Winter Weather Guide

Winter weather is part of living in Kansas. It is rare that the university cancels classes and modifies operations for weather. When K-State makes inclement weather-related decisions, we first consider public safety and then the effect those decisions will have on classes and 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 with normal university operations. 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 classes are in session with normal university operations, 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 operations.

  • Each campus — Manhattan, Salina and Olathe — makes independent decisions based on campus conditions. Our campuses span 200 miles of geography and weather conditions often vary by location and can change rapidly.
  • Communications to the campus community will be provided as timely as possible based on the timing of the weather event.
  • K-State Alerts will be used if a decision to cancel classes and modify operations is made. Weather-related K-State Alerts are typically delivered via K-State email, text message, website messaging, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Check the Kansas State University homepage for information about class cancellations and changes to the university’s operational status. Refresh the webpage often for the latest updates.

Administrators take many factors into consideration when making a decision.

  • The university president makes the decision for the Manhattan campus, and the provost assumes this responsibility in the absence of the president. The vice president for Administration and Finance and Vice President for Communications and Marketing, in consultation with university officials, develops a recommendation to the president or provost.
  • The deans/CEOs of the Salina 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.

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

  • Cancelling classes and modifying operations affects many 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 or
  • 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 Rave Guardian app.
  • For the Olathe campus, contact Facilities at 913-223-0518.
  • For the Salina campus, contact Facilities at 785-826-2613.