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From the President: CWU Community Prepares for Inclement Weather

CWU students walking in the snow

Winter is here and safety is the top priority for CWU students and employees.


Dear Colleagues, 

As we approach the late fall and winter seasons, it is important that we prepare for university delays and closures due to inclement weather. The well-being of our community members must be the top priority as we adjust our operations in the event of adverse road conditions. When severe weather events effect the Ellensburg campus, the following protocol will guide campus-wide and unit-level preparation to protect the health and safety of our students and employees.

  • Central Washington University will notify the Ellensburg campus community through the CWU Alert! system (email, text, and voicemail) no later than 5:30 a.m. of a decision to delay or close campus that day. Updates on the status of Ellensburg campus operations will be posted on the CWU Emergency Notifications page, as appropriate. Each center and instructional site will follow their host site’s protocol in the event of inclement weather.
  • In the event of a delay or closure, emergency personnel are expected to report to work during their scheduled hours unless instructed otherwise by their supervisor. Non-emergency personnel should seek approval from their supervisors and/or department heads for remote work if road conditions are prohibitive specific to their route(s) of travel to campus. 
  • Faculty should communicate with students on Canvas as early as possible about plans to shift their courses to online or hybrid instruction. If weather changes significantly during the day, CWU will monitor conditions and notify the Ellensburg campus community in a timely manner about early closures through the CWU Alert! system (email, text, and voicemail). 

Please remember that the needs of our students and employees may vary when severe weather events occur. Supervisors and department heads are encouraged to allow employees who commute from an area impacted by inclement weather to finish the workday at home or use accrued leave time ahead of adverse weather developments. 

Faculty are also encouraged to work with students who commute to campus and may request flexibility to engage in class sessions during severe weather events that may impact their travel to campus. These updates should be communicated in Canvas to ensure that they reach everyone affected by weather disruptions.

Let’s continue to practice deep care and compassion for one another when severe weather disrupts university operations. To help all of us be ready for winter conditions, our colleagues in University Police and Public Safety have provided tips for safe driving that you may find helpful. You may also find the Emergency Closure and Suspended Operations FAQs to be a useful resource. 

Thank you all for your dedication to the success of our students and colleagues. Each of you contributes daily to making CWU remarkable as we work to become a model learning community of equity and belonging. 

Sincerely,

Jim Wohlpart
President