Important Year-End Information for Employees

December 17, 2020

As this year comes to a close, here are a few important dates and information to remember for the end of the Fall Semester, Winter Break and the start of the Spring Semester.

  • This year, Winter Recess begins a day earlier with the University closing Wednesday, December 23.
  • The employee return to work date is Monday, January 4.
  • Employees should work remotely, if possible, the first week of January and until students return with approval from their supervisor.
  • January 13 will be a Professional Development Day. More information on this can be found below.
  • Students return to virtual learning January 19, with the exception of some in-person classes.
  • Previously scheduled in-person instruction resumes February 8.
  • The October 23 Employee Communication includes other key dates and information for the Spring Semester.
  • Additional information for employees was included in the November 23 Communication.
  • The COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated Friday, December 18. The next scheduled update will be Friday, January 8.

Changes to USI’s Quarantine Duration
After review and approval from the University's Task Force on COVID-19, and in accordance with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the length of required quarantine for USI students and employees exposed to COVID-19 has been adjusted. Read the new University quarantine guidelines.

COVID-19 Vaccination Implementation Team Announced
A new essential support team has been added to the COVID-19 Task Force. The COVID-19 Vaccination Implementation Team will report to the Steering Committee and work with state and local government and health officials to ensure the USI community is fully informed about the rollout of vaccinations.  

COVID-19 Self Reporting and Testing
It is important to continue to use the Self-Reporting Form over the break, however, individual cases may be handled differently based on exposure. If you are exposed or test positive, you should also contact your local healthcare provider immediately for guidance on next steps to protect yourself and others. Information about testing on campus and in the local area can be found on the COVID-19 website.

January 13: Professional Development Day and Strategic Plan Update
All USI employees are invited to participate in a voluntary, University-wide Professional Development Day Wednesday, January 13. Dr. Mohammed Khayum, Provost, and Steve Bridges, Vice President for Finance and Administration, also will address the University's new strategic plan at 9 a.m. A variety of additional sessions will be offered. See a full list of offerings. Detailed session information will be available soon. 

Fiscal Responsibility
Department heads and other financial administrators are reminded to continue to watch spending for the remainder of the fiscal year. More on the 2020-21 operating budget can be found online.

University Website Downtime January 2-3
The IT Department is continuing an ongoing process of migrating servers. These migrations are scheduled during times of least impact when possible. The web server migration will take the USI website completely offline January 2-3. Website users will receive a “down for maintenance” message during the outage as well as a link to access myUSI. Plan ahead if there is website information you may need during that time. The myUSI portal, Blackboard and other ancillary services will still be available. Watch your email for other server migrations in the near future that might affect daily workflow. If you have specific questions, contact the IT Department.

HR Self-Identification Survey Reminder
Human Resources encourages all USI employees to review and update their self-identification of ethnicity, race, veteran and disability status by December 31. A Qualtrics survey was emailed December 8 with a unique link for each employee. Learn more about the survey.

Holiday Open House
Reconnect with co-workers, show off your ugly holiday sweater, an adorable pet or your trivia knowledge during today's Virtual Holiday Open House. All employees are welcome! Check your email for Zoom links. Open House Event Schedule

Employee Casual Dress
Reminder that employees can enjoy casual dress until Tuesday, January 19 when some students return to campus for face-to-face instruction. Please adjust as needed for any meetings or appointments requiring more formal attire.

Campus Access and Security Over Winter Break
Public Safety encourages all employees to remove valuables and secure or lock office spaces over the Winter Break to reduce the opportunity for theft. Campus, including offices, remains accessible with key entry during the Winter Recess and the USI-Burdette Trail remains open for use.