Staff Policy D-506.03
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Operations

Inclement Weather

It is the policy of Northwestern Michigan College to maintain normal College operations on all regularly scheduled days, except in very rare cases when severe weather conditions prevent this.  It is further the policy of NMC to expect that each staff member and student will make his or her own determination concerning attendance on unfavorable travel days, based on personal judgments and the conditions of each unique situation.

  1. Given unfavorable weather conditions, the College may take one of the following actions:
    1. remain open;
    2. delay the opening of College and require only personnel providing essential services to report to work prior to opening;
    3. close the College and require only personnel providing essential services to report to work.
  2. Factors which will be considered by the NMC administration in making this determination will include the following:
    1. whether parking lots, roadways, and sidewalks can be cleared well enough to assure student and staff safety;
    2. whether law enforcement officials are directing that travel be limited;
    3. whether area businesses and governmental offices are closing;
    4. current weather conditions and National Weather Service forecasts for the area.
  3. When weather conditions appear hazardous, the following actions will be taken:
    1. For daytime schedules, a decision to delay the opening of the College or close entirely will be communicated before 5:30 a.m.
    2. For evening schedules (classes starting at 5:00 p.m. or later), delays or closings will be announced by 3:00 p.m. There is a possibility that NMC would cancel all day classes and hold evening classes.
    3. Each area is responsible for the development of a notification system for its faculty and staff.
    4. Up-to-date information regarding class cancellations and College closures will be communicated on the college website.
    5. College delays or closures will be reported to area radio and television stations (a list of stations is available in the Public Relations and Marketing office), campus video monitors, NMC’s general information number, and the NMC website. In addition, an “everyone” message will be sent to NMC faculty and staff e-mail accounts, and to all student NMC e-mail accounts. Employees and students also can opt in through NMC Self Service to receive text messages when the College is closed or has delayed opening.
    6. For weekend academic courses the College closure/delay decision would first be enforced. If on the other hand, a faculty member determined he/she cannot make it to campus for their particular class, the faculty member teaching the weekend course, would inform his/her students about the class cancellation.
    7. Instructor absences will be reported weekdays via the campus video monitors and NMC’s website.
    8. If faculty members believe they can safely arrive to campus, they are expected to hold class.
    9. If faculty members cancel their classes because it is unsafe for them to travel to campus, they may assign work online for the cancelled classes. Students are expected to check the college website and email to determine if assignments are issued by their instructors.
    10. Individual academic areas and faculty members establish their own attendance policies. However, in instances where travel is perilous and a student has communicated this to the instructor, the instructor is expected to assist the student in obtaining the materials and making up the activities which were missed, to a reasonable extent.
    11. Any student who feels he or she has been unfairly treated due to a weather-related absence should pursue his or her complaint through the normal channels, speaking first with the instructor and then the following (in order) if the situation is not resolved satisfactorily: the academic leader and the Vice President for Student Services and Technologies.
    12. If the College delays opening or is closed, regular employees scheduled to work that day will not suffer a loss of pay, within the limits of a normal staff workday. If the College is open but a staff member is unable to report to work due to local weather conditions, he or she will arrange with the supervisor to make up the lost time or use sick time or vacation time within the appropriate pay periods. The use of sick leave or vacation time must be approved by the supervisor and reported to Human Resources using the appropriate form or online time sheet.

Questions concerning these procedures may be directed to the office of the Vice President for Educational Services.

Definition of Terms

Inclement weather: The condition in this region which typically means excessive snow and/or ice which makes driving less safe. It could also refer to other hazardous conditions, such as tornado or severe thunderstorm forecasts.

The College has delayed opening or closes early: Only personnel providing essential services before the specified opening time will be asked to report to campus or may be called in. Staff should report to work one-half hour before the designated opening time. Students should report to class at the designated opening time. If a student’s class begins before the designated opening time, that class would be canceled unless at least one hour of instruction remains after the designated opening time. If a class's start time is more than one hour before an announced cancellation the expectation is that a partial class will be held, unless otherwise noted by the individual instructor.

The College is closed: Only personnel providing essential services that day will be asked to report to campus or may be called in.

The College is open: Decisions to attend school are the responsibility of each individual student and staff member. Students are expected to inform their instructors of a decision to miss class according to the guidelines of the course syllabus.

The Vice President for Educational Services, in conjunction with the appropriate faculty and staff, will be responsible for the development and publication of any procedures or guidelines that may be necessary to administer this policy effectively.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Initially adopted as D-1120.01 December 12, 1996
Revised December 3, 1999
Revised November 2003
Revised and renumbered D-506.03 December 20, 2006
Revised January 18, 2008
Revised March 18, 2013
Revised November 17, 2017
Revised July 9, 2019