Letter to the community - Jan. 31, 2019

To our campus community:

As record low temperatures and dangerous wind chills continue to grip the Midwest and prompt extraordinary measures here on campus, I want to give special recognition to the many dedicated Michigan State University employees who have remained on duty. I sincerely appreciate each and all of your efforts to keep our campus, students and our fellow employees safe.

This extraordinary weather has presented us with a challenging set of circumstances. These were made more difficult with our efforts today to conserve energy due to statewide natural gas supply and distribution concerns, and MSU has been working with Consumers Energy to do our part. Employees reporting to work today, for example, might have found their workspaces cooler than usual as we dialed down. Likewise, food service operations were modified to reduce energy use with menu changes and even some temporary closings. (Read more about food service schedule modifications at eatatstate.msu.)

You might find it interesting to know that this is only the seventh time in our history that MSU has taken such measures due to weather. I think it’s a part of our land grant DNA to be confident we can weather any storm.

We make the decision to cancel classes and limit operations very deliberately, taking into consideration factors including temperatures, sustained wind chills and campus driving conditions. We also consider states of emergency called by our state and surrounding cities.

We must also consider that our students sacrifice a great deal to attend our university, and we recognize that closing for even one day can impact delivering on our educational mission. However, my commitment to you is that our first concern will always be community safety, which is why we will cancel classes and modify operations during extreme weather conditions. I encourage you to read the story inMSUToday for more information and historical perspective.

So, I thank you for your patience as we work through our challenges together. Thank you for your care for your fellow Spartans. And, a very special thanks to our essential employees for your exceptional skill, dependability and dedication during this weather emergency.


Satish Udpa
Acting President