State employees who are unable to report for work on a regular scheduled workday because of adverse weather conditions, or are unable to complete their work schedule because of such conditions, may record such absence as either annual leave, personal leave, or leave without pay at the employee’s option subject to supervisory approval. See the RI Division of Human Resources website for more information.
Guiding Principles and Standards
- The safety of the campus community is of paramount importance; as such, during or following inclement weather, the university will provide sufficient maintenance to ensure safe access to campus roads, parking lots, walkways, and buildings.
- Learning and discovery are the core missions of the university; as such, the expectation is that classes will be held unless the University is unable to ensure safe access to campus buildings by community members.
- Therefore, the standard is always that classes are held as scheduled, unless there is a university announcement of cancelation or delay.
Protocol for Information Gathering and Decision-Making
- Facilities Services has the responsibility to ensure a safe and navigable campus environment during or following inclement weather events. The monitoring of climatic and campus conditions is coordinated by the URI Emergency Management Team, which includes the Director of Facilities Services, Director of Public Safety, Emergency Manager, Director of Communications, and others as appropriate.
- Operational decisions involved in storm monitoring, snow and ice removal, and campus maintenance consider numerous dynamic variables depending on projected weather conditions, time of day and year, and timing within the semester (e.g., final exam period). Basic procedures are as follows:
Monitoring Weather and Campus Conditions
- Facilities Services monitors weather reports and projected storm tracks from numerous sources, including on-line systems, media reports, local forecasters, and the Weather Channel, beginning at least 24 hours prior to any local storms;
- The Emergency Management Team teleconferences with the R.I. Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) to gather additional weather, road, and travel information from the State Police, R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT), and other agencies;
- The URI Police in consultation with the Director of Facilities Services monitor the physical condition of the campus roadways, parking lots, and walkways during impending related storms.
Decision with Regard to Class Cancellation or Delay
- Decisions to cancel or delay classes are made by the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs after receipt of detailed weather and campus condition information and recommendations from the Director of Facilities Services that reflect the feedback of the Emergency Management Team.
- The Provost and the Director of Facilities Services communicate regularly throughout the day and evening prior to a storm about weather and campus conditions.
- The decision to cancel or delay classes is based on information sufficient to indicate that public safety may be compromised by weather or campus conditions.
- The goal is to monitor weather patterns and campus conditions as long as possible to ensure the best representations of conditions. For overnight weather events, the decision to cancel or delay classes will be made no later than 4 a.m. to allow sufficient time to communicate the decision prior to the morning commute.
- If weather conditions are severe and/or it is likely that campus conditions are unlikely to be maintained to expected standards that allow for safe access into campus and buildings, classes will be canceled at the beginning of the day. If conditions and risk are uncertain, it is possible that only early morning classes will be canceled and the regular academic schedule will be delayed.
Communication of Decisions and Campus Conditions
- Once the decision to cancel or delay classes is made, the Department of Communications will immediately (est. 4-6 a.m.) disseminate the information via the URI website, mass media, Facebook, the URI Snowline (401-874-7669) and the URI Emergency Alert System (RAVE).
- The URI website will also be the source of communication in advance of storms as needed. A weather link is posted on the URI homepage leading to this site that links to the National Weather Service and provides local forecasts.
Campus Clean-Up Priorities and Procedures
- The safety of roadways for emergency access to all facilities will be the first priority.
- Parking lots and walkways are cleared to allow for safe access to campus buildings.
- Housing and Residential Life is responsible for maintaining the walkways in the residential complex, and Custodial Services is responsible for clearing paths and handicap ramps to academic and administrative buildings.
- Salt, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride are the primary materials used to treat streets and walkways. Sand is only used over icy walkways to provide traction.
- Once the campus is deemed accessible and safe, maintenance efforts will continue to clear curb cuts, expand parking areas, and ensure streets are cleared to curbs, and salt is applied as needed.