Campus and Building Closing: Twin Cities
Responsible University Officer: Vice President for University Services
Policy Owner: Vice President for University Services
Policy Contact: Leslie Krueger


In accordance with the University's official Emergency Operations Plan, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, portions of campus, or individual building or multiple buildings will be closed in the event that a situation poses a serious risk to the health, safety, or security of the University community, research animals or other mission critical assets.

Determination to Close

The Officer of the Day will determine when a situation warrants a closure (e.g., adverse weather conditions, hazardous material release, terrorism, or other threat). Consultation with the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and other appropriate executives will occur prior to making the decision to close, time permitting, depending on the nature of the situation or the protocol as defined in the Emergency Operations Plan.

Closing Notification

Faculty, staff, and students will be notified as quickly as practical through internal and external communications systems, including, as appropriate, the University's e-mail, TXT-U, voice alert system, and home page, as well as broader external media resources (television, radio), once a decision is made to execute a closure.

Affected Individuals

In the event of a closure:

  • affected employees, excluding work-study students, who are not identified as critical employees will continue to be paid as usual during the closure
  • affected employees who are identified by their supervisors as critical employees must continue to remain on campus as directed by their supervisors (see also Appendix: Pay Provisions)
  • affected non-critical, work study students may not be paid with work-study funds for their regularly scheduled hours affected by the closure

Special Situations

Certain major public events sponsored by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics or the Department of Concerts and Lectures are not automatically subject to a Twin Cities campus closing. The Officer of the Day will determine whether the public event may be held. Consultation with the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and other appropriate executives will occur prior to making the decision to close, time permitting, depending on the nature of the situation or the protocol as defined in the Emergency Operations Plan. The event sponsor must contact University Relations so that a list of such events may be compiled for review and so that the decision related to the status of the event in light of the closure may be communicated properly.


This policy does not apply to University of Minnesota-Crookston, -Duluth, -Morris, or -Rochester, or any other University installations outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area (Minnesota Arboretum, Research and Outreach Centers, etc). Chancellors and directors of these other University locations are responsible for developing, communicating, and implementing policies and procedures related to individual or multiple building, campus, or portions of campus closures.


The University recognizes the need to prepare for unexpected situations that may require the closure of all or part of a campus; to identify the decision-making hierarchy for such closures; to ensure timely notification to students, staff, faculty, and visitors; and to confirm affected individual responsibilities in the event of a closure.

Primary Contact(s)
Emergency Operations Plan
Director of Emergency Management - Lisa Dressler
Personnel/compensation issues during potential/actual closing
Contact your unit HR administrator


Adverse Conditions
Adverse conditions include severe inclement weather conditions that pose serious risk to the health or safety of University personnel and/or students.
Emergency/Disaster Conditions
Emergency/Disaster conditions may exist as a result of a natural or man-made disaster, a civil disorder that poses an imminent threat of serious injury to persons or property, or other seriously disruptive events where extraordinary measures are required immediately to avert, alleviate or repair damage to University property or to maintain the orderly operation of the campus.
Critical Employees
An employee who has been designated as vital to the operations of the University, whose presence is required regardless of the existence of an emergency condition, and whose absence from duty could endanger the safety and well-being of the campus population and/or physical plant. Employees may be designated as critical on a situational basis, e.g., in the event of an emergency. Those employees deemed "critical employees" must be notified of such designation by their supervisor. Critical employees are required to report to work in the event of a closing unless specifically informed by their supervisor that they are not to report.
University Email
University email is the official system of communication with students (see Administrative Policy: Using Email as Official Student Communication).
TXT-U is the University of Minnesota's emergency notification text messaging system. Students, faculty, and staff can stay informed about critical campus class, safety, and closing information by registering to receive TXT-U messages. University employees and students may register for TXT-U here.


All Employees and Students
Listen to radio announcements and monitor the University's home page for specific closing information. Check University email. Call 612-301-SAFE (7233) to hear a recorded message about any campus emergency. Register for TXT-U, the University's emergency text message notification.
Building Evacuations

In the event of building closings, everyone in the building should follow the instructions communicated by authorized individuals (e.g., University Police, Environmental Health and Safety, Local Fire and Law Enforcement or other emergency responders).

Officer of the Day
Role delegated by the President to be responsible and with the authority to implement the Emergency Operations Plan and provide overall policy direction of the University of Minnesota resources during an emergency/disaster situation. The Officer of the Day (OOD) assesses emergency/disaster situations and makes recommendation on whether to close all or portion(s) the Twin Cities Campus in the event of an emergency/disaster. The OOD in conjunction with the on-scene Incident Commander determines the emergency level and makes response decisions.
Vice President for University Services
The Vice President for University Services serves as the Primary Officer of the Day (OOD).
University Relations
University Relations is the central communications office of the University of Minnesota. University Relations is responsible for communicating in a timely and accurate manner with people both internal and external to the University on campus and building closures for the Twin Cities campus.
Unit Administrators
Develop a specific set of procedures for their own units within the guidelines of overall University policies and procedures. Develop, maintain, and execute local operational continuity plans as appropriate for these situations. Notify critical employees as to their designation and responsibilities in the event of an emergency closing. Develop an Operational Continuity plan if applicable.


December 2010 - Major Revision, comprehensive review. 1. Expands the policy to cover closing of individual or multiple buildings, in addition to a full campus closing. 2. Specifies the Officer of the Day as the individual responsible for determining when to close a building or campus, in consultation with the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, and other appropriate executives as the situation permits. 3. Improves readability of the policy by reorganizing and consolidating information in associated Appendices (e.g., employee compensation during a closing). 4. Title updated from "Emergency Closing Policy" to "Campus and Building Closings: Twin Cities." 5. Responsible Officer and Ownership has moved from Senior Vice President Academic Affairs and Provost to Vice President for University Services.
December 2003
December 1999
December 1998
December 1994
December 1994

Document Feedback

Date Revised

December 2010

Date Effective

December 1994