Adams School of Dentistry: Standard on Inclement Weather for Students, Staff, and Faculty


Adams School of Dentistry: Standard on Inclement Weather for Students, Staff, and Faculty



This Standard describes how Adams School of Dentistry (ASOD) students, staff, and faculty should respond in the event of inclement weather.

Scope of Applicability

This Standard applies to all ASOD students, staff, and faculty.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ("University" or "UNC-Chapel Hill") follows the UNC System Office's Adverse Weather and Emergency Events Policy during severe weather and when considering key factors in deciding whether to reduce or suspend operations due to safety concerns. The University's "Adverse Weather & Emergency Closing" information page states that "the safety of our students, faculty and staff is our number one priority in making any weather-related decision about campus operations, and "as a general rule, individual students, faculty and staff, many of whom commute to Chapel Hill from a multi-county area, must use their own best judgment about whether they can travel safely to and from campus given local conditions."

Unless the Chancellor or their designee closes the University, you should assume that UNC-Chapel Hill is open. In the event of adverse weather conditions, the University's policies and procedures are the main guide for the ASOD. Please refer to the University's "Alert Carolina" website or local media sources if you have any question about the University's operating status.

Specific to the Adams School of Dentistry

How the Adams School of Dentistry Decides To Open or Close In the Event of Inclement Weather

Who is involved in making a decision?

The academic dean, clinic dean, Dental Faculty Practice director, and communications director or their designees in consultation with the dean.

When does that group make a decision?

Ideally, the day before a weather event is anticipated. Otherwise, after checking the University's "Alert Carolina" website and local media for information on the morning of the event (preferably by 5:30 AM).

What factors does the group consider before making a decision?

Decisions whether to open, delay, or cancel clinics depend on the ability of patients and staff to arrive safely. Decisions regarding didactic classes should follow University guidance, with an additional option for ADE classes.

What does the ASOD do if the University cancels classes?
  • All DDS and DH classes are cancelled. However, remote options can be considered with approval of the Executive Vice Dean for Education (DDS) or Dental Hygiene program director.
  • All ADE resident classes are cancelled, unless a course director chooses to provide didactic classes via remote instruction, in which case course directors should notify ADE residents of their plan directly.
  • Considerations for not providing didactic classes via remote instruction during adverse weather include equitable access to power, internet, childcare, etc.
  • Because the ASOD operates not only as a school but as a healthcare facility, clinics could remain open if classes are cancelled. Safety of patients, faculty, staff, and students would be considered in this decision. Decisions made by UNC Health for its operations could provide some guidance.
How does that group communicate their decision to the ASOD students, staff, and faculty?

An announcement will be placed prominently on the ASOD website, the Carolina Dentistry website, and school and clinical social media accounts. An Epic blast will be sent to patients, and appropriate local news sources will be contacted. The academic dean will send an announcement to all students (DDS, ADE, DH). The communications director will contact local media.

An internal list of cell phone numbers for the appropriate contacts will be maintained and reviewed for updates at the beginning of each winter season.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

Contact Information

Policy Contact

  • Name: Dr. Ed Swift
  • Email:
  • Phone: 919-918-1259

Other Contact

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Article ID: 143418
Tue 12/6/22 1:31 PM
Thu 3/7/24 9:24 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Adams School of Dentistry
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Executive Vice Dean for Education
Policy Contact
Person who handles document management. Best person to contact for information about this policy. In many cases this is not the Issuing Officer. It may be the Policy Liaison, or another staff member.
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
12/01/2024 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
12/06/2022 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
12/06/2022 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
12/06/2022 12:00 AM