To the University Community:
With the winter storm season approaching, we’d like to refresh your knowledge about UConn operations during inclement weather.
The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount. At the same time, the University has important teaching, research and service missions to carry out, and must maintain effective operations. With all due consideration to safety, the University’s goal is to maintain normal operations to the greatest extent possible.
We therefore make decisions about cancelling classes or curbing business operations very carefully, with full consideration of all available information about weather predictions and road conditions.
UConn completed a comprehensive update in recent years of its Emergency Closing Policy. We encourage you to review it carefully for details about how these decisions are made, expectations of employees, and other information.
The following guidance applies to all UConn locations except UConn Health.
How you’ll know the status of the University during inclement weather:
- In the rare cases when we determine it is necessary to cancel or delay classes, or to close business operations at the University, the community will be notified as quickly as possible.
- When storms occur overnight, we endeavor to make this notification by 5 a.m. Sometimes conditions change rapidly, however, and we may need to adjust decisions about class schedules and business operations on short notice.
- UConn’s Alert webpage (http://alert.uconn.edu) is the definitive source of information about the University’s operating status and should be your primary source.
- UConn community members at all locations, excluding UConn Health, are encouraged to also check the University’s 24-hour emergency closing information number: 860-486-3768.
- While the University makes 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.
What closes, what stays open:
- UConn acts accordingly if the governor closes state agencies, releases state employees from work, or restricts road travel due to weather conditions.
- Certain operations must continue even in severe weather, including public safety, residential and dining services, health services, animal care, facility maintenance, and other critical services.
- Decisions about whether to continue or cancel particular services, such as transportation, are made on a case-by-case basis depending on existing conditions and needs.
- The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, UConn Athletics, and other units that sponsor events and activities decide independently whether to continue or cancel their events and you should contact them directly with questions.
Who reports to campus, and when:
- Emergency Support Services/Essential Staff are expected to remain at or report to work as directed. Supervisors must make themselves aware of and follow the applicable policies and procedures for their units. Guidance in the closing policy will be particularly helpful in understanding these expectations.
- If the University has not announced a delay or cancellation of classes, faculty are expected to hold classes as scheduled.
- In exceptional circumstances when a faculty member determines that he or she is unable to travel safely to campus, the faculty member must notify his or her dean and department head, and must also notify all students in the class. Faculty must not, however, cancel class prior to the University’s decision about whether the University will alter its normal schedule.
- Faculty may elect to hold classes virtually using online methods at any time.
- 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.
Keep safety first when traveling:
- Always consider your safety first. Weather and road conditions may vary considerably across the state, so all members of the University community must evaluate the circumstances they face, plan extra time for their commute if necessary, and take other common sense measures.
- 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.
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 semester.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President
Scott A. Jordan
Executive Vice President for Administration and CFO