Additional holidays confirmed for Nov. 24, Dec. 23

University employees' fall and winter breaks got a little longer with this week's confirmation of two additional paid holidays, awarded Nov. 9 to all state employees by Gov. Kim Reynolds. In an email to faculty and staff, President Wendy Wintersteen and vice president for university human resources Kristi Darr announced Iowa State will implement the two holidays on Wednesday, Nov. 24, and Thursday, Dec. 23. Units should share any impact of the additional holidays with the audiences they serve.

"We deeply appreciate your hard work and dedication to the university -- often going above and beyond your regular responsibilities. Thank you for all that you do for Iowa State," they wrote.

For many employees, the gift creates a five-day weekend next week when many will observe the national Thanksgiving holiday. Nov. 25 and 26 are university holidays. It also adds an extra day to what might be a 10-day period out of the office, Dec. 24-Jan. 2, a possibility announced earlier this month in winter break staffing guidelines. Using three days of paid or unpaid time off Dec. 28-30 creates that longer opportunity away from work over the winter holidays. Dec. 24 and 27 are university holidays.

Iowa State's second pilot of a winter session runs Dec. 20-Jan. 14, and university leaders said students need to receive the support services they seek and essential university operations must continue uninterrupted during the term. Supervisors should make decisions about staffing needs for the additional two days.

Paid holidays for state employees

Expressing her gratitude for their dedication, innovation and accomplishments during an entire calendar year in a global pandemic, Reynolds announced last week that all state employees will receive two additional paid days off in 2021.

"During the pandemic, we were forced to quickly adapt how we operate and, in doing so, we discovered better, more efficient and innovative ways to serve our fellow Iowans and accomplish our goals," Reynolds wrote in her Nov. 9 letter to state employees. "In many ways, those changes made us better.

"As the year comes to a close, we should be proud of our contributions and confident that next year holds even more promise. I hope you'll take some time to reflect on the things you've achieved and experienced this year, at work and in your personal life," she continued.

"I want you to know how grateful I am for your dedication, and the pride I have in what we've accomplished together," she wrote. "Thank you for all you do."

Reynolds awarded two additional paid holidays to state employees last fall, too, in appreciation for their hard work and perseverance through 10 months of a pandemic and the August derecho storm.