To state policies and procedures concerning the curtailment of operations due to weather conditions or mechanical malfunctions, i.e., electrical failures.
1. A decision to close the University, cancel classes, or curtail operations throughout the University or in certain segments of the University due to inclement weather conditions, heat, or utility failures can be made only by the President or the Office of Human Resources Administration, acting for the President. Where necessary, the President may consult with the Office of Human Resources Administration in making the decision.
2. Shutdown decisions based on weather conditions will not be made until there is clear evidence of danger or undue hardship to employees. Therefore, in the absence of a decision to close, personnel are expected to report for work at their assigned time, or, as the case may be, to remain at work until the end of their shift. Employees who decide to leave early or not report must discharge vacation or personal leave time to cover their absence.
Deans, Directors/Department Heads do not have the authority to release personnel (special time off). Special time off is defined in most contracts and in the Board of Governors Personnel Policy Manual as "collective absence from duty due to extraordinary circumstances." This time off may be authorized only by the appointing authority. (The appointing authority at the University of Rhode Island is the President of the University or the Office of Human Resources Administration, acting for the President.) Consequently, no employees may authorize another employee to take special time off for any reason unless specifically approved in advance by the appointing authority.
It is the responsibility of the Dean/Director to notify the Office of Human Resources Administration if there is an emergency situation in his/her area. In an emergency situation where a malfunction in the building exists (i.e., heat, electricity, etc.) or operations within the building must be curtailed or closed, Physical Plant will notify the appropriate Dean/Director and the Office of Human Resources Administration to determine appropriate action, i.e., discuss alternate work sites. Again, Deans/Directors/Department Heads do not have the authority to release personnel.
Decisions to curtail the operations at the Narragansett Bay Campus will be made by the Vice Provost for Marine Affairs (or designee) with the approval of the President. Decisions to curtail operations of the College of Continuing Education and/or the W. Alton Jones Campus will be made by the Dean of the College of Continuing Education with the approval of the President. (This does not include use of special time off.)
The President may cancel classes throughout the University or in certain segments of the University. Though classes may be canceled, employees are expected to report to work. Employees who feel that they cannot safely get to their work sites (due to weather conditions) may be excused from work providing they discharge a vacation or personal leave day.
Once appropriate measures have been taken by proper authorities, and if a decision has been reached to cancel all or certain classes, this will be made known to the Director of Communications (or in his/her absence to the Vice President for University Advancement) who shall be the only authorized person(s) to contact the broadcast media. University employees should look to mass media school closing announcements only for clarification of whether classes have been canceled. If the University itself is ever closed, such word would be made public only as part of a general announcement affecting state employees.
There are two types of announcements:
1. The University is closed. No classes; employees are not to report to work. Essential employees will be called in as required.
2. The University is not closed but classes are canceled (for the entire University, or CCE, NBC as appropriate). No classes for students; employees are expected to report to work.
The Director of Communications shall make a class cancellation statement available to the broadcast media, including the campus radio station, and when appropriate, to stations in communities outside the metropolitan Providence area where the University has operations. The on-campus notice shall be as specific as possible with regard to which of the four campuses have class closings. In addition, this statement shall be dictated or delivered to the main University telephone number (874-1000); Information Center (874-2737), the Memorial Union Information Desk (874-2056), the new Snow Line (874-SNOW), and if appropriate to the Security Office at the Narragansett Bay Campus or the Director of Operations of the W. Alton Jones Campus.
Notice of these procedures and a policy statement shall be distributed by the President's Office each November to Deans, Directors, Department Heads and Union Presidents, printed in the campus telephone directory, and published in the Personnel Policy Manual and Appendix G of the UNIVERSITY MANUAL.