Faculty and Staff Details

Updated Wednesday, August 6, 2020 at 4:09 p.m.

Many faculty and staff are looking for information regarding how best to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. First things first:

  1. Stay home if you are sick.
  2. Wash your hands!
  3. Practice social distancing.

In order to help accommodate schedules for employees to be out of the office, we have decided that for this fiscal year (2020-21) and next (2021-22), staff employees will receive five additional paid holidays but will have five fewer vacation days

2020-21 Holidays

Date Holiday
Fri, July 3, 2020 Day before Independence Day
Mon, Sept 7, 2020 Labor Day
Thu, Nov 26, 2020 Thanksgiving
Fri, Nov 27, 2020 Day after Thanksgiving
Dec 17-23, 2020 *Additional Christmas Holidays
Thu, Dec 24, 2020 Christmas Eve
Fri, Dec 25, 2020 Christmas Day
Dec 28-30, 2020 Christmas Holiday
Thu, Dec 31, 2020 New Year’s Eve
Fri, Jan 1, 2021 New Year’s Day
Fri, Mar 12, 2021 Friday of Lamoni Spring Break
Mon, May 31, 2021 Memorial Day

*Extra paid holidays in lieu of vacation days.

2021-22 Holidays

Date Holiday

Fri, July 2, 2021

Day before Independence Day

July 5-9, 2021

*Additional Summer Holidays

Mon, Sept 6, 2021

Labor Day

Thu, Nov 25, 2021

Thanksgiving Day

Fri, Nov 26, 2021

Day after Thanksgiving

Fri, Dec 24, 2021

Christmas Eve

Dec 27-30, 2021

Christmas Holiday

Fri, Dec 31, 2021

New Year’s Eve

Fri, Mar 11, 2022

Friday of Lamoni Spring Break

Mon, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day

In addition for 2021-22, one floating holiday will be added for all employees to be used with supervisor’s prior approval.  The 2021-22 holidays are subject to change based on the board-approved academic calendar.

*Extra paid holidays in lieu of vacation days.

Graceland has made a one-time exception to allow more than the normal 40 hours of carryover up to a maximum of 80 hours from 2019-20 to 2020-21.

Employees may use NL in their NL banks to cover their time away due to COVID-19 this fiscal year, or they may use vacation to cover time not worked due to COVID-19 (see more details on vacation and holidays above).

Please note that working remotely requires the following:

  1. Available technology (e.g., laptops, etc.),
  2. Software (e.g., virtual private network (VPN) capabilities),
  3. Tech Support to properly ready the equipment to be used off campus; and
  4. Reliable internet service where remote work will take place. 

Faculty: Faculty members may not work remotely, unless approved by their dean and the VPAA.

Staff: Staff have been directed to begin working on campus while continuing to follow all safety guidelines, including masks in all public or shared places and social distancing. Staff may work from home with an approved Work from Home plan signed by their supervisor and their direct vice president. For more information, contact your supervisor.

Unnecessary travel between the Independence and Lamoni campuses is strongly discouraged. Please use Zoom or Microsoft Teams if face-to-face communications are needed. Otherwise, phone and email should be your primary method of communication. 

No business travel will be allowed until further notice.

For faculty members

All faculty should refer to the Return to Learn plan, which provides guidance for academic expectations for the fall 2020 semester.

For staff members

Staff employees whose responsibilities allow may work remotely with a Work From Home plan that has been approved by an immediate supervisor and the Vice President over that area of responsibility.  

Most importantly, if you feel ill at all, please do not come in to work. We are keeping a close eye on the CDC's page for institutions of higher education on how best to proceed.

If you have further questions, talk with your direct supervisor.

Good practices for web-based meetings

For many of us, as many meetings and gatherings move online, this is a relatively new experience. Please pay attention to these best practices when it comes to the following:

  1. If you are not talking, please mute yourself. Please do not forget to unmute yourself when you wish to speak.
  2. The chat function is a good way to provide relevant comments to all participants, just the moderator, or to other select participants.
  3. Do not be scared of your webcam; even in a virtual environment, making eye contact is helpful.
  4. If you log in via computer AND you use your phone for audio, make sure you keep your computer muted the whole time or there will be significant feedback.

This page will be updated further as this situation develops.


techsupport@graceland.edu for your lower priority support needs.

Call 641.784.5400 for your higher priority support needs.

Tips for Remote Work for Employees

Most Graceland employees are not accustomed to working remotely. It is a totally different work environment. When you go to an office, you have a fairly rigid schedule and office setup. Remote work doesn’t have that unless you are intentional.

Graceland employees are encouraged to be intentional about designating uninterrupted work time, setting priorities about work projects, and being strategic about using your work time productively. Here are some tips:

  • For those things you find hardest to do because of their greater demand on mental capacity, do those earlier in the day or when you have uninterrupted time. For those things that require less mental energy (responding to emails, etc), save those for later in the day when you are naturally in a lower state of focus. If you do have a big meeting or project that needs greater mental focus, take a walk outdoors for 5 – 10 minutes to energize yourself prior to the meeting. It can help refresh your energy and focus.
  • Keeping a consistent schedule that is fairly close to your former office schedule can help. If you normally exercised before coming to the office in the morning, try to keep that routine even when working remotely.

  • Create dedicated home office space (if possible). Remove all obvious distractions as much as possible, for example if the dirty laundry is a distraction, put it somewhere else. Have all needed work supplies in your home office space. Close the door to your home office space, if possible. Turn off the TV. Turn on more lights (a brightly lit room is better for mental focus than a darker one).

  • Decide on which communication platforms you will use within your team. Increased communication while working remotely will help decrease frustration and uncertainty on work projects. Let your team know when you will and will not be working to avoid misunderstandings and perceptions of not working remotely.

  • Socialize (safely). Working remotely can be lonely so find creative ways to stay connected to teammates and family/friends. Have you tried Team Sites? Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Skype for Business – there are lots of options.

  • Stay professional. Continue to put on your typical work clothes even though no one may see you. It will keep you in a work mindset.

Here are some great websites with more tips:

23 Essential Tips for Working Remotely

5 Tips for Staying Productive and Mentally Healthy While You're Working From Home