Dear Members of the University Community,
We are entering the season when the University may need to make schedule modifications because of inclement weather. As the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, I am designated by the President to make the final decision on weather-related schedule changes for the University academic schedule and the Medical Center. I make this decision by coordinating directly with EVP-Provost Tom Katsouleas and EVP for Health Affairs Rick Shannon. Life safety is our top priority.
The University monitors winter weather closely and has established a comprehensive plan to deal with inclement weather threats. UVA’s Severe Weather Assessment Team moves into action as soon as a weather advisory or watch is issued. The team includes representatives from Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Office of the EVP-Provost, Medical Center Emergency Management, Parking and Transportation, Facilities Management, University Police, Student Affairs, and others as necessary. Members gather information not only on weather conditions but also on the University’s readiness for the predicted weather threat. The team convenes by phone at least 12 hours prior to the onset of an event if possible and then at 4 a.m., 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.— or as dictated by the specific weather event— with additional calls if necessary. I rely on this team to provide me with information to make decisions regarding the University schedule.
The inherent unpredictability of weather makes it impossible to mandate when certain procedures will take place, but the University makes every effort to communicate a final decision regarding the University’s operating schedule by 5 a.m.
Stay Informed about Schedule Changes
When the University or Medical Center modifies the academic schedule or health care operations, we communicate this information to our community in many ways:
- Email—The Academic Division and Medical Center both send email announcing weather-specific information.
- Emergency page— The Academic Division schedule will be posted on the Emergency Homepage. I encourage you to bookmark it.
- Academic Division Operations Status Board— A one-stop shop for students and Academic Division employees— including those in the School of Nursing and School of Medicine— to conveniently find schedules for critical services such as dining, Student Health, parking and transportation, libraries, and IM-Rec facilities.
- Medical Center Hospital Command Board— The Medical Center maintains a Hospital Command Board where all Team Members should look for information on Medical Center Operations, employee reporting, accommodations, weather, and parking.
- The "Hotlines"— (434) 243-7669 or (434) 924-7669 provide recorded messages about operations in both the Academic Division and the Medical Center.
- Radio and Television— Announcements are issued to local radio and television stations.
Understand Your Reporting Status
In an effort to ensure that only those employees essential to critical services report when UVA has closed or altered its schedule, the University has assigned an emergency event status to all employees: “designated” or “non-designated.” Designated Academic Division employees – including School of Medicine and School of Nursing employees who support clinical operations and critical research – should report as directed by their supervisor. Academic Division employees can check their status in Self Service on the University Human Resources site. Designated Medical Center employees should refer to HR Policy 510, Emergency Event Declaration. All designated employees should have a backup plan for childcare or eldercare assistance. Employees should know their emergency reporting status and understand their responsibilities. If you have any questions, please talk to your supervisor.
Academic Faculty and Instructors
Faculty and instructors should check University email and the Emergency homepage to determine if their classes will be held. UVA will not issue individual email relating to specific classes.
Schools and departments have discretionary authority to cancel or alter schedules for special events within their area and should have systems in place to communicate these changes. Please also send these changes to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Office of Safety and Emergency Preparedness. If you have questions or concerns about decision-making for your special event, contact Marge Sidebottom, Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness, at (434) 924-8745 (office) or (434) 964-7912 (mobile).
I recognize that our employees travel from a wide geographic area, and weather conditions can vary greatly. If the University opens during inclement weather conditions, I have asked supervisors to be flexible in granting leave to non-designated employees who feel that travel is not safe or who have childcare or eldercare issues or other conflicts. As always, I welcome suggestions about how we can improve our handling of weather situations. Thank you for your support.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer