Dear Colleagues,

It is difficult to put into words how significantly we have been impacted by the continued disruption of COVID-19. At the same time, I am keenly aware of what has been asked of all of you and how spectacularly you have risen to the occasion, time and again, to do what is necessary to keep the College running and to ensure that our core mission—providing a world-class education for our students—continues with very little interruption. I am deeply appreciative of the enormous effort this community has put forth toward achieving that goal.  

So that you can truly detach from the workplace as much as possible and enjoy time off, the College will shut down the week of December 27, 2021. The result is an additional four days of paid time off (Monday, December 27, through Thursday, December 30) for staff, plus the previously scheduled holidays on Friday, December 24, and Friday, December 31. While the previous week, December 20-23, will remain a work week, we are encouraging those who wish to have a longer break, or who must work during the shutdown, to use their accrued time off then. As always, staff should consult with their supervisor/department chair for scheduling approval.

Although we will minimize the need for work during the shutdown, staff members who must work then—for one-time needs like Workday and preparation for “J-term,” plus essential staff in dining, custodial services, and other areas—will receive equivalent time off. Supervisors will work with those impacted to make alternative arrangements. 

I sincerely hope that everyone will be able to schedule a break of some kind as we approach the end of the year. If you have questions, please reach out to your supervisor/department chair or the Office of Human Resources at hr@amherst.edu.

Warmly,

Biddy