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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who decides to close the campus or to cancel or delay classes?
Between 5 and 5:30 a.m., our vice president for Administration and Finance consults with the associate vice president for Public Safety and chief of police, as well as the associate vice president of Facilities Management. At that time, they discuss the forecast, the condition of the campus and the known road conditions from Baltimore County and surrounding police jurisdictions. They deliberate with the information they have available and then make a decision, generally before 6 a.m., about campus closing, opening late, or remaining open without delay. If the decision is to close or delay, Communications and Media Relations then posts the news on the TU homepage, notifies the media, and records announcements on TU’s 410-704-2000 and 410-704-NEWS phone lines. The TU Police Department will send a campus-wide email announcement and text-message alerts to those who have signed up to receive them.

Q: If classes are not cancelled, but I feel it’s unsafe for me to travel, will my instructors excuse my absence?
A: The university has no official policy on attendance if classes are not cancelled. The decision in whether to travel is always yours. Many instructors will be flexible. It’s best to ask your instructor for his/her approach so you’re aware of it before a storm hits.

Q. Does TU ever issue announcements that the campus is open?
A. No. Announcements are issued only when normal operations must be disrupted or suspended. If you don’t hear an announcement, it’s safe to assume the campus is open.

Q. What if an emergency occurs during the day?
A. The same notification process is executed as with overnight emergencies.

Q. Will scheduled events take place if TU is closed?
A. NCAA athletic events may proceed as scheduled, provided the university can ensure a safe environment for players and spectators. (Announcements regarding NCAA events are distributed through the same channels as other TU closing advisories.) All other events, regardless of sponsor, are canceled.

Q. Will TU issue announcements about individual department or program activities?
A. No. Departments should set up their own systems of communication, either through recorded announcements or telephone calls.

Q. Is there a telephone number I can call for the latest information?
A. Call 410-704-2000 or 410-704-NEWS for recorded updates. Please DO NOT call the University Police.

Q. Which radio and TV stations will air emergency closing-related news?
A. In the Baltimore area: WTMD (89.7 FM), WYPR (88.1 FM), WHFS (97.5 FM), WWMX (106.5 FM), WLIF (101.9 FM), WJFK (1300 AM), WBAL Radio 11 (1090 AM), WJZ (105.7 FM), WQRS 102.7, WBAL-TV (11), WJZ-TV (13) and WMAR-TV (2). In the Washington, D.C., area: WTOP (820 AM/103.5 FM), WRC-TV (4), WUSA-TV (9), WJLA-TV (7) and Newschannel 8.

Q. What about text alerts?
A. You are encouraged to register to receive text messages. This is the safest way to ensure that you receive critical TU notifications on safety issues, school closings and weather alerts. Get more information about Towson’s emergency notification system.

Q. What if I work or take classes at an off-campus facility that is affiliated with TU?
A. Off-campus programs and courses (at TU in Northeastern Maryland, for example) adhere to the announcements of the off-campus facility. TU’s announcements apply only to the main campus, including Towson City Center, 7400 York Road and Terracedale.

Q. What is the difference between liberal leave and administrative leave for employees?
A. Liberal Leave: authorization for staff to use earned leave for lateness or absence because of an emergency. Note: If you have been identified as a sustainable operations employee, you should talk to your supervisor about whether you should report to work during liberal leave scenarios. Administrative Leave: granted to staff only when TU is closed. Only emergency essential personnel should report to work when administrative leave is in effect.

Q. Should some employees report to work when TU is closed?
A. Emergency essential personnel should report to work. Talk to your supervisor to see if this policy affects you.