Closing the Campus Because of Weather                     UPPS No. 05.04.02

or Other Emergencies                                                         Issue No. 5

                                                                                                Effective Date: 05/11/2012

                                                                                                Review: July 1 E3Y

                                                                                                Attachments I, II

 

 

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-San Marcos campus. Therefore, the objectives of this UPPS are as follows:

 

a.   To identify the conditions that will cause the university to close the San Marcos campus and Round Rock Higher Education Center (RRHEC) or other outreach locations;

 

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

 

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

 

02.       PROCEDURES

 

02.01  Severe Weather Conditions (On-campus)

 

a.   The 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 that 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 RRHEC 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 of this policy, 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 and vice president for Academic Affairs will select a representative for each location of off-campus classes who will track severe weather conditions and other emergency conditions and, after consulting UPD, will recommend closing facilities or cancelling classes to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. 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 the President’s Cabinet, who will make the decision on closing the university.

 

b.   The vice president for University Advancement (VPUA), through University News Service (UNS), will ensure the appropriate notifications as indicated in Section 02.04 of this policy.

 

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.   UNS will notify UPD of all closings or cancellations of classes at the main university campus, RRHEC or other outreach locations.

                             

b.   UNS will inform the campus operator and the university webmaster and provide the agreed upon text for distribution to the public.

 

c.   UNS will place the appropriate information on the Texas State University 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).

 

e.   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 or call (512) 245-2424 for any emergency announcements.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

g.   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 ranking or senior police officer on duty will 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, UNS will proceed as indicated in Sections 02.01 c., 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 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

 

            Director, University News Service            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