- Associated Press - Monday, April 21, 2014

CEDAR FALS, Iowa (AP) - University of Northern Iowa officials are considering reducing the maximum number of hours students can work at jobs on campus.

The university has proposed cutting the maximum hours from 30 hours a week to 20 hours, and also limiting the total hours per semester to 320 hours, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

The proposal, now posted on the university’s website for public comment, is an effort to formalize UNI’s policy and ensure academic activities take precedence over work. Officials said the move also could spread out jobs to more students.

“This would make more students eligible to work on campus and make more jobs available,” said Terry Hogan, the university’s vice president for student affairs.

The University of Iowa and Iowa State University already have 20-hour limits for on-campus jobs. On average, students who work at on-campus jobs at the three public universities were employed 12 to 15 hours a week, according to the Iowa Board of Regents.

Up to 4,000 students work on-campus jobs at UNI each year, and about 2,000 are working during any given week. About 1 percent of students work more than 30 hours a week, Hogan said.

The change would be hard for those students who rely on the income from their jobs. Katie Titus, who works 25 to 35 hours weekly at a campus dining center, doesn’t know what she’ll do if her hours are cut.

“We want to make as much money as we can now, and we can handle that amount of work,” Titus said. “There’s quite a few people talking about quitting if they have this policy.”

But Hogan said the university doesn’t want students working such long hours at campus jobs.

“The ideas that guided the development of the draft were that students are students first - participation in the academic program was paramount, and employment should be secondary,” Hogan said.

If it changes its maximum hours rule, UNI also could avoid a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires large employers to offer insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours a week. However, UNI officials said that wasn’t a primary motivation for the proposed policy change.


Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com

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