President thanks employees, announces two extra days off

In a message to university employees, President Michael H. Schill expressed gratitude to faculty members, officers of administration and classified staff for their extraordinary efforts during the pandemic and announced two additional paid days off this December.

The university had a successful start to fall term with the transition back to in-person teaching and learning thanks to the efforts of the university’s employees. The additional days off in December are intended to recognize their efforts and provide employees with additional time to take a much-needed break, as Schill noted in his message.

The university will be closed except for essential services on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 22 and 23. The days will be paid holidays as outlined in policies and collective bargaining agreements, and will be in addition to other paid days of leave in December.

“I am incredibly grateful for the way in which our university community came together during the pandemic to protect each other, continue to teach and discover, support our community, and to welcome our students back to campus for in-person instruction and activities,” Schill wrote. “Together we are not only overcoming the challenges of the pandemic, but we have emerged from the last year and a half stronger – more united, more certain, and more committed to our mission of teaching, discovery, and service.”

Schill also announced the extension of the increased vacation accrual cap until Sept. 30, 2022. Vacation leave will remain capped at 340 hours until next fall. The cap was increased during the pandemic as many employees were not able to take leave. The increased cap originally ended in September 2021 but will be extended, and any lost vacation leave will be reinstated.

The president’s message included a reminder about the UO COVID-19 leave program. The program is available to eligible employees to take time off for COVID-19-related illness or caretaking responsibilities. Information about eligibility and use are available on the human resources website.

Additionally, the message noted that the university expects annual salary increases for all employee groups. It provided information to faculty members, officers of administration and classified employees about the status of decision-making or contract negotiations for each employee group. That information is available on the HR website.

“The pandemic has challenged us and continues to challenge us, but it also has helped to make clear the importance of our mission,” Schill wrote. “Being apart illustrated just how important it is for our students to live, learn, and discover on campus with their classmates and among our faculty and staff. The pandemic also demonstrated the urgency and value of our research and service to our community and society. These challenges also made crystal clear just how resilient and innovative the UO community is in the face of adversity.”

By Jesse Summers, University Communications