Magazine article University Business

Tornados Force Institutions to Shutter: Lessons Learned from Natural Disasters

Magazine article University Business

Tornados Force Institutions to Shutter: Lessons Learned from Natural Disasters

Article excerpt

THE TORNADOS THAT RIPPED across the South in April devastated everything in their paths. Some institutions had to close their doors before semester's end.

In Tuscaloosa, Ala., home of the University of Alabama, an April 27 tornado killed at least five UA students. Officials cancelled classes, scheduled to end two days later, and exams, scheduled for the week of May 2. Students were given the option of accepting their grades as of April 27, or taking a final exam at a later date, shares Cathy Andreen, director of media relations at UA. "Faculty worked directly with students who requested to take an exam to make arrangements to do so." Commencement ceremonies, originally planned for May 7, have been postponed until August 6.

Further north, Saint Augustine's College (N.C.) closed briefly after a tornado touched down in Raleigh April 16. But, nearby Shaw University had to cancel classes for the rest of the semester after some dorms and the student center were damaged.

Dealing with how to repay students after classes or semesters are cancelled is a difficult decision, and what's best for the institution and the students must be taken into account, explains Tulane University (La. …

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