708 – Weather/Emergency Conditions
Responsible Office: Student Affairs
Responsible Officer: Dean of Students
The College, due to inclement weather or other emergency conditions, may close or delay the opening of one or both of its campuses, or it may cancel classes and other activities. The President or their designee is responsible for this decision.
Closing the College: All operations are shut down/closed except those deemed essential to the protection of life and property. The result is the cancellation of classes; and, student, faculty and staff activities and meetings. All general offices are closed. This policy includes classes/activities offered by other entities using college facilities, such as the CareerForce center. Only essential employees must report to work.
Delayed Opening: All operations are kept closed for a designated period of time except those deemed essential to the protection of life and property. During the designated time period, only essential employees must report to work.
Cancellation of Classes and/or Activities: Specific classes and/or activities are cancelled in lieu of officially closing the entire college. All college personnel must still report to the College following their standard work schedule.
Essential Employees: Essential employees are those filling positions necessary for safe operations and services during closure or delayed opening. The essential designation is assigned to the position, not a particular employee, in that if an employee is substituting for someone in an essential position, they would be considered an essential employee, even if their regular position is not essential.
The following positions are designated as essential during weather or emergency conditions: All campus custodial and maintenance personnel.
Weather/Emergency Conditions - Procedures
Closing, Delayed Opening, and Cancellation of Classes/Activities
The decision to close, delay opening, or cancel classes/activities of the College due to weather or other emergency is made by the President or their designee(s). In times of inclement weather or other emergency conditions, assessment of conditions shall also be the responsibility of the President or their designee(s). The assessment will be based on local and regional conditions, weather reports, and contacts with other relevant agencies as appropriate.
Determination of closing, delayed opening, or cancellation of classes/activities shall be made by 6 a.m. when possible. Decisions to close early or cancel afternoon and/or evening classes/activities will be made as soon as possible based on the emergency conditions, and in order to allow programs to safely shut down operations and dismiss students. Special attention to weather conditions will be given as the college recognizes that students drive to the campuses and some from considerable distances.
Appropriate notification will be made to the Minnesota State System Office when the decision to close or delay opening the College is needed due to an emergency, non-weather related situation. When a decision is made to close, delay opening, and/or cancel classes/activities during normal working hours, the President or their designee(s) shall inform all employees. Students will be notified through any or all of the following methods: announcements on the college website and messages sent to the student's college e-mail account, general P.A. announcements, video monitors, staff walk-arounds, and the StarAlert system. Employees and students not on campus will be notified through the college website, college e-mail accounts, the StarAlert system, and announcements on local television and radio stations whenever possible.
The Director of Communications or their designee(s) will be solely responsible for contacting news media regarding closing, delay closing, or canceling classes/activities information. Only essential employees must report when the College is closed or has a delayed opening. All management/administration must report for their normally scheduled work day when classes/activities have been canceled.
When the College is closed or delays opening, the faculty is not required to be on campus throughout the period of the closure or delay. When select classes/activities have been canceled but the College remains open, faculty are still required to be present for any normally scheduled on-campus hours. Faculty not reporting to work during this time must complete and submit documentation for personal leave through the normal process.
Faculty that make an independent decision to cancel their classes/activities due to weather or other exigencies should notify the front desk with the classes/activities information, notify their dean, and notify their students whenever possible by sending an e-mail through the D2L course(s). The front desk and/or dean will place temporary signage on the classroom door and post a message on the designated college webpage. In such situations, faculty are also required to complete and submit documentation for personal leave through the normal process.
When the College is closed or delays opening, only the essential employees are required to report to work. When the College has canceled classes/activities all staff are to report as usual.
Approved: April 10, 1997
Reviewed: December 28, 2010; October 23, 2013; June 10, 2020
Revised: February 15, 2000; June 30, 2004; December 10, 2008; October 23, 2013; June 10, 2020