Kutztown University Procedures and Information for Severe Weather
Kutztown University reminds students, faculty and staff to be aware of the institution’s procedures and information for severe weather.
Severe weather includes, but is not limited to, hurricanes, significant snow and/or ice storms. Please note, that protocols may be impacted this year by the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be reflected below.
The decision to open, delay or close Kutztown University due to poor weather is always a difficult one. In the event that severe weather conditions threaten to disrupt class and/or administrative office schedules, the primary concern will be the safety and welfare of the students, faculty and staff. In such situations, the following plan will be initiated:
University decisions about cancellations or closings are typically made by 5:30 a.m. for morning classes, 10 a.m. for afternoon classes, and 2 p.m. for evening classes. Changing weather conditions sometimes alter these time frames.
Although it is our goal to have the campus access ways as clear as possible when we are open in these situations, we judge our ability to be ready for business once the main ADA-compliant pathways and entrance doors are ready for use.
If you are commuting, please be sure to check-in with the “Media to Monitor” listed below for any changes in the business status of the university (always be safe when checking-in during your commute).
Typical Severe Weather Alerts (adjusted for pandemic):
KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY, ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD VIRTUALLY. OFFICES OPEN AT ____. All classes will be held virtually. Any classes not able to be held virtually, must be made up at a later date. Essential employees must report at regular time, unless otherwise directed. Staff should report at the time listed.
KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY, ALL CLASSES HELD VIRTUALLY/OFFICES OPEN, LIBERAL LEAVE. This decision will be made prior to or during the class and/or administrative office schedule. If the class schedule has begun, in-person classes may be curtailed for the remainder of the day at a designated hour, including evening classes. Classes will be held virtually for the remainder of the day. Any classes not able to be held virtually, must be made up at a later date. Essential employees must remain and/or report, unless otherwise directed, and offices remain open. Rohrbach Library will remain open. All staff employees must report on time, remain at work or may be offered the ability to utilize liberal leave or telework, subject to supervisory approval. Other programs and events, whether sponsored by the university or not, may or may not be canceled. If in-person classes are canceled after a certain point in the day, any classes that are in progress at the designated closure time may meet up until that time.
KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY, CAMPUS ACCESS RESTRICTED. In dangerous or extreme weather conditions access to the campus will be restricted. All classes should be held virtually. Any classes not able to be held virtually, must be made up at a later date. All staff should telework, if possible, or may use liberal leave after informing a supervisor. University events may be canceled. South Dining Hall, the Student Recreation Center, the Health and Wellness Center and the McFarland Student Union will remain open during the fall and spring semester (adjusted hours may apply). The Rohrbach Library will be closed. Essential employees must remain and/or report, unless otherwise directed.
Preparing for Telework
To be eligible to be approved for telework, employees must be able to complete their work remotely. All employees are encouraged to be prepared to telework during winter weather events, as instructed by the university. Please consider transporting appropriate equipment (laptops, books, notes, etc.) each day that is necessary to work at remote location.
Staff members designated to be critical to the continuation of key university operations and services. Essential personnel status is communicated to designated employees as part of the position description or via a separate communication.
Liberal Leave for Non-Instructional Employees
Non-faculty employees must utilize annual, personal or documented compensatory time for work missed if they choose to leave campus or not report to work. Under conditions of Liberal Leave, all supervisors/department chairpersons will grant submitted leave requests. (In the absence of available paid leave, Leave Without Pay - AO will be approved). Each individual non-essential employee will have factors unique to his/her situation and must decide if travel in inclement weather is appropriate. However, non-essential employees must inform their supervisor/department chairperson of their decision to remain at home, not telework, and must take appropriate leave. There may be cases during winter storms where telework is not possible due to power outages, illness, or other circumstances. Those instances should be reviewed with a supervisor to determine the submission of liberal leave.
When campus access is restricted, the expectation is that faculty will meet their scheduled responsibilities (in addition to virtual classes) and serve their students. If faculty determine that they are unable to meet their scheduled responsibilities, they need to reschedule or provide an alternative means to meet those responsibilities so as to meet the needs of the students, colleagues and the university. Faculty will communicate these plans to their chair and dean, and when appropriate, to their students.
Deciding to attend class/work in pending/current inclement weather situations
In severe weather conditions, safety is foremost. Each individual non-essential employee and student will have factors unique to their situation and must decide if travel in inclement weather is appropriate. However, non-essential employees must inform their supervisor/ department chairperson and dean of their decision to remain at home and must take appropriate leave or telework, if approved. Students should keep open communication with their professors in such instances. Students assigned to off-campus locations for internships or student teaching must contact their employer/supervisor about whether or not to report for work.
Caution When Traversing Campus
When returning to/traversing campus please be aware that, despite our best efforts, slippery conditions may exist in some areas. Please wear proper footwear, be alert, and use caution. Please keep a safe distance from snow removal equipment and make sure the operator is aware of your presence before proceeding.
Media to Monitor
University information can be obtained in several ways:
- The weather hotline at 610-683-4649.
- The KU homepage at www.kutztown.edu.
- KU Alert. We will once again be using the KU Alert system to relay weather-related information via text message and email. Faculty/staff must register for the system if they have not already done so at www.kutztown.edu/kualert. Students are automatically registered and must opt-out through MyKU if they don’t want to receive these important alerts.
- Email at your Kutztown.edu email address from KUAlerts@kutztown.edu.
- KU’s official Facebook (www.facebook.com/KutztownU) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/KutztownU) pages.
- WFMZ Channel 69.
Emergency Snow Lots on Campus
Emergency snow lots have been designated as follows: lot A-2 (near Beekey), lot B-1 (front of Grim), and lot F-1 (behind Stratton Administration). These lots have all been appropriately signed as snow lots.
From Nov. 15-March 15 each year, parking is not permitted during the following time periods: midnight until 6 a.m. in lots A-2 and B-1, and 3-6 a.m. in lot F-1. Violators are subject to fines and/or having their vehicles towed. Disabled vehicles will be excluded if notification is received by the Department of Public Safety & Police Services from the owner, prior to the date in question.
KU’s Snow and Ice Removal Plan
For further information on the university’s on-campus snow and ice removal plan, please visit:
Winter Outdoor Safety Link
Borough of Kutztown Information