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  Cornell University

The University Faculty

Office of the Dean

Inclement Weather Shutdowns

Here is the University Statement on Continuity of Service during inclement weather. Weather-related campus closures are rare , but when they do happen a shutdown process is followed:

Policy 8.2 on Inclement Weather

Inclement Weather Protocol. 

This FAQ provides more information. Here are answers to some “shutdown” questions typically posed by faculty:

I teach a small class and was able to determine that everybody is willing and able to walk to class.   Am I allowed to hold class even if the University is officially closed?

It should be appreciated that there  is more to safety than just a willingness to trudge through the snow. What if a student is struck by a car on campus because an impassable sidewalk made walking in the street necessary to get to class? For reasons like that, holding class when the university has closed for safety reasons is not authorized. A faculty member who chooses to ignore the decision will be personally liable for any claims that might result.

Is there a contingency plan that makes it easier to reschedule weather-cancelled evening prelims?

Before the actual the severe weather arrives, the Office of the University Registrar will contact instructors of possibly-cancelled prelims with various make-up options, e.g., Wednesday (evening), Saturday (afternoon), Sunday (afternoon/evening)  and  Monday (evening). Room reservation support can be expected.

What if the university is closed on a day when a final exam is scheduled?

Before the actual the severe weather arrives, the Office of the University Registrar will contact instructors of possibly-cancelled final exams  with various make-up options. Those options will depend on where in the exam period the weather disruption occurs.

I teach a large course that has labs scheduled every day of the week. Thus, if we have a one-day weather event it knocks out the  lab component of our course for the entire week. Is there anything we can do about this?

This can be difficult since scheduling make-up labs “soon enough” can be problematic given facilities limitations  and the necessity of staying  in sync with the un-cancelled labs. Compressing and doubling up with the next week lab is sometimes the only option.

What can I do in advance of a snow day to ensure  that I am ready?

(a) Make sure you know how to reach your class via email, e.g., via Faculty Center. (b) Use Blackboard or some other related system that enables students to access course materials over the Web. More.

Last Updated: January 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm