REG 04.20.07 - Adverse Weather and Other Emergency Conditions

Authority: Provost; Vice Chancellor for Finance & Business

History: First Issued: February 17, 2006. Last Revised: October 20, 2011.

Related Policies: 
UNC Code: Appendix I.C (personnel), XVI (facilities)

Additional References: 
Office of State Human Resources Manual - Leave Policies

Contact Info: Director, News Services (919-515-7159) and Assoc. Vice Chancellor, Human Resources (919-515-3443)


1.  BACKGROUND

1.1  As a research-extensive residential campus, North Carolina State University never really "closes" completely, even during adverse weather or other emergency situations.  A certain level of essential services must be provided, regardless of the circumstances, and the University is committed to maintaining full service levels to the extent possible.  This regulation addresses the University's operations during adverse weather and other emergency conditions.

2.  DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY

2.1  Authority Independent from the State of North Carolina.  The University has authority to make its own decisions and announcements about the operation of the University during adverse weather and other emergency conditions.  Public announcements about closings or late openings applicable to other State agencies, or to other State employees, do not apply to NC State University or its employees.  Unless the University announces a closing, late opening, or cancellation of classes, all offices and service operations are expected to remain open, and personnel are expected to report to work as outlined herein.

2.2  Institutional Delegated Authority.  The Chancellor or Provost will determine and announce all decisions to close, delay, or cancel activities of the University related to adverse weather or other emergency conditions.

3.  MONITORING CONDITIONS

3.1  The Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Environmental Health & Safety, and the Director of Campus Police (or their ranking designees on duty) are responsible for monitoring evolving weather or other emergency conditions and the conditions of campus facilities such as streets, parking lots, and utilities; and for timely reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Business (VC F&B).  If conditions deteriorate, the VC F&B will consult with the Chancellor and Provost and make recommendations about altering institutional operations.

4.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

4.1  The University will operate normally unless the Chancellor or Provost publicly announces:

STATUS 1:  "The University (or a specific operational unit) is closed; only essential personnel should report," or

STATUS 2:  "The University (or a specific operational unit) will open late; essential personnel should report as required" or

STATUS 3:  "Classes are cancelled; the University is open but operating under adverse weather advisory," or

STATUS 4:  "Classes are in session; the University is open but operating under adverse weather advisory."

4.2  Normal operations status, when the University is operating at full status with no special advisories, may be referred to as Status 5: Normal Operations.  In the absence of any formal status announcement, the institution is considered to be operating at Status 5.

5.  CLOSINGS AND LATE OPENINGS (STATUS 1 OR 2)

5.1  Presence on Campus.  When the University is closed or opens late, no students, faculty members, or staff members are expected to be on campus except:

5.1.1  Students who reside in campus housing; and

5.1.2  Employees who have been issued advance written instructions on a standing basis by the appropriate department head requiring that they report to work on their regular schedule in spite of closing—generally because they are in positions designated as “required for the essential operations of the institution,” and

5.1.3  Any other employee who is notified by an appropriate supervisor on a situation-specific basis to report to work in spite of a closing.  Employees are responsible for ensuring they can be reached via valid contact information.

5.2  Essential Personnel.  Employees whose positions have been designated as “essential” under sections 5.1.2 or 5.1.3 above are required to report and must make all necessary arrangements to do so as quickly and safely as possible.  Failure to report when required may result in disciplinary action.

5.3  Non-Essential Personnel.  When the University is closed or is opening late, individuals who are not required to report are encouraged to stay away from campus, to help facilitate the efficient clearing of streets, sidewalks, and parking lots.  An individual who needs to work on authorized activities and who can reach the campus safely, may report to work with supervisory permission.

5.4  Pay and Time Reporting

5.4.1  Non-Essential Personnel.  Regular employees whose presence is not required will not be docked pay for regularly-scheduled work hours missed due to official closing or late opening, nor will they be required to make up the work time or report such time as annual or other accrued leave.

5.4.2   Essential Personnel.  Regular, leave-earning, SPA staff and EPA professionals (non-faculty) who are required to work will be granted equivalent paid time off on an hour-for-hour basis to be used at a future date.  This time should be utilized before using other accrued paid time off (such as annual or sick time), and must be used within twelve (12) months or forfeited.  In addition, SPA employees who are FLSA non-exempt will receive overtime compensation (at time-and-a half), in either comp time or pay, for all hours worked over forty (40) in the affected workweek.  SPA employees who are FLSA exempt may receive overtime compensation (at straight time on an hour-for-hour basis) in exceptional circumstances if funds are available and if authorized on an institution-wide basis by the Provost and VC F&B.

5.5  Activities Affected by Closings and Late Openings.  For closings and late openings, the following rules apply:

5.5.1  Students who miss scheduled activities will be allowed to make up any work missed.

5.5.2  Faculty members should make arrangements to complete all interrupted activities.

5.5.3  Scheduled events will be held only by explicit exception granted by the VC F&B.  Decisions about major athletic events or events scheduled in athletic facilities will be made by the Director of Athletics in consultation with the VC F&B.  Decisions to hold other University-sponsored events that would require security, snow removal, or other university services are the responsibility of the sponsoring unit in consultation with the VC F&B.  Athletics and other units that sponsor public events shall have defined processes for making such decisions in a timely and logical fashion on file in their offices and with the VC F&B.

6.  CLASSES CANCELLED, OR CLASSES IN SESSION UNDER ADVERSE WEATHER ADVISORY (STATUS 3 OR 4)

When the University announces that classes or other campus activities are cancelled – or that classes are being held under an adverse weather advisory -- the following rules apply:

6.1  Essential Personnel.  Essential employees as defined in sections 5.1.2 or 5.1.3 are required to report and must make arrangements to do so as described in 5.2.

6.2  Non-Essential Personnel.  Other employees are encouraged to report to work.  However, the University recognizes that factors such as transportation, public school closings, and other childcare arrangements are considerations, and non-required personnel are permitted to determine for themselves whether they should report and can do so safely.  Faculty who have scheduled classes – but who are unable to report on a day when classes are being held under adverse weather advisory – should make every effort to notify class participants of class cancellation in advance to the extent possible.

6.3  Pay and Time Reporting.  Regular, leave-earning SPA staff and EPA professionals whose presence is not required may use accrued annual leave, comp time, or bonus leave for work time missed.  If no paid leave is available, they may take time off without pay.  Alternatively, they are permitted to make up the absence within 12 months at a time mutually agreeable to their supervisor.  This time should be made up at the “straight time” pay rate, either during the same workweek, or in a week in which the employee would not otherwise work forty (40) hours (such as a week that includes a vacation, holiday, or sick day).  However, non-exempt employees may make up lost time as overtime (at a time-and-a-half rate), if management approves the overtime in response to a bona fide need for work in excess of forty (40) hours in a week.  Time not made up within the 12-month period will be charged against annual or bonus leave if available or adjusted from pay.

6.4  Activities Affected by Class Cancellation or Classes held Under Adverse Weather Advisory.  If the Chancellor or Provost announces that classes or other activities are cancelled – or that classes are being held under adverse weather advisory -- and that this is an optional workday for faculty and staff, the following rules apply:

6.4.1  Students who miss scheduled activities will be allowed to make up any work missed.

6.4.2  Faculty members should make arrangements to complete all interrupted activities.

7.  LOCATION OF AFFECTED FACILITIES

7.1  All University-affiliated facilities in Wake County are subject to these procedures, and must remain open with at least skeleton staffing unless there is an official announcement by the Chancellor or Provost.

7.2  County centers of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service should follow their county government's guidelines for adverse weather and other emergency conditions.

7.3  Directors of other units located outside Wake County, such as 4-H camps, research stations and laboratories, and other outlying facilities should consult with the Dean or Vice Chancellor of the college or administrative division under which the unit falls to determine their operational status during adverse weather or other emergency condition.  The unit director should also notify local news media as appropriate to communicate the operational status of the unit to its employees and the public.  Each Dean and Vice Chancellor is responsible to maintain an up-to-date list of all outlying units with current contact information, and to share a copy of that list with the Office of the VC F&B.

7.4  Employees who work in alternate locations not affected by the adverse weather or unusual conditions are expected to work their normal schedule.

8.  COMMUNICATIONS

The Office of the VC F&B will maintain an up-to-date list of critical contact offices & individuals.  Once an announcement is made to close, open late, or cancel activities, F&B will use the contact list to immediately facilitate (via the designated responsible campus office):

Announcement on NC State homepage

Information Technology

Announcement on the NC State phone hotline

Communication Technologies

Campus broadcast email

News Services

Notification of local / regional media

News Services

Management of campus safety & security

Campus Police / EHS      

Management of streets & walkways

Facilities Operations

Management of parking & transit operations

Transportation

Announcements & communication about Athletic events & events in athletic facilities

Athletics

Announcements & communications about Evening classes & events in McKimmon facilities

McKimmon Center

Notification of the Office of State Human Resources

Human Resources

Notification of the UNC General Administration

Office of VC F&B 

Notification of Deans' Offices of all Colleges

Office of the Provost

Notification to family and friends

Faculty, staff, and students  may register on the Red Cross “Safe and Well” link below to communicate their whereabouts and wellbeing to family and friends during or after adverse weather or a disaster. https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms//

9.  Each contact office will be accountable to enact the procedures and communications for which it is responsible.

10.  The primary information resources for students, employees, and the public regarding the campus's current open/closed status are:

10.1  The University's homepage: http://www.ncsu.edu/

10.2  The University's hotline: 919-513-8888