Severe Weather and Emergency Closings


Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 3.6(4)
Updated/Revised: September 8, 2023
Contact: Employee/Labor Relations Office


This policy provides guidance regarding the cancellation of classes and events and university closings which result from inclement weather or emergency situations.

Policy Statement

In the event of inclement weather or other emergency, the president or other designated representatives, in consultation with appropriate university administrators, may declare one of the following emergency situations to be in effect:

Classes are canceled.
Classes will not be held, but the university will operate and staff will be expected to be on duty.

The university and buildings are closed.
Classes are canceled and staff members may leave the workplace. Faculty and professional and scientific staff members whose responsibilities are not based upon a specific work schedule will be expected to make appropriate adjustments in their activities in consultation with their organizational unit. Other staff members will be expected to utilize compensatory time, vacation, or unpaid time off for all hours involved during their regular work schedule. With the approval of their supervisors, employees may make up lost time within the same work week or may elect to work their regularly scheduled hours even though the university may be closed to the general public or classes have been canceled. Staff members working in areas of the university that are vital to university operations and are not generally closed, such as food service, security, power plant, animal care, critical maintenance or snow removal functions should follow the specific policies and procedures established for their areas of operation.

If classes are canceled or the university is officially closed, an announcement will be made to the local news media. Concerned persons may also phone the Campus Information Center (515-294-4000) or access the Iowa State University website home page for current information. If the university is to be closed or classes canceled, the decision will also be communicated to affected deans, directors, and department heads who will in turn notify affected employees.

Official closings of the university have occurred only rarely. If the university is not officially closed, all employees will be expected to work their normal hours unless they have received supervisory permission to be absent. Employees should promptly notify their immediate supervisor whenever it is impossible to report to work.

If the university has not officially closed the employee may (1) make a request to make up compensatory time within the work period, or (2) request vacation pay, or (3) take unpaid time off. Employees who are unable to get home after completing a regular schedule of work will be paid only for the number of hours of work that have been authorized by their immediate supervisor.