University of Michigan
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April 25, 2019

U-M reduces operations, cancels Monday classes and events

February 1, 2015

U-M reduces operations, cancels Monday classes and events

Topic: Campus News

 Classes and all events through 6 p.m. Monday have been canceled on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus as the university reduced operations because of the heavy snowfall.

Day and afternoon classes also have been canceled at UM-Dearborn, and day and evening classes are canceled at UM-Flint. All U-M Health System patient care facilities remain open.

"Snowfall totals of 12-18 inches with high winds are making the roads dangerous, especially for the many faculty, staff and students who live outside the city of Ann Arbor," said Eddie Washington, executive director of the Division of Public Safety and Security in making the recommendation to President Mark Schlissel.

Campus crews worked throughout the day Sunday and will continue to work overnight and through the day Monday to keep campus roadways and sidewalks clear.

With reduced operations, only critical employees are expected to make every reasonable effort to report to work if operations are being maintained in the employee's unit, or unless notified otherwise by the university.

Employees with questions about their status of whether they are required to report to work are advised to contact their unit supervisor for clarification.

Additional information is available at vpcomm.umich.edu/pa/key/severeweatherops.html.

Comments

Ann Travis
on 2/02/15 at 9:18 am

I am so proud to work for U-M right now! Way to go! Last year, I had many times where I drove to work despite the extreme circumstances and recall crying to and from work scared for my life. As a non exempt employee we have very limited vacation days and I had already planned a summer vacation using the days I had acquired (which for as hard as work we need one vacation to stay alive!) furthermore my department at the time did not allow us to work from home. It was truly awful and some of the worst days I had on the job. This closing not only makes me feel cared for by my employer, but also makes me so proud to see a change in the policy and how U-M responds to these weather emergencies. Hail!

Doug Kelbaugh
on 2/02/15 at 10:28 am

"Better safe than sorry" is usually a wise policy, but let's also beware of the "nanny state" that overdoes precaution.
It will no doubt be difficult to find make-up time for the thousands of missed lectures, classes and seminars - all at the students' loss. Perhaps there's a way to continue our pedagogic mission with a more selective cancellation policy. Is there a middle ground that maintains enough staff to keep teaching classes while cancelling other less essential activities and duties?

The crystal ball can be as snowy as the weather, and it's clearly difficult to make such a call far enough in advance to be effective, but from my window and windshield, it looks like the U may have over-reacted this time.

With weather (and other dangerous events) tending to get more extreme, societies will no doubt need to recalibrate their risk aversion. In our case, we will otherwise pay a bigger educational cost for erring on the side of precaution.

marianne mchugh
on 2/03/15 at 8:42 am

For classes that are canceled why don't the instructors have a webinar for that day. Have it set-up a head of time in case this happens for any inclement weather. You have all the student emails addresses.

Roseanna Griffith
on 2/04/15 at 6:10 pm

Mr. Kelbaugh,

I understand your concern about lost lectures, classes and seminars as this is a educational institution. I would think that most professors have a contingency plan in place to allow for closures.

I am one of the staff members that have been deemed a "critical employee". Therefore I should have been to work on Monday. I wasn't. Why - I had over 1.5' of snow in my driveway (accumulation total) which was shoveled many times (this didn't mean my car was going up the hill I live on), and my road was not plowed by the county until 2:30 p.m. on Monday. Your windshield and window must only live minutes from campus whereas on a good day I live an hour away.

Did the University over react - NO! The University weighed the pro's and con's on closure versus staying open and based on previous years where they made the choice to stay open showed them that they are inviting injury into the mix of taking care of the campus. I give Kudos to the Regents and President in making a choice of safety over risk and allowing crews to remove the snow without constantly worrying about students, faculty and staff in their way. None of this adds up to being a "nanny state" as the Univeristy will not close at the drop of a snowflake - it takes at least a 1.5'.

Mary Burton
on 2/02/15 at 1:13 pm

This seems like a much more rational response to a snowstorm. If you are not essential staff, it makes much more sense to allow people to either work from home or take a vacation day.

Perhaps a few accidents have been prevented, not only car accidents but falls and injuries from traveling by foot. I got to work but have the luxury of catching a bus two blocks away.

Most staff cannot afford to live in Ann Arbor so have to travel from farther away.

Jill B
on 2/02/15 at 7:32 pm

Thank you! I wouldn't have been able to make it in because my neighborhood has STILL not been plowed. I appreciate not having to burn a vacation day today. Hopefully the plows will come through tonight so I can make it to work tomorrow!

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