INSIDE IOWA STATE
December 14, 2001
Officials encourage low staffing over holiday
by Diana Pounds
to save energy
To save energy and operation costs over the winter holiday break, ISU
administrators are encouraging minimum or no staffing in university offices
that don't necessarily have to be open.
In a Dec. 4 e-mail to DEOs, deans and other supervisors, vice president
for business and finance Warren Madden encouraged unit heads to be liberal
in allowing employees to take time off over the holiday period (which runs
from after commencement Saturday, Dec. 22, through New Year's Day, Jan. 1).
Options: Vacation, leave without pay, comp time
"Employees are certainly allowed to work if they choose," Madden said. "But
we encourage department and unit leaders to be liberal in allowing employees
to take vacation, leave without pay, or compensatory time over the
Madden said that university officials are waiving the requirement that
employees be in "pay status" both the day before and after a holiday in
order to receive pay for the holiday. "This one-time exception to the
requirement would allow a staff member to be on leave without pay before and
after the Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1 holidays and still be paid for the
Madden said it's an opportunity to permit staff members who want to use
voluntary leave options to do so "during a period when many campus
activities are at a low activity level."
Some offices may be closed
Depending on the activity, Madden added it is permissible for supervisors to
close offices, particularly small offices -- if everyone in a unit wishes
to take vacation and if the office supervisor and dean agrees that the unit
can be closed or phone messages forwarded to another staffed location.
If a unit closes, the unit head should provide the dean or vice president
with information on who to contact in an emergency. Phone forwarding, phone
messages, office signs and even Web sites also should be used to let clients
know where to go for emergency assistance.
Alert facilities about unoccupied areas; turn down thermostats
If your unit or a portion of your building can be shut down for part of the
holiday period, supervisors should let facilities staff know. (Send an
e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Facilities staff will cut back on energy use in unoccupied areas; they also
will inform the department of public safety which areas of campus will be
Individuals also can help save energy over the holiday by turning office
thermostats down from 68 to 60 degrees (if areas will be unoccupied) and by
making sure that all nonessential items (such as computers, monitors,
printers, fax machines and copy machines) are shut off when they leave for
Essential units will remain open
Some units can't be closed because they are vital to the university's daily
operations. These include, for example, units involving security, the power
plant, animal care, snow removal and ongoing research projects.
Up to $5,000 daily savings sought
On a typical winter weekend, when most offices are closed, Iowa State saves
$4,000 to $5,000 per day in energy costs (as compared to a typical weekday).
If the university can get close to those savings over winter break, it will
help considerably in the goal to save $1.5 million in energy costs this
fiscal year, Madden said.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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