Winter Recess and Academic Break Planning

Diane Goddard, Vice Provost, Administration and Finance
Monday, December 05, 2011 8:40 AM
Deans, Directors, and Department Chairs

SUBJECT: Planning, Winter Recess (December 27 - January 2) and Academic Break (December 17 - January 16)

This memorandum provides information about the operations of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, during the Winter Recess and the Academic Break and about related payroll and personnel procedures.

Winter Recess: During the recess, administrative and student services offices responsible for completing fall semester graduation checks, for processing Promotion and Tenure files, and for discharging operational and business functions will remain open on work days. Other offices may close or may arrange for reduced staffing with prior approval of their dean, vice provost, vice chancellor, Provost, or Chancellor as appropriate. See “Unit Plans Reporting” below for detailed information on the reporting process.

  • Dates: Tuesday, December 27 through Monday, January 2
  • Work days: December 27, 28, 29, and 30
  • Building hours on work days: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Thermostat settings during the workday: 65 degrees
  • Weekends and holidays: December 24, 25, 26, and 31; January 1 and 2
  • Thermostat settings after 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays: 55 degrees

Academic Break: Final examinations conclude on Friday, December 16; spring semester classes begin on Tuesday, January 17. During the break, the following energy conservation measures will be in effect.

  • Dates: Saturday, December 17, through Monday, January 16 (Martin Luther King Jr. holiday)
  • Affected facilities: academic spaces, including classrooms, class labs, lecture rooms, auditoria, etc.
  • Thermostat settings: 55 degrees wherever possible.
  • Not affected: Libraries, research space, and offices
  • Special arrangements: Units that wish to reserve classrooms, class labs, lecture rooms, or auditoria for special activities during this period should notify Facilities Operations so that the 55-degree set point can be overridden for the date(s) in question.

Questions or concerns: Contact the Policy Office, 864-9600;

Payroll: Due to the Christmas holiday, the payroll period of November 27 through December 10 has an accelerated payroll processing to produce the paychecks for the December 23, 2011, pay date. The pay period ending December 23, 2011 is accelerated due to Christmas Holiday. The first pay calculation is Friday, December 23rd at 5:00 p.m. The second and final pay calc will be December 27, 2011. Please plan staffing accordingly. Remember: there are no first supplemental checks other than leave pay outs. A detailed payroll processing schedule is included in the Payroll website calendar. (See the Payroll calendar for December

As the last day to use the 2011 Discretionary Holiday falls on a “holiday” weekend, many eligible employees will need to use their 2011 Discretionary Day on/by Friday, December 23, 2011. The last day the 2011 Discretionary Day can be reported is 12/24/11. The 2012 Discretionary Day will be available for eligible employees on Sunday, December 25, 2011.

Personnel Matters: The period between the end of fall semester exams and the beginning of the spring semester provides an excellent opportunity for many USS and unclassified employees to schedule vacation time. We ask administrators to meet requests for vacation leave, use of compensatory time, and the discretionary holiday to the fullest extent possible. The Department of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity (HR/EO) will assist in identifying temporary assignments for employees who wish to work but whose offices will be closed. Employees seeking temporary assignments should contact HR/EO as soon as possible. Detailed information about employee arrangements for December 27 through December 30 is available at

Mail delivery: Federal and campus mail will not be delivered unless delivery is specifically requested in the unit plans reports described below. Someone must be on hand to receive all of the mail for the building; otherwise it will not be left. Regular mail delivery will resume on Tuesday, January 3.

Unit plan reporting: We will continue to use the web-based process instituted two years ago to report unit schedules, mail delivery preferences, and emergency contacts for the period December 24 through January 2. Each unit should designate an individual who will enter the unit’s plans at the winter recess website, Unit information should be entered by no later than Wednesday, December 14. Designated staff in the offices of deans, vice provosts, vice chancellors, the Provost, and the Chancellor will have access to the information provided by the reporting units. The information also will be available to Public Safety, University Relations, Campus Mail, Human Resources and Equal Opportunity, the Provost’s Office, and the Chancellor’s Office.

Offices that will be closed for the period or any part of it (excluding the state holidays, December 26 and January 2) are expected to post their schedules and emergency contact numbers prominently and well in advance. Voice mail messages providing the schedule, appropriate referrals and emergency phone numbers should be recorded.

Questions? If you have questions about energy conservation, facilities, mail delivery, payroll, or personnel issues, contact the person or office listed below.

Energy Conservation Doug Riat, Facilities Operations and Planning 864-4036
Facilities Work Management, Facilities Operations 864-4770
Mail Delivery Terri Thornton, Campus Mail ( 864-3247
Payroll Payroll Office 864-4385
Personnel Ola Faucher, Human Resources/Equal Opportunity 864-4946
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