A message from Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announcing new summer flex schedule

Dear members of the Vanderbilt University community:

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos (Vanderbilt University)

Every day, I have the privilege to talk about Vanderbilt’s amazing achievements with government and business leaders, funding agencies, alumni, donors, and prospective students and their parents. I share incredible stories about our students, our research, and our commitment to Vanderbilt’s mission—to educate, to cure, to discover, to serve.

Behind each one of those stories is you—the exceptional people who work at Vanderbilt.

In the past few years, Vanderbilt took on historic change by separating the university and its medical center into two distinct legal entities. Many of you contributed directly to that monumental effort, and all of you felt the impact of that change. Yet you continue to work tirelessly for our shared mission and to ensure that the transition is a success.

With the VU-VUMC separation behind us, we’ve immediately embarked on the next transformational challenge—SkyVU and its implementation.

I especially know we ask a lot of our staff. Vanderbilt’s success always has depended on staff, who bring their talents, energy, ideas and dedication to their work every day. For Vanderbilt to perform at its best, we must nurture the talented people who give so much of themselves. So when our pace allows some breathing room, such as during the summer for some of our areas, I want to offer the necessary time for staff to recharge their batteries.

We took the first step last year with our new winter break. Now we are taking another step with a flexible campus summer schedule.

Starting Friday, June 9, we are implementing a new summer flex schedule. On that Friday and every Friday for the rest of the summer, we are asking leaders across campus offices and work units to make every effort to close at noon, allowing staff to get an early jump on the weekend. Obviously, there are critical activities within various units that occur on Friday afternoons, so we are asking those managers to coordinate with their staff to identify, where possible, alternate flexible schedule options that work best for their specific situation.

The plan offers increased flexibility for staff, with the possibility of alternative summer schedules. While some areas of the university have had summertime flex arrangements in place for years, this new arrangement solidifies the Friday-afternoon option for the many units where the option makes sense.

We’ll initiate our summer schedule next week, and it will continue for 10 weeks. We will return to our regular operating schedule the week of Aug. 14. You can read more specifics about the plan in today’s MyVU.

I want you to know how much I appreciate all our faculty and staff and value your efforts. Vanderbilt is able to accomplish great things only because of you. I’m proud to work alongside you. I can never say “thank you” enough, and I hope this new flexibility expresses our gratitude for all that our staff do.


Nicholas S. Zeppos