Plan ahead for partial closure

Employees once again can opt to take advantage of a partial closure during winter break. By using three days of paid or unpaid leave Dec. 27-29, in tandem with weekends and university holidays, faculty and staff can enjoy 10 consecutive days off, Dec. 23-Jan. 1.

Since 2009, top administrators annually have authorized reduced services and operations between university holidays in December and January. Kate Gregory, senior vice president for university services, and Kristi Darr, interim vice president for human resources, sent a memo last week to campus administrators authorizing the cost-saving effort again this year.

Critical and essential services will continue at reduced levels, similar to weekend operations. Darr and Gregory asked administrators to work with staff to "determine operating schedules that will enable staff to take liberal leave and reduce energy costs."

Employee leave

Faculty and staff are not required to take leave during the partial closure. Paid and unpaid leave options are available for those who choose to utilize the extended break. Merit employees are covered by their collective bargaining agreement with the state.

University human resources (UHR) offers a set of frequently asked questions to assist employees and supervisors in planning reduced hours. Other policies and resources include:

Communicate changes

Last week's memo also encourages units to communicate partial closing plans to students, staff and visitors by next week.

To participate in the partial closure, departments and units should plan to:

  • Update voicemail messages and websites with operating hours and emergency contact information
  • Turn off equipment to conserve energy
  • Turn down thermostats for unoccupied spaces
  • Coordinate staff to monitor/respond to messages left on main numbers
  • Check periodically for malfunctions (plumbing, heating, cooling)