SUNY Plattsburgh Campus Handbook


Absences & Extraordinary Weather Conditions

Approved by Executive Council on November 19, 2010
Reapproved by Executive Council on November 4, 2014

Policy Number Owner
4001.01 Human Resource Services

Revision History

Date Version Change Ref Section
11/19/2010 1.0 New Document  
11/4/2014 2.0 Major Revisions  
12/11/2015 2.1 Minor Revisions  
12/21/2016 2.2 Minor Revisions  


The official College policy on extraordinary weather conditions requires that normal operations be continued as much as possible. Essential services (i.e. heating/plumbing, electrical, grounds, university police, and health services) must be maintained in spite of severe weather.  In the event of severe weather College employees working in these areas should remain on duty or report to work to avoid interruption of essential services, unless directed or permitted to do otherwise by their supervisors. Employees must consult with their supervisor for each weather emergency to determine if they are deemed essential personnel in that instance as that designation may vary by circumstance.

Except in the most severe cases, all employees are expected to report to work. Those employees who cannot get to work on time or at all are expected to contact their department supervisor to advise them of the situation in a timely manner.

Although only the Governor can close the College, under this policy the College President has the authority to take the following actions:

  1. Delay or Cancel classes - When this decision is made, absences of non-instructional employees on such days must be charged against compensatory time, vacation accruals or personal leave. Classified (i.e., clerical, maintenance, janitorial and university police) employees are given five (5) personal days annually to be used for personal business, religious observance or emergency and severe weather situations. Classified employee absences due to emergencies or inclement weather should first be charged against personal leave. Professional employees, librarians and management confidential employees should first charge such absences against vacation or holiday compensatory time.
  2. Excuse reasonable tardiness - Without charge to leave credits when in the opinion of the President extraordinary situations or weather conditions affect the arrival time of a large group of employees.  Full day absences, however, can never be excused without charge to leave credits or payroll adjustment.
  3. Authorize early departure of employees - With appropriate charges to leave accruals or payroll adjustment, when in the opinion of the President the situation warrants it or weather conditions could make transportation dangerous.
  4. Direct the early departure of employees - Without charge to leave accruals or payroll adjustment, when in the opinion of the President and with the prior approval of the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, the situation warrants it or the weather is severe enough to make travel dangerous. This action is used rarely and in only the most extreme circumstances. It must be coordinated through the Human Resource Services Office .

Note:  Only the Governor has the authority to close State offices or facilities. A declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor does not by itself close State offices and facilities. If State offices were to close in such a situation, the closure would result from a separate action by the Governor. Unless the Governor issues a specific order directing non‐essential employees whose work stations are in a specified geographic area not to report to work, employees who do not report to work because of extraordinary circumstances must charge leave credits other than sick leave.  


  1. The Vice President for Administration (alternates: Executive Assistant to President or Facilities Director) in consultation with the Grounds Supervisor and the Emergency Management Director are responsible for monitoring weather reports and weather conditions for the College. In the performance of these duties, they will consult with the National Weather Service, state, local and county police, and the Chief of University Police to monitor the effect of storm conditions on transportation to, from and on campus.
  2. They will advise the President if reports indicate that weather conditions are likely to severely disrupt transportation and warrant administrative action.
  3. The decision, if any, of the President under these circumstances may be one or some combination of the four options already discussed.
  4. Communication of the President's decision to the College community will be accomplished as follows:

Cancellation of Classes Prior to Start of Day

If classes are to be canceled before the beginning of the instructional day, announcements will be made over local radio and TV stations, usually between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. A detailed message, including a notification of the time of the most recent update, will be available on the weather and emergency line - 564-SNOW, as well as on the campus website ( ).   Faculty members are reminded that if they individually cancel a class or classes outside of this process, they should use the campus e-mail system to notify their students.  

Cancellation of Classes During the Day

If classes are canceled after the beginning of the instructional day, the announcement will be communicated to supervisors, directors and departmental chairpersons by the appropriate vice president. Announcements will also be made over radio, TV stations, and email. A detailed message will be available on the weather and emergency line - 564-SNOW, as well as on the campus website (

Excuse due to Weather Conditions

If the President concludes that prevailing weather conditions justify the excuse of reasonable tardiness, employees and supervisors will be notified via email and on the college’s website.


A special telephone number will be maintained to advise employees of the latest conditions at and around the College. Employees are encouraged to call this number regularly to get official updates regarding the weather or other emergency conditions. The number for the weather and emergency line is 564-SNOW (7669). Additionally, the campus website ( ) will also be updated with snow and emergency messages.  The SNOWLINE and campus website ( will always carry the most up to date information.

SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury

Faculty and Staff at SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury will follow the decisions made by the administration at SUNY Adirondack regarding class cancellations and campus closure of SUNY Adirondack due to extraordinary weather conditions and other emergencies.  Information regarding SUNY Adirondack class cancellations and campus closures will be available via SUNY Adirondack's Snow Emergency Line (518) 743-2222.

Faculty, please also refer to Absence from Class and Class Coverage Procedure.


Contact Information

For questions about the Campus Handbook, please contact:

Management Services Office
Office: Kehoe 710-11
Phone: (518) 564-2538
Fax: (518) 564-2540
Email: [email protected]