The University of Minnesota is committed to continuously maintaining operational continuity of Critical Operating Units (COUs) and essential operational services for the students, staff and faculty.
Critical Operating Units
Departments that are essential to carrying out the University's mission are deemed “Critical Operating Units.” These units must maintain a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) as well as exercise and update their plan regularly. Any unit whose Security Level is identified by Administrative Policy: Information Security as requiring a disaster recovery (DR) plan must have DR plans on file along with their COOP documentation. The DR plans are a guide for ensuring proper backup/recovery for IT resources.
COUs must identify a Continuity of Operations Coordinator (Coordinator) responsible for continuity planning. Continuity planning processes for critical operating units are coordinated through the Department of Emergency Management (DEM). DR plans for critical operating units are coordinated through the Office of Information Technology Disaster Recovery Team (OIT-DR).
DEM will work with Coordinators for all COUs to ensure departmental review and update of their COOP occurs at least every three years.
COUs must include in their COOP clear strategies and procedures needed to continue operations and execute a recovery in the event of an interruption that compromises the ability of the COU to carry out its essential functions. The Officer of the Day or the individual unit administrator will determine when an event is significant enough to trigger execution of a COOP.
Coordinators are responsible for training employees with responsibilities for execution of some portion of a COOP. New employees in COU who are given responsibilities for implementing some portion of the COOP must be trained by the unit Coordinator on these responsibilities within 60 days of their employment start date or the date they assume the responsibility. DEM will review training compliance as part of the COOP review. If any COU depends on suppliers or other operating units to provide its essential functions, those suppliers or units must also have a continuity plan.
All Other Departments
All non-critical operating units and those units not otherwise identified by Administrative Policy: Information Security, are encouraged to have a COOP and DR plan in place for their unit to ensure continuation of programs and services in the event of a major disruption of operations, using the U of M COOP template.
The University of Minnesota will use the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as its standard, coordinated, and systematic method for incident management.
DEM is responsible for ensuring the NIMS approach is incorporated into the University's preparedness practices to help the University community prepare for, respond to, recover from, and reduce the effects of incidents and potential incidents whether they are intentional, accidental, or natural.
University senior leaders and staff who have functional responsibilities associated with incident management must complete NIMS training requirements as developed by the National Training Program for NIMS and attend multi-unit, multi-discipline scenario exercises intended to improve overall University integration and interoperability.
Reason for Policy
To implement Board of Regents Policy: Health and Safety (PDF) by providing a framework to protect and provide for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors in the event of a major interruption of our mission and operation. Further, the University recognizes that these obligations extend to a responsibility for each COU within the University to be able to meet its individual obligations. These obligations include the ability to provide the services expected of them and to carry out functions essential to the mission of the University should an event occur which interrupts the normal course of operations. Failure to have an adequate continuity plan could lead to unnecessary injury or loss of life, financial disaster, interruptions of academic classes, failure of research projects, and delays in completing other mission essential activities.