Inclement Weather Policy

Viterbo University Inclement Weather Policy

Viterbo University implements its Inclement Weather Plan when conditions make travel dangerous or other events (fire, chemical spill, etc) cause serious safety concerns.  During deteriorating weather conditions, it should be assumed that scheduled activities will continue unless an official announcement is made via University Communications. Those who travel to or from campus should use their judgment as to whether or not such travel is wise. Employees should see the Employee Handbook for detailed information.

Many factors go into making decisions whether or not to cancel classes, or close the campus. Classes may be cancelled all day or for a portion of a day. Special events (i.e., fine arts performance, lecture, athletic contest) may or may not continue at the discretion of the event sponsor.

Some factors in the cancellation discussion include:

  • Most students live on or near campus and do not have to travel long distances to campus.
  • Many students depend on university services (dining, exercise, etc.) that would be affected with closure.
  • Our university students are adults who can make reasonable decisions about their personal safety.
  • The university can't schedule additional days to make up for lost class time, as K–12 schools do.
  • In extreme situations, faculty have the ability to individually make decisions about whether to hold class or make other accommodations due to weather. Faculty are asked to post individual class cancellations on their course Moodle pages and to notify their dean. Alternate instruction is required in the case of an instructor cancellation.  

When the plan is implemented, employees, students, and others should look to the following for changes to the regular university schedule:

Any class cancellation or campus closure announced will represent only the La Crosse campus. Satellite locations in Iowa or Wisconsin will be announced separately. Off-campus site directors will have local authority, though should consult with the vice president for academic affairs or the executive director of university relations to collaborate and coordinate communications regarding any proposed class cancellation or site closure.

When classes are cancelled but the campus remains open, the following list of essential support services that will remain open includes but is not limited to:

Essential Support Service Decision Maker on Staffing Level
Library Directory, Library
Dining Room/Food Service Director, Food Service
Mathy Center Director, Recreation
Residence Life Assistant Dean, Student Community
Campus Security Director, Campus Safety and Security
Physical Plant/Maintenance Director, Physical Plant


Hours in these areas and others may be diminished or adjusted in some cases with the permission of the appropriate vice president. Hours will be posted when they are changed from normal operations.

Employees should consult the Employee Handbook in determining whether to report to work.

When classes are cancelled:

  • fine arts rehearsals and sport practices will also be cancelled.
  • those who are enrolled in student teaching should follow the schedule of their cooperating district or school.
  • students in internships should use their judgement as to whether to report to the internship site. It is the intern’s responsibility to communicate with the internship site.
  • students enrolled in clinical placements will follow the university guidance and the explanation below.

    Process for Clinical Placement during the Inclement Weather Plan
    Because the clinical experience and travel to the sites may begin prior to other university functions, deans, in consultation with faculty leading the clinical experience, will make the determination by 10 p.m. the evening prior to the experience, based on the weather predictions. This means it is possible that clinical experiences may be cancelled while university classes continue to occur. Deans will communicate cancellation decisions to the vice president for academic affairs and the executive director of university relations.

Those responsible for sponsoring a special event (i.e., fine arts performance, lecture, athletic competition) may or may not determine to hold or cancel the planned event, provided the campus remains open. The responsible party is required to provide appropriate notification to participants.  If campus is closed, these special events will also be cancelled.

University employees should consult with their supervisor and the university's Inclement Weather Policy in making decisions about any change in work schedules.

Approved by cabinet/deans 11/18/20