February 15, 2021
Dear UT Community,
I was not surprised to learn from weather reports that 1937 was the last time Austin saw this much snow; from what I’ve seen and heard around our community, we’ve been hit even harder than expected. The severe winter weather continues to cause significant issues for many in Central Texas. Power outages and other challenges have made it difficult or impossible for many to work or learn, even remotely. The forecast indicates that we will not see sustained temperatures above freezing for several more days, and we are expecting more winter precipitation. Because your safety is our top priority, we have decided to remain closed until at least 8 a.m. Thursday.
We will continue to monitor the situation and announce a reopening when conditions are determined to be safe. All classes and events are canceled including virtual/online classes and events through 8 a.m. Thursday. Only core essential staff members will report to work during the remainder of this closure.
Faculty and Staff:
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 identified as essential and unable to report to campus due to extenuating circumstances, such as unsafe roadways or child care issues, please contact your supervisor as soon as possible.
If you are a remote employee, you are not expected to work unless indicated by your supervisor.
Supervisors should allow employees time off during this closure as needed to care for themselves and their families. Employees should be working only if their tasks are urgent and necessary for the health and safety of the community.
If any faculty or staff member needs to use their office space for heat or charging devices, feel free to come to campus if you can travel safely.
If students need meals, a warm place to go and a place to charge their devices, the Emergency Page lists current open facilities and their hours of operations, as well as Student Emergency Services information. Please, only go to campus if you can do so safely.
What makes this situation even more critical is that we are experiencing this weather with the pandemic. Although it’s tempting to let our guard down as we face yet one more unprecedented event, it’s important to maintain our vigilance. Please refer to last night’s message from Dr. Hines and Dr. Young if you need further guidance or resources for managing your health and safety during this time.
COVID-19 vaccine operations and proactive community testing will not continue on Wednesday, February 17, as scheduled. Individuals with appointments are being contacted directly to reschedule for a later date, and we expect to be able to use all vaccine doses we have available by increasing our throughput once conditions allow.
University supervisors will receive timekeeping information after campus reopens.
Weather is often unpredictable and conditions can change rapidly. The university will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated. As the situation progresses, updates specific to closure and reopening will be available through your email, local media, the university's Facebook page and Twitter feed, and the emergency webpage.
You can also stay up to date by reading Troy Kimmel's campus weather updates.
Stay warm, be safe, and take care.