Winter Break Schedule 2017-18

The University of Toledo scenic winter shot on the mallIn response to employee feedback spanning years, a new University of Toledo winter break schedule will become effective beginning in December 2017 to provide University employees with days off to rest, relax and rejuvenate at a time when most departments are operationally slow, from December 25, Christmas Day, through January 1, New Year’s Day.

The new winter break time-off schedule also supports the institution’s long-term sustainability by reducing costs while still maintaining crucial functions, such as hospital operations at UTMC, approved research activities and public safety. Therefore, the new policy does not include specific UTMC employees; certain required positions, which might vary depending on annual need; nor police.

As shown below, in addition to existing holiday pay, UT will provide enough additional paid days off--either three days or four, depending on which day the holiday falls in the year--to cover the entire specified time period.

The 2017-18 winter break schedule is:

  • Monday, Dec. 25 – Christmas (Holiday)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 26 – Holiday (Columbus Day)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 27 – Paid day off provided for winter break
  • Thursday, Dec. 28 – Paid day off provided for winter break
  • Friday, Dec. 29 – Paid day off provided for winter break
  • Monday, Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day

Should you have questions after reading the information below, please contact your human resources consultant.

Winter Break Schedule: Questions and Answers

Q. I thought the initial policy required affected employees to use at least one of their current vacation days to cover the new winter break schedule. Did that change?

A. Yes, the policy was updated. Based on employee feedback received after the initial policy was posted, administration proposed--and requested Board of Trustee approval--that the policy be revised to reflect that the University would provide enough additional days off to cover this entire specified time. Therefore, in addition to holiday time, UT will also provide either three or four days of time off to affected employees, depending on which day the holiday falls in any given calendar year. These days will be coded as “winter break” on affected employees’ paychecks.

Q. What if a University employee needs to work during winter break, such as to conduct ongoing research that cannot be delayed until after the break?

A. Employees should take this time off to relax and recharge before spring semester commences. However, if you cannot take winter break because of research, for instance, you are not prohibited from working. All designated service areas must be pre-approved by senior leadership. If your work area cannot close during winter break, employees who work on a designated winter break day will have the opportunity to use the additional days off provided by the University at another time during the year. However, the winter break days must be used by June 30, 2018 or they will be forfeited.

Q. Will administrative offices be open, in case there is some type of emergency during winter break?

A. Administrative offices will be closed; however, designated individuals will be on call to respond in the event that an urgent matter arises.

Q. Before I leave my office for winter break, are there things I should do to help safeguard my department?

A. All faculty and staff are encouraged to leave their work areas clean, including taking food home. Also, please close all windows and doors, and shut down computers, monitors, printers and other similar equipment (except LAN servers and network devices). Portable space heaters, coffee pots, fans, radios and other unnecessary equipment should be turned off and unplugged. If you notice any water fixtures that are leaking or dripping, or any other maintenance issues, please contact Facilities at jason.toth@utoledo.edu.

Q. I work on Main Campus and do not have essential business to conduct during the winter break closure; however, I really need to catch up on work during this time and organize my office before the New Year. Is that okay?

A. Unless you are pre-approved by your department leadership to be on campus because your work cannot be interrupted by winter break – for instance, you have research that would be adversely impacted if it was not continued during this time – you should not be on campus during winter break. This new break was established to promote health and well-being by providing time to rest and relax before the spring semester. Additionally, office access will be restricted and operations limited in order to save on heating and electrical costs; therefore, you should not be on campus.

Q. What if I must be on Main Campus and have been pre-approved by leadership to work during winter break. Will there be lights and heating in my building?

A. Facilities and maintenance operations will be very limited on Main Campus during winter break. However, if there is a reason why your research lab or facility must remain heated, maintain a certain level of humidity, etc. – i.e., if there are any specific facility needs required for you to conduct essential work – be sure your department leadership has made arrangements with Facilities (jason.toth@utoledo.edu) well in advance of winter break so these needs can be met.

Q. If there’s a winter storm during winter break, will sidewalks and parking lots be cleared?

A. A limited crew will be available to clear walks and surface lots should there be severe weather during this time, as we want to ensure the safety of those few individuals who must be on campus. However, these services will be limited and campus-wide plowing and maintenance will not be done to the full extent as when offices are open and classes are in session.

Q. Will students who stay on campus during winter break be impacted by this change?

A. No; serving students and helping to ensure their safety remain our top priorities. As with previous winter breaks, all residence halls are closed except International House and Ottawa West. There will be limited staff available to meet student needs, such as Front Desk employees (see the next question and answer). Additionally, senior staff will be available to respond to any urgent matters to help students.

Q. What are the hours of operation for the front desk at International House?

A. International House’s front desk will be open for students 24 hours each day throughout winter break, except on the holidays – Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. There will be professional staff on call 24 hours a day throughout the break. The front desk may be contacted at 419.530.1600; this phone will be answered 24/7, even when the desk is closed on both holidays.

Q. Will any restaurants be open in Thompson Student Union during winter break?

A. No. All of the restaurants, including Starbucks and other eateries in Thompson Student Union, will be closed during this time. They will reopen the second week of January 2018.

Q. If I need help activating a new phone or another type of phone service from Rocket Wireless during winter break, will I be able to reach someone?

A. Yes; however, Rocket Wireless will have very limited hours during winter break. Therefore, instead of visiting the office at Thompson Student Union Room, please call Rocket Wireless at 419.530.4807 for additional information.

Q. Will the student bookstore at Gateway be open during winter break?

A. The University’s official bookstore at Gateway will be open to provide textbook service to our students; this operation is managed by the University’s service provider, Barnes & Noble.

Q. Will students who want to enroll or receive information from various departments be able to talk with someone during winter break?

A. Nearly all offices will be closed on Main Campus during winter break; therefore, each department should ensure their telephone messages and out-of-office email replies reflect that their office is closed. They may also want to note their winter break closure on their webpage.

Q. Who should notify contractors, vendors and other individuals who work with various University departments that their services may not be needed during winter break?

A. It’s the responsibility of each College’s or department’s leadership to notify those vendors, contractors and other individuals who provide services, supplies or products directly to their departments that University offices will be closed. (Please see the next question and answer, as well.)

Q. Will supply chain, purchasing, receiving, mail services and other such departments be open during winter break?

A. The following supply chain operations will be impacted by the University’s winter break schedule from Dec. 27 to Dec. 29: Purchasing and receiving for Main Campus and academics on Health Science Campus will be closed. Please plan your purchases accordingly and work with purchasing to ensure any deliveries required prior to winter break occur the week of Dec. 18. Be cognizant of perishable needs and do not place orders prior to Dec. 21 that may end up sitting until Jan. 2 in UPS or FedEx hubs. Purchasing and receiving for The University of Toledo Medical Center and clinics will run operations as usual during winter break, with no interruption to service. University-wide mail services will be running a reduced schedule, accepting all mail from both postal zones and sorting; however, deliveries will be made to only a few approved locations on Main Campus. Hospital and clinical operations will not be impacted and will receive normal pickup and deliveries during winter break.

Q. As an employee or faculty member, will I still be able to work out during winter break by using our on-campus recreation facilities?

A. On the Health Science Campus, Morse Center will be open Dec. 26 – 29 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Recreation Center on Main Campus will be closed during winter break, opening back up on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Q. If I am not impacted by this winter break schedule (because I work at UTMC, for instance), do I receive additional paid days off per year?

A. No. Winter break is the shutdown of the University during a time when activities are generally slow. Because our hospital must operate 24/7 every day of the year, specific UTMC employees cannot participate and so will not be given the additional three or four winter break days; the same holds true for other operations, such as providing safety on our campuses. (The number of additional days provided will depend on the year and which day of the week the holidays fall.)

Q. Are there any departments or clinics on the Health Science Campus that will be closed during winter break?

A. While The University of Toledo Medical Center and its operations must remain open for our patients and guests, yes – there will be a limited number of offices closed on HSC during winter break because they are academic, non-hospital or non-patient care areas. The leadership members of those departments are responsible for ensuring their team members, customers, vendors and others know in advance that they will be closed during winter break.

Last Updated: 12/7/17