The rate of RNA polymerase II (pol II) elongation can influence splice site selection in nascent transcripts, yet the extent and physiological relevance of this kinetic coupling between transcription and alternative splicing is not well understood. We performed experiments to perturb pol II elongation and then globally compared alternative splicing patterns with genome-wide pol II occupancy. RNA binding and RNA processing functions were significantly enriched among the genes with pol II elongation inhibition-dependent changes in alternative splicing. Under conditions that interfere with pol II elongation, including cell stress, increased pol II occupancy was detected in the intronic regions flanking the alternative exons in these genes, and these exons generally became more included. A disproportionately high fraction of these exons introduced premature termination codons that elicited nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), thereby further reducing transcript levels. Our results provide evidence that kinetic coupling between transcription, alternative splicing and NMD affords a rapid mechanism by which cells can respond to changes in growth conditions, including cell stress, to coordinate the levels of RNA processing factors with mRNA levels. To monitor pol II distributions, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-Seq) was performed using an anti-pol II antibody (4H8) and cross-linked chromatin preparations from Jurkat cells, treated with or without pol II elongation inhibitor 5,6-dichloro-1-β-D-ribofuranosyl-benzimidazole (DRB) at 10 and 25 ug/ml respectively prior to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) stimulation, for 5000+ alternative splicing events.