Snow on campus

Change in Weather: What You Need to Know About University Snow Closures

October 15, 2020

Despite the low number of people coming to campus to help in the fight against COVID-19, faculty and students are encouraged to review CU Denver’s inclement weather procedures ahead of the winter season. The past two years, campus was hit with several powerful storms, necessitating late starts, early dismissals, and campus closures. As a result, CU Denver revisited its policies last year. Here’s what students and faculty of the downtown campus need to know:

If weather conditions necessitate a delayed start:

  • If a class is scheduled to begin before the delayed start time of campus, it is cancelled.  
  • There is no institutional policy about rescheduling a class cancelled for inclement weather. If you would like to do so, please discuss with your department chair. 

If weather conditions necessitate an early dismissal:

  • If a class is scheduled to begin after early dismissal time, it is cancelled.  
  • If a class straddles release time, it is cancelled completely. For example, if campus is closing at 2 p.m., a class that runs from 1 – 3 p.m. is cancelled. 

Attendance policies during campus closures:

  • Any individual mandatory attendance policies for specific classes are suspended if campus is closed. Faculty should not require students to attend a class when campus is closed due to inclement weather.  
  • If campus is open during inclement weather, we encourage both students and faculty to use their judgment as to their ability to reach campus safely. Students should communicate with faculty and faculty with their department chairs if they feel unable to reach campus in a safe manner.  

A collective and cooperative decision

Last year Roderick Nairn, PhD, provost and executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, sent an email to faculty that stressed the consideration that goes into campus closures. Decisions are always made collectively and cooperatively by the members of the Auraria Executive Council (AEC) or their designees, which includes leadership from each of the three educational institutions on campus (CU Denver, Metropolitan State University and Community College of Denver), as well as AHEC (Auroria Higher Education Center).

AEC members receive information directly from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boulder and also consult with AHEC Facilities Services. Before and during a storm, AHEC officials participate in public-safety conference calls with the NWS and consult with campus safety officials. The officials then evaluate the information with Facilities Services to gauge the team’s ability to keep the campus accessible and safe.

“Please know that we take campus closures very seriously as we understand the impact closures can have on the learning experience,” Nairn wrote in his email. He encourages faculty to print the PDF below and have it on hand through the season.