Inside Rensselaer
* Curtis Powell

Curtis Powell

A Word From Human Resources
Winter Break Closure

As we approach the end of the semester, this is a wonderful time for all of us to look back and reflect on our personal and professional accomplishments. More important, it is an occasion when the holiday season brings us together with family and friends.

This year, for the first time in our history, the Institute will officially close during the holiday winter break beginning on Thursday, Dec. 23. The campus will re-open on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011.

This decision was made after thorough consideration. As part of the decision-making process leading to the closing, a majority of our employees, in a recent survey, indicated that they either supported closing during the winter break or had a neutral view of the idea. Rensselaer provides a generous and well-designed Paid Time Off (PTO) program for staff, and our leave records indicated that more than 65 percent of Rensselaer’s staff regularly takes PTO during the winter holiday season. The closing will create an opportunity for the remaining 35 percent of staff, who in the past have been required to be present for limited department coverage, to enjoy an extended winter break.

Our leave records indicated that more than 65 percent of Rensselaer’s staff regularly takes PTO during the winter holiday season.

This is also a good time to remind everyone to make full use of Paid Time Off. Studies show that many people fail to use all of their paid vacation time. A study released last year by the Family and Work Institute (FWI) found that about a third of U.S workers did not plan to use all their vacation days, while 37 percent said they have never taken more than a week off at a time. Additionally, a survey conducted by Harris Interactive — one of the world’s largest market research and consulting firms, and a global leader in conducting online research — found that the average number of days workers forfeit is four, up from three last year.

All of us have had a year full of numerous activities and demands.

Please take this opportunity to relax and enjoy the festivities of the holiday season with your family and friends. Many thanks for your tireless support.

Curtis Powell, SPHR
Vice President for Human Resources

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 19, December 10, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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