725  Inclement Weather

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division:  Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Business and Finance
Responsible Officer:  Vice President, Business and Finance

I. Purpose

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) is committed to the safety of its students, faculty, and staff and recognizes that many commuters must travel long distances to meet teaching, learning, and work commitments at the MTSU campus.

If inclement or dangerous weather occurs, or develops prior to and/or during the normal business day, MTSU will provide closure notifications to the campus community.

The determination of such conditions will be made by the Provost and Vice President for Business and Finance, in consultation with University Police and Facilities Services, and will be based on definitions and announcements from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, state and local police agencies, and other public officials, using data provided by local and national weather services. While the conditions in specific locales may vary and local conditions may not apply uniformly to the entire region, MTSU will endeavor to meet its dual responsibilities of conducting classes and managing the safety of its students, faculty, and staff during hazardous weather conditions in the region.

II. General Guidelines

When the Provost and Vice President for Business and Finance make the decision to close the campus or delay the start of classes, the regional media will be notified as soon as reasonably possible prior to the standard 8:00 a.m. reporting time for staff and before the start of the earliest scheduled class. The announcement will apply to all credit and non-credit classes for the period affected; that is, morning, afternoon, or evening, according to the specific scripts below. The MTSU website will also carry a message regarding the status of classes and opening of offices. 

Offices at MTSU will be considered open unless the announcement specifically states that they will be closed.

If there are events (i.e., athletic events, concerts, speakers) scheduled during a time the campus has been closed due to inclement weather, the President or designee will make a determination on a case-by-case basis whether those events shall be cancelled.

III. Principles Governing Faculty Practices

Faculty may make decisions whether to cancel their classes during inclement weather. However, each instructor must have a process in place, previously communicated with his/her students, in order to make cancellation decisions.

IV. Principles Governing Staff Practices

With the exception of essential employees who have been informed of their status, all other staff should follow the same instructions that apply to students. If a staff member believes that he/she is in any danger, each employee should exercise her/his own good judgment about reporting to work. However, each staff member should understand the implications of personal decisions and follow the directions provided in Policy 828 Employee Attendance during Inclement Weather.

VInterpreting the Various Scripts Used by Media Outlets

MTSU will make every effort to deliver clear and concise messages to the media using the following statements:  

A.  Campus will open at [time will be indicated]. This statement applies to all but essential employees. All afternoon and evening classes will be held. Staff should report at the designated time.

B.  Campus will close at [time will be indicated]. All operations after the closing time will discontinue. All but essential staff will be authorized to leave at the time indicated.

C.  Campus is closed. Only essential staff should report.

All students, faculty, and staff are expected to familiarize themselves with the above statements and follow the instructions carefully; however, some circumstances may warrant the necessity for sharing information or instruction, in addition to these statements.

Please note that some media outlets release only minimal information and may use terminology different than MTSU. Most media operators use computer systems with limited memory and often remove critical weather information after a few hours. Please pay careful attention to the broadcast media and check different outlets if you have any questions about the weather situation at the MTSU campus.

VI. Media Outlets Offering Weather Announcements


Radio Stations


MTSU Web Page




WMOT-FM 89.5






WSM-AM 650



WGNS-AM 1450

WZTV – Fox 17


WLAC-AM 1510



Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: March 2022.

References: Policy 828 Employee Attendance during Inclement Weather.