UT-Austin To Close Ahead Of Winter Storm

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The University of Texas at Austin campus will be closed on Thursday and all classes canceled as a result of the winter storm. University President Jay Hartzell made the announcement in a post on the university's website.

Dear UT Community,

Just as we were starting to get back to our in-person experiences here on the Forty Acres, Mother Nature has intervened! Unfortunately, due to the high probability of severe winter weather arriving overnight, our campus will close at midnight tonight. We will reopen when conditions are determined to be safe. With forecasters confidently calling for ice and other winter precipitation, and school districts moving online or closing altogether, the signals are clear that this is the right move for UT and the safety of our community. We will update the community Thursday afternoon regarding plans for Friday’s campus operations. 

With this closure, all classes will be canceled. Although technology has enabled us to do more remotely and online, tomorrow’s weather conditions, along with potential power outages and other service constraints, make it difficult to ensure that all students and faculty members will have the resources they need to teach and learn during the storm. As such, faculty members should be flexible and extend course deadlines and assignments accordingly.  

For our staff, we have several common working scenarios and have outlined how each one will operate below. We also ask that supervisors work with employees to support individual circumstances. 

  • If your position is identified as essential and you are required to perform your work on campus, you will need to report for your shift. Essential positions are determined at the college or business unit level and are vital to the business continuity of university operations (e.g., life/safety positions, positions responsible for the security of buildings, data or property, etc.). 
  • If you are considered essential for on-campus duties and are unable to report to campus due to extenuating circumstances — such as unsafe roadways or child care closures outside of the closure period — and you are therefore not eligible for Emergency Leave, Human Resources encourages supervisors to work with employees regarding those missed work hours. We recommend allowing flexible schedules to make up hours during the same pay period, the use of accrued state compensatory time or banked overtime hours, and lastly, the use of annual leave or floating holiday hours. 
  • If you are a hybrid or remote employee in the Central Texas area and you are not responsible for essential work duties, you are welcome to continue working as needed. However, given potential power outages and internet access issues, as well as child or dependent care needs, working remotely is not a requirement.
  • If you are a laboratory researcher, you should scale back your laboratory work today in case adverse weather conditions make it unsafe to get to campus during the remainder of the week. As such, researchers are encouraged to work remotely, although essential laboratory researchers may access campus for any activities that are necessary for safety, animal care, and maintenance of ongoing processes or experiments. For now, all OVPR-related teams, including the Office of Sponsored Projects, are planning to be available remotely. If anything changes, however, we will adjust and alert you immediately. 
  • If your work location is outside the Central Texas area, specifically those working at satellite locations, you will maintain your regular work schedule as long as personal conditions allow. 

As you know, weather is often unpredictable and conditions can change rapidly, so I encourage you to take steps to ensure your own safety and that of your loved ones during this severe winter weather. Our university leadership team will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated via the university's Facebook page and Twitter feed, the emergency webpage, and through email updates. Meteorologist

Troy Kimmel will also keep us informed with campus weather updates.

Be safe, Longhorns. We have a strong community, and I know you’ll all do your part to look out for one another during the next few days, as you do year round. And, perhaps while remaining safe, you can find time to return to your childhood mindset and enjoy a rare UT Austin “snow day.”

Sincerely yours,

Jay Hartzell


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