Thursday,
July 10, 2014

Category:

UT Dallas Delays Opening Until 10 a.m. Tuesday

6:30 p.m., Dec. 9

The University of Texas at Dallas will delay its official opening Tuesday, Dec. 10 until 10 a.m., when classes and events will resume the normal schedule. Employees and students are reminded that per University guidelines, they are expected to exercise good personal judgment regarding their ability to travel safely to campus when inclement weather is in the area, and are not expected to place travel for work or class attendance above considerations for individual health and safety. See Inclement Weather and Emergency Closing Guidelines for further information.

11:15 a.m., Dec. 9

Fall Alternative Graduation Plans Announced

Dear Fall and Summer Graduates,

You are invited to take part in the following alternative celebrations of your achievement. 

  1. The first of three opportunities to celebrate your achievement will be offered Tuesday, Dec. 10, at an informal, come-and-go reception from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Clark Center. This event is aimed primarily at those of you with family members who have traveled great distances, though any graduate is welcome to attend. It will present an opportunity to shake hands with President David E. Daniel and to have your photo made with him. You are invited to wear your regalia and bring your family!
     
  2. We have also scheduled an alternative commencement on Sunday, Dec. 15, for students who want to celebrate their achievements before the end of the year. Details are below.
     
  3. You may opt to take part in Spring Commencement 2014. Watch the Graduation Web page and monitor your email for details regarding that opportunity.

Sunday’s Commencement will take place at the Activity Center. Times for each ceremony:

Sunday, Dec. 15

9 a.m.
School of Arts and Humanities
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

11 a.m.
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
School of Interdisciplinary Studies
School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

1 p.m.
Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science

3 p.m.
Naveen Jindal School of Management - Undergraduate

5 p.m.
Naveen Jindal School of Management - Graduate

We will be in touch with additional details regarding arrangements as the event is finalized. Congratulations on your achievement!

Please note: Regardless of your decision to participate in any of the activities above, your diploma will be mailed to you after your degree has been certified. Please refer to the graduation web page for information on diplomas.

Regards,

UT Dallas Graduation
Office of the Registrar

5:45 p.m. Dec. 8

University of Texas at Dallas Closed Monday

The University of Texas at Dallas will be closed Monday, Dec. 9, due to inclement weather. All classes and events are canceled until Tuesday. Watch the UT Dallas Facebook and Twitter feeds for details regarding potential returns to service for some parts of campus in the afternoon on Monday.  

1 p.m., Dec. 6

University Closed Saturday, Sunday

The University of Texas at Dallas is closed Saturday, December 7, 2013, and Sunday, December 8, 2013. All classes and events are canceled, including all events associated with commencement. Essential personnel are asked to report.

11 a.m., Dec. 6

Alternate Commencement Planning Underway

Dear Students and Colleagues:

I write to update you on the status of our thinking regarding the very unfortunate need to cancel this week’s Commencement ceremonies as a result of the ice storm. It’s been a very challenging period on campus because of power outages, ice on trees, and efforts to feed and take care of our students who live on campus, some of whom have neither electricity nor heat nor hot water. The weather has turned colder. We will not know whether the campus will be open Monday until Sunday afternoon or early Monday morning.

We’ve received much feedback from students about the cancellation of Commencement ceremonies and have been considering potential alternatives. Our graduates’ circumstances are all so very different – some are hosting family members from distant cities or countries who must return home shortly. Others are local residents who have more flexibility regarding scheduling. We want to try to accommodate everyone’s circumstances as best we can.

The following alternatives will be offered to try to address these varied situations:

First, as soon as campus is reopened, we will schedule a reception for graduates. I will be in full academic regalia and available, along with a representative from each school, to congratulate graduates and their families and for photographs. This reception is aimed at caring first for graduates with family members in town who must leave very soon, but all graduates are welcome. The time and venue will be announced after the University reopens.

Second, the hooding ceremony for our PhD and doctoral graduates will be rescheduled as soon as possible after UTD reopens, and an announcement will be sent to all who are eligible to participate.

Third, we will schedule make-up Commencement ceremonies no later than January but ideally in December before the winter break. To have the make-up ceremonies in December, we would have to select a date that does not conflict with final exams. Right now the most probable date for make-up Commencement ceremonies appears to be Sunday, December 15, but please do not make any specific plans around this date just yet because it is tentative. We will need to wait until the University reopens to review and confirm crucial logistical parameters before selecting the date.

If we are able to schedule the make-up Commencement ceremonies in December, we will have to shorten the ceremonies to fit the programs into a single day. There will be fewer and shorter speeches, but we will not shorten the student speakers’ speeches and all graduates present will get to walk the stage and receive their diploma cover and certificate.  We will let everyone know the date and plan just as soon as possible after the University reopens.

As indicated earlier, any Fall graduate who wishes to participate in the Spring ceremonies will still be welcome to do so, and adjustments will be made to assure that there is no impact on the number of tickets available to all who participate.

I reiterate how disappointed I am that severe weather necessitated canceling the scheduled Commencement ceremonies. I do hope that every graduate and as many family members as possible will be able to participate in at least one of the alternatives that we will be providing.

Thanks to all for your patience and understanding,

Sincerely,

David E. Daniel
President

9 a.m., Dec. 5

President Sends Message to Fall Graduates  

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Severe weather conditions have forced the University to close today and tomorrow, the same days Fall Commencement had been scheduled. I delayed the decision to cancel commencement ceremonies until we could wait no longer, hoping that weather might not be as bad as predictions suggested. In fact, the worst-case scenario has developed — heavy precipitation followed by plummeting temperatures that froze a layer of ice on the surface. As a result, we had to close the University and cancel commencement ceremonies.

We know that many people traveled from great distances to be here for commencement. It is with deep regret that we made this decision. We are offering our graduates the opportunity to celebrate by walking the stage at our Spring 2014 commencement ceremonies. We can adjust to the larger group by adding ceremonies in this case, if interest in participation indicates we should. And we are considering a January ceremony, but will need some time to plan. Graduates, please watch your email for updates from Graduation@utdallas.edu.

You may wonder why we did not reschedule commencement for a few days later. This is because we are about to move into the final examination period. By the time final exams are completed, we are already into our winter break. In fact, it was the lack of time between end of exams and beginning of break that caused us to schedule commencement in early December this year.

Our multiple commencement ceremonies with many thousands of people attending are a huge logistical challenge and require considerable planning and scheduling. They are the nearly sole focus of campus activity when they are underway. It was terribly bad luck for us all that this severe ice storm struck on our commencement days. I deeply regret that I will not have the opportunity to shake each graduate’s hand as he or she crosses the stage this fall.

I want to offer my deepest congratulations to each and every one who will be graduating. I also want to convey a message to family members and friends of graduates. UT Dallas has one of the most rigorous, demanding academic programs in the world. Our students entered this institution with outstanding academic credentials. Through their own dedication, hard work, discipline, and motivation, they succeeded in the very challenging academic environment that is UT Dallas. This is indeed a time to be extremely proud of our graduates, and a time for our graduates to express their gratitude to all who helped them. I salute you all.

Sincerely,

David E. Daniel
President

5:35 a.m., Dec. 5

Classes, Commencement Events Cancelled

The University of Texas at Dallas is closed Friday and Saturday. All classes and events are canceled, including all events associated with commencement. Essential personnel are asked to report.

Fall graduates may opt to make their commencement walk at the time of spring commencement in May 2014. Information will be provided to fall graduates on logistics of that alternative ceremony by the registrar’s office in the next few days.

4:15 p.m., Dec. 5

Late Thursday classes, PhD hooding canceled

Thursday classes after 7 p.m. are canceled. Any class that is underway prior to 7 p.m. will be dismissed at that hour. The doctoral hooding ceremony planned at 7 p.m. Thursday is also canceled. A determination regarding Friday's classes and commencement ceremonies will be made Friday morning. Every effort will be made to post an update about classes by 6 a.m. and about commencement ceremonies by 9 a.m.

1:05 p.m., Dec. 5

Fall Graduates May Elect to Walk in Spring

In response to individuals expressing concern about traveling for commencement ceremonies currently scheduled beginning Thursday evening and running through Saturday evening, the University will offer Fall 2013 graduates the opportunity to postpone their commencement walk to ceremonies scheduled in May for Spring 2014.

Attendance at commencement is voluntary, and is not a requirement for graduation. Students who are scheduled to graduate this fall will receive their diplomas via mail regardless of their attendance at commencement.

Bearing in mind that many families travel great distances to be here and are already present on campus for the ceremonies, the University will do its best to follow the schedule, but cancellation of some or all ceremonies is still a possibility.

Watch the homepage and UT Dallas’ Facebook and Twitter feeds for further updates. Graduating students, please ask your families to follow these communication channels for up-to-the-moment advisories. If ceremonies go forward as scheduled, they will be broadcast via internet streaming, and can be watched remotely if travel is inadvisable.

Also, please remember that all employees and students are expected to exercise individual judgment regarding their ability to travel safely when the campus is open and inclement weather is in the area. You are not expected to place travel for work or class attendance above your own individual health and safety. 

3:45 p.m., Dec. 4

Graduation Ceremonies Expected to Proceed

As the University prepares for commencement ceremonies beginning Thursday evening and running through Saturday afternoon, weather forecasts for potentially icy conditions have raised concerns.

The University is committed to holding commencement as planned unless conditions are so severe that we are forced to close the entire campus. There will be ongoing evaluation of the situation and posting of updates on the status of events periodically until the threat of severe weather has passed. There may be general campus schedule modifications to ease travel as needed.

Watch the homepage and UT Dallas’ Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates. Graduating students, please ask your families to follow these communication channels for up-to-the-moment advisories. If you believe your family and friends might be placed at risk by travel, there is an alternative: ceremonies can be watched via Internet streaming.  If ceremonies must be cancelled, Fall 2013 graduates will be offered an opportunity to take part in a ceremony at a later date.

Also, please remember that all employees and students are expected to exercise individual judgment regarding their ability to travel safely when the campus is open and inclement weather is in the area. You are not expected to place travel for work or class attendance above your own individual health and safety. 

Plan now to monitor the homepage and the sites mentioned above for updates as needed.  And congratulations to the Class of Fall 2013!

Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu


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