Weather/Short Term Emergency Closings Policy

  • Custodian of Policy: Provost
    Relevant Minnesota State System Policy: 4.4 Weather/Short Term Emergency Closings
    Relevant Procedures: Administrative Procedure Weather Emergency Plan
    Effective Date: Fall 2013
    Last Review: Spring 2015
    Next Review: 2021

    Part 1. Cancellation of classes due to weather or other short-term emergencies.

    The authority to cancel classes due to weather conditions or other short term emergencies resides with the President or designee. Cancellation of classes does not excuse any employee from work. Each individual must take into account his/her own circumstances for travel and decide accordingly whether or not travel is safe. Employees of the university may take personal leave, vacation leave or use earned compensatory time when classes are canceled and they choose not to work.

    Part 2. Campus closing due to weather or other emergency.

    The president or designee may close the university campus due to weather or other short term emergency for 6 calendar days or less. The Long Term Emergency Management Policy is applicable for long term closures. The closure of state agencies by the Commissioner of the Department of Employee Relations does not apply to Minnesota State system institutions.

    The Provost and Vice President of Finance and Administration shall consult with appropriate entities and individuals to assess weather and travel conditions and advise the President accordingly.

    Essential employees will not be excused from work when the campus is closed. Each individual must take into account his/her own circumstances for travel and decide accordingly whether or not travel is safe. Weather essential employees may take vacation leave or use earned compensatory time when the campus is closed and they choose to be absent from work.

    Notification of campus closings will occur using E2 Campus, the MSUM website and local radio/television stations: KXJB (4), WDAY (6) KVLY (11) and KFGO (790 AM). Notification will be posted on the University website by 6:00 a.m. for morning classes, 10:30 a.m. for afternoon classes, and 2:30 p.m. for evening classes.

    When a campus closing is declared, university employees are excused from work with pay. An employee’s absence with pay for an individual emergency situation shall not exceed the equivalent of two work days unless the Chancellor authorizes a longer period. A campus closure applies to all employees without regard to labor contract. Weather or other emergency essential employees who are not excused from work will be paid at their regular rate of pay.

    The declaration of a campus closure shall, whenever possible, clearly identify the timeframe when employees are excused from work.


    Essential Employee: Positions and employees of the University who provide services that are essential to the well-being of students and those functions deemed essential to personal safety and the protection or preservation of the State's investments such as property during an emergency.

    A list of employees designated as essential shall be developed at the beginning of each school year using the Meet and Confer process with affected Bargaining Units. Employees designated as essential shall be notified of their status no later than September 1. The list will be maintained by the Provost and will be distributed to Bargaining Units.


    This policy outlines the decision making processes for the cancellation of classes or closure of the University in the case of weather or other short term emergency. Since the nature of emergencies varies, there is a need to determine with each occurrence, what services will be available and what events will take place as scheduled. Additionally, this policy recognizes the need to maintain the availability of essential services that support the safety and well-being of the campus community and the integrity and security of University facilities.