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Inside Iowa State
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August 10, 2001

Officials say no mandatory holiday furlough

by Debra Gibson
Bah, humbug, to the concept of a campus holiday furlough this year. University officials have confirmed that, "No, Virginia, there isn't a mandatory shutdown in the works."

"I think that issue is pretty much dead in the water," said Howard Shapiro, vice provost for academic affairs. "While we still are looking at ways to save additional money over break, the idea of furloughing to save on personnel costs is no longer on the radar screen."

This spring, in response to reduced operating funds from the state, ISU leaders looked at a furlough - up to five days of unpaid leave for nearly all employees - as a possibility for cutting about $4 million from the university's FY02 budget. But there was no furlough proposal in the ISU budget approved last month by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Shapiro, along with David Miller, university utilities director, co-chairs ISU's energy efficiency task force. The committee, according to Shapiro, meets later this month and will review, among other things, "how reduced building usage can help us save additional money over break."

"We will look at ways to cut back on building usage over break as much as possible," Shapiro said, "but not to the point that critical operations will be affected. The idea of the furlough was never for energy purposes," he continued. "It was about saving money on salaries, with an extra energy savings boost as well."

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