President’s Office

President’s speeches, letters, and articles

Subject: Announcing additional administrative leave days for fall 2020

October 1, 2020

Dear staff,

As we move close to our sixth week of classes this semester, I have been reflecting about our many successes and the challenges we have faced together. With your thoughtful planning, your careful coordination, and your good judgment, the fall semester is well under way.

These accomplishments have not been without cost, however. Many staff worked long hours planning over the course of what seemed like an endless spring and summer. Many have continued to work long hours since the arrival of students. This semester has been a labor of love.

In consultation with the vice presidents and deans, we have decided to provide some extra time off at the end of this calendar year. As you know, we observe college holidays on December 25 and January 1 and administrative leave days on December 24 and 31. This year, we will observe additional administrative leave days on December 23, 28, 29, and 30.

As with all administrative leave, some staff will not be able to take all of these days off, and some will have to perform essential services on campus. I ask department directors to minimize the number of staff who will be needed to work during this time so that as many as possible will be able to take advantage of some extended time off.

I remain hopeful that next fall will be different, and at this time we plan to go back to our normal winter holiday time-off schedule in 2021.

Recognizing that many of you have forgone taking regular vacation time, and honoring the importance of self-care, I want to urge every one of you to schedule some vacation time this fall when you can truly unplug from your work at Reed. I am asking leaders to set the example and demonstrate that this is important by taking some time off themselves. When we take vacation time, our minds get a much needed break from the stream of urgent matters that come our way at work.

We have accomplished so much, and we have done this together as a community of people who care for one another. Now we need to figure out, together, how to take some breaks. I hope you will begin to make plans to get some well-deserved rest at the end of the year. And I encourage you to speak with your supervisor about scheduling some vacation time between now and then.

All my best,


Audrey Bilger