Published: Jan. 26, 2022

CU Boulder adopted a new campus closure policy in December, which clarifies delays and closures caused by extreme weather and other emergencies. Major snowstorms are one of the most common reasons campus may experience a delay or closure. Here are the top things campus community members need to know before the next storm.

Knowing operational status

Campus officials are typically able to announce delays or closures by 5:30 a.m. Notifications of delays and closures are sent out via CU Boulder Alerts, campus social media channels and, often, local broadcast media. You can also view the university’s website for any change in operating status, as well as complete information on campus closing procedures.

Class cancellation and administrative closures

In the event of a campus closure due to severe weather, the alert will specify a class cancellation, administrative closure or both. 

When a class cancellation is issued, all in-person and remote (synchronous) classes are canceled for the day. Asynchronous online classes, which don’t have meeting times, will continue without cancellation. 

When an administrative closure is issued, administrative functions of the campus are closed, which may include campus events, facilities and venues. Essential services, unless otherwise noted, will continue to operate.

Administrative closures without course cancellations would be rare but may be issued during weekends or academic breaks when there are no regularly scheduled classes.

Are you signed up for CU Boulder Alerts?

  • CU Boulder students, you are automatically registered using your @colorado.edu email address. We ask that you add a mobile number during course registration periods and update as needed in Buff Portal. Instructions on how to do so can be found here.
  • CU Boulder faculty and staff, you are automatically registered using your @colorado.edu email address. Manage your mobile alerts number, and update as needed in your MyCUInfo portal. Instructions on how to do so can be found here.
  • CU Boulder partners with @cu.edu, @cufund.org, @cusys.edu, @ucdenver.edu or @cuanschutz.edu email domains must still register and maintain their information here
  • Affiliates who are not a student, faculty or staff and do not have one of the emails domains listed above can opt in to CU Boulder Alerts to receive text alerts by texting “cuaffiliate” to 81437.

Delayed start

Sometimes, due to adverse conditions judged to be hazardous to normal campus operations, the campus will delay its opening.

For example, if the campus were to have a delayed start at 9:45 a.m., this would mean all in-person or remote (synchronously taught) classes, recitations, labs, etc. scheduled to begin before 9:45 a.m. would be canceled. Faculty would take steps to make up material and assignments missed during that time in a later class period. All classes, labs, recitations, etc. scheduled to begin at or after 9:45 a.m. would be held as normal. Students with questions about making up assignments should talk to their instructor.

How does a delayed opening apply during the spring 2022 semester?

  • Any in-person or remote (synchronously taught) class or lab scheduled to start at or after a delayed start time will meet as usual.
  • In-person and remote (synchronously taught) classes and labs that begin before the delayed start time are canceled, including those continuing past the late opening.
  • Online classes taught asynchronously, without a specific start time, are not affected by the delay.

Employee guidance

Administrative leave is granted to all regular employees for their scheduled work hours during the period of administrative closure. Employees may reference the Inclement Weather Guidance from Human Resources for more information, including requirements and guidance for essential and critical services employees who may be required to work during a delay or closure per the updated Campus Closure Policy.

Most faculty and staff are not expected to work during an administrative closure or delayed start regardless of work modality. In the event that multi-campus, virtual meetings not pertaining to the closure are scheduled, communication will be sent to impacted employees as early as possible. All other meetings are canceled, regardless of modality (i.e., virtual).   

Resources and reminders

Always exercise caution during severe weather. It’s important to be prepared for adverse conditions on streets, sidewalks and multiuse paths caused by snow and ice.

CU Boulder, the city of Boulder and the Colorado Department of Transportation offer several helpful resources and reminders for when the flakes start flying.

  • In the event of a campus closure or delay, the university will send a CU Alert message advising of campus operating status.
  • After the campus opening status is determined, Buff Info line will also provide a recorded message for callers who are unsure about whether the campus is closed. Buff Info can be reached at 303-492-INFO (4636).
  • CU Boulder operations personnel from multiple departments work in concert with the city to remove snow from campus streets, parking lots, sidewalks and multiuse paths. It’s always important during storms to exercise caution when traversing campus, whether by foot, by bike or by vehicle. You are reminded to always wear appropriate footwear and to be careful getting in and out of vehicles, including buses.
  • Snowy weather can cause road closures and situations where campus officials must change bus routes to accommodate safe and accessible roads to and from campus. Riders should check the Transit app for campus bus updates and reroute alerts. Commuting students, faculty and staff riding to/from campus via RTD bus routes are encouraged to sign up for RTD Rider Alerts.
  • CU Boulder’s Division of Emergency Management features several weather safety tips on its website.
  • The city of Boulder’s snow and ice removal website features key things you can do to stay informed and be prepared for a snow event.
  • The Colorado Department of Transportation includes winter driving safety tips, reminders and road-condition updates on its website.
  • The latest Boulder weather forecast information can be found on the National Weather Service website.

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