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Approved byDVC(Academic) and PVCs of the four Academic Divisions – 31 May 2012
Date Procedure Took Effect31 May 2012
Last approved revision 
SponsorDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible officerSenior Analyst, Research and Policy


  1. To ensure that students receive accessible and accurate advice about teaching activities on days where snow or other adverse weather conditions affect the ability of staff and students to attend University
  2. To formally incorporate into Procedures, the information supplied to students in regard to final examinations and adverse weather conditions

Organisational scope

Dunedin Campus


The University of Otago's Adverse Weather Conditions Guidelines state that In the event of adverse weather conditions (such as snow, ice or floods) it is expected that the University will remain open and staff are expected to undertake all reasonable and safe steps to attend and work. As the attendance of academic staff can be affected in these circumstances, some lectures may not be held. It is important that students receive timely notification of any cancellations and/or any other relevant information. The University's Procedures for the giving of advice to students about teaching activities scheduled for days affected by snow are:

  1. In situations where the University's activities are affected by snow a general statement will appear on the University website's homepage and on the Current Students' page. The decision to activate that notice will be made by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and conveyed to the Director of Communications for implementation. That statement will refer students to Blackboard for information about lectures and other teaching activities. The same statement will also be available to students on the Facebook and Twitter sites managed by AskOtago.
  2. Heads of Department are responsible for ensuring that advice on each affected day's scheduled teaching activities in their departments is accessible and provided in a timely manner. It is expected that, where possible, lectures will proceed and no departmental closures will occur.
  3. The advice to students is to be posted on Blackboard which will be consistent with the statement on the web homepage. Where a paper is not on Blackboard, the Lecturer in charge of that paper is responsible for ensuring the students are advised of an alternative information mechanism in advance.
  4. The information is to be available on Blackboard (and any other relevant services) at least an hour before the scheduled lecture or other teaching activity.
  5. Where a lecture occurs on an affected day but some students cannot attend and that non attendance is legitimate given the adverse weather conditions, the Lecturer must make suitable arrangements for the absent students to receive all the course material relevant to the missed lecture.
  6. During snow conditions final examinations will be held as scheduled. Students are expected to make appropriate arrangements to ensure they can attend their examinations without putting themselves at risk. More information is available at: If students are unable to travel to the University to sit their examinations because of road closures or hazardous driving conditions, they should contact AskOtago for advice.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this procedure or need further clarification, contact:

Senior Analyst, Research and Policy

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