Sep 30, 2020 Over the past six months, the University community has faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We had to find new ways to serve our students, conduct research, and serve the Huntsville community while ensuring the safety of our campus. Despite these challenges, we have had a successful start to the new academic year. COVID-19 is expected to remain a source of concern through the spring of next year. In an effort to mitigate the potential threat to our students, the University will not recognize Spring Break, scheduled for March 29, 2021, through April 2, 2021. Faculty and students will begin the semester one week later on January 13, 2021; however, staff employees will be allowed to use the five “Spring Break” holidays on a flexible basis between January 4, 2021, and May 4, 2021. Please note the following: Requests for leave must be submitted in accordance with previously established leave approval protocols Approval of leave is at the discretion of the manager based on the operational needs of the department/unit Leave may be used in half-day or full-day increments and does not have to be on a continuous basis This leave will be considered Holiday Leave and should be reported as such on your timesheet Any leave not used on or before May 4, 2021, will be forfeited and may not be carried over or added to accrued leave balances This change in the academic calendar will allow the University to minimize the COVID-19 risk while maintaining the benefit of the holiday leave to be used in coordination with other staff in the department/unit at a time that is best for our staff employees and their families. You will receive additional updates as we continue to monitor the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks for all that you do to keep our campus safe.