December 2023 Holiday Reduced Operations

The university encourages supervisors to reduce their unit’s operations, to the extent possible, during the period of Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, through Friday, Dec. 29, 2023. The period between the Christmas and New Year holidays is a time when there is an inherent slowdown in demand for many university services. While OSU will remain open during this week, reducing operations where feasible will make it easier for academic faculty, professional faculty, public safety professionals, classified staff members, and graduate assistants to take time off if they choose. I do encourage employees to spend extra time with families and friends over the holidays.

For those offices and functions that are unable reduce their operations during the Dec. 25-Dec. 29 period because of the nature of the unit’s work, I am advising supervisors to identify an alternative timeframe to encourage their employees to take some down time through their vacation benefits.

Additional details:

  • This period of reduced operations applies to all OSU operations, including in Corvallis, at OSU-Cascades, at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, in Portland, and within all OSU Extension Service offices and Experiment Stations.
  • Offices and functions do not need to be staffed during this period, unless they are deemed operationally necessary by departmental supervisors.

  • Unit heads and directors should consult with their dean or division head to determine the minimum necessary operational level for their unit to facilitate maximum leave opportunities for faculty and staff.

  • Supervisors are encouraged to be as flexible as possible when determining staffing levels and schedules during this period. Supervisors are encouraged to grant leave requests when operationally feasible.

  • Employees should discuss their work schedule and leave options with their supervisors as soon as possible.

  • Employees who choose to not work during the reduced operations period should use their accrued vacation leave, Special Day and/or other leave, as appropriate, and subject to supervisor approval. Employees who do not have sufficient leave balances may request personal leave without pay (LWOP) in accordance with departmental guidelines.     
  • If employees request to work during the reduced operations period, supervisors are encouraged to allow those employees to work. Employees who are scheduled to work during reduced operations period should coordinate with their supervisor to establish work schedules and assignments.

  • Faculty, staff and graduate assistants will retain access to their offices and labs during the reduced operations period. Facilities Services operations staff will be available to assist with building access. Contact information is here. Thermostats may be turned down in buildings that are otherwise closed.

I appreciate your many contributions, hard work and dedication to OSU.


Heather Horn
Vice Provost for Human Resources
Chief Human Resources Officer
University Human Resources


Flexibility is encouraged and supported by the OSU administration to the extent that it works for both supervisors and employees. Units should carefully consider and be as flexible as possible when reviewing requests for time off or requests to work. Units need to consider staffing requirements to meet deadlines for grant submittals, payroll and personnel processing.

Yes, employees are required to report their leave, per normal processes, during the reduced operations period. Employees who do not have sufficient accrued vacation leave, Special Day and/or other leave balances, as appropriate, available, may request leave without pay (LWOP) in accordance with University guidelines.

Employees should discuss work options with their supervisor. If there is no work to be performed during the reduced operations, employees are strongly encouraged to use leave during this time. However, employees may request to work during the holiday reduced operations period. Such requests will be evaluated by the department and approved based upon business needs.

If an employee is permitted to work, it does not mean the office/department has to be open to the public. The Vice President or Dean of a given area determines which business operations and services under their jurisdiction are required to remain staffed and open to the public. If it is determined the unit is not required to be open to the public, employees may still request to work in their physical office space.

The university encourages departments to approve leave requests whenever possible. However, be aware that to ensure adequate staffing levels in certain business operations and services, departments may not be able to accommodate all leave requests during the holiday reduced operations period. Employees whose employing departments are open or considered an essential operation may request to take leave. However, as per normal processes, leave requests must be approved by the supervisor.

Upon prior authorization from the supervisor and if business operations allow, employees who are currently assigned to on-site work may be allowed to work remotely. Faculty members should seek approval from the appropriate department chair or director.

You will be compensated at your regular rate of pay. For employees, whose positions are overtime eligible, time worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek is compensated at time and one-half and may be approved for compensatory time.

Yes, faculty members will retain access to their individual offices and/or laboratories during the holiday reduced operations period. However, if the building housing the office/laboratory is otherwise closed during this period, the thermostats may be turned down.

For academic faculty on less than 12-month appointments, a break in the academic calendar when classes are not taught is not considered a holiday unless the break coincides with a designated university holiday.

The university expects academic faculty with ongoing responsibilities to perform those duties during academic breaks. Additionally, an academic faculty member may request to use leave without pay (LWOP)* during the holiday reduced operations period if they will not be performing work-related duties during this time.

*Note: LWOP may affect eligibility for holiday pay. An employee must be in pay status the work day prior to the holiday in order to receive pay for the holiday.

 If you have no available paid leave options, consider the following:

  • If your unit is open, request to report to work; or
  • If your unit will not be open, request if arrangements may be made remote work, temporary work location change, or alternative assignments. (A formal remote work agreement is not required for this period.); or
  • Request leave without pay (LWOP).

Yes. It impacts both. Health benefit eligible employees must continue to meet eligibility requirements each month to earn health insurance coverage for the following month. If you do not meet the hours eligibility requirement in a month, you will lose coverage the following month. The monthly hours requirement is:

  • Staff (classified) employees must work or be in a paid leave status for at least 80 hours in the month.
  • Faculty (unclassified) employees must work or be in a paid leave status for at least one half of the available work hours in the month. For example, if the month has a total of 22 possible workdays, you must work or be in a paid leave status for at least 88 hours to earn health insurance coverage for the following month.

LWOP also has an impact on retirement contributions as retirement contributions are based on a percentage of employee pay. If employees have questions regarding health or retirement benefits and LWOP please contact [email protected].

Contact your supervisor. You may also email [email protected].