Most Iowa State employees will enjoy a six-day Thanksgiving weekend, following a Nov. 13 announcement from Gov. Kim Reynolds. As a show of appreciation for state employees' hard work and perseverance through a pandemic and the August derecho storm, Reynolds awarded them two additional paid holidays.
"We could not have managed what we have without every single state employee coming together as one team. For that, I offer you my heartfelt thanks. As a sign of my appreciation for your hard work, state employees will receive two additional days of paid time off."
-- Gov. Kim Reynolds, in a Nov. 13 letter to state employees
President Wendy Wintersteen and vice president for university human resources Kristi Darr followed with a Nov. 17 announcement that Iowa State will implement the holidays on Monday, Nov. 30, and Tuesday, Dec. 1, for consistency and to avoid disruptions to an already-adjusted fall and winter academic calendar. Reynolds proposed Nov. 25 and Dec. 24 for the extra holidays. The university's holidays policy will apply to Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Over a longer Thanksgiving weekend, "we encourage you to prioritize health and wellness," Wintersteen and Darr wrote. "Time off is an important tool to support work-life balance. All employees need time to relax and recharge."
They also asked Iowa Staters to not ease up on their personal commitment to stopping the spread of COVID-19: wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, wash your hands often, self-monitor for symptoms and stay home if you have symptoms.
Share your plans
Shared initially last month with the campus community, the university's guidelines for campus operations during December and January, including a partial closing Dec. 24-Jan. 3, have been modified to reflect the two post-Thanksgiving holidays. Wintersteen and Darr asked supervisors to make decisions about necessary work on the additional holidays and the impact to staffing levels. As always, units should share staffing changes with employees and post service changes on their websites and phone messages for clients. University human resources posted an FAQ that answers some questions about staffing over the long weekend. Employees also may contact their HR service delivery contact with questions.
"Thank you for your excellent work this semester in all aspects of ISU's mission of teaching, research, extension and outreach and in supporting our students. This semester has been a success because of you," Wintersteen and Darr concluded.