Southeastern's summer four-day work week yields savings
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Going to a four-day work week the past two summers has helped Southeastern Louisiana University realize significant cost savings, an important factor in the face of declining state budgets.
“Southeastern saved approximately $300,000 this past summer by going to a four-day work week,” said Assistant Vice President for Operations Sam Domiano. “While much of the savings was realized in energy costs, the four-day work week also provided a direct benefit to employees, as it reduced gas and other costs associated with commuting one less day each week.”
For the past two summers, Southeastern employees worked Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with Fridays off. In summer 2008, the policy was implemented as a way of addressing the rising cost of gasoline that brought about the change. Ultimately it resulted in a significant cost savings, with air-conditioning and other energy needs shut down in many buildings on Fridays.
Domiano said that limited instructional space availability is one of the largest inhibitors that prevents the university from maintaining the adjusted schedule during fall and spring semesters.
Other “green” initiatives undertaken include a major recycling program on the whole campus, Earth Day initiatives designed to educate faculty, staff and students about environmental issues, and a soon-to-be implemented biofuel generation project to power the university’s landscaping equipment using used cooking oil collected from the campus dining facilities.