Policy 1102
University Holidays

Date of Current Revision: November 2016
Primary Responsible Officer: Director of Human Resources


This policy provides the method for determining the holiday schedule for James Madison University each calendar year.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia § 23.1-1600. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.


The above authority allows the university to establish the holiday schedule each calendar year, to correspond with the number of holidays given to all state employees. Also see DHRM Policy 4.25-Holidays and Code of Virginia section 2.2-3300.


Employee Advisory Committee
An advisory committee, reporting to the president, that was established to foster open, honest and productive communication between employees and the university administration, with an emphasis on matters of concern to all employees.

Personal Leave Day
Eight hours of personal leave is granted to all classified employees on January 10 of every leave year (or the first day of employment for new hires). The personal leave day must be used by January 9 of the leave year or will be lost. The personal leave day must be used in the full eight-hour increment. Unused hours are not paid out upon separation. 

University Holiday
A date on which the university is officially closed for normal business and is designated by the Code of Virginia to be observed as paid time off for full-time employees. For full-time employees, a holiday equals eight hours and a half-day holiday equals four hours.


The holiday schedule is applicable to all members of the university community, except those required to perform necessary maintenance and services during times when the university is officially closed (i.e., designated employees).


The president shall sign into effect each calendar year a schedule of official university holidays.
The schedule shall include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, and a Winter break. Each leave year (January 10-January 9) the university also grants an eight-hour Personal Leave Day for eligible employees.


  • Each fall, the director of human resources will create a proposal for the university’s holidays in the succeeding calendar year.

  • The proposal will be forwarded to the Employee Advisory Committee for review.

  • Following review by the Employee Advisory Committee, the director of human resources will forward the proposal to the senior-leadership team for review, edit and approval.

  • The resulting list of university holidays will be sent to the president for final review and approval - normally by early November.

  • The university holidays are posted on the Human Resources website.

  • If additional holiday hours or days are granted by the governor, the same process will be followed in determining the assignment of those additional hours or days.


The director of human resources is responsible for the initial proposal of holidays, coordinating the proposal through the above process and for communicating the upcoming year's holiday schedule to the university community.

The Employee Advisory Committee is responsible for reviewing the proposed holiday schedule.

The senior-leadership team is responsible for initial review and approval of the proposed holiday schedule.

The president is responsible for approving the final holiday schedule for the upcoming year.




If the governor of the commonwealth declares a state holiday for all state employees, such a declaration will be put into effect and the director of human resources will take the appropriate steps to notify the university community.


The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president and is generally delegated to the director of human resources.

Previous version: March 2012
Approved by the president: May 2002

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