Confusing inclement weather bulletins explained

Quite frankly, we had to say that we judged… a little too quickly,” said Vice President for Administration Claude Rounds in regard to the confusion generated by several inclement weather bulletin alerts distributed on February 12 and 13. Rounds added, “We should have waited till the next morning.” Understanding that the messages created confusion, Rounds stated, “I’ll take responsibility for it” and ensured that “our intentions were good.”

On February 12, an RPIAlert detailed liberal leave conditions for Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as cancelled classes and exams after 4 pm on Tuesday and before 10 am on Wednesday. Approximately 20 minutes later, a revised inclement weather bulletin was distributed, stating that, “The regular class schedule will proceed as normal, unless otherwise notified.” At 6:31 am the next day, students were notified by voice message that “the regular class schedule and shuttle bus service for Rensselaer Troy and Hartford campuses will proceed as per the normal schedule.

Rounds explained the collaborative efforts made by himself, Vice President of Human Resources Curtis N. Powell, and the Department of Strategic Communications and External Relations to draft inclement weather bulletins. Rounds is responsible for the information related to student life, Powell for information related to HR, and Strategic Communications and External Relations for distributing the message.

Several versions of the message were drafted to prepare for different stages and severities of the storm. The correction was made for prematurely predicting the weather for February 13 because of the storm’s changing state.