University of California, Riverside

UCR Budget News & Information

Proposed Campus Closure Days — 7/28/09

July 28, 2009

TO:      UCR Faculty and Staff
RE:       Proposed Campus Closure Days

On July 16, the University of California Board of Regents approved a one-year furlough/salary reduction plan that will become effective September 1, 2009.  The plan was developed in response to the fiscal emergency created by the state budget crisis.  The plan provides that, beginning with September earnings, eligible employees will begin to accrue a specified number of furlough days, corresponding with their reduced annual compensation.  For those exclusively represented, the furlough/salary reduction plan is subject to collective bargaining.  Details of the furlough/salary reduction plan are available at:

Our campus leadership has been deliberating how best to implement the furlough plan.  We have concluded that the most effective implementation strategy is twofold:  to close the campus by curtailing operations to only essential functions for a total of seven working days during the year, and to use remaining furlough days in accordance with each unit's operational needs.  The closure periods will be as follows:

  • December 19, 2009 through January 3, 2010 - This extends the holiday closure normally instituted during this time of year.  As in the past, December 24, 25, 31 and January 1 are paid university holidays.  Six additional days (December 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30) are not paid holidays, and eligible employees are encouraged to take these as furlough days.
  • March 25, 2010 - This is the Thursday of spring break.  On Friday, March 26, Cesar Chavez Day is observed, thus making this a four-day weekend.  Based on feedback from both faculty and campus leadership, a closure of the entire campus is not proposed during the full week of spring break to allow faculty to submit grades for winter quarter.  Again, eligible employees are encouraged to take this as a furlough day.

During the closure periods, employees participating in the furlough plan may use furlough days in advance of accrual, as has been our practice for vacation used in conjunction with the holiday closure.  As an example, staff earning $40,001 to $46,000 will accrue 1.08 furlough days per month, for a total of 13 days annually.  By December these employees will have earned only 3.24 furlough days, but they will be allowed to take 6 for the winter closure.  Please note:  The remainder of furlough days, above and beyond those used for the campus closures, should be taken as they accrue, with the approval of the relevant supervisor or department chair.

Employees not included in the furlough plan have the choice of the following options to cover the non-paid days during the closure periods, in accordance with university personnel policies and applicable labor agreements and subject to discussion or collective bargaining:

  1. Accrued vacation (employees may utilize a certain number of vacation days in advance of their actual accrual as specified in University personnel policies and applicable labor agreements, and newly hired employees may utilize vacation accruals prior to six continuous months on pay status).
  2. Compensatory time off.
  3. Leave without pay.

If you are uncertain whether or not furloughs apply to you, please consult with your supervisor or review the policy at the Web site shown above.

The following principles have guided the selection of the proposed closure dates:

  • Fairness/equity in applying to both faculty and staff across a broad spectrum of positions and salary scales.
  • Maximum preservation of our research, instructional, and service missions.
  • Simplicity/manageability for units.
  • Savings to be realized through energy conservation and other measures.

We acknowledge that there is no ideal scenario for every unit or group of employees, and that this action creates personal and professional hardships.  During closures, essential services will continue to operate at a minimal level.  Deans and vice chancellors will determine the facilities and/or operations within their purview that need to remain fully or partially open during the closure periods and arrange for appropriate staffing.  These decisions must be approved by the executive vice chancellor and provost, in accordance with university personnel policies and applicable labor agreements and subject to discussion or collective bargaining.  In instances where essential employees participating in the furlough program must work during the closure period, their furlough days may be taken throughout the remainder of the year, with the approval of their supervisor or department chair.

In scheduling furlough days, unit leaders are encouraged to keep in mind blocks of time during which it may be less disruptive to plan additional, unit-based closures.  Such periods may include spring break (March 22-25), the week following commencement (June 14-18), and after summer session closes (August 30-31, 2010), depending on unit needs.  At the unit leader's discretion, and with the approval of the cognizant dean or vice chancellor as well as the executive vice chancellor/provost, units may elect to close for one or more days during these blocks of time.  As in the campus closures, eligible employees may use furlough days; all others must use accrued vacation, compensatory time off, or leave without pay.  Guidelines for unit-based closures will be issued on or before August 31.

Comments on the proposed campus closure days should be sent to no later than August 10.  For those exclusively represented, comments should also be submitted to your union representative.

We seek to post the final campus closure policy by mid-August.


Dallas Rabenstein
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

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