WVU issues weather reminders

December 5th, 2013

As that time of year has arrived when West Virginia frequently experiences snow or other inclement weather, it is helpful to remind students and employees about how West Virginia University approaches operational decisions.

Under WVU’s weather emergency procedures, the University Police officer in charge when snow or ice starts to accumulate is responsible for contacting campus officials and 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.

Rarely does the University close entirely, however there are times when classes may be delayed or canceled while the University remains open, said Narvel Weese, WVU’s vice president of administration and finance. In these cases, 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 decide to cancel classes or close the University, students and employees will be informed through many outlets, including:

• The WVU emergency text message system. (To sign up for the emergency message system, go to http://emergency.wvu.edu.)
WVU’s main Web page (http://www.wvu.edu).
• WVUToday (http://wvutoday.wvu.edu).
WVU Intranet (http://intranet.wvu.edu).
WVU’s mobile site (m.wvu.edu).
• E-News (e-mail announcements).
• Mountaineer Information Xpress (MIX).
• Traditional and social media such as @WVUToday, @WestVirginiaU, facebook, etc.

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.

Students and employees should use good judgment, though, in deciding whether to attend classes and/or exams or come to work, Weese said, based on the road and weather conditions in their individual locations.

Academic Affairs officials also 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. Supervisors should 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 scheduled semester close time, said Corey Farris, dean of students 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, unless the University is closed, 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.



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