ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan plans to review the Ann Arbor school’s policy for shutting down during inclement weather, a top official told faculty members.
Provost Martha Pollack said part of the reason the school didn’t close during subzero temperatures last week is because it doesn’t have a plan in place, The Ann Arbor News reported (https://bit.ly/1a3NPdU).
Pollack met Monday with a faculty senate committee.
“We didn’t have the appropriate mechanisms, even if we wanted to close the university,” Pollack said. “That said, after this was all over, I and some of the other executive officers really strongly believe that we … need to revisit this policy.”
A committee is expected to be convened to review the school’s closing guidelines.
Many public and private school districts in Michigan, as well as some colleges and universities, shut down on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7 due to plummeting temperatures that followed heavy snowfall.
Lows of negative 14 degrees were reported both days in the Ann Arbor area, with wind chills of 30 to 40 degrees below zero. Blowing snow and icy roads made driving difficult.
Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Wayne State University in Detroit and Oakland University in suburban Detroit were closed for two days. Michigan State University in East Lansing canceled classes on Jan. 6.
The University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus last closed because of bad weather in 1978.
Faculty at the school were not pleased that the campus remained open early last week, said Karen Staller, head of the faculty senate. She said people trying to get to work put themselves at risk.
In the event of a weather-related closing, some facets of university operations - such as the hospital system, campus police and residence hall dining operations - would still need to stay open.
“The university should only close in extreme circumstances,” Pollack said. “One hopes that it is very rare. It’s a big deal to close. It really is like closing a city. A small city.”
Information from: The Ann Arbor News, https://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor
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