Cancellation/Closure/Remote Policy

SLT 6.3

Policy Statement

Grand Valley State University has four operating status: Open, Classes Canceled, Closed, or Remote.  The operating status of the university could change for a variety of reasons including emergency, utility disruptions, or weather.


  • Open:  The University’s normal operating condition.  Students, faculty and staff should assume the university is open unless advised otherwise.  County or State Health Department Orders, Executive Orders or similar directives may require temporary modifications to University operations without changing the University Operating Status.
  • Remote: The most common reason to shift to remote status would be for weather related reasons.  Classes will shift to remote  delivery whenever feasible.  Classes that cannot be delivered remotely will not be held.  Staff will shift to remote/work from home whenever possible. Essential staff are to report to work.  Athletic contests may be held as previously planned subject to approval by the Vice President of Finance and Administration.  Other campus events may be held as previously planned subject to approval by the President or Vice President whose division is sponsoring the event. 
  • Classes Cancelled: Only classes are cancelled. The remainder of the University is open as normal.  All staff are to report to work at their regular time.  Rare instances of cancelling classes might include unusual student activities or student related crises.
  • Closed: Classes and campus events will not be held. Only ESSENTIAL staff are to report to work.  The university would normally only close for significant and unanticipated events like natural disasters or civil unrest in the surrounding community.  It is not anticipated the university would close for weather related events.

When GVSU is closed or shifts to remote, only essential staff are to report. Designated personnel in the following departments are deemed essential and are expected to report:

  • Department of Public Safety
  • Facilities Services
  • Athletic & Recreation Facilities
  • Food Service
  • Housing
  • Information Technology
  • Library
  • Facility Services Grand Rapids and Regional Campuses
  • WGVU Television and Radio
  • Office of Student Life Administrative Professional Staff

Appointing officers have discretion to call in non-essential staff as circumstances may require.

Students, faculty and staff should assume the university is open unless they are advised otherwise through GVSUAlert!, the university’s emergency notification system, or on  Radio or television announcements should be confirmed with GVSUAlert or   In the case of a shift to remote, every reasonable effort will be made to make the announcement the day prior in order to provide ample time to enable the shift to remote class delivery and work from home preparation for employees.

Guidelines for course delivery in the event of University cancellation, closure or remote status are available here:

University Criteria for Weather-related Shifts to Remote

In evaluating whether to shift to remote for weather-related reasons, the following criteria are used: 1) the ability of the university’s road crews to keep campus roads and parking lots cleared; 2) the conditions of primary and secondary roads in the area as reported by the Michigan Department of State Police as well as by central dispatch authorities in Kent and Ottawa counties;  3) weather reports regarding the track of the storm and other conditions, and 4) the anticipated length of time of the weather impacts campus operations

Because commuting students, faculty and staff come from such a broad geographic area, it is extremely difficult to arrive at a decision that is appropriate for each vicinity. Weather conditions rarely are uniform throughout this large area. There is no one decision that will satisfy everyone; however, a diligent effort is made to arrive at a reasonable decision that considers the safety of students, faculty and staff. Under no circumstances does GVSU ask students, faculty or staff to assume undue risk in traveling to the University in inclement weather.

When GVSU Allendale shifts to remote because of weather-related conditions, the Pew Grand Rapids Campus, Health Campus and the Meijer Holland Campus will also shift to remote.

GVSU’s classes in Muskegon and the Stevenson Center for Higher Education will follow the operating status of Muskegon Community College.

GVSU’s classes in Traverse City and the office in the NMC University Center will follow the operating status of Northwestern Michigan College.

The operating status of the Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI), the Muskegon Innovation Hub and the Detroit Center will be made separately, as these facilities host tenants, business events, and functions not necessarily affiliated with university operations.

Any changes in the University’s operating status will be made through GVSUAlert!, on the Grand Valley web home page, and on GVNext at Notifications may also be heard on area radio and television stations. Please do not call the university switchboard regarding the University’s operating status.