September 26, 2003
Low staffing encouraged over winter break
Iowa State administrators hope to save $4,000 to $5,000 a day in utility
costs over the winter holiday by encouraging minimum or no staffing in
university offices that don't necessarily need to be open.
In a recent memo to deans, directors and department chairs, vice president
for business and finance Warren Madden encouraged unit heads to be flexible
in allowing employees to take time off over the holiday period (which runs
from after commencement Saturday, Dec. 20, through Sunday, Dec. 28).
"This is a voluntary program," Madden said in the memo. "Within established
policies, employees are certainly allowed to work if they choose.
"But we encourage department and unit leaders to be liberal in allowing
employees to take vacation, leave without pay, compensatory time or consider
shortened office hours over the holidays," he added.
Staff who wish to take time off over the holiday will need prior approval
from their supervisors.
Some offices, especially small ones, may close entirely if everyone in the
units wants to take vacation and the office supervisor and college dean
agree the unit can be closed.
"We recognize this may reduce certain services during this period of lower
activity; however, we believe this is acceptable given the budget
circumstances the university continues to face," Madden said.
Units that are vital to the university's daily operations (including
security, the power plant, animal care, snow removal and ongoing research
projects) can't be closed, Madden said.
Unit heads in units that are closed should provide their deans or vice
presidents information on who to contact in case of emergencies. Phone
forwarding and messages, office signs and Web sites should be used to let
clients know where to go for assistance.
Facilities planning and management staff should be notified at
email@example.com if a unit or portion of a building can be shut down
during the holiday period. Facilities staff will cut back on utilities to
unoccupied areas and notify the department of public safety about areas that
generally are unoccupied.
Faculty and staff can help by turning down thermostats to 60 degrees in
areas that will be unoccupied and turning off all nonessential items (such
as computers, printers, fax machines and copiers) when they leave.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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