Emergency Closing Procedures

In the event of an emergency closing or class cancellation, notices will be posted immediately to the landing pages of the Students section and Faculty & Staff section of this website. In addition, email notifications will be sent to faculty, staff, and students in the event of closings, though these notifications are subject to email server delays. A message will also be posted to the SPH main telephone number: 617-638-4640.

The decision to close SPH for classes and the decision to close the Medical Campus for employees are made independently of one another. However, if the Medical Campus is closed for the day, no classes will be held.

Complete contact information and procedures are available here.

Emergency Closings for Classes

Decision

The Dean of SPH (Sandro Galea) has designated the Associate Dean for Education (Lisa Sullivan) as the responsible party to determine whether or not classes are delayed or cancelled. The Associate Dean for Education makes this decision in consultation with the Registrar (Chris Paal) who will also serve as the backup decision maker.

The timing and broadcast of the decision to cancel classes will be as follows:
  • 10 a.m. or earlier classes:
    Decision will be made by 6:30 a.m. for posting on the BUSPH website by 7 a.m.
  • 1 p.m. or earlier classes:
    Decision will be made by 8:30 a.m. for posting on the BUSPH website by 9 a.m.
  • 2 p.m. classes:
    Decision will be made by noon for posting on the BUSPH website by noon.
  • 6 p.m. classes:
    Decision will be made by 3 p.m. for posting on the BUSPH website by 3:30 p.m.

Notification

Once a decision is made to cancel classes, the Associate Dean for Education will notify the Director of Student and Educational Services (Mary Murphy-Phillips) or her backup (Brendan Hoey), the Director of Communications (Kara Peterson) or the Web Writer (Michael Saunders) and the Manager of Operations (Sally Dwyer) or her backup (Clara Pereira).

The Director of Student and Educational Services will:
  • Post a website message and send a broadcast email alert to students; and
  • Notify the Educational Media Center (to post cancellation notice outside classroom)
The Director of Communications will:
  • Post a website message and send a broadcast email alert to employees
The Manager of Operations will:
  • Record a class cancellation message on the main SPH telephone number; and
  • Notify the relevant BUMC offices including:
    • 8-4144 – Control Center
    • 4-4444 – Public Safety: A Public Safety Officer will staff the Talbot front desk from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekday evenings regardless of whether or not classes are held
    • 4-4500 – Telecommunications HELP desk
    • 4-2188 or 617-872-8825 – Office of Emergency Planning & Response to update the Emergency Information Line (617-638-6886)

Note: no classes will be held at any time when the Medical Campus is closed for the day. However, classes may be held in the event of a delayed opening or an early release.

Note: In the event the Medical Campus is closed, a BU Alert phone message to that effect will be sent to all students and to those faculty and staff who have not opted out of this emergency notification program.

Cancellation Announcements for Staff

A decision to dismiss or close the BU Medical Campus for staff is made independently from the decision to cancel classes. Staff-specific notifications will be posted to the Faculty & Staff section.