Inclement Weather Reminder (with special instructions for Spring 2021 semester)

This message is to remind Marshall students, faculty and staff how the university responds when harsh winter weather occurs.

Should there be weather conditions that make travel potentially dangerous, students and employees are reminded to use their own judgment before venturing out.

  • Faculty members should make every effort to notify students in advance if they need to cancel a face-to-face class.
  • Students should inform and work with their instructors regarding expected absences from face-to-face classes due to weather, including any updates to their course schedules and assignments. Nursing, medical, pharmacy, physical therapy and other students in clinical rotations should contact their supervisors for specific instructions regarding inclement weather.
  • Employees who are prevented by weather conditions from getting to work or getting to work on time should notify their supervisor as soon as possible to make arrangements to charge accrued annual leave or compensatory time (in the event compensatory time is owed them) for the portion of the workday missed. Employees are not permitted to work from home as a matter of convenience or as an alternative to using accrued annual leave or compensatory time. Current, approved telecommuting agreements will continue to be honored in accordance with the terms under which they were granted.

A declaration of a weather emergency by the governor does not automatically close Marshall University campuses or offices. In addition, cancellation or delays announced by local K-12 county school systems do not affect Marshall University.

Generally it is the university’s policy to maintain its normal schedule, even when conditions are inclement. Any decision to cancel or delay classes—or to close the university or a divisional campus or office—will be made after university administrators have consulted about the condition of campus grounds and facilities, and reviewed area road conditions. Decisions regarding morning cancellations or delays will generally be made and announced by 6 a.m. 

Special Notes for Spring 2021 Semester:

Unless a student receives specific instructions from their instructor or program, the following special inclement weather guidelines are in place this semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Classes being offered entirely in virtual format during the pandemic will not be canceled or delayed due to inclement weather. These classes will continue without weather-related interruptions.
  • Classes offered entirely in face-to-face format will be subject to delays or cancellations, as outlined below.
  • Classes offered in a hybrid format (mix of virtual and face-to-face) will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Students enrolled in these classes should contact their instructors for information about whether a previously scheduled face-to-face class session will be canceled or will meet virtually instead. Sessions already scheduled for virtual convening will continue without weather-related interruptions.

How will I know if there are delays or cancellations?

When it is necessary to alter the university’s operating schedule in response to weather conditions, every effort is made to notify everyone affected—students, faculty, staff and the general public—expeditiously and comprehensively in the following ways:

  • Marshall’s homepage (Note: The authoritatively correct statement of the institution’s operating status is stipulated by university policy to be the message across the top of the homepage.);
  • MU Alert emergency messaging system automated text messages, e-mails and/or phone calls;
  • Social media – @marshallu on Facebook and Twitter; and
  • Local television and radio stations.

The following terminology often is used in notifications:

  • University Closed:  All classes suspended and offices closed;
  • Classes Cancelled:  All classes suspended and offices open;
  • Delay Code A:  Classes are delayed, but no delay in the opening of offices; or
  • Delay Code B:  Classes and office openings are delayed.

Class operation under delays:  Under both categories of delay, students should go to the class that would begin at the stated delay time or the class that would have convened within 30 minutes of the stated delay time. A two-hour delay means that classes that begin at 10 a.m. and later begin on time. Classes that begin at 9:30 a.m. meet at 10 a.m. and continue for the remaining normal schedule of that class.

In the event of delays and cancellations, many units will remain operational, including dining and residence hall services, grounds and housekeeping crews, medical clinics and others. These units are reminded to review their emergency internal operating procedures.

Certain critical and emergency employees may be required to report to work on time or earlier than normal despite the particular delay code or cancellation announced.

The university’s policy regarding inclement weather is available on the Board of Governor’s webpage.