Inclement Weather


Inclement Weather Procedures

Because the University of Oregon (UO) is a residential campus with 24/7 operations, we rarely close.  In rare circumstances, however, hazardous weather conditions may force cancellation of classes and/or activities for part or all of a day. Closure decisions and procedures are managed in accordance with the university Closure of Facilities and Operations policy.

Please review this information and make plans now, before the onset of inclement weather.

Inclement Weather Notifications

UO will communicate information about delay, cancellation, or closure decisions for the Eugene campus as described on the Immediate Updates webpage

Official communication of any changes to the university’s schedule comes through UO Alerts texts and emails. Emails come to all “uoregon.edu” accounts. To receive UO Alerts text messages in all emergencies, including weather situations, all employees and students should make sure current mobile numbers are activated. Manage UO Alerts at duckweb.uoregon.edu.

Cancellation, delayed start, and early closure decisions

Weather-related schedule changes for the UO Eugene campus are made by senior leadership staff and Incident Management Team members, in consultation with local public safety, utility, and weather experts. Because weather conditions can rapidly change, and because schedule changes can be so disruptive to a complex academic and research institution, decisions are usually made each morning based on best available information and then communicated as soon as possible. For more information, see the recent article published in Around the O Workplace.

Cancellation, delayed start, and early closure decisions for UO campuses outside of Eugene are based on local conditions, with decisions made by designated sources:

  • UO Portland follows Portland State University.
  • Pine Mountain Observatory/UO Bend Center follow the Bend-La Pine School District.
  • Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston decisions are made at the discretion of OIMB senior leadership.

Absences Due To Inclement Weather

It is understood that not everyone may be able to travel to campus in inclement weather. Members of the campus community are expected to use their best judgment in assessing the risk of coming to campus, based on individual circumstances. Employees should work with supervisors on any schedule changes.

Employees who are unable to report to work because of inclement weather or because the university has closed may use accrued vacation, compensatory time, exchange time, personal leave or leave without pay to cover the missed work time, if applicable.  Use of accrued sick leave is appropriate only in the case of illness.  Should an employee not have enough paid leave to cover the unexpected absence, supervisors are encouraged to allow employees to make up the time, operational needs permitting and should consult with HR in the event the employee does not have enough accrued leave to cover the closure.

Employees responsible for responding to inclement weather and related cleanup under the university’s closure policy are expected to report to work, provided they can do so safely. Employees in this category should contact their supervisors if they have concerns about safety, related to traveling to campus. Those required to be on campus should use extreme caution outdoors and beware of downed trees or power lines, or other hazards. Avoid walking in and around campus if possible.

More information about compensation during periods of inclement weather is provided if/when a weather event occurs.

The university may remain open while public schools and local child-care centers close due to weather.  Supervisors are encouraged to recognize the difficulties this creates for working parents by responding with as much flexibility as the particular work environment allows.  Supervisors may permit parents to make an alternative arrangement or to take work home, if the specific job duties accommodate that arrangement. Please refer to the Family Support policy for more information.

Essential Services

Regardless of the cancellation or closure decision, employees who perform essential duties are expected to come to work.  Examples include those who work at the central power plant, in residence halls and dining services, in public safety, and those responsible for snow removal or storm cleanup.   Supervisors of employees who perform essential service work are responsible for communicating attendance expectations in advance and discussing anticipated transportation difficulties.

Supervisor Preparation

University managers and supervisors need to prepare for inclement weather in two ways:

First, notify those employees (if any) who perform essential duties of the expectation to report to work during inclement weather regardless of a university closure and discuss transportation options if that poses difficulties for the employees.

Second, prepare for notification:

  • Maintain an up-to-date after hours phone contact list including all employees and student workers.  Be mindful of sharing this information on a need to know basis.
  • Take responsibility for calling staff or delegate this responsibility to a staff member in advance.
  • Provide employees with the supervisor’s after hours phone number(s).
  • Review the process with staff.

Faculty and Student Communication

Faculty members not able to travel to campus to convene their classes are responsible for notifying students in a timely manner when classes are cancelled.  Faculty should ensure that students fully understand how to get inclement weather information before traveling to campus; please include this information on the syllabus.  Faculty members should contact their home department with cancellation information as a first point of contact and use at least one other method to communicate with students.  Options available both on and off campus include:

  • Canvas has an announcement feature that emails or texts students according to their notification preferences.  (Link to Canvas Instructions)
  • Send an email directly to all students. Class lists in DuckWeb include email addresses.

It is very important that students know in advance the method(s) each faculty member will use.  In addition, all faculty members are asked to exercise flexibility with students who miss class or are unable to submit coursework as a result of inclement weather.

Questions

Please contact your direct supervisor or department director with any questions.  Questions may also be directed to the Human Resources Service Center at 6-3159.