All students will automatically receive text and email alerts about campus emergencies, safety information, storm closings, and outreach unless you choose to opt out. All employees must actively opt in to receive alerts.

The following information describes our approach to opening delays, cancellations, or closures for our Gorham, Portland, and Lewiston campuses.

During storm closures

  • All in-person classes and activities are canceled during the specified time.
  • Online or remote classes may continue — review your syllabus or contact your professor(s) for more information.
  • Online events: Check with the organizers for more information.
  • We will update the voice message on our storm line (207-780-4800).
  • If you have a final exam scheduled during the specified time, it may get rescheduled.

All students are automatically signed up for text and email alerts through Blackboard Connect.

  • If you do not have a mobile phone number on file with the University, you will not receive text alerts.
  • Check your account for email alerts.
  • You may change where you receive your alerts or opt out* entirely.

All employees must actively opt in to receive alerts via text and/or email.

*To receive the most timely notifications, we discourage members of our University community from opting out of both text and email alerts.

For storms projected to begin in the evening or early morning hours, we will decide to close one or more University campuses by 6:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) or earlier, if possible. 

For storms projected to begin mid-morning or later, we will decide to close one or more University campuses two (2) hours ahead of closing.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to read notifications carefully. We may close only one campus while two remain open, or two campuses may close while one remains open.

We communicate weather-related notifications — and provide updates as needed — in the following ways:

  • Text and email alerts* via Blackboard Connect
  • An emergency banner at the top of all pages on our website
  • Official University of Southern Maine Facebook and Twitter channels
  • Maine media outlets
  • Update the message on our emergency/storm line: 207-780-4800

*To receive the most timely notifications, we discourage members of our University community from opting out of both text and email alerts.

Our foremost concern is the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Weather conditions often vary greatly throughout our state, affecting students and employees who commute to our Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston campuses from throughout the Central and Southern Maine regions.

Upon closure of the University as a whole, our policy states all three campuses will close to the public, and online classes will be canceled. In the case of a delayed opening or early closing, we will include details on any campus closings or online class cancellations. 

If the University is open, we expect you to attend class.

Making the decision

We review public weather information sources, consult with a private meteorologist, and discuss road conditions with state and other agencies — including the Turnpike Authority. We also consider local school, government, and business closings as an indication of travel conditions. 

Additional factors that influence our decision to delay or cancel classes include (but are not limited to): 

  • The time of day we expect a storm to begin
  • The expected duration of a storm
  • The anticipated accumulation of snow/sleet/rain
  • Our ability to clear campus roads and walkways on each campus
  • The anticipated travel conditions for Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York Counties

When the University remains open

Ultimately, you must make an individual decision based on your level of comfort or skill in driving during stormy conditions. We encourage you to use your best judgment regarding local travel conditions — particularly the specific roads on your commute. 

If you determine you cannot safely get to campus, communicate with your faculty before your class begins. We recommend proactively discussing how to contact your professors at the start of each semester to reduce miscommunications, should the need arise.

The Greater Portland METRO Husky Line provides transit between our Portland and Gorham campuses. The Husky Line operates independently of the University. A delay or closure of the University does not dictate the status of campus transit via the Husky Line.

In the case of severe weather, any changes to METRO transit service, including the Husky Line, will be available on the GPMETRO site.

Any final exams affected by a campus closure will be rescheduled to a new time during finals week, as circumstances allow. Check your email for more information.

Per University policy, each course syllabus should state your instructor’s guidelines for scheduling make-up exams and any grading implications for a delay- or closure-related final exam cancellation. 

If you have a non-negotiable commitment (e.g. religious observation, travel arrangements, or work schedule) that presents a conflict for the rescheduled exam time, your instructor may provide a fair and reasonable alternative at their discretion. For example, your instructor might: 

  • Propose a different, mutually agreeable time for the exam
  • Follow the Incomplete Grade Policy 
  • Offer a suitable alternative to an exam, as approved by their academic department
  • Declare that your existing grade will stand as the semester-long grade

In all circumstances, grade reporting must be submitted to the Registrar no later than seven (7) days after the last exam day.