012.
So Boston is different from NYC and LA. The slide toward a four day week is much less pronounced. Maybe the slide has little to do with big city commuting cost. Maybe it’s just a desire for a three-day weekend. Let’s look at other big cities, like Chicago.