Welcome to Inclement Weather Policy
(Effective Jan. 21, 2003; updated November 18, 2014)
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.
DETAILS ON ANNOUNCEMENTS
For the most timely notification of weather-related class cancellations or postponements, members of the University of Maine community are strongly encouraged to sign up for text and/or email message alerts (umaine.edu/emergency). Notifications are posted on the UMaine website and portal; in FirstClass folders (Announcements & Alerts; Provost/Academic Affairs and UMaine Forum); and on University of Maine Facebook and Twitter. These notification options are considered the most reliable options. Updates can be heard by calling 581.SNOW (1.800.581.SNOW outside the local area), with early morning notifications recorded by 6 a.m., and others made throughout the day. Local media also are notified of UMaine’s weather-related cancellations and postponements.
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 essential 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. 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.
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.
INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY DURING FINAL EXAMINATIONS
The following procedure will be followed to reschedule final examinations: exams will be rescheduled to Friday in the order in which they were canceled. For the fall semester, the first canceled block will be rescheduled to Friday 9:30, the second block to 12:15, the third to 2:45, the fourth to 5:30 and the fifth to 7:45. For example, if all finals on Monday were canceled they would be rescheduled to Friday in the same time blocks. If only Tuesday afternoon finals were canceled starting at 2:45, the three time blocks would be rescheduled to the first three blocks on Friday (9:30, 12:15, 2:45). Some finals are scheduled for the first three time blocks on Friday. In the event that the rescheduling of a canceled final conflicts with a previously scheduled final on Friday, the student should attend the originally scheduled final and make individual arrangements for the conflicting final. If the cancellation is on Friday, morning finals will be moved to the afternoon for a delayed opening and individual arrangements will need to be made if the University closes for the entire day.