Emergency Closing Policy for Colgate University Skip Navigation

Emergency Closing Policy

The university will make every effort to provide essential services to residential students and campers, even in cases of extreme adverse weather or other emergencies. Therefore, the university will almost always remain open. 
Under extraordinary conditions, however, the university may: (1) close entirely and cease operations (2) close while asking essential personnel to report  (3) close during operating hours while asking essential personnel to remain and/or report or (4) delay opening while asking essential personnel to report or (5) early release due to extreme adverse weather or other campus emergency.

University Status

Closed
This status may apply under unusual, extreme conditions. If the university is closed, employees are not to report.  However, certain employees necessary to protect the university and maintain life safety systems may be asked to report by the appropriate Vice President/Dean (or his/her designee) on a case-by-case basis.  These employees will be notified in response to each specific emergency. An official closing announcement will be communicated via the university communications channels described in this policy.   

Closed with Essential Personnel Reporting
This status may apply where severe weather conditions or other emergencies interfere with normal operations.  Classes will normally be cancelled.  Essential personnel identified at the end of this policy will be expected to report, unless told not to do so by a supervisor.  Under certain circumstances, a limited number of non-essential personnel may also be asked to report based on the type of emergency and the specific needs of the campus.  A supervisor must have the approval of the appropriate Vice President or Dean before asking non-essential personnel to report. An official closing announcement will be communicated via the university communications channels described in this policy.  

Closing during Normal Operating Hours
This status may apply where severe weather conditions or other emergencies interfere with normal operations after the workday has begun.  An official closing announcement and time will be communicated to all employees via the university communications channels described in this policy.  Classes will not be held after the closing time.  All but essential personnel may leave the campus.  Essential personnel will be expected to remain until relieved or notified by their supervisors to leave.   

Delayed Opening
This status may apply when severe weather conditions interfere with employee travel but conditions are expected to improve.   Classes will normally be cancelled during the time of the delayed opening with essential personnel expected to report.  If conditions do not improve, a decision may be made later to close the university (essential personnel reporting). An official delayed opening announcement will be communicated via the university communications channels described in this policy.  

Early Release
This status may apply when severe weather conditions interfere with employee travel.  Generally classes will not be cancelled, and some offices may need to continue to operate.  As a result, some staff may be asked to remain or, in the case of second or third shift employees, to report to work by the supervisor.  Second and third shift employees should check with their supervisor to determine whether or not to report.  An official early release announcement and time will be communicated to all employees via the university communications channels described in this policy.  Essential personnel will be expected to remain until relieved or notified by their supervisors to leave.  As indicated elsewhere in this policy, employees must make individual decisions about whether to travel between the university and home based on local conditions.  Every effort will be made to accommodate essential personnel who feel that it is unsafe to travel. 

Localized and Temporary Closing

Extreme conditions occasionally may make working conditions in a particular building or location intolerable.  Supervisors or employees in the affected unit(s) should discuss the problem with Campus Safety and the Human Resources Department.  If the problem cannot be resolved, the supervisor may request permission of the Division Head to temporarily close the area or location.  Building closures may be authorized by the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Provost and Dean of Faculty, the Director of Campus Safety, or the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.

Decisions to Close the University

Decisions to close the university will be made by the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost and Dean of Faculty in consultation with other university executives as needed, including, but not limited to, the Director of Campus Safety and the Director of Environmental Health and Safety Office.

Communication and Information Sources Concerning University Status

Reliable university status information is available through the following sources:
  1. Colgate’s home web page (www.colgate.edu
  2. Colgate’s e-mail system from Campus Alerts
  3. Colgate’s RAVE Alert System
  4. Social Media (Updates on Twitter @colgateuniv and www.facebook.com/colgateuniversity)
Although closing information is provided to the following regional news outlets, experience suggests that the information broadcast may not be reliable.  However, these may be the only operational information sources in the event of some power failures.  

WKTV Channel 2
WTVH & WSTM Channels 3 and 5
WSYR Channel 9
Time Warner Cable News Channel 10

Safety

Irrespective of University status, employees – even essential personnel – must make individual decisions about whether to travel between home and the university or between the university and home based on local conditions.  Employees who cannot travel should notify their supervisors as soon as possible, if communication is practical.

Compensation During an Emergency Closing

Hourly employees will be paid for the time they normally would work while the university is officially closed and during a delayed opening. Hourly employees designated as essential personnel who report and those asked to report by their supervisors will be paid for the number of hours worked during the emergency closing and, in addition, will have the option of either: 1) receiving additional pay for the actual hours worked, or 2) receiving time off equivalent to the number of hours worked.  Any time off taken by an employee should be used as soon as practical after an emergency closing.  Supervisors are responsible for tracking this time.

Employees who report to work when the University is officially closed or during a delayed opening who have not specifically been asked to report will not be eligible for the additional compensation or equivalent time off.

When there is a localized or temporary closing, hourly employees will be paid for the time they normally would work while an area, location, or building is closed.

Employees who do not report to work or who leave work early without an official closing or early release should charge the time missed to accrued vacation. Alternatively, an employee may be permitted to make up a limited amount of time missed with the supervisor’s approval.

States of Emergency

States of emergency may be declared by head officials of the Village of Hamilton, the Town of Hamilton, Madison County, and the State of New York.  A state of emergency is operationalized by accompanying executive orders that declare a curfew, prohibit travel, control traffic, designate areas as emergency shelters, and close public places of assembly.  States of emergency do not mean that roads are closed, unless so stated.   Even if roads are closed, essential personnel and employees asked to report by their supervisors should report, but only if they are able to travel safely between home and the university.

Essential Personnel

Essential personnel are identified by job title and department below.  These employees should keep a copy of this policy in their vehicles to identify themselves to authorities during emergencies.  Colgate and Sodexo ID cards also will specify essential personnel status.
 
Non-essential employees asked to report by their supervisors should receive email or other hardcopy notification to identify themselves to authorities during emergencies whenever practical.     

Departmental Plans

Departments are responsible for creating their own call lists and plans for communicating the needs for their departments with their employees.

The following employees have been identified as essential personnel:

Administration – President
Administration – Vice President for Finance and Administration
Administration – Vice President and Dean of Admission
Administration – Vice President for Communications
Administration – Associate Vice President for Facilities & Capital Projects
Administration – Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Campus Safety – Director of Campus Safety
Campus Safety – Associate Director of Campus Safety
Campus Safety – Assistant Director of Campus Safety
Campus Safety – Officers
Campus Safety – Dispatchers
Environmental Health & Safety – Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Environmental Health & Safety – Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness Manager
Environmental Health & Safety – Duty Officer On Call
Communications – Director of Web Content
Facilities – Grounds Staff
Facilities – Heating Plant Staff
Facilities – Shift Millwrights
Facilities – Forepersons (Carpentry Shop, Electrical Shop, Millwright Shop, Plumbing Shop and Grounds)
Facilities – Grounds Supervisors
Facilities – Environmental Services Superintendent/Forepersons
Facilities – Custodians – Frank Dining Hall and Case-Geyer Library
Facilities – Associate Director of Facilities and Manager of Engineering
Facilities – Associate Director of Facilities and Manager of Lands and Grounds
Facilities – Associate Director of Facilities and Manager of Environmental Services
Facilities – Director of Planning, Design and Construction
Facilities – Trade Supervisor
Information Technology – On-Call Network Administrator
Sodexo – Director of Dining
Sodexo – Management and Supervisors
Sodexo – Frank Dining Hall and Coop Production Staff
Dean of the College – On-Call Dean
Dean of the College – Vice President and Dean of the College
Dean of the College – Associate Vice President and Dean of Students
Dean of the College – Associate Vice President and Dean for Residential Programs and Student Support
Dean of the College – Director of Residential Programs
Dean of the College – Director of Student Health Services
Dean of the College – Director of Counseling and Psychological Services
Provost /Dean of the Faculty
Provost/Dean of the Faculty – Laboratory Animal Technician