South Florida schools close as Irma threatens coast
- Lynn University, Broward College, Palm Beach State College, Miami-Dade College, Keiser University and Johnson & Wales University’s North Miami, and Florida Atlantic University have all announced campuses will be closed Thursday and Friday, as Hurricane Irma threatens the coast and an evacuation order takes effect.
- Broward, Palm Beach, Monroe and Miami-Dade counties are also closed, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
- The Hurricane is expected to hit Southern Florida Sunday, and is the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic outside of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, according to NPR.
Higher ed leaders in New Orleans last week reflected on the damage done by Hurricane Katrina, saying they are still feeling the effects of a storm which touched down 12 years ago. Their advice for leaders in Houston suffering through Harvey and, now those in South Florida who are expected to be hit hard by Irma, is to maintain open lines of communication with campus stakeholders. Provide reasonable timelines for when folks should be expected back to campus, and along the way, offer continuous updates about the state of the campus.
Southern University at New Orleans President Lisa Mims-Devezin said it was the constant communication with the student body and the campus "family" which was responsible for the way-higher-than-expected enrollment after the storm. And, all leaders conceded enrollment concerns will be a problem for several years after a devastating storm.
Follow Autumn A. Arnett on Twitter