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Norman Programs Summer Off Option allows OU employees the summer off with changes to salary, benefits

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Human Resources Building

The Human Resources office located in the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory in Norman on June 14, 2016.

OU Human Resources announced the Norman Programs Summer Off Option for OU faculty members, providing the option to take off work each summer. 

OU Norman hourly employees are eligible to apply for the Summer Off Option, according to an OU HR press release. Summer Off employees leave work during summer break and return at the start of every fall semester, all while still receiving year-round insurance benefits. 

According to the OU HR website, the Summer Off Option, previously known as the 9 Month Staff program, comes with salary and benefits changes over the break.

While insurance coverage remains active, premiums are paid over 9 months instead of 12. During the break, Summer Off employees will not receive any paychecks, non-insurance paycheck deductions are halted, PTO and extended sick leave are both inaccessible and non-accruable, and employees are ineligible for holiday pay and unemployment.  

Despite these changes, OU employees remain eligible for full-time benefits. 

To apply, employees must fill out the application and send it to their supervisors. Supervisors must then submit the application to Debbie Barrett in HR Talent Acquisition & Compensation at her email address,, by May 28, 2021. 

According to the Summer Off Option policy, the dates for the Summer Off Option are set each year by HR and will vary. Employees can choose their exact dates with their supervisors so long as they fall between the set date range listed on the OU HR website.

For Summer 2021, the employee’s spring semester must end between April 24 and June 4, and their fall semester must begin between July 31 and August 14.

According to the website, it is important for staff members to consider the changes to their pay as well as their department’s staffing needs before applying. The Summer Off Option is presented only once, and those who choose to become Summer Off employees will remain as such unless they present an approved hiring freeze exemption form. 

According to the policy, the department itself can request for an employee to obtain a Summer Off position with the approval of the department vice president and central HR. These employees will be given at least 30 days notice before their position is changed.

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