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K-State Police Department

Winter weather guidelines

Winter weather is part of living in Kansas. It is rare that the university cancels classes or closes for weather. When K-State makes inclement weather-related decisions, we first consider public safety and then the effect closing will have on our operations.

The following information will help explain the university's decision processes and policies as well as what students, faculty and staff should expect to do during inclement weather.

Safety is K-State's first concern.

  • All individuals should make personal safety decisions based on their local conditions. Weather in Kansas can vary greatly and conditions can change quickly. Please put your personal safety first.
  • If reports from public safety officials indicate that most students, faculty and staff can travel to and from campus safely, classes are likely to remain in session. Individuals should make independent judgments about personal travel based on their local situation.
  • If state, county or city officials have closed the roads in your area, please don't travel. Notify your instructors or supervisors as soon as possible that you will not be able to make it to campus due to inclement weather. In cases where you are unable to travel to campus but the university remains open, university policies will apply.

If you feel it's dangerous to travel, don’t venture out.

  • Students, faculty and staff should put safety first when determining whether they should travel to campus in poor weather. Instructors and employee supervisors are expected to work with those who cannot make it to campus due to travel difficulties, as outlined in the university's policies.
  • Students should contact professors immediately if unable to safely attend class due to severe weather. 
  • Employees should contact supervisors if they are unable to travel to work safely.

Sign up for notices about cancellations and closings.

  • Each campus — Manhattan, Polytechnic and Olathe — makes independent closing decisions based on campus conditions. Our campuses span 200 miles of geography and weather conditions often vary by location and can change rapidly.
  • Communication to the campus community will be provided as timely as possible based on the timing of the event, but no later than 5:30 a.m. for early morning and overnight events. 
  • K-State Alerts will be used when a decision to close a campus is made. Weather-related K-State Alerts are typically delivered via K-State email, text message if signed up, website messaging, Facebook and Twitter. K-State Alerts settings, which include signing up for text messages, can be managed at K-State Connect.
  • Check the Kansas State University homepage for information about class cancellations. Refresh the webpage often for the latest updates.
  • Closings also will be relayed to local media.

Administrators take many factors into consideration when it comes to closing campus.

  • The university president makes the decision to close the Manhattan campus, and the provost assumes this responsibility in the absence of the president. The vice president for administration and finance, in consultation with university and public safety officials, develops a recommendation to the president or provost
  • The deans/CEO of the Polytechnic and Olathe campuses make the decision for their respective campuses, coordinating with the Manhattan campus.
  • Public safety officials gather weather and travel information from various weather services, the Kansas Department of Transportation, municipalities, road maintenance staff and various law enforcement/public safety agencies.
  • Facilities and parking staff treating and clearing parking lots, sidewalks and roads provide real-time evaluations of the weather and surface conditions.
  • Winter storms are common in Kansas and if the majority of students and employees can safely travel to our campuses, the university will likely be open. Individual students or employees who think they cannot travel safely should use sound judgment and make arrangements with their professors and supervisors.

Kansas State University may remain open when public schools and other universities are closed.

  • Closing campus affects a number of programs and services. Unlike public elementary and secondary schools, the university doesn't have built-in make-up days in the calendar and cannot extend the school year when days are lost.
  • School districts managing K-12 students have different safety and transportation considerations than adult-aged students and university employees.
  • Conditions in the state can vary wildly from east to west and north to south as weather fronts generate storms. Decisions are made based on local conditions for each of our campuses, with consideration for road conditions across the state. 

Faculty and staff should discuss travel during inclement weather with their supervisor.

  • The Inclement Weather General Policy and Procedure details policies for various employee groups and situations.
  • All employees should promptly notify their supervisors when it's impossible to come to work due to severe weather.
  • Supervisors should clearly communicate to employees if their position is designated as essential during inclement weather events.

Division of Communications and Marketing can help offices get the word out on cancellation of events or activities.

  • Contact Division of Communications and Marketing at 785-532-2535.
  • A list of cancellations will be available on the university Update page.

Report unsafe areas on campus to the Division of Facilities

  • For the Manhattan campus, contact the Division of Facilities at 785-532-6389 if there are areas that need additional treatments or snow removal.
  • Manhattan campus conditions can also be reported through the LiveSafe app.
  • For the Olathe campus, contact Facilities at 913-223-0518.
  • For the Polytechnic campus, contact Facilities at 785-826-2613.