Summer schedule change should save energy, money

Amye Buckley

The summer schedule for Missouri Southern has been tweaked based on Suggestion Box e-mails reviewed by the President’s Council.

In the past, the summer schedule began with summer classes and staff worked from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with 45-minute lunches. Now they’ll be in the office from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and take half-hour lunch breaks. Summer starts early for Southern, as the schedule begins the week following graduation. Regular hours resume the Monday before classes begin in the fall, extending the summer schedule from eight to 13 weeks.

“I look at this as an experiment,” said Dr. Terri Agee, senior vice president for business affairs.

The summer four day week has been a long-standing tradition of sorts, but many offices were open, albeit with a smaller staff, on Fridays. Admissions, the business office, registrar, financial aid and the library were staffed before, but now they too will be closed.

“I heard from some directors of different departments that on Friday very few students came to campus,” Agee said.

Those visits could also be frustrating, Agee said, because full staffing was not available and the student may have needed to make a second visit. Some staff members were unavailable at times from Monday through Thursday so they would have the hours to work Friday. Closing the campus on Fridays would put everyone on the same schedule.

Summer classes are already scheduled as a four-day week. Closing the buildings on Friday will give the administration an idea of how a four-day week would look during the school year.

Campus security will still be on duty and maintenance workers will still be on hand, but without constant foot-traffic, Southern may save on electricity. The four-day week was put in place before her arrival, Agee said, as a way to reduce energy costs during the summer. The buildings will be in “vacation” mode over the three-day weekends. Saving even a little bit helps the overall budget and she hopes for a smaller energy bill.

“I know it will be less than we would have spent had we been open,” Agee said.

The summer schedule runs May 18 through Aug. 17.