Winter Weather and Safety

Photo of William T. Young Library in the winter

In everything we do – and especially in this season of thanksgiving – it’s important to remember why we’re here and recognize the people who make our experiences on campus possible.

As we transition into another cold season, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the University’s Facilities Management staff, whose efforts are vitally important during periods of inclement weather.

When it snows or when the temperature falls below freezing, they arrive early on campus to clear sidewalks and roads, all in the interest of maintaining safety. Their diligence allows us to remain operational and to continue fulfilling our mission.

In keeping the campus safe for all, I’d like to remind our faculty, staff, and students of the University’s policies and procedures during severe weather conditions.

UK’s policy is to keep all offices open and classes meeting as scheduled except under extraordinary weather conditions. We strive to ensure that university-wide cancellation of classes, office closures and delayed openings are announced by 6 a.m. on UK Alert, our emergency notification system. Closure of the campus and early dismissals of departments or units is a decision made by President Capilouto in consultation with senior staff.

However, individual faculty members have discretion to cancel their class during operational hours. Check your email and Canvas for any direct notifications from faculty.

While we continue to put the safety of our campus first, we must ensure that we can maintain our critical missions of education, research, service, and patient care.  Our goal is to always keep campus fully operational, but there are rare occasions when we must alter our normal schedule or close campus and operate on our severe weather staffing plan known as Plan B.

Plan B is the University's emergency severe weather plan implemented when classes must be canceled or delayed, or offices closed. Plan B requires designated employees to report to work even when classes are delayed or canceled or if offices are closed.

To help reduce confusion during closings and delays, all employees now fall under one of three categories:

  • Designated employee: Regular attendance is required when Plan B staffing is in effect.
  • Designated employee via remote access: Employee may work remotely during Plan B staffing; if remote access is unavailable, employee must report to work.
  • Non-designated employee: Employee should not report to work unless specifically contacted by a supervisor and asked to do so.

While some campus employees must still report to work during Plan B, in general, most campus employees are non-designated. Should non-designated employees work during Plan B, they will not receive emergency closing time off to be taken at a later date.

These procedures involve all aspects of the University of Kentucky, except they are NOT applicable to employees of the UK HealthCare facilities.  UK HealthCare facilities remain open during University emergencies, even if there is a temporary suspension or alteration of normal operations of the University of Kentucky by the President.  During such temporary suspensions or alterations, UK HealthCare clinical operations continue under Plan B staffing.  For more details on the UK Healthcare’s severe weather procedures visit:

Employee designations may also change based on the needs of the University or individual departments and colleges. It is important to discuss your position and Plan B category with your supervisor. For more information on employee designation and procedures on Plan B days or other university emergencies, please review HR Policy and Procedure #71.

The most up-to-date information during emergencies can be found in the following places:

To review and update your UK Alert account and preferences, simply log in to myUK and click the UK Alert tab, found under the “Student Services” tab for students and the “Employee Self-Service” tab for employees.

For more details regarding the University’s severe weather procedures, visit

Have a restful break, and stay safe.

Eric N. Monday @UKYMonday​ #seeblue