Clinical & Transitional Science Award (CTSA)
What is the status of the CTSA grant? Is this effort going to be abandoned due to the budget crisis?
The CTSA grant was submitted in October. MUSC plans to carry forward
with this critical initiative, which if successful will bring more
resources into the university, and will position the university to be
more competitive in the future.
I heard that MUSC is waiting until after the first of the year (2009)
to proceed with layoffs. And the reason for this is so that the
unemployment benefits will be exhausted and MUSC will not have to pay
out for unemployment. Any weight to this?
There is no truth to the rumor that MUSC would time any personnel
decisions in order to affect unemployment benefits. Every effort is
being made to reduce the burden on employees rather than add to it. The
time delay in announcing any budget decisions is because it takes time
to develop responsible plans. The university is drawing upon the
knowledge and expertise of leaders throughout the campus in putting
this plan together, allowing each unit to implement solutions that make
the most sense given their sources of funding and their
Given the current financial crisis of MUSC, how come the library has
bought a Wii? Seems like a toy not related to education shouldn’t be
paid for with state budget funds
The library did purchase one Wii to encourage students to exercise and
reduce stress. It was purchased before the recent drastic budget cuts
were announced. The library would not have made the purchase had the
magnitude of the cuts been apparent at that time.
I have seen several rumors describing that the hospital
administrators are not getting raises (like the rest of us) but I heard
they are still getting bonuses. Is this true?
Answer: This is not true.
LCD screens in the hospital elevators
I understand that ads can be purchased and placed on the mini TVs in
the main hospital elevators? If this is true, it is a good use of
ingenuity to raise capital for the hospital. If not, what is the
purpose of these LCD screens with ads?
The LCDs in the elevators will be used to promote MUSC-based messaging
such as pharmacy services, the new Pediatric ED location, MUSC national
research rankings and other points of interest.
Some preliminary discussions have taken place regarding using the LCDs
as a revenue producing tool for advertising by appropriate
organizations or businesses, however there are a number of issues to be
considered and no approval has been given.
State employee furlough
I heard that all state employees are going to be going on a mandatory,
unpaid, furlough for two weeks sometime in the near future. Is this
true, and if so, how can the university/hospital continue to operate
without these essential employees?
This rumor is false. Two weeks of furlough has never been contemplated,
and as has been communicated, any furlough needs to take into account
essential clinical and research functions that must continue to
Given MUSC's current budget crisis, why are the MUSC Excellence
meetings off campus when they could be done on campus? Also, is MUSC
still paying the Studer Group to help with our pillars of Excellence?
MUSC Excellence program is vital to the continued march to Excellence
in the College of Medicine (COM), university, and hospital. The COM is
committed to this proven process of quality enhancement. However, COM
and UMA leadership have decided that in the current financial times the
contract with the Studer organization will not be renewed.
Work Only Weekend (WOW) option
The work only weekend option is being renewed every three months
instead of every six. Is there a plan to discontinue the weekend
There is no plan to suspend or discontinue the WOW program, but it will
be reviewed quarterly. Every effort will be made to provide as much
notice as possible should it be necessary to temporarily suspend or
discontinue the program.
Energy savings through turning off lights?
I know that turning off incandescent bulbs does save energy. I tend to
turn off the lights when leaving rooms across campus. However, when I
suggested this to a fellow employee, I was told that the energy
required for the starter on florescent bulbs greatly outweighed the
expense of just leaving the lights on. Is it true that there is no
savings when you turn florescent bulbs off and on due to the energy
required to “start” the bulbs? Should I continue to perform this
The fluorescent lighting technology currently in place throughout the
majority of the campus uses an electronic ballast that is fully
recovered after only a five second recover start up. Given this very
limited amount of time and energy use to restart the electronic
ballasts, it is energy and cost efficient to turn these lights off
whenever rooms are not in use.
Is it true that annual leave can not be cashed in?
it’s true. Paid time off (PTO) cash-in is subject to the availability
of funding. This year MUHA did not have adequate cash to enable the
cash-in. See PTO policy #18.
I want to know if you are giving the CNL compensation for their
increased responsibility in the registered nurse position before I put
my time and effort into providing a higher standard of care within this
Answer: There are no plans to change compensation for advancing to a CNIII at this time.
University furlough plan
The university’s plan for dealing with state budget cuts involves
furloughs for 1,200 employees. What about the rest of the workforce at
the university—why are they exempted and is this fair, especially since
many of the excluded employees have much larger salaries?
number of individuals have written the Rumor Mill with questions about
the furloughs that were announced earlier last week. Many of the rumors
deal with the rationale for not implementing across the board
furloughs. Some appear to have been stimulated by inaccurate or
incomplete coverage by the media. Each unit was tasked with developing
a plan to reduce its budgets in accordance with its unique set of
missions and personnel. Five major units chose to implement a four-day
furlough, which affects about 1,200 employees. All employees of those
units (MUSC Library, College of Nursing, College of Dental Medicine,
Academic Affairs (research and student support areas), and Finance and
Administration (deans, vice presidents, clinicians and researchers)
must take the furlough. The other units chose to use a variety of
different methods to reach their budget targets. It is an
oversimplification to state that people were spared from furloughs
simply because they work in clinical areas or hold research grants,
although units with many researchers and many clinicians factored in
possible lost revenue when deciding whether to implement furloughs.
Many of those not furloughed have expressed a desire to contribute
personally to assist their fellow employees. Indeed, about 300
individuals have volunteered to take furloughs or pay reductions to
assist their units to reach budgetary reduction goals. Additionally,
the MUSC Foundation has set up a fund to provide assistance to those
who will have hardships as a result of the furloughs. Visit http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/musc/news/index.htm.
Reproduced from http://www.carc.musc.edu/rumormill
Friday, Dec. 5, 2008