Employee suggestions are win-win propositions St. Thomas Newsroom May 1, 2009 Employee suggestions are win-win propositions UST employees Diane Luke, Pam Kilpatrick and Mary Mulcahy are $500 richer for helping to save the university big bucks. Each of the women participated in St. Thomas Employee Suggestion Awards Program, which rewards eligible staff and faculty for ideas or suggestions that result in greater efficiency, savings, new revenue or significant improvements in the operations of the university. School of Social Work staff members Luke and Kilpatrick proposed late last fall that St. Thomas close for a week during the Christmas holidays. That saved the university about $120,000 in utility costs. Mulcahy, who works in the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs, suggested a few months ago a new university process for purchasing capital equipment. It’s estimated to save more than $100,000 each fiscal year. Of the 21 suggestions made to the Employee Suggestion Review Committee this year, these two ideas were the only ones to meet program criteria, noted committee co-chair Edna Comedy, associate vice president for human resources. Award-winning suggestions should be those saving or earning the university $50,000 or more. All suggestions are evaluated by committee members and subject matter experts, then verified for cost savings or revenue generation and feasibility. All regular full-time and part-time staff and faculty are eligible to participate in the program. Monetary awards range from $500 to $1,000, or award-winners may choose time-off awards. For other details, read more about the program on the Human Resources Web site. To submit your award-winning idea, use this form. Employee Suggestion Review Committee members include: Dr. Susan Alexander, President’s Office; Jane Canney, Student Affairs; Doug Hennes, University Relations; Dr. Joe Kreitzer, Academic Affairs; Dr. Barbara Shank, School of School of Social Work; Dr. Don Weinkauf, School of Engineering; and co-chairs Comedy and Mark Vangsgard, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer.