Special paid leave granted to flood victims in Vanderbilt community

As part of Vanderbilt University’s broad efforts to assist in Middle Tennessee’s flood recovery, up to two weeks paid leave is being granted to faculty, staff and trainees whose personal residences were destroyed or otherwise rendered uninhabitable on May 1-2. The paid time off will be over and above accrued vacation or personal time.

“As the flood waters recede, our time to assist members of the Vanderbilt community who have been personally affected by this tragedy is just now beginning,” said Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos. “While the paid leave measure is but one step toward addressing the losses of those hit most severely by the flood, we hope that it can in some measure help ease their recovery.”

Vanderbilt, which employs more than 3,100 full-time faculty and a staff of more than 23,000 is the second largest Tennessee-based employer in the state and the largest private employer in Middle Tennessee. Vanderbilt’s employees come from 67 counties in Tennessee and 41 in Kentucky. So far, an assessment set up for Vanderbilt employees shows that more than 400 employees have sustained major damage from the flood.

Several assistance efforts are under way at Vanderbilt. “Personal stories of losses suffered by our colleagues and their families, and of our trainees, are heartbreaking. Yet we serve an institution that is at its very best during times of challenge and sorrow,” Zeppos said.

While the immediate focus of the university’s flood relief efforts is on its employees in need, other community-wide assistance is also under way, including working with volunteer organizations like Hands on Nashville .

The remaining tickets to the Vanderbilt Commodores’ May 11 baseball game with Louisville are being offered free of charge, with all fans encouraged to make monetary contributions to the Nashville Red Cross and/or food and water donations to Second Harvest Food Bank to help victims of flooding in Nashville. Approximately 1,300 tickets will be distributed beginning 8:30 a.m. May 11 at the McGugin Center box office.

On Friday, Vanderbilt’s employees offered free items to the community at a flood relief giveaway in the Student Life Center ballroom. Items donated by its employees, including clothing, linens, toiletries, food, bottled water and cleaning supplies, were offered to those affected by the flood. Any items not collected were donated to local charitable organizations assisting in the flood relief.

In addition, Vanderbilt has established a website called ” Vanderbilt Helping Vanderbilt: Flood Assistance Network ,” for Vanderbilt employees who need to replace items destroyed or damaged in the flood, and for employees who were not affected to post items they want to donate. A flood information site has also been established at www.vanderbilt.edu/flood .

Media contact: Missy Pankake, (615) 322-NEWS

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