The Utah Board of Higher Education recently approved adding Juneteenth to university calendars, following the creation of the state and federal holiday that sets aside June 19 as a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.
Because June 19 falls on a Sunday this year, the University of Utah will observe the paid holiday on Monday, June 20. As with other holidays, faculty and staff will have the day off, but University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics (UUHC) operations will continue as scheduled to ensure continuity of patient care. UUHC holiday pay and usage details are outlined on Pulse.
Next year, and going forward, classes will not take place on the holiday, however, because of the timing of this new development, the holiday was not included in the academic calendar for this summer.
As a result, this year, classes will take place on June 20 at the discretion of professors, with the encouragement that class should be canceled.
The creation of the holiday has a significant history. In 2021, Congress approved Juneteenth as a new federal holiday, honoring June 19, 1865, the day that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned of their emancipation. The Utah Legislature passed a bill this last session that added Juneteenth as a state holiday.
Plans are in the works to have celebrations on campus in honor of the holiday. More information about those events will be forthcoming from Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion.
Going forward, and for all future years, this holiday will be included as part of our regular holiday schedule.