- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan revised its policy for staffing in severe weather to address criticism it received from faculty and staff last winter.

The university announced policy changes on staffing reductions during emergency weather situations on Monday, The Ann Arbor News (https://bit.ly/1v7vHYj ) reported. The changes were based on recommendations made by the Committee on Emergency Closure Procedures Specific to Severe Weather, according to a press release.

U-M canceled classes for the first time in 36 years on Jan. 28 amid harsh temperatures. Staff criticized the university for not doing so sooner.

The university hopes the new plan will for allow quick action to be taken in a way that helps protect the safety and well-being of its students, faculty, staff, patients and the general public. It calls for departments to make decisions allowing workers to leave early in a developing storm or other emergency situation.

“The university’s executive vice presidents charged the faculty and staff committee to help ensure that U-M is well prepared to reduce operations if necessary,” the press release reads.

The new policy holds the Division of Public Safety and Security director responsible for analyzing the situation before recommending operation reductions to the president.

All available faculty and staff may be required to provide services during extended operation reductions longer than two days. The changes do not impact U-M employees who deal with access to buildings and grounds, communications, indirect support, preservation of infrastructure, utility systems, material procurement and certain contract and legal activities, according to the press release.

The school said it still aims to remain open at all times.

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Information from: The Ann Arbor News, https://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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