Sunday, February 20, 2011

Concord University Inclement Weather Committee Response

I blogged previously about the final day of the Fall 2010 semester at Concord University. It was the final day of final exams, December 16, and weather conditions were not favorable. Exams were not canceled or put on the Inclement Weather Exam Schedule. I wrote about it in three entries:

Final exams marred by heavy snow ... written shortly after Dec. 16, I post pictures of the road conditions and express my frustration with the situation

Professors not pleased with revised exam schedule? ... I was forwarded an e-mail thread between a few Concord professors where they expressed their opinions on the Inclement Weather Exam Schedule

Top Ten Concord University stories of the year ... In a list of the Top 10 stories of the year at Concord University, the final day of the fall 2010 semester ranked at number 9

In January, shortly after the Spring 2011 semester began, I e-mailed Mark Stella, Concord University's Police Chief. He is also Concord's Director of Public Safety, as well as a member of the Inclement Weather Committee. I asked him for a statement on the committee's decision that day. He responded a few days ago. The Inclement Weather Committee's statement is below.

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We will be glad to help. It appears that you understand how our inclement weather committee works. The weather team monitors the forecast using official weather sites, the local weather media, contacts with the State Road and other law enforcement agencies when necessary; this data guides the team’s decisions. We implement the Inclement Weather Schedule, as needed, and close the university only as a last resort.

At all times, the team and Concord University administration place the safety of our students, faculty, and staff at the forefront of our decisions. We remind the entire Concord community to use discretion on whether or not it is safe to travel to campus.

December 16, 2010 posed additional challenges because of final exams. The forecast called for worsening weather later in the day, including an ice storm in the afternoon. It is important to understand that the inclement weather schedule would have delayed the 9 a.m. exam to 4:30 p.m. The committee felt it was safer for students to take 9 a.m. exams and get back home before the snow arrived, rather than pushing the exams back into the evening hours, which would be more dangerous. Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated more rapidly than the forecast predicted and the decision to close at 11:15 a.m. was made.

Earlier that week, students were proactively e-mailed the procedures to take if they had to miss an exam. Instructors were notified not to penalize students who missed exams because of weather-related issues. Again, students, faculty, and staff must use their discretion in whether or not it is safe to travel to campus.

Please let us know if you have further questions.

Concord University Inclement Weather Committee

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Comments? Thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. The following comment was left on Facebook by Jeff Yeager, Concord University SGA President for the 2009-2010 school year.

    "That sounds like the usual nonsense. The safe call would have been to just call it off altogether. Instead, they endangered the lives of not only the students but also the faculty and staff. Saying it's "the student's discretion" doesn't necessarily fly when their grades might be on the line."