Winter Weather Policies

Monday, December 11, 2017

As the cold-weather season is now upon us, we would like to share the University of Kentucky’s policies and practices during severe weather conditions. The safety of our students, employees, patients, and visitors in times of severe weather is of the utmost importance to the University of Kentucky.

In general, UK’s policy is to keep all offices open and classes meeting as scheduled, except under extraordinary weather conditions.  UK Alert, our emergency notification system, will be activated in times of University closings, delays, and early dismissals, and is also used in the event of other major emergencies on campus. Generally, a UK alert will be sent to a student, faculty, or staff member’s email, texted to their phone, and delivered via a phone call. However, individual preferences for alerts can be managed through myUK. 

This is an excellent time to review and update your UK Alert account and preferences. To review and update your account, you should simply log in to myUK ( and click the UK Alert tab. For students, this will be in the “Student Services” tab. Employees will find the UK Alert tab under the “Employee Self-Service” tab.

On rare occasions, it may be necessary to alter the University schedule. All faculty, staff, and students should note that announcements regarding university-wide cancelation of classes and closure of offices, or delayed openings, will normally be made by 6 am.  Keep in mind that even if Fayette County schools are closed, University of Kentucky classes will remain on schedule and offices will be open, unless announced otherwise via a UK Alert message.

We encourage students to remember that individual faculty members may also cancel classes when the University is still open and operating. Check your email and Canvas for notifications directly from instructors.

In making staff decisions on days of severe winter weather, we always are mindful of the safety of all members of our community. We must balance that concern with sustaining our critical missions of education, research, service, and patient care.  While our goal is always to keep campus fully operational, 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.

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 will be 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.

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:

Details about the University’s severe weather procedures can be found at

We are immensely thankful for our Physical Plant Division staff, who diligently keep our campus safe by clearing sidewalks and roads during periods of inclement weather.  Please join me in thanking them for their outstanding work.

And, please, stay safe in the upcoming winter months, as we close out the semester.

Have a great finals week. 


Eric N. Monday