Teaching Policies & Resources — Weather-Related Cancellations

During the Semester

Decisions about severe weather and the cancellation of classes are made by central administration and not by individual colleges; cancellations are publicly announced and are added to the UI homepage and generally are very rare.

Please visit the UI Operations Manual for more information.

In all cases, the College appreciates instructors using their best professional discretion and communicating changes to their students as soon as possible if an individual instructor must cancel class because of weather-related circumstances. Please confer with CLAS as questions arise.

When courses are canceled by the University of Iowa during the semester (and before final exam week) because of snow, ice, or other routine incidents of severe weather, faculty may choose to offer make-up exams, labs, discussions, and lectures, but they are not required to do so.

  • Instructors should keep in mind the complexity of students' schedules and the possibility that not all members of the class will be able to attend a make-up session.
  • If a student is unable to attend a make-up session involving a quiz or exam, the instructor must make provisions for rescheduling the test for that student. The semester and the make-up sessions may not be extended beyond the last day of classes nor  during UI holidays or breaks. These dates are indicated on the Registrar's academic calendar.
  • Faculty may decide to compress or omit material or exams on the syllabus; this is acceptable as long as students will be equipped to continue with the next course in a sequence.
  • Any change to a syllabus must result in grading percentages that are clear and fair to students.

During Final Exam Week

If the UI closes during the last day or days of the final exam week and make-up exams are not feasible, faculty have the following grading options:

  • Incomplete: This option is recommended for courses that have a final project that has already been assigned with the work by the student clearly in progress or nearly completed. The amount of work to be finished should be small and the student’s standing in the course should be satisfactory. Expectations for finishing the Incomplete must be given to all students in writing. All other CLAS policies and procedures concerning an Incomplete apply.
  • Assigning the Grade Earned to Date: This option is recommended for courses that have had substantial graded assignments during the semester. The assigned grade must have earned significance and the student must be adequately prepared for a similar or for a sequential course. The resulting final grading percentages must be fair to students and if not may be modified by the faculty member. In all cases, the College appreciates instructors using their best professional discretion and communicating these changes to their students as soon as possible.

Questions may be addressed to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum.