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Emergency Closing Announcements

 

A. Consistent with USM 170.0 VI-12.00-Policy on Emergency Conditions: Cancellation of Classes and Release of Employees, the University President has the authority to cancel or otherwise modify class and work schedules because of emergency conditions that may arise because of inclement weather, fire, power failure, civil disorder or other unusual circumstances which may endanger students or employees.

B. Safety is always the number one priority relative to opening or closing announcements, and we endeavor to make those announcements in a timely fashion.  In the Mid-Atlantic region trying to get a handle on the weather is always problematic.  The snow totals can range from 1 inch in the west to 11 inches in the south and east.  The decision to close or delay during periods of inclement weather is not taken lightly; local and regional forecasts are consulted, condition of state roads, as reported by the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Maryland State Police, and the Baltimore City Office of Emergency Management are evaluated prior to making a decision about modifying class and work schedules.  Moreover, announcements of other area colleges and universities about their own plans are also reviewed and discussed by administrators.  In addition, conditions involving the safety and availability of university parking facilities and the condition of the streets adjacent to the university are also assessed.  Administrators recognize that weather conditions 20 miles west of UB could be quite different than conditions at the campus.  Nevertheless, the final decision rests with the University's goal of accommodating as many of its campus members as possible on a given day.  

Our hope is that all of our students, faculty and staff will use their own best judgment about the relative safety of their commute. That is UB's primary concern. Our expectation is that faculty will understand when the weather is less that cooperative, and will allow those students who decide not to come to campus the opportunity to make up for missed classes or assignments. 

C. Decisions to cancel or otherwise modify class and work schedules because of emergency weather conditions will be made by the University President after consulting with:
• Provost
• Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance
• Chief of Police

D. University administrators understand the importance of making every effort to decide, in a timely fashion, whether to cancel or otherwise modify class and work schedules as the result of weather or other emergency events.

E. Official university closing announcements can only be found at:
• University's text messaging system;
• University’s e-mail system;
• University’s Web page; and
• Emergency Notification line at 410.837.4201

F. Closing notifications shall also be posted to the following organizations. Campus members are reminded that announcements in the media are NOT official notifications.  See "E" above for official list of notification sources.  Notifications include, but are not limited to:  

  1. Baltimore area radio and TV stations: WBAL Radio 11 (1090 AM/ 97.9 FM), WCAO/WXYV (600 AM/103 FM), WLIF (101.9 FM), WCBM (680 AM), WMIX (106.5 FM), WQSR (102.7 FM), WFSI (107.9 FM-Annapolis), WBAL-TV (11), WJZ-TV (13) and WMAR-TV (2), WBFF-FOX TV (45)
  2. Washington area radio and TV stations WTOP (1500 AM/ 103.5 FM), WGMS (104.1 FM) and WTTG-FOX TV (5).

G. Essential personnel are expected to report when the University is closed due to emergencies. Be guided by the directions of your supervisors.

H. Staff and faculty members with questions about this protocol should request clarification from their immediate supervisors or the Office of Human Resources.

I. The University does not make announcements about individual department or program activities.

  1. Departments wishing to communicate cancellation information about specific activities are encouraged to set up their own notification systems, such as recorded telephone messages or telephone trees.
  2. Off-campus groups having business or events on campus should be informed by their on-campus contacts how cancellation information will be disseminated and develop their own notification system.

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