In the event of a change in normal campus operations due to weather or an emergency, campus officials will continue to monitor conditions and will provide updates to the college community as necessary. The most up-to-date information will primarily be shared via Penn State's PSUAlert system and on the college's website and digital signage. Additional outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, and local television stations, will be utilized as appropriate.
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).
Table of Contents
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 (except in extenuating circumstances), 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 except for when extenuating circumstances exist (see University Faculty Senate policy 45-00).
- 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.
- Web: Classes will continue to be offered as planned with no changes.
Employees who perform “essential” services: 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, subject to guideline provisions. Employees should clarify their status as essential or nonessential with their supervisor before inclement weather strikes.
All other employees should not report to work until the resumption of normal campus operations and are eligible for Campus Closure Pay per university policy. Employees should review the “official closedowns” section of the University’s Handling Weather Day Absences policy (Human Resources Guideline 10) for specific information on how time missed for weather situations is handled.
Employees who have questions about a campus closure should contact their unit’s Human Resources consultant.
Following a delay, classes or activities beginning at or after the announced time for the resumption of normal campus operations will be held as originally scheduled, unless a campus provides other, specific guidance. For example, in the case of a two-hour morning delay until 10 a.m. due to snow or ice, classes beginning at 10 a.m. or later will continue on their regular schedule, while classes scheduled to begin prior to 10 a.m. will be subject to the provisions outlined in the “Classes” section above. Note that some campuses follow a compressed schedule to accommodate delayed starts. Each campus community should refer to its campus website for the most current information.
Any in-person activities that are scheduled to begin during a delayed campus opening are canceled. Activities beginning at or after the announced time for resuming campus operations will be held as originally scheduled.
Official Information Source
The University’s primary source for information on inclement weather is PSUAlert. An active Penn State account is required for users to access PSUAlert and add or change contact settings, such as additional emails and cell numbers for text messages. Although signup for the PSUAlert system is reserved for students, faculty and staff, members of the public are encouraged to follow alerts from Penn State’s campuses via Facebook and Twitter. Specific links for those who wish to follow PSUAlert messages on Facebook and Twitter, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, can be found at psualert.psu.edu.
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.