February 14, 2003
Minimal staffing options OKed for spring break week
by Diana Pounds
To save energy and operation costs over the spring semester break, ISU
officials once again will support minimum or no staffing in offices that
don't necessarily have to be open. Spring break runs from Saturday, March
15, through Sunday, March 23.
Since December 2001, officials have encouraged low office staffing during
the winter and spring breaks to help with tight university budgets.
Officials anticipate saving $3,000 to $4,000 in energy savings each weekday
of the coming spring break, said utilities director Dave Miller.
Employees certainly are allowed to work over spring break if they choose,
said vice president for business and finance Warren Madden. However, he
encouraged supervisors to be cooperative in allowing employees to take
vacation, leave without pay or compensatory time over spring break.
Some offices may close, others reduce hours
It is permissible to close offices over break, Madden said, particularly
small offices in which everyone wishes to take vacation. The office
supervisor and dean must agree that the office can be closed or that phone
messages can be handled by another office.
"In some offices that cannot be closed for the entire time, officials may
wish to consider reducing the number of hours they are open," Madden said.
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 Web sites can be used to let clients know where
to go for emergency assistance.
If a unit or portion of a building can be shut down for part of spring
break, supervisors should alert facilities planning and management at
email@example.com. Facilities staff will cut back energy use in
unoccupied areas. They also will let department of public safety staff know
which areas of campus will be largely unoccupied.
Individuals can help save energy over the break by reducing office
thermostats from 68 to 60 degrees (if areas will be unoccupied) and shutting
off nonessential items (such as computers, monitors, printers, fax machines
and copy machines) when they leave for break.
Essential units remain open
Some units can't be closed because they are vital to the university's daily
operations, Madden said. These include, for example, units involving
security, the power plant, animal care, snow removal and ongoing research
ISU officials hope to gain $1.5 million in energy savings during the current
fiscal year. Through the first eight months, savings are $1.08 million --
slightly ahead of the goal.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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