Barring the declaration of a state of emergency or extreme local weather conditions, West Virginia University will remain open during periods of inclement weather, officials say.
Students and employees should use good judgment, though, in deciding whether to attend classes and/or finals or come to work based on the road and weather conditions in their individual locations, said Narvel Weese, WVU’s vice president of administration and finance.
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 cancel classes – or to close the University or a regional campus or office—will then be made after several University officials have consulted on the condition of campus roads and grounds as well as conditions in the vicinity.
There is a difference in closing the University and 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, libraries and others. Units such as these are reminded to review their emergency internal operating procedures.
If officials do agree to 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, WVU’s mobile site (m.wvu.edu), E-News (e-mail announcements), Mountaineer Information Xpress (MIX) and traditional and social media.
In the event of a cancellation, WVUToday will be updated regularly with notices about special operating hours for facilities such as the Libraries, Student Recreation Center, Mountainlair and PRT and buses.
To sign up for the emergency message system, go to http://emergency.wvu.edu.
“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.”
Academic Affairs officials would like to remind students and employees to exercise good judgment when venturing out.
“Students should notify their professors, and employees their supervisors if they are unable to come to class or work,” Provost Michele Wheatly said. “In return, professors and supervisors are asked to be understanding in these instances and consult with department chairs or Human Resources officials if questions arise.”
Faculty are also encouraged to notify their students in the event of an individual class cancelation, she added.
Elizabeth A. Dooley, associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs, urged students to email their instructors immediately if it becomes evident they cannot make it in for a final or a class.
In addition, if severe weather strikes the East Coast, WVU Housing is prepared to remain open beyond the scheduled semester close time, said Corey Farris, interim dean of student affairs and director of housing.
Announcements regarding University housing will be posted to MIX and the housing website (http://housing.wvu.edu/) as well as other University outlets.
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. To access that policy go to: http://classcomp.hr.wvu.edu/resourcesandguidelines/inclement_weather_emergency_closures.