Campus Closures and Weather Delays

During a weather-related delay or closure, campus officials will continue to monitor conditions and will provide updates to the college community as necessary. The most up-to-date information will be shared via Penn State's PSUAlert system and on the college's website, digital signage, Facebook, Twitter, and local television stations.

All employees and students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety. Faculty, staff and students should use their own best judgment when considering traveling to campus or the need to leave early during times of inclement weather. Faculty and staff should review Handling Weather Day Absences (Human Resources Guideline 10) for specific information on how time missed for weather situations is handled. Union-represented employees should reference their collective bargaining agreements. Information on class attendance policies is available at undergrad.psu.edu (Policy E-11) and in Faculty Senate Policy 42-27 (Class Attendance).

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Classes and Exams

In the event of a change in normal campus operations due to weather or an emergency, such as during a delay or cancellation, in-person courses cannot be moved to a synchronous remote meeting, per Faculty Senate Policy 45-00, due to the fact that all students, faculty and instructors may not have the same access to University facilities and resources (such as Wi-Fi or materials needed for specialized instruction) or they may have other commitments, such as child care.

Based on a course’s mode of delivery, the following actions apply during a change in normal campus operations:

  • In-person: The instructor can choose to cancel class altogether or offer content asynchronously (such as recording a lecture for students to watch at another time or asking students to complete a reading or other self-directed learning activity). The class may not meet remote synchronously.
  • Hybrid: If the class is scheduled to meet in-person on the day of the change in normal operations, then content can be offered asynchronously or the class can be canceled. Otherwise, asynchronous content can be offered as planned.
  • Remote synchronous: Classes already scheduled as remote synchronous may continue to be taught remote synchronously if the faculty member wishes and is safely able to do so. Alternatively, classes may be canceled or offered asynchronously.
  • Web: Classes will continue to be offered as planned with no changes.  

Unless an instructor is designated an “essential employee,” they should not travel to campus during a change in normal campus operations. If a faculty member’s use of a classroom or other setting for specialized instructional materials is necessary in order to teach a class previously scheduled to be delivered remotely, then that class should be offered asynchronously or canceled.

Additional Guidance for Staff

With the return to primarily in-person or hybrid working arrangements, it is recommended that all supervisors talk with their employees about their expectations prior to any winter weather that may approach their area. Supervisors should be flexible to allow employees the option to use accrued vacation, personal or holiday time, adjust hours during a change in normal campus operations, or transition to remote operations, where operationally feasible.

During a change in campus operations, the following procedures are in place for employees based on their individual work circumstances:

  • Employees required to report to campus (Essential)
    Employees who are required to report to campus for work and have been previously identified as performing duties essential to maintaining operations should report to campus as directed. During such events, employees who are required to report to campus for work are eligible for Campus Closure Compensatory Time for all hours worked, subject to guideline provisions. Employees should clarify their status as essential or nonessential with their supervisor before inclement weather strikes.
  • Employees working on campus (Non-essential)
    Employees who have not been previously identified as performing duties essential to maintaining operations, who are unable to perform their work remotely, and who are currently reporting to campus for their job, should not report to work. Such employees are eligible for Campus Closure Pay, subject to guideline provisions. 
    Employees who are currently working on campus but who can perform their job responsibilities remotely should not report to campus and instead work remotely. Such employees are not eligible for Campus Closure Compensatory Time.
  • Employees working remotely (including hybrid schedules): If an employee is working remotely and the employee continues to be able to work, they should perform their regularly assigned work functions. The employee is not eligible for Campus Closure Compensatory Time. An employee working a rotating schedule of on-campus and remote work (i.e., a hybrid location schedule) should plan to work remotely when there is a potential for, and/or during, inclement weather, regardless of rotation schedule. Such employees are not eligible for Campus Closure Compensatory Time. 
  • Employees working at an alternate work location: If an employee is working at an alternate location (e.g., attending a conference or training) and the employee continues to be able to work, they should perform their regularly assigned work functions. Such employees are not eligible for Campus Closure Compensatory Time if they are able to fulfill their job responsibilities.

Employees who have questions about a campus closure should contact their unit’s Human Resources consultant.

Supervisors should be flexible to allow employees the option to use accrued vacation or personal or holiday time, adjust hours during a campus closure, or transition to remote operations, where operationally feasible.

On-campus, In-person Activities during Delayed Openings

Any scheduled in-person activities that begin before the announced delay time are canceled. Activities beginning at or after the announced delay time will be held as originally scheduled.

Critical Services

When the campus is closed due to inclement weather, the college continues to provide critical services to the students who live on campus, including housing and food. Note: If normal hours of operation of on-campus dining facilities change, residential students will be notified directly by Housing and Food Services.
Police Services and other emergency services also remain operational around the clock, regardless of the weather. The safety of our Penn State Harrisburg community remains a priority, and everyone is urged to use extra caution during inclement weather. 


References and Additional Information

C-5. College Operations during Periods of Inclement or Dangerous Weather Conditions or Other Weather-Related Emergencies

Senate Policy 45-00, Faculty and Student Responsibilities Regarding Cancelled Classes When a Campus is Closed