Frigid Forecast Has University on Alert

Bundle up. The National Weather Service office in Wilmington, Ohio, is forecasting the coldest weather of the season Wednesday into Thursday.

So what does it mean for the Columbus or regional campuses at The Ohio State University? The answer isn’t as simple as a number.

Closings are rare. The Columbus campus has closed or canceled classes a total of 13 days since 1978.

The decision to close either the Columbus or regional campuses or cancel classes due to severe weather is made using guidelines that are, by design, very flexible. There is no absolute temperature, snowfall amount or other specific hazard that will automatically determine a closure.

Instead, university leadership consults with medical experts, the Office of Student Life’s Student Health Services, the Department of Public Safety and other groups from around the university that provide information and recommendations. University officials also monitor the latest forecasts from the NWS.

The safety of students, faculty and staff is the university’s top priority. The obligation to provide the full measure of instruction to tuition-paying students is also a critical factor.