The following letter was sent Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, to the University community to explain how decisions are made about UConn operations during inclement weather, and to help address specific questions.
UConn’s academic, research, and service missions require it to be open for regular operations at all times, deviating from that procedure only in unusual circumstances. In those cases, the University will notify faculty, staff, and students of specifics through the process outlined in this letter.
To: The University community
From: Mun Y. Choi, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
& Richard D. Gray, Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer
Re: Early Releases, Delays, or Closings Due to Inclement Weather
As the season of winter storms is upon us, we would like to refresh your knowledge about University operations during inclement weather. The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount. At the same time, the University has important research, teaching, and service missions to carry out, and must maintain effective operations. We therefore make decisions about canceling classes, closing early, opening late, or closing altogether very carefully, with full consideration of all available information about weather predictions and road conditions.
The university’s business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, there are regularly scheduled evening classes and other activities. When the weather is inclement, our decisions about continuing normal operations are guided by the Governor. If the Governor decides to close state agencies, release state employees, or restrict travel on roadways, we will act accordingly.
At all times, students, staff, and faculty must consider their own safety when deciding whether to travel to and from campus. Weather and road conditions may vary considerably across the state, so all members of the University community must evaluate the circumstances they face. Even when the University remains open for business, individuals may appropriately decide not to come to campus or to leave campus early.
In these situations, employees may use a vacation day, personal time, or other accrued time without advance approval, but they must notify their supervisors that they are doing so. Emergency support services employees must report to work as directed. Supervisors should follow the applicable contract language and relevant policies for such situations.
If the University is open, faculty are expected to hold classes as scheduled. Faculty members scheduled to teach who decide it is unsafe for them to travel to campus must notify their students as soon as possible that their class is cancelled.
Faculty should respect the decisions of commuting students who decide not to travel to campus, or to leave class early in order to get home safely, and provide options for them to make up missed work.
Students should contact their professors as soon as possible if they must miss a class or other activity due to weather conditions.
In the rare cases we decide it is necessary to close early, open late, cancel classes, or close the University, we will notify the community as quickly as possible. When storms occur overnight, we will endeavor to make this notification by 5 a.m., well ahead of the usual University opening hour of 8 a.m. Sometimes conditions change rapidly, however, and we may need to adjust decisions about closures.
The Alert webpage (http://alert.uconn.edu) is the definitive source of information about the University’s operating status and should be your primary source. There is also a 24-hour emergency closing information number: 860-486-3768. While we make every effort to notify the news media about operating changes at UConn’s campuses, we cannot guarantee that details provided by news outlets represent the most current or complete information.
Certain operations on some campuses must continue uninterrupted even in severe weather, including public safety, residential and dining services, health services, and facility maintenance. Decisions about whether to continue or cancel other services, such as transportation, are made on a case-by-case basis.
The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, UConn Athletics, and other units that sponsor activities decide independently whether to continue or cancel their events, and you should contact them directly with questions.
The University continues to emphasize the paramount importance of safety. Faculty, staff, and students should evaluate their own circumstances carefully, exercise appropriate judgment, and take responsibility for their safety when making decisions during inclement weather.
We wish you a productive Spring semester.