Actions Taken as a Result of the UMSL Campus Suggestion Box
- Numerous people suggested that employees be allowed to choose to work .75 FTE, a reduction from their current 1.0 FTE position.
Response: The Director of Human Resources reminds us that it is a department decision if an employee wants to change their workload to .75FTE from 1.0 FTE on a voluntary basis.
- Many comments were received about retirement incentive and plans.
Response: Attempts to require or mandate retirement are against the law as is asking older employees to retire to hire younger employees. An early retirement program, such as VERIP, is very expensive; President Forsee has written that there will be no VERIP at this time. Tenure buyouts may be available for faculty. Also, the University offers other plans (e.g., a 403(b) plan) in addition to its defined benefit retirement plan. Employees who leave the University prior to vesting will “get back” their contribution along with interest.
- Comments were received from campus personnel asking to alter the desktop system plan (DSP) for replacing computers and thereby saving resources.
Response: The desktop system plan has been suspended for the remainder of FY09 and will be revised from a 3 to 4 year replacement cycle beginning in FY10.
- Many comments were received regarding energy conservation and specifically savings by powering off computers at night.
Response: ITS utilizes power saving strategies on DSP computers. Lab and classroom computers are shutdown during off hours and ITS is currently implementing a program to allow for shutdown of systems based on scheduled room usage. ITS always encourages faculty and staff to turn off computers at the end of each day and over weekends.
- There have been suggestions for the University to sell web space on our home page to generate revenue.
Response: MOREnet’s acceptable use policy does not allow us to sell web space or to sell ads on our web space.
- Many campus personnel suggested using software other than Microsoft.
Response: The cost of using Microsoft operating systems and office productivity tools is minimal when compared to the potential interoperability benefits for faculty and staff. Also, our students need to utilize the software that many of them will be using upon leaving the University.
To save money, many suggestions were related to the reduction of travel.
Response: Many units have curtailed their travel and ITS will assist any campus users wishing to use technology as a resource for conference purposes in order to help reduce travel.
- Comments were received to save money and human resources have students take tests online.
Response: The Faculty Resource Center is willing to work with individual faculty members who want to explore this possibility.
It was suggested that printing quotas be enforced in the computer lab to save money.
Response: ITS is investigating pros and cons of implementing print quotas for students in labs.
- There were numerous comments made to save money by stop printing pay check stubs.
Response: Employees may already obtain access to their pay advices through the MyHR function. The UM System currently plans to stop printing pay advices as of July 10, 2009. HR personnel are working on transition issues associated with this change.
There were comments and statements about policies of the cashier’s and financial aid offices, especially regarding balance forwards.
Response: Financial aid regulations have changed so that there is now a limit on the amount of current-year funds that can be used to pay a past-term balance. Cashier’s Office personnel have devised a one-time option to assist qualified students with these changes by allowing them to pay any prior term balance with refunds this year. Specific questions should be directed to the Cashiers or Financial Aid Offices.
- To improve campus processes, it was suggested that we eliminate the travel voucher along with non-po voucher.
Response: A new travel reimbursement system called TRIP is scheduled to be implemented in the future. TRIP will revamp the process. In the meantime, Accounting Services personnel will discuss this suggestion with selected fiscal officers. If the fiscal officers agree with this suggestion, appropriate changes will be made to our procedures and to the travel voucher to implement this suggestion prior to TRIP.
- Comments were received regarding how to save resources by altering the courier services and reviewing the campus mail services.
Response: Beginning July1, 2009 courier services will be reduced from five days to four and campus mail services will consolidate campus mail routes from four to three.
- There were comments made that the campus could save money by purchasing
Generic office supplies.
Response: The decision to purchase generic supplies or not lies in the academic department or unit; those entities make the decision regarding what office supplies to purchase.
Numerous suggestions were made regarding reduction of hallway lighting.
Response: The Campus Physical Facilities Committee and Budget and Planning Committee approved a plan to reduce hallway lighting. Woods Hall and MSC North Garage maintenance area is completed first with the remainder of campus to follow. Estimated savings of $25,000 per year.
16. Many suggestions were made to install motion detectors to shut off lights when an area is unoccupied.
Response: The cost to implement motion detectors is high. As renovations occur on campus motion detectors will be installed at that time.
Suggestions have been made to have employees manually turn off lights when they leave a room or space unoccupied.
Response: Most classrooms and offices have stickers applied to room light switches stating “Please turn off the lights when not in use”. Going forward as the campus emphasizes energy conservation this will become a constant reminder.
Suggestion was made to reduce the MSC fountain operating hours.
Response: The fountain use schedule has been reduced and currently operates from 7am to 11pm.
It was suggested that the escalators in the MSC be shut down during times the building is not in use.
Response: Effective immediately the Manager of Operations in the MSC has shut off the escalator during the times the building is closed.
Many suggestions were received regarding lowering or raising temperatures in rooms.
Response: Facilities Services has made adjustments to temperatures where possible.
- There were many questions and suggestions received about having accurate control of room temperatures across campus.
Response: This is a difficult correction to make as it requires replacement of existing controls which is expensive; when renovations occur on campus existing controls will be replaced with control upgrades.