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UPPS 05.04.02 - Closing the Campus Because of Weather or Other Emergencies

Closing the Campus Because of Weather or Other Emergencies

UPPS No. 05.04.02
Issue No. 7
Effective Date: 1/02/2019
Next Review Date: 7/01/2022 (E3Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Director, University Police Department

  1. POLICY STATEMENT

    1. Because of the potential for weather extremes, energy problems, utility emergencies and other crises, it may become necessary to close Texas State University locations. The objectives of this policy are as follows:

      1. to identify the conditions that will cause the university to close locations;

      2. to establish the necessary authority for closing locations; and

      3. to provide a plan for dissemination of information related to closing locations.

  2. PROCEDURES

    1. When severe weather conditions affect locations:

      1. The Emergency Management (EM) coordinator or ranking or senior police officer on duty will immediately notify the director of the University Police Department (UPD) and the captain of Patrol Operations when severe weather conditions or reports indicate flooding, icing, or snow which may lead to closing a location.

      2. The director of UPD, or designee, will notify the associate vice president for Facilities of the need for emergency crews to take appropriate actions such as placing barricades at dangerous locations and spreading sand or other materials at dangerous intersections and on the entry or exit sidewalks and steps of appropriate facilities.

      3. The director of UPD, or designee, will notify the director of Transportation Services of the need to set barricades or adjust transportation plans.

      4. The director of UPD will notify the vice president for Finance and Support Services (VPFSS) of existing or imminent severe weather conditions that may necessitate closing a location.

      5. The VPFSS will notify other Cabinet members of extreme weather and possible closure. Depending on the severity of the emergency or weather, the vice president for Student Affairs, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and the president may activate the university’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) for emergency messaging.

      6. The president will decide which of the following announcements will be communicated:

        1. The university will delay the opening of university buildings and the start of academic classes.

        2. The university will suspend academic classes. All personnel will be expected to report to work.

        3. The university will be closed to students and all personnel except those designated as critical and essential to the university function during emergency periods.

    2. Energy Curtailment

      1. In the unlikely event of a loss or disruption to part of the electrical power grid or natural gas supply, the VPFSS will report to the president, who will make the decision on closing the university.

      2. UPD’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will work with the assistant vice president for Communications (AVP Communications) to ensure distribution of the appropriate notifications as indicated in Section 02.03.

    3. Notifications for Closing the University or Canceling Classes Due to Emergencies

      1. OEM will notify the AVP Communications of all delays, closings, or cancellations of classes at locations.

      2. OEM will notify the university community of any delays, closings, or cancellations of classes using the TXState Alert! System, and by distributing a message approved by the AVP Communications.

      3. When advised by OEM, the AVP Communications and University Marketing will place the appropriate information on the Texas State website, social media channels, and other communication methods as identified by the vice president for University Advancement.

      4. The AVP Communications will notify area television and radio stations, as appropriate.

      5. The provost, after consultation with appropriate university officials and initial distribution of the closing notification to campus and public media, will notify the appropriate colleges, as quickly as possible.

      6. College deans will work with appropriate department chairs to inform faculty of the decision to cancel classes and make appropriate plans.

      7. Each vice president is responsible for implementing appropriate plans and actions in his or her area of responsibility based on the nature of the emergency.

      8. At the beginning of each long semester, UPD will send a campus-wide announcement advising the university community that they be aware of the use of the Texas State website and the Safety & Emergency Communications website for emergency messages. The message will also encourage the community to register for TXState Alert! messages, and to verify their contact information to ensure receipt of emergency announcements.

      9. It is the responsibility of each vice president to generate and regularly update a division policy and procedure statement (PPS) that defines essential personnel to the university.

  3. PROCEDURES FOR LOCAL OR NATIONAL DISASTER OR EMERGENCY CLOSINGS

    1. In the event of tornados, earthquakes, chemical or hazardous waste spills, gas leaks, or similar events impacting the university, the EM coordinator or ranking or senior police officer on duty will immediately notify UPD dispatch and the captain of Patrol Operations. The director of UPD, or designee, will notify the VPFSS and make a recommendation concerning closing all or part of the campus or cancellation of classes. Depending on the specifics of the emergency or incident, the university’s RRT may be activated.

    2. The VPFSS will consult with the president and other Cabinet members and inform UPD and the AVP Communications as soon as possible of the decision regarding closing the campus or canceling classes.

  4. PROCEDURES FOR NOTIFICATION OF RE-OPENING THE UNIVERSITY

    1. Weather Closing – The director of UPD will inform the VPFSS of any changes in the weather conditions to facilitate re-opening the university campus, when appropriate. The director of UPD will inform the associate vice president for Facilities, as necessary.

    2. Energy Closing – The associate vice president for Facilities will inform the VPFSS of any changes in the energy situation to facilitate re-opening the university campus, when appropriate. The associate vice president for Facilities will inform the director of UPD, as necessary.

    3. Notifications to the University Community – UPD will notify students, faculty, and staff of the time and date the campus will re-open utilizing the same process as the closing message.

    4. Notifications to News Media – The AVP Communications will notify the news media and University Marketing of the time and date the campus will re-open.

  5. REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS

    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Director, University Police Department July 1 E3Y
      Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs July 1 E3Y
      Associate Vice President for Facilities July 1 E3Y
      Assistant Vice President for Communications July 1 E3Y
      Emergency Management Coordinator July 1 E3Y
  6. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedures from the date of this document until superseded.

    Director, University Police Department; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Vice President for Finance and Support Services

    President