Inclement Winter Weather

General guidance regarding UO procedures, notifications, and weather-related schedule changes is provided on the Inclement Weather webpage. Information below addresses specific issues that arise when the university is impacted by winter weather.

University Closures

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. More information about cancellation, delayed start, and early closure decisions and notifications can be found on the Inclement Weather webpage.

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.

The university may remain open while public schools and local childcare 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.

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 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.

Working remotely
Employees who work remotely are expected to continue working as usual during periods of inclement weather. However, in the event that inclement weather disrupts one’s ability to perform their work remotely, they should contact their supervisor to discuss the circumstances and coordinate a plan. In the event they cannot travel safely to campus or the UO is closed, employees who normally work in person at a UO site should consult with their supervisors to determine whether there is work they can perform remotely. If so, they should perform this work, with written supervisor approval.

Compensation during campus closures or delayed openings

Compensation during periods of inclement weather follows collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and UO policies and procedures. General guidance is available for faculty and officers of administration, and for SEIU employees. For more detailed explanation and guidelines, and information for other employee groups, please review the applicable CBA or policy.

Guidance is highly dependent on the circumstances of a particular closure or delayed opening. Therefore, more information about compensation during periods of inclement weather will be issued if/when a weather event occurs.

Please note, the SEIU collective bargaining agreement provides paid time for the first 48 hours of campus closures and delays due to inclement weather or hazardous conditions that occur during the contract period for employees who are scheduled to work at the time of a closure.

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.

Instructor-Student Communication

Instructors who are unable to travel to campus to convene their classes are responsible for notifying students in a timely manner when classes are cancelled or the teaching modality changes. Instructors should ensure that students fully understand how to get inclement weather information before traveling to campus; please include this information on the syllabus. Instructors 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.


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.