Four-day work week discussed

Robyn Goodman

By Friday, April 15, the university will decide whether or not it will move to a four-day workweek for the summer months.

The point of the change would be to save money on energy bills, which could be up to $30,000 just for the summer. President Les Wong said he would like to let employees enjoy a longer weekend.

“The idea came about around two years ago, from many different people,” Wong said.

Summer classes would be consolidated into one building. Wong said that employees would be allowed in the buildings if need be, but there would be no air conditioning or electricity.

“We all have laptops, so why not work from home?” Wong said. “Who wouldn’t want to not have to put a suit on one extra day in the week?”

Many employees already do telecommute, so there wouldn’t have to be much adjusting for that, Wong said, but the little details are what need to be worked out.

There are already some plans for the money that will be saved. Last month in Wong’s university forum he stated things that would need to be cut if Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget passes. One of the main things that would need to be changed is the curriculum.

“With the money that will be saved, all of our thoughts are going to protecting the curriculum,” Wong said.

Along with saving money, the consolidation of classes into one building will help prepare the university for the closing of Jamrich for renovations.

“Overall, this is an experiment,” Wong said. “We looked at cost savings for everyone and this idea fits.”

The university will gather feedback starting in early August and see how successful the four day work week is. A decision on whether or not to keep the four day work week for the fall 2011 semester will be made shortly after that.