With most weather forecasts predicting snow for the Morgantown area over the next several days, West Virginia University administrators remind students and employees of the University’s approach to operational decisions in inclement weather.
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. Please note that a declaration of a weather emergency by the governor does not automatically close WVU campuses or offices.
WVU Extension Services will follow its internal inclement weather policy, which can be found at http://humanresources.ext.wvu.edu/inclement-weather-policy.
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, including 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/signup.)
- WVU’s main Web page (http://www.wvu.edu).
- WVUToday (http://wvutoday.wvu.edu).
- WVU’s mobile site (m.wvu.edu).
- Mountaineer E-News (e-mail announcements).
- Mountaineer Information Xpress (MIX).
- Traditional and social media such as @WVUToday and @WestVirginiaU on Twitter or WVUMountaineers on 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 Joyce McConnell said. “In return, we ask professors and supervisors to be understanding in these instances. Supervisors should consult with department chairs or Human Resources officials if questions arise.”
McConnell also urges faculty to notify their students in the event of an individual class cancellation. “We don’t want students out on the road trying to make it to a class that is not being held,” she said.
Dooley also reminded faculty that in September the Faculty Senate approved an optional “Adverse Weather Commitment” that can be included in course syllabi stressing safety and reminding students of procedures in dealing with weather-related attendance issues.
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.
If they haven’t already done so, supervisors should inform their staff members who are considered emergency personnel during a facility closure that they would be expected to report to work during a facility/campus closure if at all possible.
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