Skip to main content

President's Message | Reports & Announcements


August 28, 2011

 TO: Campus Community
 FROM: Neil Kerwin, President
 SUBJECT: Hurricane Irene Aftermath


I am pleased to report that campus has been minimally affected by Hurricane Irene. Thank you for your patience and for taking the proper precautions to stay safe.

We understand some of you may have lost power at home or experienced other damage or losses. Safety is our first concern. Students who are unable to participate in class should communicate with their faculty.

To accommodate those unable to travel to campus on Monday, the university operating status is open, with unscheduled leave for staff and discretionary onsite presence for faculty, as described on page three of the operating policy (PDF).

At the discretion of individual faculty, classes may continue onsite as scheduled, be cancelled, or be held online. It is the responsibility of faculty to notify their students of the option chosen.

Nonessential staff who cannot travel to work have the option to utilize annual leave without the leave being previously scheduled or approved in advance by their immediate supervisor. However, nonessential staff must inform their supervisor of their intent to take unscheduled leave.

We did experience some minor temporary power outages. Parts of WCL are without power and the building at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue has been closed on Sunday. WCL will communicate directly with WCL faculty, staff, and students about the status of the building. Please consult the WCL Web site or emergency line for specific instructions and operations updates concerning WCL.

We experienced minor storm related leaks in some residence halls and offices. However, we experienced no major flooding or major tree damage on Main Campus. If you encounter a facilities problem, please call 2FIX at 202-885-2349. If you experience an unsafe condition on campus, please call Public Safety at 202-885-3636. 

Several city trees are down in multiple locations on Massachusetts Avenue, Foxhall Road, and the surrounding area. Please use caution traveling to and from campus and expect traffic delays. Avoid downed wires, flooded roadways, fallen trees, and debris.

Previously scheduled events will take place on Main Campus on Sunday afternoon and Monday, particularly Celebrate AU on the Friedheim Quadrangle on Monday at 2:00 p.m. Food services are in operation today.

As a reminder, students who were not able to arrive to campus for the first day or two of classes are encouraged to communicate with their faculty about making up any missed work. Those needing to move in to residence halls on Sunday or during the week will be able to do so at any time of day. If you have not yet moved in, please notify or call 202-885-3370.

I want to thank the staff who worked to keep the campus operational and safe during the storm. I recognize how difficult it is for those who have lost power for extended periods or experienced real losses. Please note we will make the necessary accommodations for those who were adversely affected by the storm.

Strategic Plan

AU's strategic plan, Leadership for a Changing World, outlines goals and objectives for the next decade at American University. Visit for more information. ( login required for some documents)

Read the Strategic Plan

view objectives, years 7 & 8

Building a Better AU

Visit the Building AU website to read about facilities projects that support AU’s academic aspirations and enhance campus ambiance. You can also learn more about AU's Campus Plan.

Building AU

watch video