Keeping Campus Safe and Informed - Letters Home - The University of Texas at Dallas
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The University of Texas at Dallas
November 2015
Keeping Campus Safe and Informed
Hobson Wildenthal
By Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, president ad interim
This fall, some parts of Texas have been drenched with record rains, and forecasters predict we will have a wet and cold winter. At this time each year, the University reviews, updates and shares communication planning for dealing with weather-related issues as well as any other event that might require rapid communication regarding campus operations.

UT Dallas is one of 19 universities (and the first in the UT System) to receive the StormReady designation from the National Weather Service. Such certification signifies that the University has a 24-hour emergency operations center and an extensive warning system.

When weather or other conditions are such that our leadership team decides to cancel classes and events, the latest information is provided to the UT Dallas community through a variety of channels.

Student move in day
Forecasters predict a wet, cold winter for the Dallas area.
You can help your student plan now to be aware of conditions and to make smart choices in case of weather-related closures or other emergencies. You and your student should review the means by which your student will be in contact with you as soon as possible to let you know he or she is safe. Texting is sometimes the best way to be in touch, especially if phone systems are overwhelmed by call volume. Because campus conditions can be affected when weather is poor, urge your student to exercise good judgment about driving or being outdoors.

When cancellations or delayed openings are necessary, we manage food and shelter needs and provide essential services for students living on campus. Such efforts require exceptional planning and execution. Campus personnel exhibit great care in responding to any number of situations that can impact your student's daily routine, and engage in many forecasting and preparedness exercises aimed at creating readiness.

It is our goal to protect the flow of the academic year, including course work and exams, as much as possible, while at the same time weighing the safety concerns related to emerging conditions. If class meetings must be canceled, your student should directly communicate with instructors about expectations for fulfilling class requirements when there are disruptions to the schedule. Very often, online resources allow instruction to continue in some form, even when formal class meetings must be deferred.

Ideally, our academic year would never be disrupted, but we prepare, just in case. Our continuing obligation is to your student, along with our faculty and staff. We hope that through our efforts, you can experience comfort in knowing that your student's safety is our highest priority.

Emergency Communications
UT Dallas will do the following to keep the campus informed:
  • Post closure information on the University website —
  • Post an announcement on UT Dallas' official Facebook page —
  • Tweet via the UT Dallas official Twitter —
  • Send an announcement via UTDAlert text messaging system.
  • Send an email announcement to all faculty, staff and students.
  • Provide a recorded telephone message at 972-883-7669.
  • Inform local media outlets.
  • Outdoor and indoor warning systems also may be activated in some instances.
UT Dallas
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