UMSL and our fellow UM System universities have modified campus closure practices to reduce interruptions caused by severe inclement weather. Rather than close campus operations entirely during weather-related events, the university will shift to remote learning and working when needed.
This means that faculty who have scheduled classes on days when campus is physically closed due to inclement weather will be expected to engage their classes in remote learning if possible. The format of this learning is at the discretion of the faculty member (e.g., holding an online synchronous class meeting; assigning readings or other assignments to be completed asynchronously). Staff who aren’t required to work on campus during a closure will be expected to telework from home or another location, if possible. Instructors should proactively communicate expectations with their students, and supervisors are responsible for coordinating alternative work plans with their employees.
Of course, whenever possible, UMSL will remain open for on-campus instructional and work activities during winter weather. On those days when the campus remains open, employees and students are expected to exercise judgement when deciding if they can travel safely to campus. Each individual’s circumstance will be different; therefore, it’s important that supervisors and instructors facilitate conversations to determine what options exist for their teams or classes in the event they cannot make it to campus.
Under severe weather conditions, university officials may announce that on-campus operations will have a late start, have an early closure or close for the entire day. Even if our on-campus activities are suspended, classes and work will continue remotely when possible, ensuring that students can make academic progress and productivity is maintained.
During a campus closure, employees will fall into one of three categories:
- Those who are able to complete their regular job functions through telework will be expected to work from home or another location – those who choose not to must take paid time off through either personal or vacation time.
- Those who aren’t required to work on-site, but are unable to complete their regular job functions through telework will be granted administrative pay.
- Non-exempt (hourly) employees who are required to work on-site during a closure may be eligible to receive premium pay – those who choose not to must take paid time off through either personal or vacation time.
Employees should check with their supervisors who will identify those needed to fulfill on-campus duties during a weather event. More information on the university’s emergency closure policies can be found at https://www.umsystem.edu/ums/rules/hrm/hr200/hr217. Human Resources will provide specific instructions on time reporting in the event that on-campus operations are suspended.
If there is a change in campus operations due to severe weather, the university will:
- Issue an UMSL Alert, triggering a text message to all registered cellphone numbers and an email to the campus community;
- Post information to the UMSL homepage;
- Post information to UMSL’s main social media channels;
- Inform local media outlets; and
- Strive to provide campus status for day closures by 6 a.m. on weather-affected weekdays.
Be sure that you are signed up for UMSL Alerts and that your contact information is up to date. A text message is the fastest way to receive alerts about emergencies and campus closings.