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Faculty given option to power through power outage or take vacation time

The Ohio State University College of Dentistry lost power April 4 and 5, shutting down some of the student clinics within the school, officials said.

“There was intermittent power on Monday and Tuesday, but the bigger problem was that our Internet was gone, which led to problems for staff members,” said Kathleen Kennedy, director of media relations.

Joe Pennington, director of facilities for the dental school, said the dental school did not have clinics Monday morning, although afternoon clinics ran. He said the power went off for most of Tuesday again, shutting down some clinics.

Pennington attributed the outage to a blow-in fuse and bad wiring in an old building. The reason the power was on-and-off for the two days is because the fuse blew twice, he said.

Although the power was fleeting throughout the day, Kennedy said staff members and faculty were not sent home, but they were given the option of vacation time.

“The fact of the matter is that staff members were offered the option of taking leave time,” Kennedy said. “People were not required to sit here and do nothing, and we weren’t going to pay them just to go home and sit there.”

Kennedy said people stayed that had work to do and those whose responsibilities were affected by the power outage took the optional vacation time.

“Most employees that stayed were being told it was being worked on and that we might have full restoration of Internet, so we didn’t really know if it was going to be solved,” Kennedy said.

All power was restored by Wednesday at 10 a.m., Kennedy said. She said the rest of the week proceeded as normal with all clinics up and running.

Many faculty and staff said they thought the power outage was the result of a water break.

“A water break did occur on Friday, but from what we know, that did not have anything to do with the power outage on Monday and Tuesday,” Pennington said.

Pennington said that because of the clinics shutting down Monday morning, the College of Dentistry was out of commission for a few hours.

“On Monday morning we received a call around 5 a.m., and we immediately started working on it,” Pennington said. “But finding that fuse was like finding a needle in a haystack, and it took us a little while.”

The College of Dentistry is now running on regular conditions and normal clinic hours since the power was restored on Wednesday.

The costs associated with fixing the issues, time lost, as well as the number of employees who took vacation time were not immediately available.

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