MESSAGE FROM INTERIM PRESIDENT WILLIAM D. UNDERWOOD
September 23, 2005
I want to thank each of you for your overwhelmingly positive response to Baylor's need to prepare for the potential threat posed by Hurricane Rita. Many of you have taken on additional responsibilities to ensure that we are in position to protect our students, staff and faculty in addition to personal property and the campus. Even though the latest information on the storm's track now indicates that the worst of the storm will miss Baylor, your efforts are greatly appreciated. While we always hope for the best, we have the responsibility to prepare for the worst.
Late Wednesday afternoon the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other forecasting entities indicated a high probability that beginning Saturday morning Waco would experience severely high winds accompanied by torrential rain and flooding. Consequently, the decision was made to cancel classes so students who wished to travel to their homes had time to do so well in advance of the storm, and to allow employees who needed time off to travel or make emergency preparations to do so with pay.
Based upon the best available current information, it now appears that the storm's effects in Waco will be much less severe than originally predicted. As a result, the campus can remain open this weekend. While activities that have been cancelled will remain so absent a university announcement to the contrary, we will follow normal weekend operating routines for dining services, libraries, student life facilities and other campus operations.
Finally, it no longer appears necessary to continue with general preparation plans related to the possibility of campus flooding--though, critical areas should remain alert and be prepared to take appropriate action should conditions change.
We will continue to monitor developments but, at this point, we have every reason to believe that classes and normal campus activities will resume on Monday. If conditions change over the weekend, please refer to www.baylor.edu/rita for the latest information.
Again, I can't thank each of you enough for preparing the campus to weather the expected storm. Please join me in keeping those who have not been spared the wrath of this storm in your thoughts, hearts and prayers.