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State universities saving money over upcoming holidays

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Employees at some Oklahoma universities will have to take more time off than planned during the holidays.

The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are requiring employees to take an extra three days off and count it as vacation. The break will allow the schools to save money on utility bills for two weeks.

In recent years, employees have been required to take two days of vacation in late December. This year, the number of mandatory vaction days is five.

Both schools already provide several paid days over the holidays.

Jeff Hickman, OU President David Boren's press secretary, said the mandatory vacations are not furloughs.

OSU estimates it will save $200,000 in utility costs, while OU says it could save at least $100,000.

Other schools, like Oklahoma City Community College and Northeastern State University, are splitting the difference with their employees _ requiring them to take one day of vacation, and they will be given a second day, with pay, by the administration.

Neal Weaver, director of public information at Northeastern, said officials think they will save about $25,000.
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