For the first time in his 20 years teaching at UF, journalism professor Laurence Alexander has canceled his class on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
This year, he said, a meeting conflicts with his Law of Mass Communication class.
"And," he added, "I'm sympathetic to our students who must travel home on crowded highways, and I want them to arrive safely."
Despite the grumblings of students, UF's Thanksgiving break does not start until Thursday, UF spokesman Steve Orlando said.
However, starting next year, UF will cancel classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, he said.
Some professors will cancel or alter their class schedules this week to allow students a travel day.
Instead of giving a lecture to his Sports Media & Society class at its normal meeting time and place today, professor Ted Spiker will post his notes on the class blog.
"I just wanted to give them the flexibility to be able to look at the lecture on their own time," he said.
Many of Spiker's students already told him they wouldn't be in class, so, he said, he decided to give them flexibility to travel while still giving them the academic content.
Although classes are technically supposed to be in session Wednesday, Orlando said canceling classes during Thanksgiving week is left to the discretion of professors.
Thanksgiving break also begins Thursday for University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, University of North Florida, University of West Florida, New College of Florida, University of Miami and Florida A&M University.
Only Florida State University and Florida Gulf Coast University cancel classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Santa Fe College has canceled classes after 5 p.m. this Wednesday.