This information covers the University’s procedure related to class cancellations and school closings due to weather conditions or other threatening circumstances.
You will notice that the procedure now includes a "Late Start" designation in those instances when weather conditions may temporarily create a safety hazard during the early morning commute hours. A Late Start delay will be for two hours. With 8 a.m. as the standard opening time at the University, an announced two-hour delay would mean that the University would open at 10 a.m. See Late Start Frequently Asked Questions below for some of the questions you may have.
When the University or one of the three Detroit campuses needs to begin classes late or cancel classes, the information will be posted on the home page of the Detroit Mercy website and through the following media: Detroit TV channels 2, 4, 7, 50 and 62; and radio stations WWJ-950 AM and WJR-760 AM. Additionally, a notice will be sent to all subscribers of the University’s Emergency Alert System.
We hope that there will be minimal disruption to the academic class schedule with this slightly revised process, which will allow us to be prepared, especially during Michigan’s winter months.
Procedure for Class Cancellation/University Closures
- The decision to delay or cancel classes or close the University due to bad weather or other threatening circumstances will be made by the President upon the recommendation and advice of the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management based on road and parking conditions and on safety issues. The Facilities Management AVP will consult with other sources for information as needed. In the President’s absence, the decision to delay or cancel classes or close campuses will be made by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, or the Vice President for Business and Finance.
- In the event inclement weather poses —for a limited period of time— an extraordinary risk to the safety of students and employees who drive to the University, the University will announce a “Late start.” This delay will be for two hours, using 8 a.m. as the regular opening time. An announced two-hour delay would mean a 10 a.m. opening. Employees whose functions are required earlier than the normal office opening time should consult their area vice president for instructions. Classes scheduled during the hours affected by the delay will be cancelled.
- When a decision is made to delay or cancel classes or close the University, the Facilities Management AVP will contact the Marketing & Public Affairs AVP to alert the news media (Channels 2, 4, 7, 50, 62 and radio stations WWJ-950 AM and WJR-760 AM). The information will also be disseminated through the University’s Emergency Alert System. Notice of the delay/closing/cancellation will be added to University’s website by Marketing & Public Affairs or ITS departments. If the AVP for Marketing & Public Affairs cannot be contacted, then the Asst. Director for Marketing & Public Affairs will be contacted.
- In order to facilitate the communication process, the decision to delay or cancel classes or close the University must be made by 5 a.m. that morning. The 5 a.m. deadline will ensure early coverage by the media, allowing students, faculty and staff to be informed of the delay/closing/ cancellation before leaving home.
- When the University cancels classes and events for the evening only, the Marketing & Public Affairs Department will notify TV and radio stations. Ordinarily, the decision to cancel evening classes and events should be made by noon. The Dean of the Law School should be consulted by the Facilities Management AVP regarding evening classes prior to this decision.
- When a decision is made to delay or cancel classes or close the University, the Facilities Management AVP will notify President’s Council members who, in turn, will notify personnel reporting to their areas. The Executive Assistant to Academic Affairs VP will also be called to notify the deans and major directors reporting to Academic Affairs; they, in turn, should notify personnel reporting to their areas. Due to student clinical placements and the early start of Dental classes, the Dental and Health Professions Deans should be notified first. Notice of the late start/closing/cancellation will be added to University’s website by Marketing & Public Affairs or ITS departments. Notice of cancellation of evening classes will be emailed to faculty, staff and students from the Office of the President or Vice President for Academic Affairs. Please note that Athletic events usually proceed as scheduled even if classes are cancelled.
- Following a cancellation or closing, the President will make the decision to resume classes or reopen upon consultation with the Facilities Management AVP. If weather or other safety issues remain, the Facilities Management AVP will advise Marketing & Public Affairs to notify the media that classes remain cancelled or that the University remains closed.
- Procedure for a Friday evening or Saturday closing will be the same as the weekday procedure. The Facilities Management AVP will also consult with the Office of Academic Affairs due to the impact on weekend students.
Late Start and Class Cancellation FAQs
In case of inclement weather or other safety conditions, what does a “late start” designation mean?At times when weather conditions pose a safety hazard for students, faculty and staff who drive to Detroit Mercy campuses, the University may designate a “late start” to the school day. This delay will be for two hours, using 8 a.m. as the regular opening time. An announced two-hour delay would mean a 10 a.m. opening.
Would this late start apply to all campuses?
The University notification message would specifically state whether it was for all Detroit Mercy campuses or if the safety condition just affected one University Campus.
In case of inclement weather, the late start would most likely apply to all campuses and most off-site programs; however, Detroit Mercy programs at Aquinas College and University Center at Macomb would adhere to those schools’ procedures regarding class cancellations. Students on co-op assignments would follow their employer’s procedure.
What does this mean for my class, which starts at 8 a.m.?For a 10 a.m. opening, faculty and students should report to their normally scheduled class that begins or is in process at the 10 a.m. hour.
What if my class or workday begins earlier than 8 a.m.?
Students whose class or clinical assignment begins prior to 8 a.m. should check with their instructor or clinical supervisor for appropriate instructions when a “late start” day is called.
Employees whose functions require an earlier start time need to consult with their supervisor for appropriate instructions on when to report to work.
If the University does not call a “late start” day or cancel classes for the day, but I an unable to drive to campus due to weather conditions, what should I do?All students, faculty and staff must make an individual decision during inclement weather as to their safety in driving to campus. Students should consult with their instructor as to the policy regarding missed class time. If the University remains open and begins the school day on time, any time not worked by an employee would be considered non-paid time.
How will I learn if classes have been cancelled or a “late start” has been called?Notification of class cancellation or a “late start” designation will be posted on the University’s website and through the following Detroit area media: TV channels 2, 4, 7, 50 and 62 and radio news stations WWJ-950 AM and WJR-760 AM. In addition, a notice will be sent to all subscribers of the University’s Emergency Alert System.
When classes are cancelled, will other University activities be cancelled?In most cases, University activities will be cancelled if the University cancels classes for the day. The exception to this is Athletic events, which usually proceed as scheduled even if classes are cancelled.
When classes are cancelled on all campuses for the day, how does this affect Detroit Mercy clinics and patients?When classes are cancelled due to inclement weather or other safety conditions, appointments at Detroit Mercy clinics are also cancelled.
Will any support services be available when classes are cancelled?All self-service functions remain available through TitanConnect to conduct business online.