Closing the Campus Because of Weather                     UPPS No. 05.04.02

or Other Emergencies                                                         Issue No. 6

Effective Date: 11/09/2015

Review: July 1 E3Y

Sr. Reviewer: Director, University Police Department 

 

 

01.       POLICY STATEMENTS

 

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

 

a.   to identify the conditions that will cause the university to close the San Marcos campus and Round Rock Campus (RRC) or other outreach locations;

 

b.   to establish the necessary authority for closing the San Marcos campus and RRC or other outreach locations; and

 

c.   to provide for dissemination of information related to closing the San Marcos campus and RRC or other outreach locations.

 

02.       PROCEDURES

 

02.01  Severe Weather Conditions (affecting Texas State University properties)

 

a.   The Emergency Management coordinator or ranking/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 may lead to closing of the campus or an off-campus instructional site.

 

b.   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/exit sidewalks and steps of all residence halls or other facilities from which faculty, staff, and students will exit their place of residence, employment, or classes in order to leave the campus.

 

c.   The director of UPD will notify the vice president for Student Affairs (VPSA) of existing or imminent severe weather conditions which may necessitate closing the San Marcos campus and RRC or other outreach locations.

 

1)    When imminent severe weather poses a threat, the university will use the Thor Guard System as outlined in Attachment II.

 

d.   The VPSA and the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, after consultation with appropriate university officials, and initial distribution of the closing notification to campus and public media per Section 02.04, will notify, as quickly as possible, the appropriate colleges. The special assistant to the President will notify other members of the President’s Cabinet of the decision.

 

e.   College deans will work with appropriate department chairs to inform faculty of the decision to cancel classes.

 

f.    Each vice president is responsible for notifying personnel in his or her area of responsibility of the pending hazardous conditions.

 

02.02  Severe Weather Conditions (Off-campus locations)

 

a.   The provost will coordinate with the Emergency Management coordinator who will track severe weather conditions and other emergency conditions and, after consulting with UPD, will recommend closing facilities or cancelling classes to the provost. The decision process will be consistent with Section 02.01 d.

 

02.03  Energy Curtailment

 

a.   In the unlikely event of a loss or disruption to part of the electrical power grid or natural gas supply, the vice president for Finance and Support Services (VPFSS) will report an impending utility emergency to the president and President’s Cabinet, who will make the decision on closing the university.

 

b.   VPSA, through UPD’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), will ensure the appropriate notifications as indicated in Section 02.04.

 

c.   Each vice president is responsible for notifying personnel in his or her area of responsibility of the pending hazardous conditions.

 

d.   College deans will work with appropriate department chairs to inform faculty of the decision to cancel classes.

 

02.04  Notifications for Closing the University or Canceling Classes Due to Emergencies

 

a.   UPD’s OEM will notify University News Service (UNS) of all delays, closings, or cancellations of classes at the main university campus, RRC, or other outreach locations.

     

b.   OEM will notify the university community of any delays, closings, or cancelations of classes using the TXState Alert! System.

 

c.   If needed, OEM will inform the campus operator and the university webmaster and provide the agreed-upon text for distribution to the public. 

 

      When advised by OEM, UNS will place the appropriate information on the Texas State recorded news bulletin. The vice president for Information Technology (VPIT) or designee will use the university’s voicemail system to place an announcement in all voicemail boxes.

 

d.   UNS will notify area television and radio stations (see Attachment I).

 

      At the beginning of each long semester, UPD will send a campus-wide announcement advising the university community that they should refer to the Texas State website, register for TXState Alert! Text messages, check their txstate.edu email accounts, or call 512.245. 2424 for any emergency announcements.

 

e.   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.

 

f.    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.

 

03.       LOCAL OR NATIONAL DISASTER OR EMERGENCY CLOSINGS

 

03.01  In the event of tornados, earthquakes, chemical or hazardous waste spills, gas leaks, or similar events impacting the university, the Emergency Management coordinator or ranking/senior police officer on duty will immediately notify UPD and the captain of Patrol Operations. The director of UPD, or designee, will notify the VPSA and make a recommendation concerning closing all or part of the campus or cancellation of classes.

 

03.02  The VPSA will consult with the president and other Cabinet members and inform UPD and UNS as soon as possible of the decision regarding closing the campus or canceling classes.

 

03.03  After receiving notification of campus closing or class cancellation, UPD’s OEM will proceed as indicated in Sections 02.01 c. and d., and 02.04 a.-d.

 

04.       PROCEDURES FOR NOTIFICATION OF RE-OPENING THE UNIVERSITY

 

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

 

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

 

04.03  Notifications to the University Community – UPD’s OEM will notify the students, faculty, and staff of the time and date the campus will re-open (see Attachment I).

 

04.04  Notifications to News Media – UNS will notify the news media, the campus operator, and the university webmaster of the time and date the campus will re-open (see Attachment I).

 

05.       REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS

 

05.01  Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

 

            Position                                                         Date

           

            Director, University Police Department    July 1 E3Y

 

            Provost and Vice President for                  July 1 E3Y

            Academic Affairs

 

            Associate Vice President for Facilities     July 1 E3Y

 

            Assistant Vice President for University    July 1 E3Y

            Advancement                                              

 

            Emergency Management Coordinator     July 1 E3Y

 

06.       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 Student Affairs

 

President