It is rare for Iowa's public universities to cancel classes, but all three are closing as temperatures across the state plummet to the coldest on record in more than 20 years.

Officials at the University of Northern Iowa have decided to close the campus starting at noon today. Classes at UNI are scheduled to resume at noon on Thursday. Courses taught by eLearning will proceed as scheduled, UNI officials said.

Only essential UNI personnel are being asked to report during the campus shutdown.

According to UNI, Maucker Union will be closing at 1 PM today and won't reopen until 11 AM on Thursday. There will not be any access to the Plaza level while the facilty is closed.

UNI officials initially announced on Monday that the campus would close at 5 PM on Tuesday. They later decided to close the campus at noon, following a change in the weather forecast.

Officials at Iowa State University also made the decision Tuesday morning to close the campus for the entire day. The university is scheduled to reopen at noon on Thursday. Classes are also slated to resume on Thursday, beginning at 12:10 PM. Only essential staff -- police, food service, security, power plant, animal care, critical maintenance, and snow and ice removal personnel -- will be required to work during the campus shutdown.

Two basketball games will be played at Hilton Coliseum as scheduled, despite the campus being closed. The 23rd-ranked Iowa State women play Texas Tech at 6:30 tonight and the 20th-ranked men host West Virginia at 6 PM on Wednesday.

The University of Iowa is also canceling classes on the Iowa City campus from 5 PM today through noon on Thursday. According to information posted on the university's website, online classes will continue as planned.

In Fayette, Upper Iowa University is also canceling classes. UIU officials sent an alert Tuesday morning announcing that the main campus will closing at 3:30 PM and remained closed on Wednesday.