Inclement Weather, Liberal Leave, and Essential Services policies

If inclement weather, civil disorder or other emergency circumstances should cause cancellation of classes or closure of the UIS campus, specific information will be posted on the Emergencies homepage.

Specific scenarios for UIS Weather and Emergency Status may include:

  • The Springfield campus of the University of Illinois is open.
  • The Springfield campus of the University of Illinois is open; the Liberal Leave Policy is in effect.
  • The Springfield campus of the University of Illinois is closed; the Essential Services Policy is in effect.
  • Daytime classes are cancelled; the Liberal Leave Policy is in effect; university offices and services are maintaining regular operating hours.
  • Nighttime classes are cancelled.
    (Nighttime classes are defined as any course that begins at 5:30 p.m., or after.)

The UIS campus does not close due to inclement weather except under
the most extraordinary conditions.

  • A decision to cancel classes due to inclement weather is made separately from the consideration to close the campus. So it is possible that classes would be canceled but the campus would remain open for other business.
  • When classes are canceled, the normal expectation is that all offices and other services of the university will have regular operating hours.
  • It is also generally assumed that if classes on campus are canceled, online classes would not be interrupted.

If severe weather threatens, the announcement to cancel classes or close the campus is posted officially on the UIS website and broadcast on WUIS/WIPA radio (91.9 and 89.3 FM). Official information will also be available at the main UIS switchboard, 217/206-6600, and delivered to faculty, staff and students through official UIS e-mail. Other media will be provided information, but those media are not official sources.

Ordinarily, when threatening weather begins during the day, the decision to cancel evening classes is made by 3 p.m., and when the inclement weather begins during the night, the decision to cancel classes for the day is made by 6 a.m. Decisions about class cancellations may be made at any
time if the situation makes it necessary.

  • The Liberal Leave Policy will be implemented when conditions warrant.
  • When the campus is declared closed, essential services will still be provided, as spelled out in the Essential Services Policy.

Because UIS students commute from various locations, weather conditions may vary between their home area and the Springfield campus and/or the Peoria Center. If classes are not canceled and a student believes that travel will be dangerous, the student should make the appropriate personal decision and notify his/her instructor of a planned absence from class. Instructors are advised to abide by each student’s judgment in such cases.

  • Cancellation of classes held in UIS Peoria Center is handled separately.

Liberal Leave Policy

The Liberal Leave Policy may be invoked due to inclement weather, civil disorder or other emergency circumstances. This policy recognizes that UIS employees may believe that in such situations, it would be dangerous for them to drive or ride to work, or it would be dangerous for them to drive or ride home unless they left before the end of the workday. In such cases, employees should notify their supervisors and request time off for all or part of the day, using either vacation time (or, if no vacation time is available, unpaid leave). Supervisors are advised to abide by each employee’s judgment when the Liberal Leave Policy is in effect.

  • The chancellor or his/her designee makes the decision to implement the Liberal Leave Policy. It becomes effective by being announced officially on the UIS web site, via campus email, WUIS radio and/or on the main switchboard number, 217/206.6600.

Supervisors of “essential services” as defined by the Essential Services Policy are responsible for determining which employees must report to work even when the Liberal Leave Policy is in effect.

Essential Services Policy

Even on days when classes are cancelled or the Springfield campus is declared closed due to inclement weather or other extraordinary situation, the university must provide minimal, adequate staffing in “essential services.” It is up to the division heads to make sure such services are provided.

  • Employees providing those services are required to report to work if so informed by their supervisors.

Units providing “essential services” will have a written plan for providing these services, including which employees and/or positions are needed, and will keep these plans on file with their division head. Following are the essential services:

  • Campus Police
  • Central Receiving
  • Chancellor’s Office
  • Counseling Center
  • Facilities and Services
  • Food Services
  • Health Services
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology Services
  • Residence Life
  • WUIS

Some departments or personnel might be able to provide some essential services from an off-campus location. Division heads can make these determinations.

Other services that may be required

Depending on scheduled activities for the day or the timing of the announcement regarding inclement weather or other emergency, some other services might be required, with the determination made by the vice chancellor, division head or their designees. A partial list of these includes:

  • Athletic events
  • Campus Mail
  • Brookens Library
  • Conference Services
  • Sangamon Auditorium
  • Student Life
  • The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC)

NOTE: There also may be situations (depending on the emergency or weather condition) where personnel not generally considered essential may be notified by his/her supervisor and be required to report to work on days the university is closed, classes are canceled, or the Liberal Leave Policy is in effect.

Approved by Chancellor’s Cabinet, November 28, 2007