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Howard University > News Room

Howard University Limited Campus Closure
Sunday, March 11 – Saturday, March 17, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

Howard University will officially close during Spring Break 2012 with continuation of essential services supporting the safety and health of the University community. This limited campus closure will begin at 12:01a.m., Sunday, March 11, 2012, and end at 11:59 p.m., Saturday, March 17, 2012.  The Office of Human Resources (OHR) is available to offer guidance or address questions that are not answered by this document.  Please e-mail all correspondence to springbreak2012@howard.edu, or call the Hotline at 202-806-1259.

  1. What is a limited campus closure?
    • Limited campus closure is a predefined period of only essential campus academic and support-service activity, with corresponding reductions in staffing to the level necessary to maintain the health and safety of the campus community and the uninterrupted or reduced provision of some types of services and activities (e.g., certain research projects, care of students who remain on campus during Spring Break, campus security, etc.).

  2. What is an essential employee? 
    • An essential employee is one whose work or presence is necessary for the provision of safety, health and delivery of reduced service on the campus during the period of limited campus closure.
    • Essential employees for the purposes of this limited campus closure is not necessarily for the same as those designated essential for emergencies or other types of closures.
    • Managers will notify employees in writing that they have been deemed essential for the purposes of the limited campus closure (spring break)
    • Essential employees will be required to use five (5) other days of annual leave between March 18, 2012 and June 30, 2012, or may elect to use leave without pay in lieu of one or more days of annual leave.

  3. What is annual leave?
    • Annual leave is accrued vacation leave
    • Employees who earn annual leave are required to use accrued annual leave or leave without pay during this period; employees who do not have five days of annual leave accrued may, at their election, use leave without pay or draw an advance on annual leave they will accrue through the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2012.  This decision must be communicated by the employee to the employee’s supervisor and to the Office of Human Resources in writing via email to springbreak2012@howard.edu by Friday, March 9, 2012.

  4. How will my annual leave be affected?
    • During the period of limited campus closure, employees may use up to five (5) days of earned annual leave (vacation) recorded as of Saturday, March 10, 2012 .  Employees may not use sick leave for this purpose.

  5. What if I choose not to use my annual leave?
    • In lieu of the use of annual leave, employees may elect to take one or more of the days (up to five) of the limited campus closure as leave without pay.  Those electing to use leave without pay should notify their supervisors and the Office of Human Resources by sending an email to springbreak2012@howard.edu no later than Friday, March 9, 2012.

  6. What if I don’t have enough annual leave time to cover the campus closure?
    • Employees who do not have sufficient accrued annual leave to cover the limited campus closure may use "projected annual leave." “Projected annual leave” is the amount of annual leave they will earn through continued employment by the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2012.  Employees, who will have enough projected annual leave to cover the entire, limited campus closure period and who wish to use such projected annual leave, must notify the Office of Human Resources (OHR) via email at springbreak2012@howard.edu by Friday, March 9, 2012.
    • Employees, who have less than 40 hours of annual leave, accrued on Saturday, March 10, 2012, who would like to use annual leave to cover the entire, limited campus closure period, and who are not projected to accrue sufficient annual leave by June 30, 2012, may be eligible for hardship consideration.  Please e-mail OHR via email at springbreak2012@howard.edu to request a Hardship Form.  The form must be completed and submitted to the Chief Human Resources Officer on or before March 9, 2012, for a review and decision of your specific case.

  7. What is leave without pay (LWOP)?
    • LWOP is an authorized period of absence during which the employee will not receive pay.  LWOP may also be used to cover the five (5) day limited campus closure (Spring Break).

  8. Are any staff excluded from participating in the limited campus closure?
    • Revenue generating employees whose participation in the limited campus closure (Spring Break)  would reduce direct income from services, gifts, and other sources, as approved up through a Cabinet Officer
    • Employees who are 100% funded by grants, contracts or other externally generated funds University
    • Employees whose absences require replacement by paying overtime to another employee, temporary wage hiring, use of an agency, or contracting for necessary services
    • Participants who are 100% funded by the Faculty Practice Plan for clinical duties
    • Employees who for contractual or other reasons will necessarily be paid regardless of the limited campus closure
    • Unions have been officially notified of the limited campus closure during Spring Break. After engagement according to the terms of each respective bargaining agreement, union employees will participate in the limited campus closure in parallel with the roles and responsibilities of other campus employees
    • Student workers
    • Faculty
    • HUH employees

  9. Why is limited campus closure necessary?  
    • During spring break, there are minimal campus academic and support-service activities.  It is projected that the limited campus closure will improve Howard’s FY12 operating performance by reducing the use of facilities and utilities and the mandatory use of accumulated annual leave (vacation).

  10. Why did the University choose spring break for the limited campus closure?
    • Most Howard students and faculty are away from campus during Spring Break. Therefore, the demand for services during this time is reduced.  The limited campus closure is designed to minimize the impact on students, programs, and faculty.

  11. What if I am scheduled away from campus for all or part of the campus closure?
    • Employees with either approved, prepaid professional development or comparable commitments must take five (5) of days of accrued annual leave on days other than during the limited campus closure so long as those accrued annual leave days are taken prior to June 30, 2012 and approved by their supervisor.

  12. What if I am on sick leave, FMLA, short-term disability, long-term disability, workers’ compensation or other types of recognized leave?
    • Employees on sick leave, FMLA, short-term disability, long-term disability, workers’ compensation or other types of recognized leave must notify the Office of Human Resources. The employee may contact an OHR representative either by e-mail at springbreak2012@howard.edu, or may call (202) 806-1259 on or before Friday, March 9, 2012

  13. What if I am on an overseas assignment?
    • Employees with issues related to overseas assignments, visas, and other issues related to conducting University business outside of the continental United States must notify the Office of Human Resources.  The employee may contact an OHR representative either by e-mail at springbreak2012@howard.edu or may call the Hotline at (202) 806-1259 on or before Friday, March 9, 2012.

  14. Will any services be available?
    • Emergency response and campus public safety services: will be available 
    • Medical services will be available
    • Counseling services will be available
    • Food Service: one campus dining facility will be kept open with limited hours; the Hospital cafeteria will be open.  Bison Bucks may be used at 15+ off-campus facilities
    • Office of Financial Aid will be closed
    • Office of Admissions will be closed
    • Chapel no services will be scheduled

  15. Will there be access to campus residence halls?
    • Students who wish to remain in their residence hall during any or all of the closure period must register with the hall director by Wednesday, March 7, 2012 close of business. 
    • Students living on campus as of Friday, March 9, 2012 will be allowed to remain for the period of limited campus closure. 
    • Staffing in residence halls will be available to provide safety and security for students, but no recreational and non-essential student services will be provided by the University. During the limited campus closure, please call (202)797-7148 with any questions or concerns regarding residence halls and Residence Life.
  16. Will there be any access to other campus buildings/facilities?
    • Environmental systems will operate on a reduced basis to conserve resources and costs.  Appropriate attention will be given to safety and health issues, protection of the facilities and their contents, and required support for approved activities and essential employees.
    • Access to facilities will be limited consistent with health and safety.   Limited access will be determined by the appropriate official.
    • Faculty access to offices and laboratories will be consistent with health and safety.  Academic Deans will determine the status and availability of each facility in coordination with central academic leadership.
    • Cramton Auditorium:  Scheduled activities will proceed.
    • Burr Gymnasium:  Previously scheduled intercollegiate will proceed.  Unscheduled intercollegiate and recreational activities will be suspended.

  17. Where should I direct questions about the limited campus closure?
    • You may contact the Office of Human Resources either by e-mail at springbreak2012@howard.edu or you may call the Hotline at (202) 806-1259.
    • The Office of Human Resources has overall responsibility for the detailed planning, coordination, communication, implementation and achievement of the goals of the limited campus closure during Spring Break 2012.  OHR will coordinate and work to resolve all issues that arise during the limited campus closure.
    • Each Cabinet Officer is responsible for identifying workload, essential services, essential employees and any other related issues that would affect their staff and operations and for recommending solutions consistent with the parameters and goals of the limited campus closure.
    • Prior to March 9, 2012, questions about the limited campus closure during Spring Break should be directed to your supervisor.  Additional questions or concerns about the Spring Break limited campus closure may either be e-mailed to springbreak2012@howard.edu or you may call the Hotline at (202) 806-1259.
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