University still deciding on another snow day

By Christine Kim

The University is still deciding whether to issue another snow day after today’s weather brought snow accumulations between 10 and 15 inches. The Chancellor issued a mass email statement this morning cancelling all university classes for the day.

Vice Chancellor for public affairs Robin Kaler says the University issued a day off because staff clearing sidewalks and roads couldn’t keep up with the snow.

“It really is this idea that there’s so much snow that sidewalks were drifted shut and there really is no safe way for people to walk around campus and it is a pedestrian campus.”

The last time all classes were cancelled due to severe weather was in January of 1979. Chancellor Richard Herman did cancel classes after a fire at an avid power plant a few years ago, but only those in buildings that didn’t have power.

Kaler says although Herman has the final say, he looks to other administrators for advice on his decision.

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“It’s such a rare thing and it’s his call. He’s sort of the mayor of the town if you will and he’s the one who’s in charge of the safety of the residents of the town, that is the University of the Illinois community.”

Although classes were cancelled, some faculty and staff members were required to come to work. Provost Linda Katehi says each department decides on who is expected to report.

“We need to have my office and the chancellor offices and some of the critical student offices and so forth. We (stock) the minimum in case of an emergency so we can take care of any issues that may arise.”

Those who reported to work and were told to leave or those who use their accrued benefits will be paid for their whole shift. Staff and faculty who don’t have any benefits will have to use an excused leave with no pay.

Vice chancellor Robin Kaler says it’s too early to determine the cost of cancelling classes, but she’s sure there is a loss of productivity.

Kaler says Chancellor Herman will meet with administrators later today to decided if classes will be cancelled tomorrow. Students will know by tonight at 10 P.M.