Date Established: 6/29/2017
Date Last Updated:
Administration and Governance
UB Emergency Management
Vice President for Finance and Administration
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During adverse weather, the university follows a decision making process to change scheduled operations and will make a timely announcement to cancel or delay classes and events, allow an early departure for employees, or conduct operations as usual.
The University at Buffalo (UB, university) recognizes that adverse weather conditions, including winter weather, can impact university operations. The safety of students, employees, visitors, and guests is a primary concern in making any weather-related decision about campus operations. While every attempt is made to maintain scheduled operations, it may be necessary to change scheduled operations when adverse weather conditions occur. In such circumstances, the President or designee may make a decision to change scheduled operations resulting in class cancellations, class delays, an early departure*, or a closing*.
* Only the governor can officially declare that the University at Buffalo is closed or direct early departure and only the governor can authorize employees to remain away from work without charge to leave accruals. A declaration of emergency, even by the governor, does not automatically mean the closure of the university.
A recommendation to the President to remain open or to cancel or delay classes and events will be made with sufficient time to notify the campus community as follows:
If there is an opportunity to assess the situation and potential impact of adverse weather conditions, advance notice will be issued before any actions resulting from a change in scheduled operations are required. Likewise if conditions change rapidly, a more time sensitive recommendation and decision process will take place.
The decision to cancel or delay classes or events, or issue an early departure is based on numerous factors and input from the Emergency Planning Oversight Committee, including officials from departments responsible for student life and safety, academic scheduling, emergency management, athletics, human resources, facilities operations, and campus infrastructure. The Emergency Planning Oversight Committee monitors and discusses current weather conditions and forecasts throughout the region, road conditions both on and off campus, scheduled academic and extracurricular activities, and circumstances which may affect a particular region or campus (North, South, or Downtown).
During the decision making process, the Emergency Planning Oversight Committee considers information issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) Buffalo Office (including announcements of a weather advisory, watch, or warning), current and expected campus conditions, and all scheduled classes, events, and activities.
Based on information considered during the decision making process, including conditions that may affect a particular region or campus, the Emergency Planning Oversight Committee will recommend activation of one or more of the following change in scheduled operations options:
|Change in Scheduled Operations Options
|All Classes and Events Canceled||
All classes and events are canceled. Weather conditions are severe enough to threaten the safety of the campus community. As the situation improves, this restriction will be altered, as necessary, to resume scheduled operations.
Only those individuals designated as essential personnel should report to work.
Scheduled performing arts or athletic events may or may not be affected by this announcement. Ticketholders are advised to check with the sponsoring unit of a public event.
|Classes and Events Delayed||
All classes and events are delayed for a specific time period based on current conditions and forecasts.
Essential personnel should report for work if conditions allow.
|Early Departure for Employees||
Weather conditions have deteriorated to the point where transportation and health and safety of employees may be jeopardized.
Employees should not be required to leave, but instead permitted to leave then or any time after the early departure announcement is made.
|Classes and Campus Operations Conducted as Usual||
All classes and events will continue as scheduled, but officials will continuously monitor campus conditions and communicate any changes as necessary.
Although the university is open during periods of adverse conditions, supervisors and department chairs may alter work schedules to make allowances for unique travel problems.
Services related to the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and guests, and the security and maintenance of facilities are essential and must continue in spite of adverse conditions. Departments should conduct a detailed analysis of their services and determine which services must continue during adverse weather conditions. The determination of essential services and personnel may vary depending on the adverse weather conditions and its impact on communities in western New York.
Departments may also determine, based on the impact of the weather conditions, which employees are essential. Departments may approve an alternate work arrangement (e.g., telecommuting) to support university activity and meet the business needs of a department during adverse weather.
In accordance with New York State policy, employee absences resulting from any change in scheduled operations including class cancellations, early departures, and closings must be charged to appropriate leave accruals. An employee who does not have sufficient leave accruals may borrow from future accruals. Only the governor can officially declare that the University at Buffalo is closed or direct an early departure and only the governor can authorize employees to remain away from work without charge to leave accruals. Any person who reports to work will not be deprived of the opportunity to work. During adverse weather and where applicable, a provision must be made for alternate campus work locations and alternate work for those who do get to the campus but who cannot go to their regular work places or cannot perform their regular work assignments.
A change in scheduled operations including class cancellations, early departure, and closing announcements will be made through one or more of the following communication methods:
The possibility of snow, ice, or other adverse weather may affect classes, events, and work schedules. Whenever possible, the university will continue scheduled operations, including classes and events, during adverse weather to the extent that students, faculty, and staff can travel safely to and from campus given local conditions.
This policy applies to all members of the campus community, including students, employees, visitors, and guests.
An employee who has been deemed necessary by their supervisor and is expected to report to or remain at work during a change in scheduled operations. Employees who are deemed necessary may vary depending on the conditions.
National Weather Service (NWS)
The official government agency tasked with warning the public of pending hazards associated with weather. The NWS issues the following alerts during periods of severe winter weather:
Only the governor can officially declare that the University at Buffalo is closed or direct early departure and only the governor can authorize employees to remain away from work without charge to leave accruals. A declaration of emergency, even by the governor, does not automatically mean the closure of the university.