Summer schedule returns to 5 days

By Allison Krecek

Faculty and staff will change up their summer schedule to now work five days a week on campus.

NIU has had a four-day schedule over the summer from Monday to Thursday. This year, it has been changed to a five-day schedule to accommodate current and prospective students with any help they may need.

Andy Small, president of the Operating Staff Council, said this will be a good change.

“The rest of the world works on a Monday to Friday schedule, and with NIU being closed on Friday it was hard for our students and our parents’ students … it was hard to do business with them,” Small said.

Alan Rosenbaum, University Council executive secretary and Faculty Senate president, agrees that the five-day work schedule will be more beneficial to the school.

“The university gets the same a benefits as any organization gets from being open five days a week. This way you have five days that you are available that people can come to the university,” Rosenbaum said. “It’s much more convenient to have it open five days instead of four.”

NIU wanted to change back to a five-day work schedule last year, but due to the time the notice was sent out it was difficult for faculty and staff to make alternate arrangements.

“Everyone had a year’s notice so this notification came as no surprise,” said Deborah Haliczer, president of the Supportive Professional Staff Council.

Haliczer and Small said the change will be good for the university and help it gain prospective students and retain students.

“Most universities in Illinois maintain a five-day work week, and [this] is our effort to be responsive to our students and to visitors and prospective student base,” Haliczer said. “It’s a good business decision.”

Rosenbaum said the change could also help the school’s reputation and standing.

“I think that this makes us look better as a university,” Rosenbaum said. “You know, with having a four-day work week some people may think that we don’t work hard enough, so this is a positive change.”

With the five-day work schedule most, if not all, buildings on campus will be open during the week. This means students’ calls will be answered and tours will be available throughout the week during the summer.

The only thing that might be a problem is for faculty and staff to find childcare during the week while they work.

“It can be problematic sometimes because some of the faculty liked to use that time to spend with their kids,” Haliczer said. “But childcare is the biggest issue during the summer for any job.”

But, that is the only problem Haliczer and Small foresee with the five-day schedule.

“I appreciate the advanced notice of this particular policy and we certainly understand that the rest of the world works on a Monday to Friday basis during the summer,” Small said.