How will classes proceed if there is a change in normal operations due to winter weather?

In the event of a change in normal campus operations due to weather or an emergency, such as during a delay or cancellation, in-person courses cannot be moved to a synchronous remote meeting, per Faculty Senate Policy 45-00, due to the fact that all students, faculty and instructors may not have the same access to University facilities and resources (such as Wi-Fi or materials needed for specialized instruction) or they may have other commitments, such as child care.


Based on a course’s mode of delivery, the following actions apply during a change in normal campus operations:

  • In-person: The instructor can choose to cancel class altogether or offer content asynchronously (such as recording a lecture for students to watch at another time or asking students to complete a reading or other self-directed learning activity). The class may not meet remote synchronously.
  • Hybrid: If the class is scheduled to meet in-person on the day of the change in normal operations, then content can be offered asynchronously or the class can be canceled. Otherwise, asynchronous content can be offered as planned.
  • Remote synchronous: Classes already scheduled as remote synchronous may continue to be taught remote synchronously if the faculty member wishes and is safely able to do so. Alternatively, classes may be canceled or offered asynchronously.
  • Web: Classes will continue to be offered as planned with no changes.  
Unless an instructor is designated an “essential employee,” they should not travel to campus during a change in normal campus operations. If a faculty member’s use of a classroom or other setting for specialized instructional materials is necessary in order to teach a class previously scheduled to be delivered remotely, then that class should be offered asynchronously or canceled.

Additional guidance on winter weather protocols for students and employees can be found in this Penn State News article