SLU cutting fall semester office hours to save money

Southeastern Louisiana University will operate on a four-and-a-half-day week during the fall semester.

The change is a cost-saving measure, SLU President John L. Crain said.

It should save the university about $185,000 for the semester, said Rene Abadie, a spokesman for the university.

No decision has been made on whether the change in hours would be extended past the fall semester, Abadie said.

Beginning Monday, SLU offices will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 7:30 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. on Fridays, he said.

Employees, who will have 45-minute lunch breaks, will still work 40-hour weeks, Abadie said.

During the summer, employees have worked four 10-hour days and the university has been closed on Fridays. Abadie said SLU saved even more on energy costs during that period, though the exact figures weren’t available Friday.

The new hours will provide “adequate hours for students and others conducting business with the university,” and also allow a reduction in energy costs, Crain said.

During the fall, no classes or labs will be scheduled on Friday afternoons, Abadie said.

The number of those classes already has been reduced gradually during recent years, he said.

The change in hours won’t necessarily apply to researchers and other academic personnel, Abadie said.

The shorter work week also won’t apply to the university’s Southeast Louisiana Business Center on Martens Drive in Hammond and the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond.

Fall classes begin Aug. 17.

SLU will closed Sept. 5 for Labor Day and Oct. 6-7 for fall break.

Abadie said enrollment is expected to remain around 15,300 students for the fall.

The number of applications for admission has decreased, but registration by continuing students is up, he said.