During times of inclement weather, The University of New Mexico employs several methods of communication to alert the campus community with specific information about the Albuquerque campus about weather-related closures and delays including LoboAlert text and email announcements, television, radio and social media.
Additionally, UNM's "Snow Hotline," 277-SNOW, is also used to notify faculty, staff and students of a weather-related closure and or delay.
The announcements will specify if the University is open, delayed or closed. Other University departments, such as the Athletics Department and Popejoy Hall will be responsible for advising their customers about the status of events on inclement weather days when closures or delays have been declared.
In order to assist employees with child care arrangements, whenever practical, the University will attempt to align delays and closures of the Albuquerque campus with delays and closures of the Albuquerque Public Schools. A similar policy is also in effect for UNM West and Rio Rancho Public Schools. The directors of each branch campus will determine if their respective campus will close.
In the event the University is delayed or closed, certain critical areas, due to the nature of the activities, will need to remain open. Critical activities will be determined by the cognizant vice president. Directors of critical activities will clearly communicate to their employees what their work attendance requirements are during severe weather, regardless of what media messages are being conveyed to the larger University population.
For example, patient care and other critical activities such as Physical Plant, Police, and Housing will remain open when the University is declared closed due to inclement weather or will open at the normal time when there is a delay announced. Directors of critical activities will prepare contingency plans, keep plans updated, and communicate such plans to employees.
All employees required by their supervisors to work during a delay or closure will be paid for hours worked and shall be granted additional compensatory time off, at the straight time rate, for actual hours worked during the delay or closure. Only employees required to work by their supervisors will receive compensatory time. Compensatory time taken in such cases shall not be considered as time worked for overtime compensation purposes.
For the purposes of UNM’s weather policy, a "delay" means that:
- employees who do not work in critical areas will not be expected to report to work until the time specified in the delay announcement;
- classes and labs normally scheduled to begin and end before the time specified in the delay announcement will not be held;
- classes and labs normally scheduled to be in progress at the time specified in the delay announcement will begin at the delayed start time and end at their normally scheduled time; and
- classes and labs normally scheduled to begin at or after the time specified in the delay announcement will meet as usual.
A closure means that the University will not be opened for the day or will be closed before the end of the regular work day. Employees will be expected to return to their normal shift or work schedule beginning at or after 6 a.m. the following day, unless otherwise specified on the SNOW hotline.
Employees on shift assignments should check the SNOW hotline two (2) hours before the start of their shift to see if the University has reopened prior to the automatic reopening of 6 a.m. the day following a closure.
In the event of delays or closures during final exam week, faculty whose final exams are affected by the delay or closure may elect one of three options. Faculty must choose one of the options prior to final exam week and clearly communicate to their students which option they have chosen. The options are:
- Faculty may assign as final grades, the current grades that students have going into final exam week.
- Faculty may make provisions for students whose exams are canceled to contact them for the scheduling of a make-up exam or alternative arrangements.
- Faculty may, as a last resort, choose to assign incomplete grades.
During periods of inclement weather both employees and supervisors should keep two (2) major goals in mind:
- the safety and well being of employees; and
- the need for the University to conduct business on a regular basis.
During periods of inclement weather, employees are expected to be at work as scheduled, but should take reasonable and safe measures in attempting to meet their employment obligations. Also, an employee may need to leave work early to avoid hazardous driving conditions which may occur late in the day as temperatures drop. Supervisors are expected to be flexible in these situations in accordance with the business needs of the organizations and the reasonable health and safety needs of employees.
When a delay has been announced, employees in non-critical areas will be expected to report to work at the time indicated by the media, LoboAlert, and Snow Hotline (277-SNOW) messages. When an employee is unable to be at work at the expected time, the employee must notify his or her supervisor, explain the reason for the absence, and provide an estimated time of arrival at work.
For more information, visit Policy 3435: Inclement Weather.