Published: March 13, 2024

CU Boulder’s campus closure policy 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

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 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 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,,, or email domains must still register and maintain their information here.

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 2023–24 academic year?

  • 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).

Safety tips

Plan ahead, give yourself sufficient time and plan your route. Traffic moves slowly in snowy conditions; leave early to arrive on time. Rushing can lead to accidents or slips and falls.

Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice. Opt for boots or shoes with a sturdy and slip-resistant outsole.

Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles, climbing or descending stairs, entering or leaving buildings.  Hold on to a handrail on stairs, and hold on to your vehicle while exiting and entering it.

Walk on designated walkways. Don’t take shortcuts over snow piles or areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible. You may have to use different routes than usual.

Walk safely on snow or ice. Take small steps: Keep your steps small and shuffle your feet rather than taking long strides. This helps maintain balance and reduces the risk of slipping.

Walk flat-footed. Instead of walking with your weight on your heels or toes, distribute your weight evenly across your foot with each step. 


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