The Council of Deans decided Saturday to give University employees an extra paid holiday on December 31 to cut back on energy consumption, but voted to maintain normal operations for the remainder of the Christmas vacation.
Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, also said Saturday that temperatures will be lowered to 62-65 degrees in non-residential buildings.
Richard G. Leahy, associate dean for Research and Planning said yesterday that dormitory temperatures will be kept at about 60 degrees during vacation.
Steiner said the Council has not yet decided whether to move the spring recess back from April to March and to take a week break in February. "Those changes will be discussed at the next meeting on January 15, when the cutback levels will be clearer. We know that we have to let students and employees know as soon as possible," he said.
The University has already cut back on its steam consumption for heating by 30 per cent this month. Steiner estimated that 20 per cent of the savings could be attributed to the consolidation efforts and increased efficiency. The rest is due to an unusually high number of warm days which allowed heat to be turned off in many buildings, he said.
Steiner said the University has made schedule changes and plans for meeting monthly fuel cutbacks on the basis of yearly temperature averages. Planning is difficult, however, because the weather can't be predicted, he said.
"If we get a real cold spell in January, we could be in real trouble. We can only project on the basis of historical evidence," Steiner said.
One of the largest problems the University has faced in trying to consolidate its usage of fuel is that many of the buildings here contain labs with specimens which cannot withstand low temperatures."
"It's nice to think of mothballing buildings while everyone is gone, but it's impossible in many of the laboratories, libraries, museums and other buildings," Steiner said.