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For Staff: Additional Personal Floating Holidays

Dear Northwestern staff,

By any measure, the last seven months have been a difficult stretch. Faced with a global pandemic, sociopolitical tensions and personal and professional challenges, you have shown an unwavering commitment to the University’s mission through your work. Our gratitude is immeasurable.

We remain committed to supporting your well-being during these ongoing challenges. For this reason, we will provide two additional personal floating holidays for all regular benefits-eligible staff, to be used by the end of this fiscal year. Part-time benefits-eligible staff will receive a pro-rated accrual based on their work hours. These additional paid time-off days are available immediately, and can be used as stand-alone days during the fiscal year or in combination with vacation or Winter Recess days to provide a longer time away.

We ask managers to offer their staff maximum flexibility in scheduling these personal floating holidays, while ensuring that essential work continues. Both managers and staff are encouraged to periodically take days off to care for themselves and their families, or simply for well-deserved rest and renewal.

Election Day

The University will be open Tuesday, November 3 on Election Day. Those who want to use vacation or a personal floating holiday on Election Day are welcome to do so. We also will continue to offer up to two hours of paid time off to vote, as referenced in the staff handbook. Please work with your manager to coordinate any time off on that day.

Winter Recess

We would also like to remind you of the dates for Winter Recess, the closing of the University’s academic and administrative offices in late December. This year’s Winter Recess days are:

  • Monday, December 28
  • Tuesday, December 29
  • Wednesday, December 30

The first regularly scheduled work day following Winter Recess will be Monday, January 4, 2021.

Your Well-Being

This has been a period of elevated stress and uncertainty for many. In addition to using your vacation and personal floating holidays, we encourage you to take advantage of Northwestern’s Employee Assistance Program as well as numerous resources offered by our well-being program

Thank you again for your continued hard work and dedication during this challenging time.


Morton Schapiro
President and Professor

Kathleen Hagerty 
Provost and Professor

Craig Johnson
Senior Vice President for Business and Finance