Frequently Asked Questions

Inclement Weather (or other emergency) Closing

Inclement Weather Policy Information Sources

These FAQs are intended as a guide to UTC employees.

Staff working in departments with an approved emergency closing plan should consult with their supervisors about operating status.

Plans for individual departments must be approved by the appropriate vice chancellor and the vice chancellor for finance and administration.

What defines inclement weather?

Inclement weather is any kind of extreme weather, usually snow or ice, that might create hazardous driving conditions or significantly impair normal campus operations at UTC. Inclement weather may require the University to close. In the event of an official closure, all academic classes and most administrative office operations are suspended, and only employees involved in providing necessary services are required to maintain a normal work schedule. In these instances, time off from work will be compensated as unscheduled administrative closing leave.

This FAQ list also pertains to the treatment of unscheduled administrative closing leave granted to affected employees in other, isolated emergency-related situations—for example: building-specific incidents such as spills, fires, flooding and so on.

Who determines if the University is closed or classes are cancelled due to inclement weather?

The chancellor, provost or executive vice chancellor. In a weather-related schedule change or closure, an official UTC announcement will be directed to all faculty, staff, students and the news media. The announcement will specify the status of campus operations, and the schedule for any change in operating hours or a closure.

How might the University respond to incidents of inclement weather?

University emergency management officials monitor information from the National Weather Service and other expert sources to assess conditions and when and how likely an exceptional weather event is to impact campus. Officials also monitor the state of road conditions as reported by local agencies. Based on information gathered from a variety of expert sources, UTC emergency management officials make recommendations to appropriate University leadership, which ultimately makes decisions on campus operations.

Based on actual or anticipated weather and road conditions, generally three responses to incidents of inclement weather are possible:

  • Delayed opening – the University publicly announces the specific time at which it will open.
  • Early dismissal – the University ceases all academic classes and regular business operations at a publicly announced time.
  • Closure – All day and evening classes are cancelled and all offices and regular business operations are suspended.

In the event of University closure, only employees required (or who have supervisor approval) should report to or remain at work. The specific hours of suspended operations will be recorded as unscheduled administrative closing leave. Decisions to close the University are, generally, made on a workday-by-workday basis.

Who qualifies for unscheduled administrative closing leave?

Regular part-time and full-time employees in an active pay status who are scheduled to work during the inclement weather event are excused from work and granted unscheduled administrative closing leave, not to exceed the hours scheduled to work or the specific hours of suspended operations, whichever is less. 

Information Sources for Weather-Related Campus Schedule or Operations Changes

  • Email message sent via campus-wide listservs: 
  • Text message to all UTC-ALERT followers
  • Digital displays on building/classroom messaging boards
  • RSS feed / home page bulletin on
  • UTC official social media accounts
  • Media advisory to all Chattanooga and regional news media
  • On-campus NPR affiliate WUTC-FM 88.1
  • Recorded telephone voice message at:
  • UTC Main Switchboard 423-425-4111
  • UTC Inclement Weather 423-425-4SNO (4766)
  • UTC Communications and Marketing 423-425-4363