President Michael H. Schill sent versions of the message below to faculty, officers of administration and classified employees:
November 3, 2021
Thanks to your impressive work and dedication the fall academic term is off to a very successful start. 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. Thanks to your collective efforts and shared sacrifices, we have come through what I hope will be the worst of the pandemic in a way that promises success for our future.
I know this wasn’t easy. Over the last year and a half, we have all faced anxiety and uncertainty, both personally and professionally. And we all still face challenges now, as we continue our vigilance against COVID-19, and begin to recover from its impacts including a shortage of staff.
I appreciate all of your hard work this year and wanted to share the following announcements with you.
December Days Off
We will be closing the university on Wednesday and Thursday, December 22 and 23 (except for essential services). These will be treated as paid holidays as outlined in policies and collective bargaining agreements. This is in addition to Friday, December 24, which is a paid holiday, and the Special Day of Leave. You will find the full list of upcoming university closures on the Human Resources website.
This is a moment for us all to take a much-needed break.
Extension of Vacation Accrual Limit
In addition, the university is giving employees who accrue vacation more time to use their available balance before they lose it. We are extending the time in which eligible employees can accrue up to 340 hours of vacation to September 30, 2022. Any accrued vacation lost at the end of September 2021 will be reinstated. Please, work with your supervisor to use your vacation and schedule time off.
UO COVID-19 Leave Program
As a reminder, the UO COVID-19 Leave Program is available to eligible employees to take time off for an employee's own COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis or to care for a dependent family member living in the home who needs to quarantine or isolate based on the direction of a medical provider, public health authority, UO case management team, or school. The two weeks of paid leave is available through June 30, 2022. See the HR website for details on use and eligibility.
In the new year, we expect to provide annual salary increases to all employee groups.*
*The president provided information to faculty, OAs and classified employees about the status of decision making or contract negotiations for each employee group. This 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. 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. This past weekend, I shared with alumni, volunteers, and donors here for homecoming how much I appreciated the way our employees and students came together, and what we’ve learned during this time of challenge. I invite you to read the remarks I shared with this group of University of Oregon friends and volunteers.
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.
Again, thank you. We could not have done this without you!
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law