Northern Arizona University sits at the foot of the highest peak in the state and receives an average snowfall of 100 inches per year—waking up to a blanket of white on the ground some days is inevitable. When you do, you may find yourself asking the following questions:
There’s snow everywhere. What do I do?
How will I know if NAU has canceled classes and/or postponed operations?
In general, faculty, staff and students should assume that NAU will continue to operate on a regular schedule despite inclement weather.
On those rare occasions when classes are canceled and/or operations are delayed, the NAU Communications Office will provide notifications via:
To sign up to receive NAU Alert text messages, visit nau.edu/alert.
How is the decision to close campus made?
The university’s goal is to remain open when possible to provide the academic experience paid for by student and taxpayer dollars. However, the safety of faculty, staff and students is NAU’s top priority. Therefore, many factors are taken into account before a decision is made to change operations on the Flagstaff campus. In most cases, the decision to cancel classes and/or delay operations follows this formula:
Crews on campus survey and plow the roads beginning at 2 a.m. NAU considers the condition of roads, parking lots and sidewalks on campus, as well as the condition of city and country roads. NAU police, emergency management and facility services team members drive throughout the community and freeways to assess the road conditions and make a recommendation to university leaders.
NAU also coordinates with local stakeholders, including the City of Flagstaff, NAIPTA (bus service), Coconino County, Flagstaff Unified School District, Coconino Community College and the National Weather Service.
NAU takes into consideration classes and events happening on campus while balancing the repercussions of canceling speakers, concerts or athletic events.
Should I stay? Or should I go?
Employees and students who are concerned about trying to get to work or class during inclement weather are encouraged to use their best judgment—your safety is NAU’s primary concern. Students who choose to stay home should contact their professors to make arrangements to turn in assignments later or learn what was missed.
Employees who decide to stay home should call in and let their supervisor know following established department procedures. According to university policy, employees who lose work time due to weather concerns may use vacation time or take the time as leave without pay if vacation time is not available.
NAU’s full snow closure policy for employees is available online at http://hr.nau.edu/apps/policy-manual/10313.