Partial campus shutdown approved for 11 days during winter break

Iowa State administrators have approved the details of a partial university shutdown this winter during the semester break. The partial closing will run 11 days from Thursday, Dec. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 3, and includes:

  • Three university holidays (Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1)
  • Two weekends (Dec. 26-27 and Jan. 2-3)
  • Four regular work days (Dec. 28-31)

The closing is not mandatory on days that are not a weekend or holiday. Employees who choose to participate will be required to take paid or unpaid leave for the four workdays.

"No classes are in session, a number of external organizations will either be closed or operating at reduced levels and many staff members anticipate being on leave," noted senior vice president for business and finance Warren Madden in a memo to administrative officers. The goals, he said, are to accommodate the lighter staffing levels, conserve energy and allow units to achieve budget savings.

All departments, Madden said, should review their plans with the appropriate dean, vice president or senior vice president.

Questions about the partial shutdown may be directed to Kristi Darr, university human resources, 294-3753.

Share your plans

Madden said the intent is that many Iowa State facilities will be closed and locked during the 11 days just like they are on university holidays. Thus, many services will be either unavailable or available for a limited time. Critical services, campus maintenance and research programs that need to operate during this period may do so. Partial staffing may occur to carry out a unit's scheduled activities, research programs or other priorities, he said.

Madden encourages units to develop and share their semester break closing plans as soon as possible so that students, staff members and customers can plan ahead as needed.

Units that close for the 11 days will need to leave emergency contact numbers on websites and voicemail, turn down thermostats, turn off equipment and, if outdoor temperatures drop to sub-zero, designate someone to periodically check work spaces for plumbing, heating or cooling malfunctions. Staff should regularly check voicemail on key phone numbers and respond to callers.

This will be Iowa State's seventh consecutive year for a partial winter shutdown. The first, in 2009, came in response to a state funding reversion.

Flexible hours guidelines

Supervisors considering reduced hours of operation during Thanksgiving week, spring break and semester break days not included in the partial closing period can find useful information in the university's flexible hours program guidelines.