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  Cornell University

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Office of the Dean

Understanding Snow Days

Shutdowns do not happen that often:

In 1993  Cornell closed  on March 12 (last Saturday of Spring Break) and reopened on Tuesday March 14.

In 1997   Cornell closed at noon on January 5 and reopened the following morning

In 2007  Cornell closed  at 12:30pm  on February 14 and reopened at 9am the following morning. After the 2007 closure there was a petition signed by 1400 students, staff, and faculty asking for a review of the shutdown process. This produced a report and a set of improvements.

In 2017 because of Winter Storm Stella, Cornell shut down at noon on Tuesday March 14 and remained closed until 4:30pm on Wednesday March 15. There were three Cornell Alert communications associated with the event:

The Monday  3:00 pm   message was a heads up that the storm was coming. It included links to  emergency-related websites and communication channels.

The Tuesday 10:40 am   message stated that the university was closing at noon and would probably open back up at noon on Wednesday.

The Wednesday 9:50 am   message stated that the university would re-open at 4:30pm.

One week after the Stella event, was created and faculty and staff  were encouraged  to share their experiences and to suggest ways to improve the shut down process. There were 330 replies and you can  read anonymized versions of them all in the 100+ page pdf  Snow Days at Cornell

The university was closed for 24 hours starting at 5AM on Friday, March 2, 2018.  The decision to close was made at 6pm the day before. The forecast was much  worse than what actually happened: abut 5 inches of snow. Cornell Chronicle article. Comments from faculty and staff.

Last Updated: August 12, 2018 at 1:41 pm