Recent News from Campuses

Retiring CSB athletic director will leave big shoes to fill

Carol Howe-Veenstra, who came to CSB in 1985 and served as the head volleyball coach for 15 years and the school's athletic director for the past 28 years, is stepping down June 19, 2015.

Concordia Named to Victory Media’s 2015 Military Friendly® Schools List

Concordia University Campus News - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 4:47am

Concordia University, St. Paul announced today that it has been designated a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds.

As of the Fall 2014 census, there are 219 total military students and dependents enrolled at Concordia, an increase of nearly 100 from the previous year.

Now in its sixth year, the Military Friendly® Schools designation and list by Victory Media is the premier, trusted resource for post-military success. Military Friendly® provides service members transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation. The methodology used for making the Military Friendly® Schools list has changed the student veteran landscape to one much more transparent, and has played a significant role over the past six years in capturing and advancing best practices to support military students across the country.

The survey captures over 50 leading practices in supporting military students and is available free of charge to the more than 8,000 schools approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding. 

Annika Johanson ’12: Helping Children and Families Overcome Life’s Biggest Challenges

Gustavus Campus News - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 9:44pm

Annika Johanson works with a patient at Children’s Hospital.

When children suffer from medical conditions that require hospitalization, it can be a challenging and emotional time for the child and the child’s family. It’s the kind of environment Gustavus alumna Annika Johnason ’12 witnesses every day.

Johanson is a Child Life Specialist for both Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. She is charged with helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events.

Child life specialists promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities. They provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences. They provide information, support, and guidance to parents, siblings and other family members. They also play a vital role in educating caregivers, administrators, and the general public about the needs of children under stress.

“One of things we do is help explain upcoming hospital procedures or new diagnoses to kids in a way that they can understand,” Johanson said. “Oftentimes I try to engage younger kids in medical play to ease their fears about medical equipment. Some of the procedures kids have to go through can be confusing or traumatic, and step-by-step preparation can help them cope a lot better.”

Johanson says that it is also her responsibility to offer a distraction for kids who are facing an upcoming medical procedure. Through art and play, she aims to normalize the hospital setting and ease kids’ fears while they are at the hospital. While it’s not unusual for Johanson to witness families struggle through feelings of sadness, fear, and hopelessness, she recognizes the importance of her job

Johanson at Machu Picchu in Peru.

“I get to see firsthand the difference my line of work makes in the lives of these patients and families and I get to be a part of their medical journey, no matter how big or small it might be,” Johanson said. “When explaining something to a child, I love seeing the light bulb of understanding click. The incredible resiliency and courage so many patients and their families find in the midst of hardship is inspiring to me and I am honored to be a part of it.”

Johanson majored in psychology at Gustavus and then went on to complete a 600-hour child life internship at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville. She enjoyed her experience in the psychology department, but also acknowledges how the liberal arts education that she received is benefitting her today.

“Gustavus gave me a well-rounded view of the world, and enhanced my ability to think outside of the box. While not all of my classes were directly related to the field I’m in, they still broadened my perspective,” Johanson said. “Most of my classes at Gustavus were smaller class sizes and discussion-based—something that sharpened my listening skills and helped me appreciate different viewpoints. I work with people of many different cultures and backgrounds, something that Gustavus has prepared me well for.”

Johanson has also come to appreciate the time she was able to spend learning under Gustavus’s dedicated faculty.

“I had many psychology classes with Barbara Simpson, who always made herself available to me when I had questions. She was always so approachable and made time for me when I needed it,” Johanson said. “Richard Martin helped me organize my Interim Career Exploration of Child Life during my senior year. The few classes I took with Betsy Byers (Art & Art History) stretched my skills and creativity, and always forced me to think outside the box. Mary Solberg’s “Ethics and Medicine” class is one I’ll never forget; I’ve carried so much of what I learned in that class into what I do now in my job.”

In addition to her positive academic experience, Johanson’s Gustavus journey was also significantly impacted by her involvement in Prepare Ministries and a personal volunteer trip she decided to take to Peru during the spring semester of her sophomore year.

Johanson and her Prepare housemates during a neon-themed substance-free spring rave.

Prepare Ministries is one of the many faith-based groups on campus that students can join. Johanson became involved with Prepare near the end of her freshman year and then lived in the Prepare House during her junior and senior years.

“Prepare helped foster my faith and provided fellowship with great people,” Johanson said. “Dave Olson, the leader of Prepare, was a great spiritual mentor to not only me, but many of the students who attended as well.”

Johanson’s trip to Peru came at a time when she says she found herself confused and uncertain about which direction she was going in life. While feeling “stuck in a rut”, she decided to take a semester off from college and volunteer her time to “The Inca Project” for three months. She lived on a small, self-sustaining farm in a small mountain town. While there, she helped farm the land, built roads, built desks for local schools, and helped local archaeologists map Incan ruins.

“I learned so much about different people and cultures—it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself,” Johanson said. “We lived day to day—there was no long-term planning. It wasn’t easy, but I’m grateful for that experience.”

While in Peru, there was no typical day for Johanson and that is similar to her job today. She works in many areas of the hospital including the E.R., pre-surgery center, radiology, hematology/oncology clinic, as well as some inpatient units.

“I pretty much have the best job ever,” Johanson said. “Kids are just so much fun to work with!”


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas

<i>Star Tribune</i> Writes About Upcoming Nobel Conference

Gustavus Campus News - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 9:06pm

The 50th annual Nobel Conference is just days away as approximately 5,000 people will come to campus on Oct. 7-8 to hear 11 invited speakers who have all spoken at one of the previous 49 Nobel Conferences. Star Tribune reporter Maura Lerner recently spoke to former Nobel Conference Director and Emeritus Professor of Psychological Science Tim Robinson and previews this year’s Conference in this article:

Gustavus Adolphus Gets Ready for its 50th Nobel Conference

Tickets are still available for this year’s Conference and can be purchased online at For those who are unable to attend this year’s event, it will be live streamed at


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas

Saint Mary’s celebrates 20 years of Stefannié Valéncia Kierlin Theatre Program in London

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 2:03pm
Theatre program believed to be only one of its kind in nation WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s students in London have said “Cheerio” to their families and are settling into their homey flats, taking jaunts on the Tube, and having a smashing good time. This fall marks the 20th anniversary of Saint Mary’s London theatre [&hellip

Presidential Inaugural Events Begin with Wednesday Night Symposium

Gustavus Campus News - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 10:27am

Gustavus Adolphus College will kick off its series of events related to the inauguration of President Rebecca M. Bergman on Wednesday, Oct. 1 with a symposium on “The Future of the Liberal Arts”. The symposium will feature seven speakers, including Gustavus students, employees, and alumni, who will each present a short vignette or reading related to the future of the liberal arts. From the sciences to the fine arts to the humanities, these representatives of Gustavus will articulate how the future needs of society and the Earth will require leaders with an education rooted in the liberal arts—the bedrock of a Gustavus education. This event will take place at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall and is free and open to the public.

Click here for the live stream of the Symposium on The Future of the Liberal Arts. 

Inauguration events will continue on Thursday, Oct. 2 and Friday, Oct. 3. The Inaugural Concert will take place at 8 p.m. in Bjorling Recital Hall and is free and open to the public. This event will showcase faculty, student, and alumni performers including the College’s new Director of Jazz Ensembles Dave Stamps, President Bergman’s son Matt ’07 and his wife Katherine Johns Bergman ’07, and dancers Philip Flickinger ’01 and Kelsey Hanstad ’14. This event will also be live streamed.

On Friday, Oct. 3, the Inaugural Tree Dedication will take place at 10:45 a.m. in Linnaeus Arboretum. President Bergman will then be inaugurated as the College’s 17th President at a 2:30 p.m. ceremony in Christ Chapel. Those who will speak at the ceremony include Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, George Hicks ’75, Chair of the Gustavus Board of Trustees, The Rev. Heather Teune Wigdahl ’95, President of the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations, and the Rev. Dr. Harold Weiss, father of President Bergman and former Bishop of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The ceremony will also be live streamed. A 4 p.m. reception in Lund Center will follow the inauguration ceremony.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas

Students to test skills in disaster simulation October 14

St. Kate's Campus News - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 8:24am
Students in several University departments will test their skills in a disaster simulation event on the Quad of the St. Paul campus. More »

Alumnus attorney turned epidemiologist works for clean water worldwide

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 1:15pm
Quality water access—something that many take for granted—is still a major roadblock for much of the developing world. Respected researcher and world traveler Thomas Clasen ’78, Ph.D., is determined to do his part to help improve sanitation conditions in areas of need. Arriving on the Twin Cities Campus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from [&hellip

Panel to discuss Catholic Church’s support of greenhouse gas regulations

A panel will speak on the Environmental Protection Agency's new greenhouse gas regulations and the Catholic Church's support of them, at 11:30 a.m. and then again at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, on the campus of the College of Saint Benedict, Gorecki Center 204.

Undergrad Enrollment Down a Bit, Grad Enrollment Up a Bit

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 10:56am

After six years of slight declines, overall enrollment at the University of St. Thomas held steady this year. The university has 10,229 students this year; that’s up eight students, or 0.1 percent, from last year.

In recent years St. Thomas has seen small enrollment gains at the undergraduate level but small decreases at the graduate level. That flip-flopped this year, with graduate-level gains reported in five of the university’s seven academic divisions.

Some of the undergraduate decline can be attributed to the graduation of the class of 2014 this past spring; when the 1,519 members of that class arrived on campus in fall 2010, it was by far the largest group of freshmen in St. Thomas history. This year’s freshman class of 1,409, meanwhile, is the third-largest. The second-largest freshman class, at 1,447, arrived here in 2012.

  • Undergraduate enrollment is 6,234, down 1.8 percent or 116 students from last year’s record-high 6,350
  • Graduate enrollment is 3,995, up 3.2 percent or 124 students from last year’s 3,871

The university’s enrollment has been more than 10,000 for the past 23 years, with a peak of 11,570 in 2001.

With a 15.7 percent increase in enrollment, the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling now has St. Thomas’ largest graduate enrollment, ahead of the Opus College of Business. Also posting strong increases at the graduate level were the School of Social Work, which recently launched a new doctoral program and had a 7.3 percent enrollment increase, and the School of Engineering, which grew by 6.6 percent.

According to statistics compiled by the St. Thomas Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the total of undergraduate and graduate credit hours, which represent the number of courses that students are taking, is 121,294.5, a drop of 1.3 percent. Undergraduates at St. Thomas comprise 61 percent of all students but account for 77 percent of credit hours. Overall, 70 percent are full-time students and 30 percent are part-time.

At a time when some colleges and universities are enrolling more women than men, the St. Thomas female-male ratio continues to show a near-even split. The percentage of students who are women is:

  • 48.7 overall
  • 45.8 for undergraduates
  • 46.9 for new freshmen
  • 53.4 for graduate students

The percentage of students who are persons of color has increased steadily over the years and this fall stands at 15.5 percent, up from 14.8 percent last year. The percentage of students of color is:

  • 12.1 for freshmen, down from last year’s 12.4
  • 14.4 for undergraduates, up from last year’s 13.9
  • 17.4 for graduate students, up from last year’s 16.4

These percentages would be higher if international students were included. St. Thomas does not use the race of students from other countries when calculating the overall percentage of its students of color. This fall St. Thomas welcomed 489 international students (205 undergrads and 284 graduate students) from 65 countries, which is up 53 students from last year and the highest since 2003.

By number of international students, the top countries are: Saudi Arabia, China, India, Uganda and, in a tie for fifth, Norway and Nepal.

Here are the enrollment numbers for students of color:

  • 404 Asian (211 undergrad and 193 graduate)
  • 384 Hispanic (287 undergrad and 97 graduate)
  • 372 Black or African-American (147 undergrad and 225 graduate)
  • 289 who list two or more races (200 undergrad and 89 graduate)
  • 15 American Indian (8 undergrad and 7 graduate)
  • 4 Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (all graduate)

In addition to St. Thomas enrolling larger freshman classes in recent years, students also are arriving with stronger academic profiles. Twenty-eight new Tommies are valedictorians of their high school classes, the same as last year, while eight are National Merit Scholars, up two from last year. Some other characteristics:

  • Their average ACT score was 26.3, the highest-ever for a freshman class here (25.6 last year)
  • Their average class rank was in the 76th percentile (73rd last year)
  • 203 had 4.0 or better grade-point averages (159 last year)
  • Their average grade-point average was also a record high, 3.59 (3.54 last year)

The percentage of St. Thomas students who indicated they are Roman Catholic did not change this year. Overall, 42 percent are Catholic; at the undergraduate level it is 47.7 percent and at the graduate level it is 31.2 percent. Overall, 75 percent of the students report some religious affiliation, a percentage that has remained fairly constant over the past five years.

There are 233 undergraduate and graduate seminarians here this fall. Enrollment at the undergraduate-level St. John Vianney Seminary is 137, which is up five from last year and includes 12 men studying in Rome this semester. The graduate-level Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity has 96 men studying for the priesthood, down 10 from a year ago.

The number of undergraduates who transferred to St. Thomas this fall is 251, down 20 from last year and 24 from fall 2012.

Enrollment on the university’s St. Paul campus is 7,463, down 72 from last year. St. Thomas is limited to 8,750 students on its main campus under a Conditional Use Permit approved by the St. Paul City Council in 2004. The highest enrollment in St. Paul was 8,712 in 1991, the year before the university opened its Minneapolis campus.

For undergraduates this fall, commuter students outnumber resident students 3,669 to 2,536. A year ago, there were 3,875 undergraduate commuters and 2,446 residents.

Here’s the graduate-level enrollment and credit hours, and the percent change from last year, for St. Thomas’ colleges and schools:

ProgramEnrollment% Change from 2013Credit hours% Change from 2013College of Arts and Sciences118+2.6532+6.6Opus College of Business1,037-9.46,498-7.2School of Divinity128-7.91,502-8.6College of Education, Leadership & Counseling1,262+15.76,824+11.2School of Engineering648+6.63,226+8.9School of Law407+0.55,754.5-1.0School of Social Work395+7.33,992+10.1Total3,995+3.228,328+2.3

‘It’s on Us’ to Understand the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 10:01am

On Friday, Sept. 19, President Barack Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden and Americans across the country to launch the “It’s On Us” initiative – an awareness campaign to help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses.

“An estimated one in five women has been sexually assaulted during her college years – one in five,” the president noted in his remarks. “Of those assaults, only 12 percent are reported, and of those reported assaults, only a fraction of the offenders are punished.”

As part of the campaign’s launch, student leaders from nearly 200 colleges and universities across the country, including St. Thomas Undergraduate Student Government President Ryan Smith, signed on to bring this campaign to their campuses and take action.

“It is on all of us to reject the quiet tolerance of sexual assault and to refuse to accept what’s unacceptable,” Obama said.

While the “It’s On Us” campaign has gained national attention recently, the University of St. Thomas has been ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting members of its community and providing resources for those in need.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires colleges and universities to take immediate and effective steps to respond to sexual violence. In response to federal requirements and the increased nationwide focus on sexual violence on campuses, President Julie Sullivan approved a new university Sexual Misconduct Policy in June.

While previous policies had been in place to deal with sexual harassment and sexual violence, the new policy provides clearer definitions of sexual misconduct, according to Abigail Crouse from the university’s Office of the General Counsel.

“Like the university’s former sexual harassment and sexual violence policies, the new sexual misconduct policy prohibits harassment and sexual violence, but it also specifically covers coercion, exploitation, stalking and relationship violence. In addition, the policy contains a clear definition of consent,” said Crouse, noting that simply not saying “no” does not qualify as consent under the policy or the law, but that an affirmative “yes” must be made clear through a person’s words or actions. Read more about what the university considers prohibited sexual misconduct.

In addition to clarifying the definition of misconduct, the new policy also outlines the process by which incidents of sexual violence are handled on campus.

“The expectation we have of members of our community is very transparent with our new policy,” said Rachel Harris, associate dean of students. “As a value of St. Thomas, this is not a place where violence is accepted, so everyone needs to step up and do something.”

The policy describes the ways victims can report sexual misconduct. It also clearly outlines the responsibilities of the members of the staff and faculty when they are made aware of incidents of sexual misconduct. Read more about the reporting and investigation process.

Federal regulations require that all university employees be trained on the policy. Leadership Academy courses are available for staff through Oct. 30; the university is working with deans and department chairs to provide faculty training.

In addition to staff and faculty outreach, the Dean of Students office has led the effort to engage students on the issues. This fall, more than 1,400 incoming students, including new first-year students, transfer students and international students, received training on bystander intervention. Tommie Central employees, the STAR board and Undergraduate Student Government have received training. All 250 Tommie Ambassadors will be trained next week. The Study Abroad office is learning about how to respond to students who experience sexual misconduct in other countries.

“Any student groups that are interested can contact us. We are happy to come do a presentation to any club or organization that wants to learn more,” Harris said.

The message is being heard. Mark Hill, St. Thomas senior and Sigma Chi president, attended the required employee training as a STAR intern and saw an opportunity to empower members of his organization to be advocates on campus.

“Whether we like it or not, as fraternity members and as men, we are part of that community that is committing these acts – but we can also be part of that change,” said Hill, who proactively reached out to Harris and asked she meet with the brothers of Sigma Chi.

See Hill and Harris talk about the importance of engaging men on the issue in this KSTP story:

“No place is immune to this, but we have an effective response and investigation process for when something happens,” Harris said. “We’re working on making sure that our community is engaged in creating a safe environment.”

Additional resources:

St. Thomas Real Estate Analysis for August: Big Drop in Foreclosures and Strong Demand for Moderate-Priced Homes

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 9:37am

An analysis of the 13-county Twin Cities real estate market for August found a healthy decrease in the number of foreclosures along with a stronger demand for moderately priced homes than for higher-priced homes.

Each month the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business looks for real estate trends in the Twin Cities and tracks the median price for three types of sales: nondistressed or traditional-type sales, foreclosures, and short sales (when a home is sold for less than the outstanding mortgage balance).

“During the early part of this year the percentage of distressed sales was hovering near 30 percent,” said Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at the university. “In August, the percent of distressed sales was 10.6 percent, a level not seen since mid-2007. More importantly, the number of new foreclosures continues to drop; that means there should be even fewer distressed sales in the next 12 to 18 months.”

After a persistent period of l0w inventory, the number of homes available to purchase has increased to 18,205. That compares to 16,747 in August 2013 and is now near pre-housing-crash levels.

“The increase in the number of homes for sale will result in a better balance between buyers and sellers,” Tousley said. “Buyers will have more choices as the market moves from a seller’s market to a normal equilibrium.”

Another trend the Shenehon Center follows is the number of homes available in different price brackets. By comparing the asking price of homes in the Twin Cities and how many were sold, the Shenehon Center found a stronger demand for homes priced under $140,000 than homes listed at $300,000 or higher.

Home prices in August

Median sale prices for the Twin Cities recovered in August from a slight decline observed in July. The median price of a traditional (nondistressed) home increased to $228,000 in August, close to the high-water mark for the year set in June at $229,900.

Compared to August of last year, the sale price for a traditional home is up 5.3 percent in 2014.

Overall, the number of closed sales in August was down 7.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago, but it’s not all bad news because most of the decrease was due to a sharp decline in the number of distressed sales. Compared to last year, August saw a 4.6 percent increase in traditional sales, a 58 percent decrease in short sales, and a 50 percent decrease in foreclosure sales.

The UST composite indexes

Each month the Shenehon Center tracks nine housing-market data elements, including the median price for three types of sales, and creates an index for each: nondistressed or traditional-type sales, foreclosures, and short sales.

The composite index for traditional sales moved up just one point in August, to 1086, but it’s a new yearly high and reflects the strong market for traditional sales seen in 2014.

The composite index for short sales was 936 in August, up 14 points from July. It also is up 5.3 percent compared to one year ago. “Look for the short sale index to play a less significant role in our analysis as the number of short sales drops below 3 percent of the total monthly sales,” Tousley said.

The composite index for the foreclosure market moved from 804 in July to 810 in August. The index is 2.3 per cent higher when compared to August 2013.

More information online

The Shenehon Center’s charts and report for August can be found on its website here. The index is available free via email from Tousley at



Carleton’s Latino American Heritage Convocation reflects on Colombian and Cuban influences in an exploration of family, language and identity

Carleton College Campus News - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 7:04pm

Author and columnist Daisy Hernández will present Carleton College’s Latino American Heritage Convocation on Friday, Oct. 3 from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. Entitled "Feminism, Sofia Vergara, and Writing about Familia: A Talk on Media Representations,” Hernández will reflect on her Colombian and Cuban heritage in an exploration of family, language and identity. Carleton Convocations are free and open to the public; they are also recorded and archived online.

Carleton presents renowned author and environmentalist Barry Lopez

Carleton College Campus News - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 7:01pm

Carleton College is pleased to present renowned author and environmentalist Barry Lopez on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Boliou Hall Auditorium. Lopez will give a talk entitled “The Writer and Social Responsibility,” followed by a short Q & A session and a book signing

Music Lecture Highlights 70 Years of Aaron Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’

Carleton College Campus News - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 6:58pm

Guest lecturer Annegret Fauser of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will present “Americana, War & Globalization: Seventy Years of Aaron Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’” on Thursday, Oct. 2 from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Music Hall Room 103. Fauser, a renowned musicologist, is the Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor and Adjunct Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at UNC. This event is free and open to the public.

ACTC Fall Art Tour this weekend

St. Kate's Campus News - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 4:40pm
St. Kate’s Catherine G. Murphy Gallery is one of 10 Twin Cities college and university art galleries featured in the Fall Art Tour October 4. More »

Activities scheduled for Family Weekend on the Winona campus

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 11:48am
There will be a variety of fun and entertaining activities available on the Winona campus for students and their families during Family Weekend, October 3 – 5. Some highlights include: Friday, October 3 Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo One – 6 p.m.,  in Figliulo Recital Hall. Under the direction of A. Eric Heukeshoven. From familiar [&hellip

Saint Mary’s celebrates Lasallian Week of Peace on the Winona campus

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 10:25am
Join in on this annual week of engaging and informative events on the Winona campus. The theme of this year’s Lasallian Week of Peace is “Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: Crime and Criminal Justice.“ Events during the week are open to the Saint Mary’s community. CAPTION: Students at the Dine with the Devine 2013 event. Monday, Sept. 29 [&hellip

President Sullivan Gives an Early Christmas Present

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 12:01am

It’s not “beginning to look a lot like Christmas” quite yet, as the old song goes, and that’s a good thing, but I know Christmas already is on a lot of people’s minds.

And thus is it my pleasure to announce, even though the calendar still says September, how many extra days off St. Thomas employees will receive over the Christmas holidays.

Christmas is a special time to celebrate our faith with family and friends, and I am delighted that St. Thomas again will provide extended time for everyone to share the joy of the holidays.

Christmas falls on a Thursday this year, meaning that our paid holidays are Wednesday (Christmas Eve) and Thursday, followed by two more paid holidays on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (also Wednesday and Thursday).

Consequently, St. Thomas will provide four additional paid holidays: Friday, Dec. 26; Monday, Dec. 29; Tuesday, Dec. 30; and Friday, Jan. 2.

Add them up and we will be off for 12 days in a row – from Wednesday, Dec. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 4 – before returning to work on Monday, Jan. 5, the first day of January Term classes.

Some employees, including certain Public Safety officers, Physical Plant workers, IRT server administrators, Food Service workers, Development staff members and athletic coaches, may need to work over the holidays because their services are necessary. If you are uncertain whether your services are required during this period, please contact your supervisor.

Regular full-time, part-time and temporary employees who would have been scheduled to work between Dec. 24 and Jan. 4, if these were not university holidays, will be paid for that time period in accordance with our holiday pay policy. Employees who are required to work during the Christmas holidays will be compensated as follows:

  • Employees who are represented by a union will be paid according to the terms of their collective bargaining agreement.
  • Non-exempt (hourly) employees who are not represented by a union will receive pay for hours actually worked on the holiday in addition to their regular pay for all scheduled work hours that day.
  • Exempt (salaried) employees will receive a floating holiday for each holiday worked as arranged with their manager. The floating holidays must be used by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2015).

Department heads must notify Human Resources by Dec. 8 if they have employees who must work during the Christmas holidays. Questions about the holiday pay policy should be address to Human Resources.

Please cherish the blessings of faith, family and friends during this extended holiday period!

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