Extreme Weather and Emergency Conditions
|Section:||Human Resources Policies|
|Policy Name:||Extreme Weather and Emergency Conditions|
|Policy Owner:||Executive Vice President|
|Responsible University Office:||Office of Human Resources|
|Revisions:||October 9, 2001; January 10, 2003; August 2018|
|Legacy Policy Number:||4-23|
- SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy addresses closings, delays, and openings of University campus sites due to extreme weather or campus emergency conditions that apply to all faculty, staff, and students.
- Closure – When the decision is made to close the University due to extreme weather conditions or emergency conditions, all classes are canceled and non-essential personnel are released from their work duties until the University reopens.
- Emergency Conditions – Conditions, including but not limited to power outages that interfere with the normal operations of the University.
- Essential Personnel – Identified by a person’s job classification and/or the directive of an employee’s manager; an employee who is required to remain on campus or report to campus.
- Extreme Weather Conditions – Severe weather that interferes with the normal operations of the University.
- POLICY STATEMENTIt is the policy of the University of Delaware to remain open except under the most extreme weather or emergency conditions. The decision to excuse or dismiss employees from work due to extreme weather or emergency conditions rests with the Executive Vice President in consultation with the President. (In the absence of the Executive Vice President, the Provost shall assume this responsibility.) Unit supervisors are not authorized to make such decisions individually, except as noted below and with the consent of the Executive Vice President. When the University is closed due to extreme weather or emergency conditions, only essential personnel are required to report to or remain at work.
- POLICY STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
- Closure of the University
- It will be the responsibility of the Executive Vice President to issue appropriate public announcements to the media through the Office of Communications and Marketing regarding closure. Decisions will be communicated by the Executive Vice President to other senior administrators who will notify their respective units.
- With regard to Continuing Education classes, it will be the responsibility of the Sr. Vice Provost, Graduate and Professional Education in consultation with the Executive Vice President and appropriate area supervisors, to determine what action will be taken. The Sr. Vice Provost, Graduate and Professional Education will be responsible for contacting broadcast media to announce cancellation of evening and/or weekend classes.
- Decisions regarding the Associate in Arts Program will be made by the appropriate campus (branch) of Delaware Technical and Community College.
- Decisions regarding all other University operations in Kent and Sussex Counties, including the designation of essential personnel, will be made by the appropriate Deans, in consultation with the Executive Vice President. The Deans or their designees will be responsible for contacting broadcast media in Kent and Sussex Counties to announce closing and cancellations affecting Kent and Sussex facilities.
- Personal Safety ConsiderationsThe University does not expect employees or students to take unnecessary risks to meet their work or learning obligations during adverse weather or emergency conditions. When the University has not closed, employees and students should use their best personal judgment to decide whether it is safe to travel to campus. Faculty should notify their departmental offices as soon as possible when adverse weather or emergency conditions preclude them from meeting their obligations; similarly, students should notify their professors when adverse weather or emergency conditions preclude them from class attendance. In such cases, students should be allowed to make up missed class time and, whenever possible, canceled classes should be rescheduled. In cases where the University remains open but an employee decides, using their best personal judgment, that it is best not to report to work or to leave early because of adverse weather or emergency conditions, the employee should notify the employee’s supervisor as soon as possible and use vacation leave or leave without pay, whichever is appropriate.Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to utilize technology tools to meet teaching, learning, and work obligations during adverse weather or emergency conditions.
- Designated Essential PersonnelSince several thousand students live in campus residence halls, support operations directly involved with maintaining the health and safety of those students are considered essential. These essential support operations include University Dining Services; Facilities, Real Estate and Auxiliary Services (FREAS); Housing and Conference Facilities; Student Health Services; and University of Delaware Police Department (UDPD). Morris Library and Information Technologies are also considered essential operations. It is the responsibility of the leaders of these respective units to designate essential personnel required to report for work and to notify such persons of their essential status. It is also the responsibility of these leaders to develop appropriate reporting and work assignment procedures for essential personnel that are communicated with the Executive Vice President so that decisions about institutional closings can be made with keeping information about essential operations in mind.
- Compensation Policy
- When a decision is made to close the University due to extreme weather or emergency conditions, non-essential employees whose normal working hours fall during the time in which the University is closed for extreme weather or emergency conditions will be compensated at their regular pay regardless of time not worked. Employees who have committed to vacation leave, sick leave, or time off without pay, prior to announcement of closure, will be charged for the time accordingly, regardless of the University’s status.
- If designated as appropriate by the Executive Vice President, non-exempt employees designated as essential and who are thus required to report to or remain at work during extreme weather or emergency conditions will be compensated at double-time rates during the designated work period until the emergency is declared over by the Executive Vice President or the appropriate administrative officer. Only those non-exempt essential employees who report for work and remain in a work status until excused will be eligible for double-time pay. Administrative guidelines impacting exempt employees are to be directed to the Office of HR, Employee Relations. Those deemed essential who do not report to work during a closure must take vacation leave or leave without pay, whichever is appropriate. Essential employees taking sick leave will be charged for the time accordingly.
- Operational ProceduresThe following procedures will be employed where there is a likelihood of extreme weather conditions in the State of Delaware or adjacent areas.
- The University of Delaware’s Director of Emergency Management will be responsible for obtaining information regarding extreme weather conditions or travelers warnings. Upon receipt of information concerning extreme weather conditions or other emergency situations, the Executive Director of the Office of Campus and Public Safety or designee will immediately inform the Executive Vice President or the appropriate administrative officer.
- The Office of Communications and Marketing, in consultation with the Executive Vice President, will be responsible for disseminating information regarding closings, openings, and/or cancellation for faculty, students, employees, and the public. After a closing is announced, the University of Delaware will remain closed until an opening time is announced. Announcements will be communicated using the following means:
- On the UD home page (www.udel.edu) and on UDaily;
- On the University’s primary social media accounts: www.facebook.com/UDelaware and www.twitter.com/UDelaware, as well as www.facebook.com/UDelPolice and www.Twitter.com/udelpolice;
- In an email to all members of the campus community;
- Via the University’s LiveSafe smartphone application, which provides the option to receive email or text updates (To use this option, you must download the free app. For information on how to subscribe to LiveSafe, click here.);
- On UD’s telephone directory information line at 302-831-2000;
- On the state Department of Education’s School Closings and Delays website, which includes an option for automatic notification (To use the notification option, you must subscribe to this service which is not maintained by UD); and
- On local radio broadcasts.
- Closure of the University
Members of the campus community should not call UD Police to inquire about the University’s status so that dispatchers can remain available for emergency calls.