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Updates to Vacation Time and Donations

  • Vacation-eligible Faculty and P&A employees (12-month appointments of 67% or more) can now accrue up to 216 hours (or 27 days) of vacation time, an increase from the previous maximum of 176 hours (22 days). Once that maximum is reached, employees cannot accrue more time until their balance falls below the maximum. Note: The increase does not apply to vacation payouts when eligible employees leave the University, which remain capped at 176 hours. For details, see this University policy page.

  • Faculty, P&A can now donate vacation days to Civil Service and Labor-Represented employees: The University has expanded its vacation donation policy to all eligible employees. That means Faculty and P&A employees can now donate up to 40 hours a year of vacation days to Civil Service or Labor-Represented employees who need them in cases of serious medical condition in the self or immediate family, need for inpatient or hospice care, or extended time off due to a death of an immediate family member. Civil Service and Labor-Represented employees can ask for up to 65 days of donated time in a year (which begins when the employee first receives donated leave). For more details, including how to request or donate vacation leave, see the University policy “Vacation Donation Program for Civil Service and Union-Represented Staff.”

Making the Most of Your Benefits

The University offers a wide range of benefits for faculty, staff, and their families who participate in our health and retirement programs. Take a few minutes to learn about a benefit feature that you might not know about or find out about upcoming free webinars. 

Trial Support for Employees 

The Office of Human Resources provides resources to support the mental and emotional needs of faculty and staff as our community prepares for the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officers for the murder of George Floyd. 

Employee Assistance Program. The EAP provides counseling at no cost to employees. Request help by contacting the University's vendor at or call 1-888-243-5744. While there are limits on the number of sessions, Sand Creek bases these on a specific issue that is being addressed. For an urgent need, call Sand Creek directly at 888-243-5744 to speak with a Sand Creek Clinician. Support is available 24/7. Sand Creek offers on-demand webinars that can be particularly helpful at this time, including: Understanding and Aligning DEI and Strategic InitiativesUnconscious Bias, and Flipping the Switch: Self De-Escalation Strategies for Difficult Encounters.

Wellbeing ProgramEmployees and their spouses who are covered by the UPlan. Participants can find more information on all of these options on the Virgin Pulse site. Options that can support faculty and staff include Individual coaching through Virgin Pulse (VP), group coaching through Boynton, and UMN Mindfulness at Work program, in partnership with the Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing. 

Mental Health Counseling. Those who are covered by the UPlan can access mental health resources through Medica. To learn about providers within your network, call Medica Behavioral Health at 1-800-848-8327. Participants can request a therapist of a particular ethnicity. Medica Behavioral Health offers informative videos on coping skills during COVID-19, mental health issues, and a range of treatment options (under “Popular Tools”) on its site. 

BIPOC Mental Health Collective is available for BIPOC Staff and Faculty and meets virtually monthly for a wellness activity and small group discussions. 

The Office for Public Engagement has compiled resources for students, faculty, staff, and community partners during the trial. 

Our Benefits: More Great Reasons to Work at the U

If you are considering working at the University, take some time to explore our complete package of rewards. We offer “total compensation”—not just competitive wages but a full scope of benefits to support our extraordinary faculty and staff and allow them to be their best selves. To ensure that you and your family will be healthy physically, emotionally, financially, socially, and professionally, we offer: full medical, dental, and pharmacy plans; a comprehensive wellbeing program; retirement plans; tuition benefits; leadership development and training; and much more

For more detailed information, see The Benefits of Working at the U and Benefits Summaries for Prospective Employees.


Questions About Your Benefits?

New employees can learn about their benefit options with the 2021 Guide for UPlan Benefits Enrollment (pdf). The 2021 Medical Summary of Benefits (pdf) and 2021 Dental Summary of Benefits (pdf) are available for current employees.

Call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) and select option 1 or send an email to