As many of us transition to remote work and prepare to welcome students back to a dramatically different learning environment, we continue to be humbled by your commitment to the vital mission of the University of Nebraska.
While the University remains open, and remote and flexible work arrangements remain our expectation and first line of defense, we realize not every job can be performed at home. We have heard from many of you that the emergency paid administrative leave policy we announced earlier this month has been a source of relief and peace of mind as you care for your families and attend to your own health.
Hundreds of you have used the emergency administrative leave already, and we expect that to grow as we settle into our “new normal” of balancing work, the care and education of children whose schools are closed, and other personal responsibilities.
To provide you with additional flexibility as you plan for the weeks ahead, we are extending the emergency administrative leave policy, effective immediately. With supervisor approval, University of Nebraska employees now may take up to 160 hours of administrative paid leave (up from the previous 80 hours) in the event of self-quarantine, quarantine or care of an immediate family member, childcare resulting from school closures, or other scenarios related to COVID-19. As before, the emergency administrative leave is available to all employees, including student and temporary workers. Part-time employees will be eligible for a prorated amount of time.
This extension will give us time to analyze related actions being taken at the federal level and talk with our peer institutions, most of whom are in the same position as us. More importantly, we hope the additional leave helps you manage what we can all agree are unprecedented challenges while continuing the important work of the University.
Finally, many of you have asked how you can help colleagues in need. As you know, employees may earn a maximum of 280 hours of vacation leave. Effective immediately and until further notice, vacation hours that would have been earned by employees if they were not at the 280-hour limit will be calculated and added to the university’s crisis leave bank.
In other words, if you’re at the 280-hour maximum and you take no vacation next month, we will deposit 16 vacation hours into our crisis bank. This simple strategy, requiring no action on your part, will build a larger cushion for colleagues in crisis. And it aligns with our goal to take care of each other in a difficult time.
In addition, if you’d like to donate any of your existing vacation leave to our crisis bank to help others who may need assistance, we encourage you to do so.
Updated FAQs regarding our updated policies are available here.
Thank you again for all you are doing to serve our 51,000 students and move our University forward. This work is not easy, but our strengths as a University system are shining through.
President, University of Nebraska System
Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.
Chancellor, University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska Medical Center
Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D.
Chancellor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Doug Kristensen, J.D.
Chancellor, University of Nebraska at Kearney