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Office of the Provost | Communications

November 26, 2012

 TO:  American University Community
 FROM:  Scott Bass, Provost
 Don Myers, CFO, Vice President and Treasurer
 SUBJECT:  Winter Break Closure; December 24, 2012 - January 1, 2013

We are pleased to provide details about the University’s closing for nine calendar days during the winter holiday season. Offices and buildings, including Bender Library, will be closed from Monday, December 24, through Tuesday, January 1.

Faculty and staff will have access to their offices through use of AU swipe cards, but reduced heating and lighting will be in effect. Please remember the buildings will be chilly. For safety reasons, we ask that space heaters not be used to warm facilities. Therefore, offices will not be conducive for work. Access problems can be reported to Public Safety at extension 2527. Since there are going to be so few people on campus during the break, please be mindful of your safety and be sure to secure your possessions if you need to be on campus.

The University will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

Responsibilities and Staffing During Winter Break Closing
Staff should check with their supervisors for details on their unit’s staffing during the break. Before leaving for the break, faculty and staff should activate out-of-office messages on email and voice mail notifying the public of the university closing. Unit heads of offices and departments assigned essential responsibilities during the Winter Break should submit the names of essential employees to Human Resources (HR) by November 30. HR will send a reminder and form to these managers in the next couple of weeks. Additionally, they will receive a separate communication outlining their responsibilities during this time period.

Procurement and Contracts and Mail Services will be contacting major vendors and suppliers to stop or hold deliveries. Each administrative unit should notify other vendors and affected parties that the university will be closed. Public Safety cannot accept any deliveries.

Holiday Pay and Payroll
Full-time nonexempt (bi-weekly) staff designated as essential and required to work will receive holiday pay in addition to pay for each hour worked. Full-time exempt (monthly) staff designated as essential and required to work during the winter holiday break may take an alternate day off for each day during the holiday break they are required to work. Alternate days must be taken during the month of January 2013 and be pre-approved. Only those staff designated as essential on the form submitted by administrative unit heads will be permitted to receive either holiday pay or the alternate day off, depending on their pay class.

Monthly employees will be paid on December 31. For those monthly employees paid by check, checks will be distributed by December 21, and dated December 31. December monthly leave reports must be signed by January 2nd. Biweekly employees will be paid on December 21 for the pay period November 24 - December 7. Timesheets for the pay period December 9-22 must be signed by December 19 in order to be paid on January 4.

Exceptions to the Winter Break Closing
Residence halls will close at noon, December 19. Beginning December 24, campus offices, Bender Library, all dining services, tunnel shops, Jacobs Fitness Center, and the Campus Store will be closed. In addition, the AU Shuttle will not operate during the break.

Exceptions to the mandatory closing are as follows:

Residence Halls

  • Nebraska Hall will remain open for resident occupancy, but the front desk will be closed. Nebraska Hall residents wishing to remain must notify their RAs.
  • Students on leases at the Berkshire Apartments may remain.
  • A Tenley campus residence hall will be open on a limited first-come, first served basis for main campus students who need housing. Applications are available online at

Office of Development

  • Limited staffing will be provided for donors making year-end gifts.

Office of Finance and Treasurer

  • Facilities, Central Plant, Auxiliary Services and Ground Operations staff will provide emergency services only (e.g., snow removal).
  • Office of Information Technology will have on-call personnel to handle emergencies for essential employees (Help Desk services will not be available).
  • Public Safety staff will provide emergency services and will continue routine patrol of AU properties including the interior buildings.

Office of the President

  • Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Wrestling and Swimming and Diving will have practice sessions, but AU is not hosting any competitions during the break.
  • WAMU 88.5 broadcast operations on all channels including Web will continue with normal scheduling throughout the break. Limited development staffing will be available for donors making year-end gifts.

Office of the Provost

  • Accommodations have been anticipated for research compliance requirements.
  • At WCL, the Pence Law Library will allow student access. Students may be taking makeup exams in the building. The Law Clinic will be open for students and clients working on time-sensitive cases. Mail operations staff will distribute mail on a partial schedule. Security will staff the law school building 24/7. Maintenance staff will respond to emergency calls and housekeeping will follow the Union Holiday Calendar and work on cleaning projects.
  • The Registrar’s office will have limited staffing for transcript mailing only.

Office of University Communications and Marketing

  • Staff will be available to coordinate emergency communications to the AU community and handle important news media requests.

Thank you for your cooperation. We wish you and your families a happy and joyous holiday season.