|| VP Marketing & Communications
|| VP of Support Services & VP Academic Affairs
|| President’s Cabinet
|Date of Approval:
|| January 12, 2016
|Date of Last Revision:
|| March 10, 2015
|Next Review Date:
It is the policy of the University to handle weather related emergency situations according to their severity and potential impact on campus and its communities such that the response is commensurate with conditions.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
The University and its communities’ well-being can be threatened by emergency and disaster situations both natural, such as, winter storms, and tornadoes, and man-made such as hazardous material accidents, terrorist threats and criminal activity.
When such incidents occur, it is the policy of the University to:
- Protect human life, prevent/minimize personal injury
- Protect the environment
- Prevent/minimize damage to existing structures
- Restore normal operations
Who Needs to Know this Policy
This policy applies to all University directors, officers, employees, and students of Heritage University.
Website Address for this Policy
Director of Plant & Maintenance
Vice President of Support Services
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Definitions and Responsibilities
Essential Services – Any non-exempt employees whose services have been identified by their department heads as “emergency personnel” are expected to report to work in accordance with the Supervisor’s instructions. Some examples of essential services include maintenance of building operations, the Early Learning Center, food service, clearing of walkways, streets and parking lots, and public safety/security.
Campus Closure – The campus is officially closed to all non-emergency personnel. All others should refrain from arriving on campus as it has been determined that travel to campus and/or on campus is hazardous.
Classes Canceled – Scheduled classes during the specified times are canceled. Classes after the specific cancellation period will operate as scheduled. Students are not expected to report to campus before the specified cancellation time is concluded. Staff is however expected to report to campus as soon as reasonably possible given driving and weather conditions in their immediate vicinity. The cancellation of classes does not obviate staff from reporting to campus or allow staff members to leave campus once arrived unless the campus is officially declared closed.
In the case of inclement weather the following protocols shall be adhered to in determining campus closure and/or class cancellation.
The Director of Physical Plant shall make a recommendation as to the need to close or delay opening of the campus to the VP for Support Services and the Provost. They in turn will consult with the President for approval. In the absence of the President, the Provost will make the final decision. The Provost will also notify the regional sites. Decisions about classes at the regional sites, however, are made by the partner-college designee who will communicate to the Provost when any decision to close the campus or delay opening is made.
Campus Closure/Class Cancellation determination is made after consideration of all available information such as:
- Weather reports and forecasts from the National Weather Service
- Road conditions
- Current conditions on campus
- Closure or non-closure of other schools in our vicinity
- Information regarding closure or delay is normally made available by 6 a.m. on the emergency day, but may also be made during the day as conditions warrant, and by 3 p.m. for night class cancellation, if at all possible.
- The Marketing Department will communicate class cancellations/campus closures using the University emergency notification text messaging system. Individuals may sign up for this service at https://myheritage.heritage.edu/ICS/Help_Center/Emergency_Notification/.
- Public media, social media and the University website, when applicable, will be notified/updated by the Vice President of Marketing or designee.
- Regional Sites of the University will make their own determinations based on the procedures being used at their local campus locations.
- Individual colleges, academic departments, faculty or staff are not authorized to close buildings and/or cancel classes.
- Faculty not traveling due to inclement weather will communicate with students using departmental procedures.
If no cancellation/closure is reported
If the weather at an employee’s or student’s home is hazardous, good judgement should prevail. Employees who do not work in these cases may charge the time off to vacation, personal time, or unpaid leave as appropriate. Staff may be permitted to work from home with approval from their immediate supervisor. Students who miss classes in these cases should work out arrangements with faculty regarding any missed school time/work.
If cancellation/closure is reported
The campus is officially closed to all non-emergency personnel. All others should refrain from arriving on campus as it has been determined that travel to campus and/or on campus is hazardous. All non-emergency personnel already on campus when the campus is designated as closed should leave campus as soon as possible if they can travel safely.
If a class cancellation is reported
Students are not expected to arrive on campus before the revised class start time. If the weather or driving conditions at a student’s home is hazardous, good judgement should prevail. Students who miss classes in these cases should work out arrangements with faculty regarding any missed school time/work.
Staff members are expected to exercise good judgement with regard to prevailing weather and driving conditions and arrive on campus as soon as conditions permit. employees who do not work in these cases may charge the time off to vacation, personal time, or unpaid leave as appropriate. Staff may be permitted to work from home with approval from their immediate supervisor.
Related Policies and Resources
Safety and Security Policies – TBD
Campus Closure Due to Inclement Weather Policy
Last Revision 03/10/2015