This communication serves as a reminder that winter break closure is approaching. Winter Break is implemented for the purpose of reducing our campus fuel consumption and supporting our strong commitment to sustainability. Last year, the closure resulted in $519,237 in energy cost avoidance for our campus.
This year, our winter break closure will begin on Monday, December 26 and the University will re-open on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Just one weekday during the closure, December 30, is not a university holiday and employees must either apply accrued leave or perform alternate work to be compensated for the non-holiday closure day. To maximize energy and cost savings, we must work to limit on-campus activity during the closure period to essential operations, to the extent possible. At the same time, we are committed to minimizing the impact on employees who may not have sufficient vacation or bonus leave to cover the non-holiday closure day, or those who may prefer to conserve their available leave for other purposes. The three options available to help employees manage the non-holiday closure day – community service, telecommuting and professional development.
For more detailed guidance regarding the 2016-2017 holiday and winter break closures including leave and alternative work options please visit the Winter Break Closure page on Human Resources website or contact Human Resources at 262-3187.
Community Service Leave
As we did last year, we encourage employees to consider utilizing community service leave as a way to manage the winter break closure and also support our community. To facilitate this, the ASU Staff Senate has again done outstanding work to identify a list of community organizations which may be able to support volunteers during the winter break period. A flier detailing these volunteer opportunities can be found on the Staff Senate website.
Where productive work that can be performed remotely is available, employees may seek approval of their supervisors to work from home to offset non-holiday closure hours. To utilize this option:
The supervisor and employee must agree on the work to be performed and it must be documented.
Work to be completed must be measurable and completion must be verified by the supervisor.
Hours spent performing work must be documented by the employee and provided to the supervisor for approval.
Any university work materials (hard copy or electronic) that would be removed from campus must be documented with the supervisor and their return must be documented.
Anyone needing assistance accessing university computer systems remotely should contact IT Support Services (http://support.appstate.edu/contact).
Professional Development Opportunities (Lynda.com)
Lynda.com is a web-based archive of professional development videos. It is a service to which Appalachian State University ITS subscribes, offering over 4,000. It is an exceptional professional development resource to help employees advance their knowledge and skills in areas ranging from technology and computer software to business, personal and professional skills. The winter break closure provides employees with an excellent opportunity to engage in some of these learning opportunities, to offset non-holiday closure hours. To utilize this option:
Employees must obtain approval from their supervisors.
Employees must work with their supervisors to identify offerings appropriate to their work, professional and personal development goals.
Employees and supervisors must agree upon and document offerings to be completed.
Completion of offerings must be documented by printing the Certificate of Completion at the end of each video. If the employee does not have printing capabilities, completion can be documented through ITS system tracking upon return to work after the holiday break. For this confirmation, please contact Kevin Snook in ITS at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours spent engaged in these professional development opportunities must be tracked by employees and submitted to their supervisors for approval.
Lynda.com offerings can be accessed at www.lynda.com. From that site, click "log in" and choose the "log in through your organization or school" option. This will redirect you to the ASU Shibboleth sign-in page where you will enter your ASU ID and password. You will then be directed back to Lynda.com where you can browse and view offerings. The first time you log in through the Lynda.com site, you may be prompted to enter your organization’s URL. If you are, enter appstate.edu in the box provided.
Employees who do not have internet access at home may be able to check out a Faculty/Staff PC laptop with the Lynda.com application already installed by contacting the Tech Desk Manager, Michael O’Hara, at (828) 262-2270 by December 22, 2016. Please note, anyone who checks out a computer will need to log into the computers on campus before taking them off campus. Employees can download videos directly to the laptop so they can be completed later offline. Available laptops may be checked out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Anyone needing assistance in identifying a targeted selection of Lynda.com offerings is encouraged to contact Emily Wilson in Human Resources at 262-6486 prior to winter break.