Monday Minute, November 15, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

As you are no doubt aware from University communications and media reports, the University will close the Twin Cities campus from Friday, December 24, 2010 through Sunday, January 2, 2011. (The dates vary for coordinate campuses.) The University decided to close for that 10-day period, which includes paid holidays, weekends, and three additional furlough days, as one of a number of cost-saving measures intended to address the significant reduction in state funding for the 2011-12 biennium.

Closing a place as large and complex as the U for three days brings up many questions. What about filing grades for fall semester? Can donors still make year-end gifts in time to qualify for tax deductions? Will IT support exist for those working from home? How will the University disburse Dec. 29 paychecks?

You can find the answers to these and many other University-level questions at the University Winter Closure webpage. This continually updated page includes information on human resources, student services, technology and computing, buildings and services, and research administration. The college will also develop a CDes-focused webpage, accessible from the front page of our website, that will contain information specific to our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends as well as links to all University sites.

Key things to keep in mind for now: Rapson and McNeal Halls will remain closed, as will most University buildings, during the 10-day period. And the University does not expect civil service and bargaining unit employees to work, although it does expect faculty, P&A employees, and graduate assistants to work offsite or take vacation time, personal holiday, or unpaid furlough.

Many of our students have traditionally spent time in our buildings over winter break. Those of you who work with students should begin to remind them to plan ahead, as our facilities, including studios, computer labs, the workshop, imaging lab, and libraries, will close from December 24, 2010 through January 2, 2011. Students will still have two weeks after the closure to work on projects before spring semester starts.

We will send updated information about the winter closure as we receive it, and we will let you know when you can access the college website. In the meantime, if you have further questions, please contact your departmental administrator or immediate supervisor.