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Get up to speed on IU’s adverse weather policy

Jan 16, 2020
IUPUI’s Wood Fountain covered in snow
Employees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with IU’s adverse weather policy before a weather situation occurs.Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

It’s extremely rare to encounter weather that would fully close the university, according to IUPUI Emergency Management and Continuity Director Carlos Garcia. Research must go on, no matter what your preferred TV meteorologist has to say. And our campus’s unique proximity to major hospitals demands that facilities stay open in a blizzard.

Each storm is unique, and each has the potential to be hazardous, especially for commuting students. Reports from the National Weather Service, Marion and surrounding counties, and regional schools – from Indianapolis Public Schools to Ivy Tech, IU Bloomington and Butler University – are all considered before the findings are presented to Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar, who has the ultimate call to cancel classes.

“We’re going to take the best data available – the conditions on the ground, the information we’re getting from our police officers, Environmental Health and Safety, Campus Facility Services – and put it all together,” Garcia explained.

Here’s some key information to keep in mind so you’ll be ready when adverse weather strikes:

Am I required to come to the office?

According to Indiana University’s adverse weather policy, all staff and temporary employees are expected to report to work unless otherwise notified. However, if the weather creates hazardous conditions for your commute to or from work, you are encouraged to use your best judgment and should not endanger yourself or ignore local travel advisories.

If adverse weather conditions cause extreme travel hazards to or from work:

  • Employees should make every effort to notify their supervisor.
  • Advance notice requirements for use of time off are waived.
  • Support, service, PAO, PAE and PAU staff may use accrued time off or, with approval, may make up the work time during the same week.
  • PAE staff absent for a full work day may use available PTO.
  • Staff employees may either charge an absence against time-off accruals or, at their option, be absent without pay but with benefit time accrual.
  • All absences from work for temporary employees are without pay.

There is no adverse weather policy for academics. Classes are in session unless specifically canceled by the administration.

Be vigilant on your device

Awareness is your first – and most important – key to winter weather preparedness. Keeping weather apps on your phone is crucial. Watch or listen to your local news. Be sure to follow @IUEMC on Twitter and IU Emergency Management and Continuity on Facebook as well.

Keep your IUPUI contact information up to date

Emergency Management and Continuity sends severe weather alerts via text, email and phone call, but if you have an old phone number in your IUPUI information, you will not get the alerts. Make sure everything is correct on IU-Notify.

Dress appropriately

In Garcia’s years at IUPUI, he has seen students walking to classes in shorts and T-shirts during frigid temperatures. He does not recommend the practice, even if the person drove to campus and got primo parking.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Garcia said. “If an individual’s vehicle stalls or they run off the road and they’re in shorts and a T-shirt, that’s not very effective for protection.”

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