The chancellor is responsible for determining if classes will be postponed or cancelled. According to University Communications, the campus has only been officially closed two times in recorded history because of snow. The first time was on March 17, 1969. The second was on December 3, 1990, when 17 inches of snow fell on Madison during a 12-hour period.
However, there have been other occasions when classes were cancelled, with or without an official "University Closure" issued, including four times in the past decade: Feb. 6, 2008 (afternoon and evening classes only), Dec. 9, 2009, Feb. 2, 2011 and Dec. 20, 2012. Other dates include March 17, 1965; April 9, 1973; January 26, 1978; December 15, 1987 and December 3, 1990.
There remains some uncertainty about the years before 1965; however, the university rarely closed due to bad weather because most of the students and faculty lived on campus or nearby.