Four day weeks, ten hour days need more thought

NW Staff

On Monday, April 18, university administrators made the decision that this summer’s official business hours would be Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday summer classes will still be held, but confined into one building. The purpose of this change is to hopefully save money by consolidating resources into four days rather than five, in a 4-day week,10-hour day setup.

While we appreciate the university’s initiative to come up with new and creative ways to save money, which is necessary with the supposedly necessary budget cuts and fewer state allocations, making such a drastic change takes time and consideration. This is a campus that has always planned for change years in advance with the Roadmap to 2015 and the Campus Master Plan, so moving to a 4-10 format and informing faculty and staff only three weeks before the time that it is to be implemented seems sudden and random. In fact, the only option staff and faculty were given to voice their opinions was an e-mail to the director of Human Resources, Anne Sherman. President Les Wong’s University Forum happened days after the decision was made, making it impossible for a discussion of 4-10s to happen in a legitimate sense.

Brice Burge/NW

We don’t necessarily think that 4-10s are a bad idea. It’s exciting that Northern is deciding to make changes that are unique and innovative to a college campus, but this should be done as a prepared community, not on the whims of administrators. If this is going to be a change that is really going to make a difference, then it needs to be well thought out and fully explained, something that can be mulled over and processed by the various departments and personnel at NMU. It absolutely should not be something that is done in the final minutes, even if it is just a trial run over the summer. This decision still affects the core of what operates this university – faculty and staff – and that should not be taken lightly.