Campus News

Holiday and Work Schedule for 2020-2021

photo of UK sign at university's main gate with flowers
Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 2, 2020)  University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto shared an email message with the campus community yesterday outlining the effect of COVID-19 on upcoming holidays and non-working days at UK for the 2020-21 academic year. The message is below.

Dear Campus Community,

In the past week, UK has made changes to the work and holiday calendar for the upcoming academic year. This academic year, Labor Day (September 7) will be a work and instruction day on campus as we build out a calendar that provides appropriate instructional days for our faculty and students in response to the coronavirus.

Campus staff working on the Labor Day holiday may take the holiday later, up through Dec. 31, 2020, to accommodate the compressed academic calendar necessary for the COVID-19 response.  

And we will, for the first time, observe Juneteenth as an annual holiday in commemoration of when the final enslaved Black men and women were freed in 1865. (Juneteenth is on June 19 each year; for UK, we will observe the holiday on Friday, June 18, 2021, because the holiday falls on a weekend).

Today, I want to provide additional information about the holiday and work schedule for the academic campus for the coming academic year.

The University has made the decision to close the academic (non-UK HealthCare) campus Monday, December 21 and will reopen on Monday, January 4, resulting in four additional paid bonus days for staff members in regular positions in academic areas.

That is several days more than last year and reflects our goal to protect, as much as possible, our community as we inevitably continue to grapple with this global pandemic. UK HealthCare will communicate decisions on pay and holidays soon as well.

All eligible employees in regular positions, including those with UK HealthCare, will still receive bonus days on December 28, 29, 30 and 31. As with the official holidays on December 25 and January 1, bonus days may be taken any time within six weeks before or after in areas that require staffing during these days.

For campus academic year 2020-2021 the following holidays and days off will be observed:

  • Election Day, November 3, is a holiday as set by the state.
  • Thanksgiving Day – November 26 – and the next day, Friday, November 27, will be holidays.
  • December/January holidays and bonus days – Monday, December 21 - Friday, January 1.
  • Martin Luther King Day will be observed on Monday, January 18.
  • Memorial Day will be observed on Monday, May 31.
  • Juneteenth will be observed on Friday, June 18.
  • The July 4 holiday will be observed on Monday, July 5.

As in the past, staff must be employed in a regular position on or before October 25 to receive the bonus days. If you have questions regarding this schedule, you can call Human Resources, Employee Relations Office, at 859-257-8758. You can also go to this site — — which will be updated soon.

Thank you for your continued efforts and excellence during these challenging times for our university and our world.

Eli Capilouto

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.