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20.03 / Closing of the University in the Event of Severe Weather Conditions or Other Emergency Situations

This policy is established in order to provide a procedure for the notification of administrative personnel, faculty, staff, and students of closing of the University for severe weather conditions or emergency situations.  

Inclement Weather:
The University Police third detail (11:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.) patrol supervisor (or senior officer) will monitor closely snow, ice, and wind storms which occur during the nighttime hours. If weather conditions appear hazardous or dangerous, the patrol supervisor will contact the Sedgwick County Emergency Communication Supervisor and other off-campus personnel deemed appropriate to assess the condition. No later than 4:00 a.m., the patrol supervisor will contact the Director of Physical Plant to consult about current conditions of the city and campus streets and the University parking lots and sidewalks.

If the Director of Physical Plant, with input from the patrol supervisor, determines the shutdown of the campus is advised, the Director of Physical Plant will call the Vice President for Administration and Finance or designee no later than 4:30 a.m.

If it is determined that the weather conditions mandate a decision relative to operation of the University, the Vice President for Administration and Finance will contact the President, or the President's designee, who may: (1) cancel classes and close the University except for essential employees: i.e., power plant operators, police, and others where deadlines must be met: such as, payroll, computing centers staffs, etc.; (2) cancel classes for the day with only the University officers who are members of the President's Administrative Staff reporting; or (3) make and implement decisions that seem necessary and advisable under the circumstances. When the decision has been made, the President, or the President's designee, shall call the Associate Vice President for University Relations who will notify University constituents as follows:

  1. Notify the Director of News and Media Relations who will change the Inclement Weather/Class Status Line. As soon as the Inclement Weather Class Status Line is updated, all calls should be routed automatically through this line with a release to the University Police Department. The Associate Vice President will notify his/her staff to contact all radio and television outlets no later than 5:00 a.m.
  2. The Associate Vice President or designee will notify the members of the President's Administrative Staff, except the Vice President for Administration and Finance, no later than 5:00 a.m.
If day classes are canceled with the option to hold classes in the evening left open, or if evening classes are to be canceled, a decision must be made and similarly transmitted to all constituents by 2:00 p.m. on the day of the closing.

Emergency Closedown:
When the University is forced to close down for a reason other than a declaration of Inclement Weather such as during a water supply shortage, employees in nonessential operations may be released by their supervisor and are to be granted leave with pay. Non-exempt employees who are in essential operations and are required to work some or all of their regular shift during an emergency closedown will be granted compensatory time for hours worked during the closedown at a straight time rate.

Other Night Emergencies:
When other emergency situations occur during the night hours, such as power outages, the University Police patrol supervisor will notify the appropriate Physical Plant supervisor on call who will then contact the Director of Physical Plant. Physical Plant will determine the effect of the emergency situation relating to time required for repair. If the repairs cannot be completed prior to 7:00 a.m., the Director of Physical Plant will notify the Vice President for Administration and Finance by 4:30 a.m. and, as necessary, the Vice President for Administration and Finance will contact the President who will notify the Associate Vice President for University Relations by 5:00 a.m. Communication of such closings will be handled the same as for inclement weather.

Should an emergency situation occur at any of the outreach centers, the Director of the Center should contact the Director of Physical Plant. The Director of Physical Plant will then follow the procedures above.

University Closure and Events:
The Associate Vice President for University Relations and staff in charge of the University Calendar of Events will notify all sponsors of campus events that the University is closed and that these events must be postponed or canceled. The appropriate departmental chairperson will be notified along with the Fine Arts Box Office Manager if appropriate. A fax release will be sent in a timely fashion to notify all media of changes in the University Calendar.

The Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, in consultation with the President, or the President's designee, shall have responsibility for determining if scheduled athletic competitions are to be postponed or canceled in the event of severe weather conditions or other emergency situations.

Revision Date:
November 12, 2002
December 2, 2002
November 12, 2004
December 6, 2004
February 15, 2005
January 10, 2006

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