Colgate Administration Thanks Staff With Additional Paid Vacation Days

In response to the challenges of the Fall 2020 semester caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Colgate administration granted all non-faculty staff an additional week’s worth of paid vacation days. 

In an email sent out on Oct. 23 addressed to staff and administration, President Brian Casey and Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration J.S. Hope thanked staff for their work this semester.

“We will continue to look for ways to take care of the staff who have taken such good care of Colgate,” Casey wrote in the email, acknowledging the necessity to give staff additional time off to rest.

Following the campus closure in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff remained on-campus to continue running campus operations during remote instruction. These essential workers on campus have had to adjust to new regulations that include different timing for their shifts, changes in protocol and the enforcement of social distancing guidelines. 

The administration acknowledged that the daily work of non-faculty staff played a crucial role in enabling students’ return to campus this fall and will continue to be important for the newly announced reopening in the spring.

“We will have another busy and challenging semester ahead, so we are hoping this additional time will help everyone to come back recharged after the break to deliver the best experience possible to our students,” Hope said. 

Director of Operations Jason Wallace explained how the decision to grant additional paid vacation days has been a way to express gratitude for facilities and staff. He mentioned that this news was well received by staff, as they are excited to be able to have extra time to spend with their families.

“It will be a great rejuvenating opportunity for the employees,” Wallace said. “They have been through a lot of changes, just like everyone else.”

Administration granted staff a total of five individual days off over a five-week period. This gift from the administration had no financial implications on the University. 

“It’s very hard to give everyone a week … because we are in operation,” Casey said. “So what we are doing is we are making Thanksgiving longer, making Christmas longer and then giving everyone Fridays off in December so that it is just three day weekends.”

The additional paid vacation dates for staff are Nov. 25, Dec. 4, Dec. 11, Dec. 18 and Dec. 23.

Wallace added that several employees have volunteered to continue working during the declared vacation days and will instead receive their paid time off at a later date.

Administrative Assistant Kayla Snow Smith echoed Wallace, explaining that, in addition to altering their work habits, many staff have also had to adjust to the extra needs of their children studying remotely.

“The additional vacation days shows them how much they are appreciated and thanks them for everything they have done and continue to do,” Snow Smith said. “This was very generous and we are all very thankful to be working during this pandemic doing what we love — serving our students.”