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April 4, 2003

Departments encouraged to switch
to summer hours May 12-Aug. 15

by Anne Krapfl
Due to continuing energy conservation efforts driven by budget pressures, and in light of its success last summer, university administrators are encouraging unit leaders to consider implementing summer office hours again this year.

Summer hours would provide some heat relief for employees who will be working in warmer offices this summer, said vice president for business and finance Warren Madden.

"As thermostats are turned up (to an average 78 degrees F.) to save air conditioning costs, it makes sense to get people out of the office in late afternoon, when temperatures are highest," Madden said. "Facilities staff will be working with researchers to accommodate specific environmental conditions for research programs."

Schedule to begin next month
Madden said summer hours at Iowa State will run from Monday, May 12, through Friday, Aug. 15. Summer hours generally will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a shortened lunch break.

Summer term classes begin at 7:30 a.m., so some units may find it more convenient for work hours to be tied to the student class schedule, he noted.

But Madden said taking care of business remains the first priority. Of particular concern, according to Madden, is maintaining appropriate hours to serve summer orientation participants during the time period June 2-27.

During orientation weeks, certain offices need to be open and appropriately staffed from 8 5 p.m. to allow new students and family members to complete their business during their visits to campus. These include college advising offices, financial aid, the student answer center, registrar, e-mail account office, student counseling, residence department, dean of students and the student health center, among others.

Flexibility key to success
Other offices that provide critical services need to be open to serve customers "on a reasonable basis," Madden said. This may mean different hours during certain parts of the summer. He encouraged units to develop their own schedules and receive approval from their deans or directors.

Complying with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement as it relates to covered employees also will be necessary, he said.

Madden urged those working in offices that will close early this summer to leave information on office phones and Web pages that callers and clients can use in emergencies.

University officials hope to save at least $1.5 million in FY03 through an ambitious energy conservation plan. Energy savings will help the university cope with continued budget pressures.

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Published by: University Relations,
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