Printed on: 02/21/2018. Please go to policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

Morris Campus Policy

Emergency Cancellations and Closing of Offices, Building(s) and Campus: Morris
Policy Owner: Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities, Morris
Date Effective: 
January 1994
Date Revised: 
December 2015

POLICY STATEMENT

In accordance with the University's official Emergency Operations Plan, the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) campus, portions of campus, offices or building(s) will be closed, classes may be cancelled, and activities may be cancelled or postponed 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 Take Action for Emergency Cancellations or Closures

The Chancellor will determine when a situation warrants a cancellation of classes or events or closure of offices, buildings, or closure of all or part of the campus (e.g., adverse weather conditions, hazardous material release, terrorism, or other threat). Consultation with the Vice Chancellors and Chief Law Enforcement Officer will occur prior to making the decision to close offices or buildings or cancel classes or events, time permitting, depending on the nature of the situation or the protocol as defined in the Emergency Operations Plan.

The determination will be made by the Chancellor or campus official as available, in order, on the following list, in consultation with the Chief Law Enforcement Officer and other Vice Chancellors as available.

  • Chancellor
  • Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean
  • Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities

The Chancellor, Chief Law Enforcement Officer or designee, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs are the lead people in campus emergency response. When an emergency situation occurs, these administrators identify an incident response team (typically four to six people) to coordinate the emergency response. Specific team members vary to meet the needs of the situation at hand. The Chancellor’s designated Emergency Lead-Designated Authority (ELDA) will be responsible and have the authority to implement the UMM Emergency Operations Plan, including coordinating warning and notification.

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, SAFE-U, tone alert radios, home page and selected social media, as well as broader external media resources (television, radio), once a decision is made to execute a closure or cancel classes.

The decision maker will also notify the UM Office of the President and Vice President for University Services.

As a courtesy, the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) will be notified of the Morris campus’ status, but factors quite different from those considered by UMM influence WCROC decisions regarding cancellations or closures at the same times.

Affected Individuals

In the event of a closure:

  • affected employees, excluding work-study students, who are not identified as critical employees will be excused and 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

As a residential campus, Morris will provide for the needs of student residents as appropriate for the given situation.

Special Situations

Occasionally student oriented or public events may continue on a day when classes have been cancelled or offices closed. The Chancellor or relevant Vice Chancellor will determine whether the event may be held.

Exclusions

This policy does not apply to University of Minnesota, Crookston, Duluth, Rochester, or Twin Cities campuses or other UM entities. Chancellors and directors of these other University locations are responsible for developing, communicating, and implementing relevant policies and procedures.

REASON FOR POLICY

The University recognizes the need to prepare for unexpected situations or respond to weather that may require the cancellation of classes or events or 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.

POLICY CONTACTS

SubjectContactPhoneEmail
Primary Contact(s) Bryan Herrmann, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities 320-589-6113 herrmanb@morris.umn.edu
Emergency Operations Plan Rob Velde, Chief Law Enforcement Officer 320-589-6000 rwvelde@morris.umn.edu
Personnel/compensation issues during potential/actual closing Sarah Mattson, Human Resources Director 320-589-6021 mattsosj@morris.umn.edu
Policy Contact Information for Communications Melissa Vangsness, Director, Communications and Marketing 320-589-6414 melissav@morris.umn.edu

PROCEDURES

  1. Emergency Closing/Class Cancellation Times

    1. Closing offices, buildings or campus/class cancellation/starting at normal business hours
      The decision and announcements are to be made as early in the morning as possible, preferably by 5:30 a.m. for cancellation of classes or closing offices. The typical duration for the cancellation will be 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The second and third shifts will report to work as scheduled, unless specifically notified otherwise. Evening classes, programs and events will be cancelled unless the closing announcement or subsequent announcements specify that they will continue as scheduled.
    2. Closing offices, buildings or campus/starting after normal business day has begun, during evenings and on weekends
      To the extent possible, two hours of lead-time will be provided. Units notified of a closing of offices/buildings or cancellation of classes or events by the University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Communication and Marketing is asked to assist in communicating the closing/cancellation announcements in whatever ways they can. Midday and weekend closings/cancellations will be communicated in a variety of means as appropriate, including but not limited to tone alert radios, email, text message alert (SAFE-U), and postings on the University website (www.morris.umn.edu) and selected social media. The decision to close offices, buildings or programs or cancel classes should be made by 4:00pm for evening classes.
  2. Morris Official Announcements of Emergency Cancellations and Closings

    The University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Communication and Marketing is responsible for notifying the University community and the public, if the decision is made to close offices, buildings, or the campus or to cancel classes or events on the Morris campus.

    All official University announcements will be made exclusively through the University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Communication and Marketing or the University of Minnesota Morris Campus Police.

    Announcements of emergency closings or cancellations will, to the extent possible, specify the starting and ending times of the closing of campus offices and/or buildings or cancellation of classes, and whether the closing/cancellation of classes includes specific University services, events, and evening or weekend classes or programs.

    Internal communication: University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Communication and Marketing will use a variety of communications methods as appropriate to communicate a closing, including but not limited to email, postings on the University website (morris.umn.edu), text message alert (SAFE-U), Twitter, and Facebook. Note: Calling University offices will not guarantee that the latest or most accurate information is provided to the caller.

    External communication: University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Communication and Marketing will notify all appropriate media outlets. The following media will be typically be notified (contact information and instructions provided by External Relations):

    Radio:

    • KUMM, FM 89.7, UMM Campus
    • KKOK, FM 95.7, Morris
      KMRS, AM 1230, Morris
    • KIKV, FM 100.7, Alexandria

    Television:

    • WCCO TV, KSTP TV, KARE-11 TV

  3. Morris Pay Provisions during Emergency Closing

    Morris follows the procedures outlined in the Pay Provision during Emergency Closings Appendix.

OTHER INFORMATION

Appendices

Definitions

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 human-caused 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, research, 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.
Emergency Lead – Designated Authority (ELDA)
Individual designated by the Chancellor with authority to act on their behalf in handling emergencies affecting the University of Minnesota Morris.
University Email
University email is the official system of communication with students (see Administrative Policy: Using Email as Official Student Communication).
SAFE-U
SAFE-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 SAFE-U messages. University employees and students may register for SAFE-U here.

Responsibilities

All Employees and Students
Listen to media announcements and monitor the University's home page for specific closing information. Maintain current information for SAFE-U, the University's emergency text message notification.
Building Evacuations
In the event of building closings, everyone in the building must follow the instructions communicated by authorized individuals (e.g., Campus Police, University Health and Safety, Local Fire and Law Enforcement or other emergency responders (i.e. EMS)).
Chancellor and Emergency Lead – Designated Authority (ELDA)
The Chancellor, the Chief Law Enforcement Officer or designee, the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs are the lead people in campus emergency response. When an emergency situation occurs on the campus, these administrators identify an incident response team (typically four to six people) to coordinate campus emergency response. Specific team members will vary to meet the needs of the situation at hand. The Chancellor’s designated Emergency Lead-Designated Authority (ELDA) will be responsible and have the authority to implement the UMM Emergency Operations Plan, including coordinating warning and notification. They will assess emergency/disaster situations and make decisions on whether to close all or portion(s) the Morris campus in the event of an emergency/disaster.
Communications and Marketting
Communicates in a timely and accurate manner with people both internal and external to the University on class or event cancellations and office/building/campus closures for the Morris campus.
Unit Administrators
Develop a specific set of procedures for their own units within the guidelines of overall University policies and procedures. Notify critical employees as to their designation and responsibilities in the event of an emergency closing of offices/building/campus and cancellation of classes/events. Develop, maintain, and execute a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) if applicable.

Related Information

POLICY HISTORY

Effective
January 1994. Published in Policy Library: December 2015.