The U is apparently instituting a voluntary leave of absence program to free up money during the state shutdown.
I've got calls in to get details on this.
For now, here are some details from what appears to be the application form:
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Due to the temporary suspension of funding caused by a potential or actual shutdown of the State of Minnesota, the University is offering this limited opportunity for affected employees to take a voluntary leave of absence.
During such voluntary leave of absence, employees participating in this program may reduce their percentage of work effort to as low as zero, for a specified period of time, and continue to receive health, dental, and life insurance benefits as though continuing to work their current percentage of appointment.
In addition, employees who take a period of voluntary leave under this program would continue to accrue seniority, vacation, and sick leave as if continuing to work their normal work schedule.
Only employees whose funding is specifically affected by the state shutdown are eligible. This is a tool to avoid layoff or nonrenewal of employees by providing benefit continuation during an unpaid leave of absence, freeing up salary dollars so that units may avoid a layoff in a temporary shutdown situation.