MU staff, faculty not included in Nebraska game parking recommendations

Friday, October 2, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 11:39 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 8, 2009

COLUMBIA — The task force that set parking and early dismissal recommendations for the Oct. 8 MU-Nebraska football game at Memorial Stadium did not include representatives from the MU Staff Advisory Council or the MU Faculty Council, said Marijo Dixon, staff advisory council chairwoman.

Dixon said the staff council was informed of the task-force recommendations before the official policy was released in an e-mail written by Karen Touzeau, MU assistant vice chancellor for human resource services.

The e-mail mandates that students and employees who park near Memorial Stadium move their cars "closer to heart of campus" by 4 p.m. and encourages  department heads to "work with their staff to adjust their schedules or use vacation or personal days to take off a few hours early on October 8."

The faculty council was told about the Thursday evening game last year, said Leona Rubin, council chairwoman, but its members didn't anticipate how early fans would begin to arrive before the 8 p.m. kickoff.

"That was a totally alien thing to a lot of the faculty," Rubin said.

Both Dixon and Rubin have heard some complaints about the recommendations, particularly the request that faculty and staff adjust their schedules or use vacation or personal time to accommodate the influx of visitors to campus.

MU is not the only school with these recommendations for weeknight games. The University of North-Carolina Chapel Hill, which hosts Florida State University for an ESPN-broadcast game on Oct. 22, mandated that employees leave by 3 p.m. that day and make up the time.

Touzeau was not available for comment, but Jatha Sadowski, MU director of human resource services, confirmed that faculty and staff would be asked to make the same adjustments in any situation in which the university asked employees to leave early.

The e-mail from Touzeau encourages but does not require employees to leave early and attempts to be flexible, Sadowski said, "by giving lots of options."

Dixon sees no better alternative. If some workers were allowed to leave early without making up the time, she said, "how is that fair to people who have to stay?"

Touzeau's e-mail stated that the Nebraska game is the first midweek game at MU in 17 years, and Dixon sees the game as an isolated incident.

Still, if the football team were to schedule another Thursday game in the future, she would like to be consulted about it.

"If it becomes a regular thing," Dixon said, "it would be nice for faculty council and staff council to participate."


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