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Academic Calendar Changes

Spring 2021 Term

Spring 2021 Semester to Proceed as Planned

The South Dakota Board of Regents agreed to maintain a spring semester calendar of 77 class days for the six public universities, with the academic term beginning Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, and concluding Friday, May 7, 2021. Read the full release for additional information.

2020 Fall Term

The South Dakota Board of Regents announced adjustments to the 2020 Fall Academic Calendar. Instruction will now begin Aug. 19 and on-campus instruction will be completed by Thanksgiving. Labor Day, Native American Day and Veterans Day will be used as class days to accommodate the 70-class day schedule. The university will work to plan programming to appropriately celebrate and recognize those holidays.

August 19, Wednesday– Start Date/Instruction Begins
August 28, Friday - Last day to drop or add and adjust final fees
August 29, Saturday - “W” grade begins
September 7, Monday – Labor Day (Class Day)
September 11, Friday - Last day to submit a graduation application for Fall 2020
October 9, Friday - First half Fall Term ends
October 12, Monday – Native American Day (Class Day)
October 14, Wednesday - Deficiency reports due by midnight
October 30, Friday - Last day to drop a course
November 11, Wednesday - Veterans’ Day (Class Day)
November 25, Wednesday - Non-Class Day
November 26-29, Thursday – Sunday - Thanksgiving Recess
November 30-December 1, Monday-Tuesday - No classes; Final Exam Preparation
December 2-8, Wednesday - Tuesday - Final exams (Online/Remote)
December 11, Friday - Grades due by midnight

Note: There is no Fall 2020 Commencement Ceremony

Employee FAQ's Regarding the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar Changes

The Board of Regents approved a compressed fall semester and three holidays - Labor Day (September 7), Native American Day (October 12) and Veterans’ Day (November 11) will be class days. This compressed calendar means that all categories of employees are scheduled to work during these dates and the holidays will be observed on different dates. The campus will be open, classes will be held and all services will be provided on September 7, October 12 and November 11.  The holidays are scheduled to be observed and campus will be closed on December 28, 29 and 30. Adjustments have been made to the timekeeping system.  

I do not work in an academic unit.  Does the reassignment of the three holidays apply to me?

Yes. The reassignment of holidays applies to all employees.

Is it allowable to not work the normal holidays and work December 28, 29 and 30?

No. Employees/Supervisors cannot select a different day to observe the holiday other than December 28, 29 and 30.

I am not eligible for holiday pay, am I able to work December 28, 29 and 30?

No. Campus will be closed December 28, 29 and 30. Only essential staff will be allowed to work December 28, 29 and 30.

If I had plans to not work on September 7, October 12 or November 11, can I still have the day off?

Yes. Employees may take properly approved annual leave, family leave (if appropriate), or properly approved leave without pay on September 7, October 12 and November 11.

I am a new hire and I do not have leave accrued, but need to be gone on September 7, October 12 or November 11. What type of leave do I take?

If leave balances are not sufficient, the employee would take properly approved leave without pay if they are not able to work September 7, October 12 or November 11.

I am planning to end employment on October 21. Will I get paid for Labor Day and Native American Day holidays?

Yes, because you will have earned the holiday pay on the date of the holiday.

If I am required to work December 28, 29 and 30, what pay will I receive?

Hourly or overtime eligible employees will be paid regular hours worked plus up to 8 hours per day of holiday pay if required to work December 28, 29 and 30. Salaried or overtime ineligible employees will receive their normal pay.

Will campus be open on December 31?

At this time, there has been no decision made regarding December 31.

Who is eligible for holiday pay?

All leave accruing employees are eligible for holiday pay. An employee must work one day or use a day of leave in the work week that a holiday falls to be eligible for holiday pay.

If I am properly deemed an essential employee for December 28, 29 and 30 and I am exempt from overtime (salaried) will I be able to take alternate days off?

Yes. If you are deemed essential, and you are required to work on any of those days, you will be able to take the same number of days off anytime during the same pay period after the 30. The alternate date(s) have to be approved by your supervisor to ensure continuity of operations.

How does this impact 9-month Faculty?

Faculty are considered essential employees for academic instruction and have been designated as such by the Board of Regents for the fall 2020 compressed academic calendar. The compressed academic calendar allows for a report date closer to the beginning of classes and transfers holidays observance to after the end of the class schedule. 9-month faculty continue to be compensated during this period of time and receive the observance of the holidays at the designated time. If a qualifying Faculty member discontinues employment after accruing holiday pay, they will be compensated appropriately during final compensation payout.