New summer hours approved by WKU administration

Nick Bratcher

WKU announced Monday that it will operate under a slightly different set of hours this summer.

Tony Glisson, director of Human Resources, sent out an email to faculty and staff Monday stating that from May 14 to June 1, core working and business hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays with a 30-minute lunch break, following the same schedule as last summer.

But from June 4 to Aug. 12, core working and business hours will be 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday with a one-hour lunch break. Friday’s hours will change to 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Glisson said WKU started experimenting last summer with operating hours after a rate change that increases cost for energy used in the afternoon. 

“In these tight economic and budget times, we’re always looking for ways to make adjustments to operations to avoid cost or save dollars,” Glisson said.

The decrease in operating hours on Friday afternoon will allow for less energy usage for air conditioning and lighting over a longer period, Glisson said.

“There’s significant savings and cost avoidance here if we can go to some alternative schedule,” he said.

Glisson said he normally sends out the email regarding the summer schedule in April, but sent out the email early this year to allow for the large amount of summer programming at WKU.

“We know that there’s all kinds of department projects and summer activities to be considered,” he said. “I believe that the perception was, ‘Let’s get this out there and talk about this early.’”

The decision to change the operating hours from last summer came after a communication process conducted by the Administrative Council, said Deborah Wilkins, chief of staff and general counsel.

The administrators consulted the Staff Council before reaching a decision on the new summer operating hours and informing Glisson.

“It relates to the fact that we can shut down the cooling earlier on Fridays and have a longer period for energy savings,” Wilkins said.

Diane Carver, chair of the Staff Council, said approving the schedule was routine.

“Of course we understand the reasoning about it is to try and save money,” she said.

Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs also solicited advice on the new hours from faculty during his monthly address to the University Senate, said Kelly Madole, chair of the University Senate.

Emslie directed all opinions of the new schedule to be given to deans or department heads, according to the minutes from the senate meeting in August.

Patricia Minter, faculty regent, also solicited comments from faculty members and asked that any comments on the summer hours be given to her.

Minter said any negative comments about the change in summer hours were given to Emslie, but that she had no further role in the process and “found out the same way everybody else did” through Glisson’s email.

“I had forwarded the comments the faculty gave me to Provost Emslie and we talked about them,” she said. “I didn’t hear another thing about it until I read the faculty-all that Tony Glisson sent out about the hours.

“I was not consulted on this and I had no role in shaping this.”

Glisson did say some exceptions would be made in operating hours for departments that require their own set of hours for business reasons such as the WKU Store, WKU Police and Information Technology.