University of Pittsburgh


Working Our Way Back to "Normal"

To: Members of the University Community
From: Mark A. Nordenberg
February 10, 2010

We now have endured one of the worst stretches of winter weather in the history of Western Pennsylvania. However, we have not done so without making some significant concessions to the forces of nature. Just as last weekend’s snow-storm was historic, so were our decisions to close the Oakland campus of the University for three consecutive days.

Unfortunately, there is no sign that winter weather will be leaving anytime soon. Even as I am drafting this message, snow continues to fall. Still, we need to begin moving forward with our important work, and in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, the University will resume full operations tomorrow—Thursday, February 11.

Getting back to normal will present its own set of problems. Most obviously, there will be classes and exams to make up. There will be events and activities to reschedule. There will be new deadlines to meet. And we will be doing all of those things within the context of the always-more-challenging winter season.

As we move through the days ahead, I ask that you continue to exercise good judgment and make safety a personal priority. I also ask that you exercise a special level of patience. Few of the decisions and adjustments that may be required can be made instantaneously. However, those charged with such responsibilities will be doing their best to discharge them as effectively and expeditiously as possible.

Getting this campus community through the past several days has not been easy. All of us owe a particular debt of gratitude to those essential employees who have regularly made their way to campus, whatever obstacles might have stood in their way, to maintain essential activities in the service of others. Their commitment to meeting our collective needs has been inspiring.

Just last week, the world’s most famous groundhog predicted that we would be forced to face six more weeks of winter. It might be said that we have endured the equivalent of six weeks of winter in the last six days. Perhaps there is reason to hope, then, that springtime will come to us more quickly than otherwise would have been the case. In the meantime, as we press forward with our important work, stay safe, stay warm, and thanks for your help!