With weather forecasts calling for continued or increased snow for West Virginia and the Northeast this weekend, West Virginia University administrators remind students and faculty who are traveling to exercise good judgment and common sense as they return to Morgantown for the resumption of classes on Jan. 11.

“Safety is our utmost concern,” Provost Michele Wheatly said this week, “so please check the weather forecast and road conditions in your respective areas—and in Morgantown—and use sound judgment as you travel back to campus for Monday classes.”

If students are unable to get back in time, they should be sure to contact their professors, either by phone or email, to alert them, she added. Similarly, faculty should stay in touch with chairs, colleagues and deans.

She also asks faculty to be understanding in responding to students facing delays.

Narvel Weese, WVU vice president for finance and administration, also reminded University employees to use caution on the roadways and to contact supervisors should they be unable to get to work over the weekend or into next week.

The Division of Human Resources reminds supervisors that employees who do not work their scheduled shift may take annual leave, compensatory time off or – at the supervisors’ discretion – be permitted to make up those hours. Employees with questions can call 304-276-0729.

Forecasts for the Morgantown area call for temperatures in the teens to mid-20s through Monday with a 30 to 60 percent chance of precipitation. Nearby areas have similar forecasts.

Under WVU’s weather emergency procedures, the University Police officer in charge when snow or ice starts to accumulate is responsible for contacting campus, local and state agencies to inquire about road conditions and weather forecasts.

Any decision to delay or cancel classes – or to close the University – will then be made after several University officials have consulted on the condition of campus roads and grounds as well as conditions in the Monongalia County vicinity.

There is a difference in closing the University and delaying or canceling classes, Weese said. Rarely does the University close entirely; however, there are times when classes may be delayed or canceled. Even then, he noted, many units remain operational such as dining and residence hall services, roads and grounds crews and others. Units such as these are reminded to review their emergency internal operating procedures.

“A lot of thought goes into these types of decisions related to adverse weather conditions – from watching weather forecasts and checking with other agencies to making and announcing the decision,” Weese said. “And we will act quickly in the event of a weather emergency based on the health and safety of our students and employees.”

If officials do agree to delay or cancel classes, the University will inform students and employees through many outlets, including the WVU emergency text message system, WVU’s main Web page (http://www.wvu.edu), WVUToday (http://wvutoday.wvu.edu) and Intranet, E-News (e-mail announcements) and Mountaineer Information Xpress (MIX). To sign up for the emergency message system, go to http://emergency.wvu.edu.

Announcements also will be made through various media outlets.

University residence halls will reopen at noon Saturday, Jan. 9.



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