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Plans for Winter Break Closure announced

In April, President Roderick J. McDavis announced that Ohio University would implement a Winter Break Closure from Dec. 25 through Jan. 1.  

President McDavis based his decision on the work of a university-wide steering committee that recommended the establishment of a winter break as a way to recognize and reward the contributions of employees on all campuses.

An implementation committee made up of staff and faculty led by Linda Lonsinger, chief human resource officer, developed the necessary policy provisions and guidelines for the closure. In the course of their work, the committee solicited information from academic and administrative units on how the closure might affect their operations and activities. Information provided to the committee shaped Winter Break Closure provisions.  

Winter Break Closure policies and procedures apply to administrative and non-bargaining classified staff. Discussions about the closure are underway with ASCME Local 1699 and the Fraternal Order of the Police.

The Winter Break Closure is included in a new policy that combines existing vacation provisions for administrative and non-bargaining classified into a single policy. In addition, guidelines and a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been developed to help units implement the Winter Break Closure. The policy, guidelines and FAQs are available on the University Human Resources website at www.ohio.edu/hr/benefits/pto/wbc.cfm.

As this is the first Winter Break Closure, the University will monitor and assess processes and procedures to determine if modifications are necessary for future closure implementations.

Winter Break Closure Policy

Significant provisions of the Winter Break Closure Policy are outlined below:

  • The closure will take place from Dec. 25 through Jan. 1.  

  • Dec. 25 and Jan.1 will continue to be provided as university holidays.

  • The President's Day holiday will be floated for use on Dec. 26.

  • Employees will receive two additional days of paid time off. These days will be coded as Winter Closure Time for the second and third days of closure (Dec. 27 and 28).

  • Most employees must use vacation time for the fourth day of the closure (Dec.31). However, administrative employees with less than one year of continuous university service and classified employees with less than 10 years of state service and one year of continuous university service will be awarded an additional day of Winter Closure Time. The additional day has been provided to assist staff who have accrued less vacation time than employees with more years of service.

Essential Facilities and personnel during Winter Break Closure

Most buildings, including university libraries, will not be open during the closure but some facilities must remain accessible in order to facilitate some activities or obligations. Details about specific facilities are available on the University Human Resources website. However, in general, the following facilities will remain accessible:

  • Academic buildings housing facilities that require daily monitoring of research activities.

  • Facilities that rent space and have contractual obligations to fulfill.

  • Athletic facilities that have scheduled activities.

  • A predetermined set of residence halls and dining facilities will remain open to serve international students and student-athletes.

A small number of employees will be needed to maintain essential services and facilities during the Winter Break Closure. Departments will be asked to inform affected employees by Dec. 1. These employees will receive holiday pay as appropriate and will be permitted to use their Winter Closing Time allotment prior to June 30. Affected employees should consult "Guidelines for Vacation and Winter Closure Time for Administrative and Classified Employees" for more information.

University Human Resources will continue to post information and update the FAQs as the closure nears. Employees with questions about the Winter Break Closure should contact Nick Wortman (wortmann@ohio.edu).