UK employees' holiday break extended to save money

Most University of Kentucky employees will get an extra three paid days off over the holiday break, President Lee T. Todd Jr. announced Thursday.

The holiday will begin at the end of the day Monday, Dec. 20, three days earlier than originally scheduled. Work will resume Monday, Jan. 3.

"We decided to move down this path because of the energy savings it creates and partly too because we haven't been able to give raises in the last three years and we try to find a way to add extra benefits to the people who work so hard," Todd said.

His comments came at a news conference to announce a yearlong, $25 million energy-saving retrofit for most campus buildings.

Many people already take those extra days as vacation days, but can now save the vacation for another time, he said.

"Cranking up boilers for a campus that's half-full is a drain on our resources," Todd said.

Not everyone will be able to take those days off. Todd mentioned some research laboratories that must keep operating, as well as some athletics programs, and the university hospital.

In an e-mail he sent to faculty and staff before the news conference, Todd said campus departments that are required to be staffed Dec. 27 to 30 should also be staffed Dec. 21 to 23. Deans and department heads will communicate specifics to employees.

Todd noted that other Kentucky colleges have used the longer breaks to save money in the past.

The schedule for students remains unchanged: Final exams end on Dec. 17, and classes resume on Jan. 12.