You are here: American University President Announcements May 18, 2021

AU Memo Letterhead

Dear AU Community,

As we continue to celebrate our graduates through in-person and online commencement activities, the achievements of our students and the pride of family and friends shine brightly. But equally evident is the dedication and commitment of our AU faculty and staff, whose hard work and creativity advanced our mission, supported our students, and helped bring us to our rapidly accelerating ramp-up of in-person opportunities. Thank you to our more than 3,000 team members who protected the health and safety of our community and never wavered in our commitment to the highest quality education, research, and support for our students, all while dealing with the personal challenges imposed by the pandemic’s impact. Your work has made all the difference in this most challenging of years, and it has been deeply appreciated by me, the university’s entire leadership team, and the Board of Trustees.

I am excited to announce two important opportunities to honor all that that you have achieved throughout the last year. We are taking these steps in deep appreciation of you and your incredible achievements and sacrifices on behalf of AU and our students.  

First, to recognize your hard work in so many areas over the past year, we will restart the university’s matching contribution to employee retirement accounts on July 1, a month ahead of schedule. Thanks to careful fiscal management and work across the university to support our enrollment and retention efforts, we will resume these contributions which we know are an important part of your financial well-being. If you have questions about the retirement match, please email

We know the sacrifice that our teams made to help with the past year’s financial challenges, and the opportunity to resume the matching contribution benefit is an important way to share our appreciation. Additionally, the annual merit pool will resume for the September compensation increases that follow completion of the performance management process (PMP). Further details on the PMP and merit pool will be available in the coming weeks. These are important milestones that mark the continued thriving and forward trajectory of the entire university.

Second, we know how important and well-deserved rest is for our teams, particularly as we all seek to recharge over the summer, and we want to provide our community with some upcoming opportunities. As part of Staff Appreciation Week, the university will be closed on Friday, June 11. The university will also be closed on Friday, July 2 for a long Fourth of July holiday (in addition to the regularly scheduled day off on July 5). We know some staff will still work on these days in support of key university functions, and as we have done in the past, additional steps will be taken to provide overtime pay or alternate days off consistent with our policies to these employees. I hope these breaks offer time to enjoy your favorite activities, reflect on all you have accomplished this year, visit with family or friends, or just find the moments of peace that we all need.

Thank you for a successful spring semester and a year of answering great challenges. Our ongoing collective work to maintain financial discipline, support the retention and enrollment of our current and future students, and advance our strategy helped us arrive at these great outcomes and remains a key priority. I am looking forward to the exciting times ahead when we are together on campus, working towards the change that we know can’t wait.

Be safe and be well.