Winter break partial shutdown set

Iowa State will be partially closed for a 10-day stretch during semester break again this winter. The Dec. 23-Jan. 1 partial shutdown period includes:

  • Three university holidays (Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1)
  • Five regular works day (Dec. 23, 26, 27, 30, 31)
  • And a weekend (Dec. 28-29) sandwiched between the workweeks

Senior vice president for business and finance Warren Madden noted the shutdown isn't mandatory for employees. Nor is it intended to limit units' decisions to continue to operate, Madden said. Each unit will determine its operating schedule in consultation with the appropriate dean or vice president.

"Units involved in critical services, maintenance and research programs will remain in operation," he said. "There may be partial staffing in some units."

Employees who opt to participate in the shutdown will be required to take paid or unpaid leave for the five workdays.

Iowa State's first partial shutdown occurred over the 2009 winter break and was a budget-saving response to a state funding reversion. Repeated over the past four winters, the shutdowns have proved popular with employees and economical. Iowa State reduced its energy bill by some $63,000 during last winter's shutdown.

Madden said he and other university officials encourage units and employees to take advantage of the partial closing this winter. Because classes aren't in session and many employees plan to be gone for the holidays, university activities slow down considerably over this period.

Madden said he anticipates many Iowa State facilities will be closed and locked during the 10-day period, just as they are on holidays or weekends.

Leave contact info, check voicemail

Units that shut down over the extended break will need to leave emergency contact numbers on websites and voicemail, turn down thermostats, turn off equipment and designate someone to periodically check work spaces for plumbing, heating or cooling problems. Staff should regularly check voicemail on key phone numbers and respond to callers.

"We encourage units to work out partial closing plans for the semester break, communicate them to staff and post them on their websites as soon as possible so that students, customers and staff members can make their personal plans," Madden said.

Flexible hours guidelines

Supervisors considering reduced hours of operation during the week of Thanksgiving, spring break and other days not included in the partial semester break closing can find useful information in the flexible hours program guidelines (PDF).