Storms Unlikely To Close Offices

By Douglas Whiting
Director of Public Affairs

With winter weather already upon us, Human Resources Vice President Leo V. Sullivan has issued a reminder to all employees to expect office closings and class cancellation only under the rarest of circumstances.

In a letter to all University employees, Sullivan said that while the timing of some winter storms may require a delay in the opening of the University by an hour or two, employees should assume that offices will be open for business.

"The first assumption that every employee should make in the event of a snowstorm is that it is the University's priority to remain open and operating at all times," he wrote. "What determines whether or not we can do so is our ability to prepare the campus roadways and parking lots for automobiles, and our ability to make the campus walkways safe for pedestrian travel. While we are confident in our ability to do just that, the timing of some snowstorms is such that we may have to delay the start of the work day for an hour or two."

Sullivan also addressed a concern expressed by some in the past that the University has not notified employees of work cancellations or delayed openings in a timely fashion.

"Obviously, we would like to make the determination as early in the morning as possible either to, in the very rare instance, close offices, or to delay the start of the work day. However, the changing nature of many storms often precludes our doing so until at least 7 a.m. and sometimes later. We would ask for your patience in these instances to allow us to make the best judgment possible about the University's readiness to open at a given time. As soon as we make that decision, we will notify the appropriate radio and TV stations and post the information on 552-INFO."

Sullivan said that because current voice mail technology does not allow transmittal of information to all phones on a timely basis, the University will not use voice mail for emergency closing announcements. Announcements will be broadcast only on radio stations WBZ (1030 AM), WRKO (680 AM) and WBMX (98.5 FM); on television stations WBZ (Channel 4) and WCVB (Channel 5); and will be recorded on 552-INFO.

Sullivan added that in addition to preparing the campus for business, he is sensitive to and concerned about the safety of employees, particularly those traveling long distances to work. He encouraged all employees to "use all due caution in getting to your offices during foul weather," and urged supervisors to be understanding of late arrivals on such occasions.

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