[Date changed–posted 9/18/17 (replaces 9/16/16 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 10.03: Suspending Classes and Closing Offices in Severe Weather or Energy Curtailment
DATE: September 18, 2017
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish university policy regarding the suspension of classes and closing of offices during emergency situations. Exceedingly inclement weather and malfunctions of the Central Heating and Cooling Plant are some of the events that might require suspending classes and closing offices for a short period of time.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of each year by the Chief of Police with substantive revisions forwarded to the University Counsel and the President.
1. Severe Weather Conditions
a. When weather conditions and/or reports indicate icing or snow, the senior police officer on duty will notify the Chief of Police.
b. If conditions are severe, the Chief of Police will notify the University Counsel and recommend the suspension of classes and closing of offices during the period of hazardous conditions. The University Counsel will contact the President with this recommendation.
(1) Ideally, this recommendation will be made between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. of the preceding day. The President will consult with the Chancellor or acting Chancellor and inform the Chief of Police by 5:00 p.m.
(2) In those cases where hazardous conditions arise during the night, the President will be notified no later than 6:10 a.m. The President will consult with the Chancellor regarding this condition and respond to the Chief of Police by 6:20 a.m.
2. Energy Curtailment or Other Emergencies
a. The President and the Chief Financial Officer/Vice President for Administration and Finance will consult with the Chancellor to decide whether to suspend classes and close offices during an energy curtailment or other emergency. The Chief Financial Officer/Vice President for Administration and Finance will advise the Chief of Police of the decision.
b. The timing as presented in section 1.b. above will apply.
3. Procedures for Implementation of Policy
a. If classes are to be suspended and offices are to be closed, the President will notify the vice presidents, the Provost and Senior Vice President, and the Managing Director of Communications and Marketing. The Managing Director of Communications and Marketing will notify appropriate media.
b. In the event the Managing Director of Communications and Marketing cannot be notified, the assistant Managing Director of Communications and Marketing or other appropriate representative of the Office of Communications and Marketing will fulfill this function.
c. In any situation where the designated administrators are unavailable, the Chief of Police will make direct contact with the President or the acting President.
d. The same procedure used to suspend classes and close offices will be used to determine and announce the time when essential personnel staffing ceases and normal staffing resumes.
4. Identification of Essential Personnel
It will be the responsibility of the President, Provost and Senior Vice President, vice presidents, and deans to assure that by November 15 of each year the administrators in their organization notify in writing those persons designated as essential. The Human Resources Office will be informed of the personnel designated as essential.
Administrative officers may release essential personnel from their responsibilities to report for work on an individual basis if their services are not needed during a specific emergency. Administrative officers may designate other personnel as essential for a specific emergency on an individual basis by providing notice to the employee if her/his services are needed.
5. Compensation of Essential Personnel
a. Exempt Employees
Exempt employees are paid for the accomplishment of assigned tasks without accounting for hours worked and will not be entitled to equivalent time off or additional compensation for hours worked during an emergency period.
b. Non-exempt Employees
Regular non-exempt employees shall be credited with emergency leave for the number of normal work hours involved in the emergency closing and will be paid for the number of hours actually worked, in accordance with normal policy governing overtime and additional compensation (see OP 70.17, Overtime).
Temporary non-exempt employees shall be paid for the number of hours worked, in accordance with normal policy, but they shall not be credited with additional emergency leave hours.
Employees who have been designated as essential personnel but who do not report to work and do not have a valid reason will not be credited with the number of normal work hours involved in the emergency closing and will be charged for leave without pay during the emergency period.
Employees who are not designated as essential personnel but who report to work during an officially declared emergency situation should be sent home immediately.
6. Announcement of Policy
The President will prepare and distribute to the Provost and Senior Vice President, all vice presidents, deans, department heads, administrators, and directors in TTU a general information memorandum on this policy by November 1 of each year.
7. Right to Change Policy
Texas Tech reserves the right to interpret, change, modify, amend, or rescind this policy, in whole or in part, at any time without the consent of faculty, staff, and students.
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