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Severe Weather Operations Policy

Capital University Severe Weather


Severe weather may create conditions hazardous to the health of students, faculty and staff, either on campus or while in transit to/from the University. When severe weather conditions exist or are anticipated, the following severe weather operations policy shall apply.


The president of Capital University or his/her designee has the sole authority to cancel classes and activities or close the University in a weather emergency, including but not limited to extreme cold, blizzard, ice or loss of power.


The following guidelines will be used when considering severe weather operations.

Guidelines for Canceling Classes & Activities

  • The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office issues a Snow Emergency.
  • Area college campuses (i.e., The Ohio State University, Franklin University, Ohio Dominican University) close/cancel because of inclement weather. 
  • Facilities Management personnel are unable to clear campus walkways and parking areas to a degree that would allow safe travel. 
  • One or more major access roads (i.e., I-270, I-70, I-670, US-40, SR-33) to Capital University is/are closed because of unsafe road conditions.

Guidelines for Closing the Campus: 

  • The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office issues a LEVEL 3 Snow Emergency.
  • The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office issues a LEVEL 2 Snow Emergency and conditions on campus are so severe that access to parking lots and buildings is unsafe.

Procedure For Closing Bexley Campus

  1. The Capital police chief and the director of Facilities Management will confer with the provost, who will make a recommendation to the president or designee based upon the guidelines.
  2. The provost will make a recommendation to the dean of the Law School, and the dean will make the final decision on cancelation or closure for the law school.
  3. The provost will notify the assistant vice president for integrated marketing communications, who will utilize departmental resources to notify media outlets, the campus community, and the President’s Cabinet. The assistant vice president will authorize the launch of CapAlert, which includes text message, email, and Capital University Facebook and Twitter (@Capital_U) social media accounts.
  4. The various members of the cabinet will notify their direct reports by their own established protocols.

When Cancelation or Closure Occurs

Timing of Cancellation and Closure Announcements

The decision to cancel classes, or to close the University, will be made as early as possible, preferably by 5 a.m. to get the announcement out to the media in a timely manner. If the decision is made in the middle of the day regarding evening classes, the decision should be made by noon, if at all possible.

Classes and Activities are Canceled

In the event classes and activities are canceled, no classes or extracurricular activities are to be held during the period of the cancellation. Offices are closed but essential personnel should report to work.

The University Campus is Closed

In the event that the University is closed, no classes or extracurricular activities are to be held. Campus facilities are to be closed to the public. Essential personnel are to report to work, if requested by supervisor or manager.

Off-Campus Offerings

Courses held at off-campus locations will be subject to the policies and procedures of the governing authority (i.e., student teaching, nursing practicum).

Essential Personnel

Essential personnel are defined as designated employees of Facilities Management, Food Services, Housekeeping, Public Safety, Information Technology, Residential and Commuter Life, the Center for Health and Wellness, and The Capital Center. Department heads may choose to deem some individuals within their department as essential or nonessential.

Employment Considerations

A weather condition that prevents an employee from reporting to work may not be used for an excused absence if the University continues to operate. Employees will be expected to use personal leave or vacation time for those occasions when they must miss scheduled work.

In the case of severe weather short of cancellation or closing, department heads should release individuals who have travel concerns and permit them to leave early. In these situations, time missed can be replaced through the use of personal time and vacation time.

During those times that the University is closed or there is a cancellation, individuals would not be expected to take vacation or personal leave.

Communication Tools

The University will use the following tools as its primary means of communicating official university information regarding changes in the university’s operating status: