Skip Navigation

Weather and Emergency Closures

Weather in Oklahoma can be unpredictable, particularly in the winter. OSU-Tulsa makes every effort to keep campus open and clear of ice, snow and other impediments. However, there are times when weather, road and other conditions require us to move to virtual operations, close or cancel classes for the safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests. This page will help you understand the language we use in announcing virtual campus, campus closures or class cancelations and how OSU-Tulsa leadership makes these decisions.

If you do not see a notice on the OSU-Tulsa website, social media or in your email, then OSU-Tulsa is open for normal business and class hours, except for announced University holidays.

How to Find Your OSU-Tulsa Classes

To see which of your courses are OSU-Tulsa courses, view your class schedule in Self-Service Banner: 

  • From Self-Service, select the Student tab and then the Registration link. Your schedule can be viewed under the View Registration Information link.
  • See the “Location” or “Campus” field depending on the view.
  • Visit the View My Class Schedule webpage for more details on the different ways to view your class schedule


The following definitions will help you understand the language used to announce schedule changes and what you can expect for each..

Campus Closure

All campus operations are closed other than those deemed essential to the protection of life and property. Campus closure includes the following actions:

  • Cancelation of all classes scheduled at OSU-Tulsa during the period of closing
  • Cancelation of all meetings and events scheduled on the Tulsa campus
  • Closing of all OSU-Tulsa administrative offices with the exception of those offices necessary to maintain the safety and security of the facility
  • Administrative leave granted for staff not reporting to work because of closing in accordance with OSU Human Resources Inclement Weather policies and procedures.
    • For staff, the appropriate policy is 3-0713, Attendance and Leave for Staff, section 8.01, Inclement Weather.

Classes Canceled, Campus Open

All OSU-Tulsa academic classes are canceled, but the OSU-Tulsa campus remains open. Class cancelation includes the following actions:

  • Cancelation of all classes scheduled at OSU-Tulsa during the period of closing
  • Administrative offices open during regular hours unless specifically stated otherwise
  • Cancelation of classes does not excuse any staff member from work.
  • Campus events and meetings held at the discretion of the organizer and will proceed as scheduled unless canceled by the organizer

Delayed Opening

All OSU-Tulsa operations are closed for a designated period of time other than those operations deemed essential to the protection of life and property.

  • The length of delay is based on conditions that are expected to improve or become less hazardous after a certain amount of time.

Virtual Campus

All physical campus offices are closed other than those deemed essential to the protection of life and property, and other campus services are available online. Virtual campus operations includes the following actions:

  • Faculty have the choice to move classes scheduled at OSU-Tulsa online or to cancel the class session. Students should monitor their email and Canvas for communication from their instructor
  • All meetings and events scheduled on the Tulsa campus are moved online or canceled at the meeting organizer's discretion
  • OSU-Tulsa administrative offices move to virtual services with the exception of those offices necessary to maintain the safety and security of the facility
  • Staff should check in with their supervisor for direction regarding remote work.

General Guidelines

The campus of OSU-Tulsa will be closed if weather or other emergency situations are judged to threaten the security or safety of staff, faculty, students and visitors.

Information considered by OSU-Tulsa Administration

OSU-Tulsa’s executive team consider the following information when deciding whether to close campus:

  • Status of OSU-Stillwater and the Big Orange Bus.
    • Due to impact on faculty and students, OSU-Tulsa will cancel classes if BOB is not running due to inclement weather conditions. (Note: As described in the Definitions section, class cancelation is different from a campus closure.)
    • Tulsa is 70 miles east of Stillwater and may have different weather and road conditions.
    • The OSU-Tulsa campus is non-residential.
  • Tulsa-area higher education closure status.
    • OSU-Tulsa does not automatically close if local school districts close. K-12 students have different safety considerations than adults.
  • Status of the city of Tulsa and Tulsa County offices and operations, including the operating status of Tulsa Transit.
  • Road conditions to and from OSU-Tulsa from within the city and surrounding areas, as well as road conditions on campus.
  • The condition of campus parking lots and sidewalks.
  • Assessments by OSU-Tulsa Police and Facilities Management of safety on campus such as tree damage, power to buildings and icy conditions.

Assumption of Personal Risk and Responsibility

Whether inclement weather or other conditions exist on or around the OSU-Tulsa campus, the assumption of risk is a decision each individual must make even if OSU-Tulsa remains open. Students, faculty, staff and visitors are responsible for their own safety and should use their best judgment about traveling to or from campus.

  • Students should communicate with their instructor as soon as possible if they decide not to attend class due to inclement weather or other hazardous conditions.
  • Faculty are encouraged to accommodate students who are unable to attend class due to inclement weather or other conditions. Students may be unable to reach campus due to unsafe driving conditions outside the Tulsa area.
  • Staff have the responsibility to communicate with their supervisor if they deem conditions too unsafe to attempt to report for their shift. Please see OSU Human Resources Inclement Weather policies and procedures for more information.

Closing Decision Procedures

When possible and after assessment of conditions, OSU-Tulsa will provide a public message by 6 a.m. on the morning of any level of closure via the University’s alert system and media outlets as follows:

  • Send a message via Cowboy Alert (RAVE)
  • Post messaging as needed on website, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Notify local media outlets of OSU-Tulsa’s status
  • Notify Conference Center clients
  • Notify external tenants who have opted in to a designated email distribution list

Note: OSU Center for Health Sciences, OSU Stillwater or shared faculty and staff officing or leasing space at OSU-Tulsa should opt-in to OSU-Tulsa RAVE (Cowboy) Alerts to receive information about campus closing.

Early closing

Deteriorating conditions may prompt evaluation for an early closing. The protocol is the same as outlined above. A decision to cancel evening classes at OSU-Tulsa will be communicated by 2 p.m. 

Cowboy Alert NWS Text Messages for Tornado Warnings

Cowboy Alert subscribers will receive notification via text message when the National Weather Service declares a tornado warning in an area within 10 miles of the OSU-Tulsa campus.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for Cowboy Alert to receive tornado warnings and other emergency text and voicemail alerts on campus. The system helps alert subscribers about campus emergencies, such as weather-related closings, active shooters or immediate biohazard threats.

To opt in to the Cowboy Alert system, log in to the O-KEY system, click on Campus Alerts and Notifications in the left column and add your contact information. Please allow one business day for your request to be processed.