OTTAWA -- Carleton University is giving staff and faculty July 2 and 3 off work to express appreciation and gratitude for their work during the academic year.

In a message to staff and faculty, President and Vice Chancellor Benoit-Antoine Bacon acknowledges the winter term was a challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's an understatement that the past three months have been challenging. Our entire institution and indeed our whole lives have been disrupted," writes Bacon. 

"Without your commitment, creativity and hard work, it would not have been possible to pivot with flexibility and compassion to complete the winter term, to quickly offer a fantastic summer term online, and to make appropriate plans towards a successful fall. Thank You!"

Carleton University cancelled in-person classes on March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the remainder of the winter term was completed online.

Bacon tells the faculty that, "in appreciation and gratitude for everything you do everyday for Carleton, July 2 and 3 will be Appreciation Day Holidays (days off) for faculty and staff."

Employees who have already booked those days off will not need to record them as annual leave.

Summer courses scheduled on July 2 and 3 and fall registration will proceed as planned, and Bacon says employees who need to work can discuss alternative dates for the Appreciation Day Holidays with their managers.

Bacon is encouraging all staff and faculty to take "significant time off this summer as we need to recharge."

"The academic year ahead will be challenging as well, and it is essential that we all take a break."