As we approach the end of a most unusual semester, I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for all that you have done to keep Duke safe, healthy, and thriving this fall. I’ve often said that Duke is first and foremost a community of extraordinary people; and despite the circumstances, that community has come together in countless ways to meet the challenges of this moment.
We have all made our own contributions. Some have contributed on campus, teaching, researching, supporting our students and faculty, and keeping our transportation options running, our buildings and grounds safe, and our classrooms and labs open. Some have contributed remotely, adapting to the new challenges and opportunities of working from home, becoming well-acquainted with Zoom and Teams. Some have taken on new responsibilities in the face of the pandemic, shifting from office work to assisting with testing and tracing. And many have made these adjustments while caring for children or older relatives at home or volunteering in their neighborhoods and wider communities.
In the face of the continuing uncertainty, I know one thing for sure: we all could use a break. To that end, all full-time Duke University employees will receive three additional days of paid leave to be used between December 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021. You can work with your supervisor to schedule this time off; I encourage managers to be as flexible as possible. Click here for more information.
I hope that this will be welcome news before the holiday season. This year, as we look forward to Thanksgiving, there is perhaps more to be thankful for than ever before.