ADM-1 Severe Weather - Class Cancellation: Grand Rapids Campus

Effective Date: 1/1/2009
Last Revised: 1/31/2011
Responsible Party: B. Forney
Persons Affected: College of Human Medicine faculty, staff, students at the Grand Rapids Facility


Severe weather or other emergencies such as total power failure may create conditions that could affect safety, health or access to MSU-CHM facilities. The MSU Vice President for Finance and Operations or his/her designee has sole authority to delay the beginning of University classes or close the University. Given the geographic distance between East Lansing and Grand Rapids, the weather conditions could be significantly different in each location. Therefore, the Vice President has delegated authority to cancel CHM classes in Grand Rapids to the Dean who has delegated the decision-making authority to the Community Associate Dean in Grand Rapids. The decision will be made in consultation with the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and/or the Dean. The Community Associate Dean will be informed if Grand Rapids Community College decides to cancel classes; this information is solely advisory and CHM's decision will be made independently. A decision to cancel or delay the start of classes will be communicated to GRAIL to be announced over local radio and television stations. Students, faculty and staff should assume that the facilities are open and that classes will meet as scheduled unless they hear otherwise on radio or television. Note that the decision to close the building is distinct from the decision to cancel classes. A decision to close the building due to an emergency would be a highly unusual situation and will ultimately be made by the MSU Vice President for Finance and Operations or his/her designee in consultation with the Dean.


  • GRAIL: Grand Rapids Area Information Line. A community service that collates and disseminates information about school or business closings over local television and radio stations.

  • GRCC: Grand Rapids Community College


  1. When severe weather occurs or is anticipated, the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Chief of Police assesses the condition of the main access highways and the city streets in the vicinity of GRCC and makes a recommendation to the GRCC Executive Vice President. If the decision is to close GRCC, the MSU-CHM Community Associate Dean is immediately (The Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is the alternate contact if the Executive Dean cannot be reached.)
  2. The Community Associate Dean consults with the Sr. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and/or the Dean to determine if classes will continue as scheduled. The decision is informed by several things including weather reports regarding the track of a storm or other severe weather conditions and the GRCC decision. If classes will continue, no further action is necessary.
  3. If the decision is made to cancel classes, the Community Associate Dean (or alternate) notifies GRAIL utilizing GRAILweb. (A phone number is also provided in the event that web contact cannot be made.) Every effort will be made to notify GRAILweb before 6:00 AM.
  4. GRAIL notifies the major Grand Rapids radio and television stations that MSU College of Human Medicine classes are cancelled.
  5. Cancellations are made for one day at a time only, except in the event of a major catastrophic event.

Note to Employees:

MSU expects that employees assume responsibility for their own safety and health, and this extends to travelling to and from work when the weather is inclement. Employees who are concerned about their safety in severe weather conditions may choose to arrive late to work, leave early from work, or not report to work. However, in order to be paid for the time missed from work, support staff employees (i.e. non-faculty) must use accrued vacation, personal or comp time; with approval of their supervisory, they may also use administrative leave without pay.

The City of Grand Rapids has informed us that the DASH parking lot does not close in severe weather and that the clearing of the DASH route is a main priority for the city in any weather emergency. Thus, it is expected that the DASH lot and bus will also be an option for MSU employees in the downtown Grand Rapids area.


1.0 - Effective date: 1/1/11 - Revised by T. Pruitt/B. Forney - Original
2.0 - Effective date: 1/31/11 - Revised by B. Forney - Changes CHM authority to CAD