Welcome to Inclement Weather Policy
(Effective Jan. 21, 2003; updated March 1, 2013)
Because class time at the university level is so valuable and because an overwhelming majority of UMaine students live either on campus or very nearby, class cancellations attributable to inclement weather should be very rare. However, since there are occasions when extraordinary weather conditions may cause cancellation of classes for a brief period of time, it is prudent and necessary that the university have in place a clear and effective policy for handling such situations. It should be noted that, as a residential community, UMaine is never “closed”; instead, classes are canceled.
DEPARTMENTAL STORM DAY STAFFING PLANS
Each UMaine department is expected to develop a Storm Day Staffing Plan (SDSP). Each SDSP should be subject to review and approval by the unit’s vice president. The plan will inform each employee of his or her obligation to report to work in the event of a cancellation or postponement of classes. The plan should take into account the staffing levels necessary to operate the university in a safe and efficient manner for those students who are on campus. A copy of each department’s SDSP should be on file with the dean, director or department head.
STORM DAY OPERATING POLICY WITH CLASSES IN SESSION
A decision about whether to cancel or postpone daytime classes will be made by the president or designee by 6 a.m. and will be announced on a recorded message at 581.SNOW. A decision about evening classes will be announced the same way by 2 p.m. In accordance with each department’s SDSP, all essential personnel are expected to report to work. Administrative leave will be granted to those employees who are not designated as essential for storm day operations. Sample 581.SNOW recorded message in this situation: Today is xxx and University of Maine classes are canceled from xxx until xxx. Employees should refer to their department’s Storm Day Staffing Plan to determine if they are expected to work. UMaine is expected to return to normal operations, including classes, at xxx.
STORM DAY OPERATING POLICY WITH CLASSES NOT IN SESSION
A decision regarding operations when classes are not in session will be communicated the same way as in the above section. Offices will be open as needed, but may operate with reduced staffing. Each department should determine the minimum staffing needs and inform those employees expected to work under the department’s SDSP. Employees who work will be compensated according to the provisions of their labor agreement and nonrepresented employees will be compensated under the applicable policy. Administrative leave will be granted to those employees who are not designated as essential for storm day operations. Sample 581.SNOW recorded message in this situation: Today is xxx and a storm day operating situation is in effect from xxx to xxx.Employees should refer to their department’s Storm Day Staffing Plan to determine if they are expected to work. UMaine is expected to return to normal operations at xxx. If you are uncertain whether a scheduled University of Maine activity is occurring during this time, please call the contact number listed for that particular event.
DETAILS ON ANNOUNCEMENTS
While a decision to cancel or postpone classes will be communicated to television and radio stations, members of the UMaine community are strongly encouraged to call 581.SNOW (1.800.581.SNOW outside the local area) when there is a question about whether classes will be held. The telephone option is considerably more timely and reliable than the media option. Except in a case where a widespread power outage makes it impossible, an announcement will also be placed in the following FirstClass folders: Provost/Academic Affairs, Announcements & Alerts and UMaine Forum. Except in a case where a widespread power outage makes it impossible, an announcement will also be posted on umaine.edu and available on UMaine’s News (umaine.edu/news) Facebook page and Twitter feed. Anyone signed up for umaine.txt (umaine.edu/emergency/umaine-txt-registration) will receive a text message alert.