Date Established: 2/19/2007
Date Last Revised: 6/29/2017
Administration and Governance
UB Emergency Management
Vice President for Finance and Administration
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Under certain emergency conditions, it may become necessary to change scheduled operations or close* the university. This policy provides guidance for timely decision making and communication to disseminate information about a change in scheduled operations.
The University at Buffalo (UB, university) requires scheduled operations to continue as long as possible, essential university services to be maintained, and university employees to remain on duty when necessary to perform essential services even under extraordinary emergency circumstances. However, when conditions become so severe that the university cannot operate effectively, the President (or designee) may make a decision to change scheduled operations resulting in class cancellations, an early departure*, or a closing*.
* Only the governor can officially declare that the University at Buffalo is closed or direct early departure and only the governor can authorize employees to remain away from work without charge to leave accruals. A declaration of emergency, even by the governor, does not automatically mean the closure of the university.
A recommendation to change scheduled operations will be made to the President as follows:
Services related to the health and safety of students, faculty,
staff, and guests, and the security and maintenance of facilities
are essential and must continue in spite of severe
Employees from departments including but not limited to University Facilities (e.g., Heating Plant, Chilled Water Plant, snow removal, Environment, Health and Safety), University Police, Division of Student Life, Animal Care, Campus Dining and Shops, and others who maintain the university’s essential services, provide food for residents, and clear the parking lots and roadways may be required to remain on duty or make every effort to report to work unless directed or permitted to do otherwise.
Departments are required to:
In accordance with New York State policy, employee absences resulting from a change in scheduled operations including class cancellations, early departures, and closings must be charged to appropriate leave accruals. An employee who does not have sufficient leave accruals may borrow from future accruals. Only the governor can officially declare that the University at Buffalo is closed and only the governor can authorize employees to remain away from work without charge to leave accruals. The campus will contact the State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration Office of Employee Relations before taking any action to direct employees to leave.
Members of the campus community are expected to use their best judgment in assessing the risk of coming to campus and returning home based on individual circumstances during an emergency. Any person who reports to work will not be deprived of the opportunity to work. If it is determined during the course of a workday that the university cannot operate effectively, employees are not required to leave at that moment; employees may leave then or any time thereafter. Only the time that an employee is absent is charged to leave accruals.
There is no guarantee that those employees who arrive at the campus or those who stay after a change in scheduled operations announcement will be able to work at their usual work places. Adequate supervision may not be available or the building in which the individual usually works may not be open. Provision should be made for alternate campus work locations and alternate work for those who do get to the campus but who cannot go to their regular work places or cannot perform their regular work assignments.
The decision to change scheduled operations resulting in class cancellations, an early departure, or a closing is based on various factors including, but not limited to:
There may be instances when emergency conditions require a change in operations for only one campus (North, South, or Downtown). In these instances, the communication plan will ensure widespread coverage of the information to applicable stakeholders. Consideration will be given to the nature of the emergency and any protective actions issued by local, county, or state government agencies.
In the event of a delay or cancellation of classes or events, the decision to resume scheduled operations will be made by the President and announced to the campus community using the communications plan. Key internal and external stakeholders will make a recommendation to the President based on full or partial restoration of UB’s operational capabilities and the effects of the emergency that resulted in the change in scheduled operations.
The university is committed to providing timely and accurate information to faculty, staff, students, and the Western New York community. The communication plan includes various communication methods to ensure widespread coverage of the information.
A change in scheduled operations including class cancellations, early departure, and closing announcements will be made on one or more of the following:
The university recognizes the need to:
This policy applies to all university employees, students, visitors, guests, and operations.
An employee who has been deemed necessary by their supervisor and is expected to report to or remain at work during a change in scheduled operations. Employees who are deemed necessary may vary depending on the conditions.
Only the governor can officially declare that the University at Buffalo is closed or direct early departure and only the governor can authorize employees to remain away from work without charge to leave accruals. A declaration of emergency, even by the governor, does not automatically mean the closure of the university.
Full review. Updated the policy to: