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Policy 3402

Emergency Closings

I. Purpose

This policy concerns the operation of Longwood (classes, academic services, and administrative operations) at its academic campus in Farmville, Virginia, as well as other off-campus locations in the affected geographic areas.

II. Policy

The Chief Administration and Finance Officer (CAFO) is designated as the authority to close the University for reasons of inclement weather or emergencies. The authority will be exercised in consultation with the President, The Provost and Chief Academic Affairs Officer (hereafter Provost), and the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO). The closing decision will be communicated directly to the Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) as this position has primary responsibility for implementing the closing notification process. In the CAFO's absence, the responsibility for this function shall pass to the administrators in the following order of priority:

  • Provost and Chief Academic Affairs Officer
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Vice President for University Advancement

III. Procedure

  1. Closing Decision Time: In the event of inclement weather or emergencies outside of normal business hours which may affect the operation of the institution, the Chief of Police will notify the CAFO as early as possible of conditions which may require cancellation of classes or closing of the institution. The CAFO will consult with the President and the Provost, and will inform the Chief of Police of the decision by 0500 hours (5:00 a.m.). He or she will also inform the CPRO.
  2. Essential Employees: When the University is closed due to inclement weather/emergency only essential employees will be required to work (See Appendix C). Essential employees will be credited with compensatory leave time for hours worked during such periods in accordance with Department of Human Resource Management's Policy No. 1.35, Office Closings Due to Inclement Weather and/or Emergencies. Essential employees at Longwood include employees in the Public Safety Office, Dining Services, Facilities Management, and other such employees as are needed to cope with conditions caused by the inclement weather and/or emergencies. Other persons may be designated as essential in view of circumstances at the particular time. Department directors are responsible for notifying employees under their supervision of their "essential employee" status.
  3. Closings during Non-working Hours: Should the decision be made to close the University or postpone the normal opening during non-working hours, responsibility for disseminating closure information shall be shared as follows: 
    1. CAFO: The CAFO will inform the President, the Provost, and all other vice presidents. The CAFO will also provide closure or postponement information to the CPRO for dissemination to appropriate media. The CAFO will ensure that all telephone systems in his or her area have updated information, including Public Safety Emergency, Police Business, and Campus Switchboard.
    2. CPRO: The CPRO will immediately notify the news media listed in Appendix E of the Longwood closing or postponement. Announcements shall reflect one of the sample formats in Appendix F.
    3. Chief Information Officer (CIO): The CIO will ensure that the Longwood information message is updated on 434.395.2000.
    4. Vice President for Student Affairs: The Vice President for Student Affairs will provide accurate and timely information to Residence Life and Health Services employees, and will also disseminate information through the student e-mail system (Pinemail).
    5. Joint Responsibility for Informing Students, Faculty and Staff: The CPRO, CAFO, and the Vice President for Student Affairs will inform students, faculty, and staff of the closure or postponement.
  4. Closings During Working Hours: Should a decision be made to close the institution during hours of normal operation, responsibility for disseminating closure information during working hours shall be shared as follows:
    1. CAFO: The CAFO will notify the Vice President for University Advancement, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Provost, and the President's Office. The CAFO will also provide notice of the closure to the electronic media.
    2. Vice President for University Advancement: The Vice President for University Advancement will notify the appropriate media of this closure.
    3. Vice President for Student Affairs: The Vice President for Student Affairs will provide notice via the residence life staff.
    4. All Vice Presidents: Each vice president will inform the applicable supervisory employees (i.e. deans, directors, department chairs, etc.) by telephone and e-mail of the closure.
  5. Multiple Day Closures: If the duration of the closing of the institution is more than two (2) days, it may become necessary to extend the school year to compensate for the canceled classes. The President or his/her appointed authority shall determine the necessity for such extension.
  6. Snow Removal: In the event of heavy snow during non-working hours, Facilities Management crews will begin to clear the snow as soon as possible in order to provide access to Longwood buildings. The Provost will make the decision as to when classes may begin again. Once the decision has been made, it will take the Public Safety Office and and Facilities Management employees approximately two (2) hours to inspect and open all campus buildings.

Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, September 7, 2002.