One part of my job that I will dearly miss next year when I am no longer president of St. Thomas is the opportunity to play Santa Claus long before Christmas.

My gift, made today for the last time, is to grant employees of the university extra time off again this Christmas. It’s always fun to share that kind of news.

Last year I waited until right before Thanksgiving to make the announcement. Not this year. I’m making the announcement before Halloween so you have more time to make holidays plans, and I’m offering three extra days off in December – a bonus over last year’s two.

Here is how the time off will work:

Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, meaning that our paid holidays are Monday (Christmas Eve) and Tuesday, followed by two more paid holidays on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (also Monday and Tuesday). We will provide three additional paid holidays on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 26-28.

Add them all up and we will be off for 11 days in a row – Saturday, Dec. 22 through Tuesday, Jan. 1 – before returning to work on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Some employees, including certain Public Safety officers, Physical Plant workers, IRT server administrators, Food Service workers, Development staff members and athletic coaches, may need to work during Christmas week because their services are necessary on campus. If you are uncertain whether your services are required during this period, please contact your supervisor.

Employees who are not required to work from Dec. 22 through Jan. 1 will be paid for that time period in accordance with our holiday pay policy. Employees who are required to work during the Christmas holidays will be compensated as follows:

  • Employees who are represented by a union will be paid according to the terms of their collective bargaining agreement.
  • Non-exempt (hourly) employees who are not represented by a union will receive pay for hours actually worked on the holiday in addition to their regular pay for all scheduled work hours that day.
  • Exempt (salaried) employees will receive a floating holiday for each holiday worked as arranged with their manager. The floating holidays must be used by the end of the fiscal year (June 30).

Department heads must notify Human Resources by Dec. 10 if they have employees who must work during the Christmas holidays.

During the long holiday break, we will turn down the thermostats in most of our buildings to conserve energy and save a few dollars. Prepare to bundle up if you have to work during Christmas week!

25 Responses

  1. Tina Hansen

    Fr. Dease, I thank you so much for your generous gift of time during Christmas. You have been so kind to extend this wonderful opportunity to us each year for the past several years! It is a special treat to be off work at the same time as my son is off from school – we get lots of extra quality time together – and that gift is the best gift of all.

  2. Carole Koch

    Father Dease,
    I wish there was a way to return a gift in kind to you! The gift of time is precious, cannot be bought or wrapped. Thank you for your kindness each year. You will be remembered as we rest, play, and enjoy these extra days.

  3. Samba Dieng

    Father Dease is absolutely peerless! The best President EVER! I hate thinking about his retirement. THANK YOU for this wonderful gift! It looks like I can go back to Africa and see my mother again this year, thanks to you.

  4. Dede

    Thank you so much Father! I agree with previous posts, the gift of time is truly the best gift of all. It is wholeheartedly appreciated. I wish you an early Merry Christmas too.

  5. Jan Becker

    Father Dease,

    What a wonderful early Christmas gift. Thank you so much for your generosity. Time to spend with my family is the most precious gift anyone could give me.
    Also, Thank you for your leadership and service you have given the St Thomas community!

  6. Linda Halverson

    Thank you once again, Fr. Dease, for this generous gift of time with our families. It is a blessing to be a member of this community.

  7. Cindy Sundberg

    You have been so generous in providing this Holiday time to us over the years. I thank you and my family thanks you. It means so much to us to have the time together. Saying thank you seems so paltry compared to the gift of this time.
    Nevertheless, Thank You!

  8. Ea McMillan Porter

    Thank you so much, Father Dease. Those of us, in particular, who live away from the majority of our relatives, certainly appreciate the opportunity to have time for travel. Thank you!

  9. Joann Statsman

    Thank you Fr. Dease! This is truly the most wonderful gift at this special time of year. Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.

  10. Barbara Gorski

    Father Dease -

    Thank you so much for this generous gift of time. And even more importantly, thank you for all you do for St. Thomas. I am going to miss you and your leadership!

    Be Well!
    Barbara

  11. Lynda McDonnell

    What a grand gift. After all the hubbub in the preparations for Christmas, it is an incredible gift to have this extra time for family, friends, sorting out the year that’s ending, planning for the one ahead. Many, many thanks.

  12. Tim Fischer

    What a great way to start the week… Thank you Father!! This extra time off to spend with family and friends is such a wonderful gift. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!!