RE: Montana University System Office Hours

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 3, 2014


This directive applies to all main campus offices and to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education.

Campus and OCHE offices must be open Monday through Friday at all times of the year in accordance with Montana law at Section 2-16-117, Office Hours, which provides:

Unless otherwise provided by law, state executive branch offices must be open for the transaction of business continuously from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day except on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Each office must also be open at other times as the accommodation of the public or the proper transaction of business requires.

Except when the Board of Regents has made a change of holidays or working arrangements a matter of university system priority (such as trading Columbus Day for the day after Thanksgiving), this law must be considered to be effective as to the public offices operated by the units of the Montana University System.

Rolling all incoming calls over to one staffed phone, or assigning one individual or skeleton crew to staff the entire campus on a Friday, does not meet the intention of Montana law as stated above. It is of course appropriate to approve individual vacation requests during the summer, however campus and OCHE managers must begin with the assumption that offices are open during business hours on all working days throughout the year and make appropriate staffing decisions from there.

It is not necessarily a violation of state law or this policy for a cashier’s office, for example, to stop cashing checks at a point late in the day in order that employees may balance the books for that day before 5:00, but such limitations on the public’s ability to do business should be limited to the maximum extent possible and such limitations should be posted. The office must still be open as required in this policy, even if services are limited to some extent during some hours.

Clayton T. Christian
Commissioner of Higher Education

Commissioner's directives are official interpretations and guidance issued by the Commissioner of Higher Education; they remain in effect as system directives until withdrawn or revised by the Commissioner or superseded by action of the Board of Regents.