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EIU Office of Internal Auditing

#158 - Institutional Emergencies

Approved: January 10, 1996

Nomenclature changes: December 13, 2001

Monitor: President

The Institutional Emergencies Committee is maintained as a standing University committee for the purpose of advising the President on actions to be taken in the event of an emergency which threatens or requires the closing of the institution. The Committee shall be representative of students, faculty and administration and shall be composed of the President's Council, the Student Body President, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, and the Chair of the Staff Senate, to the extent they are available. The President shall serve as Chair.

Resource personnel to the Committee shall be composed of the Emergency Management Team (see separate section).

When a situation threatens or requires the closing of the institution, the Committee shall be called by the President, or designee, as promptly as possible in order that the University might react in a clear and responsible manner to the circumstances which confront it.

The President, or designee, shall inform the Committee of the exact nature of the emergency and seek advice and counsel concerning alternative courses of action, including the hours and day of closing, if required, and the hour and day of re-opening, if feasible.

The President, or designee, also shall seek the advice of the Committee on proposals for makeup work required as a result of the closing. The final decision shall rest with the President.

Following the decision, the President, or designee, shall prepare a statement concerning the emergency and decisions made. A copy of the statement shall be provided to each member of the Committee. Information shall be communicated to students, faculty, administrative staff, and civil service employees through the media.

Emergency Management Team

The Emergency Management Team (EMT) will coordinate the immediate institutional response to situations involving loss of life, major accidents, disturbances, disasters, etc. The EMT does not replace the University's senior leadership in determining appropriate responses to emergencies, but rather coordinates the initial response and planning for emergencies under the direction of the President's Council. The membership will vary depending on the nature of the emergency.

The Vice President for Student Affairs will normally chair the EMT. The Vice President for Business Affairs will normally co-chair for emergencies involving facilities (fire, tornados, etc.). Upon being informed of an emergency requiring activation of the EMT, the chair will mobilize other needed members of the team by directing the University Police dispatcher on duty to contact the EMT using a pre-established call list.

The EMT will normally be formed from among the following members, as appropriate to the incident. Each member will have a designated alternate:

Vice President for Student Affairs, Chair

Director, University Housing and Dining Services

Director, Media Relations

Director, Counseling Center

Director, Health Service

Director, Minority Affairs

Director, International Students (if foreign students are involved)

Director, Student Services

Chief, University Police Department

Judicial Officer (for conduct-related emergencies)

For Facilities Emergencies:

Vice President for Business Affairs, Co-Chair

Director, Facilities Planning and Management

Safety Officer

Unless directed to an alternate site, the EMT will meet at a pre-designated location.

In the absence of the President or a presiding Vice President, the EMT will respond to the emergency in accordance with written guidelines, established policy, and as common sense dictates, in order to minimize loss, safeguard lives and property, and minimize disruption of normal activity.

The EMT will review the accuracy of its resource and contact lists, conduct practice discussions, and review various emergency scenarios.

Weather Advisory When the University Continues to Operate

Because the University is basically a residential university, its teaching activities should continue despite the adverse weather. These guidelines have been established to provide uniformity in handling staff and student absences when the University continues to operate but when some students and staff cannot get to the University. (SEE: WEATHER-RELATED ABSENCES POLICY)

When the University Closes Officially

Board of Trustees Regulations provide that the President of the University, or a designated representative, may close the University in an emergency in which the safety, health, or welfare of employees is a matter of concern. When this occurs, the employees may be excused from work with pay, under the following guidelines:

Employees in a collective bargaining unit are governed by the appropriate bargaining agreement.

  1. Civil service employees shall not lose seniority because of such absence.
  2. An employee on vacation, sick leave, leave without salary, layoff, day off, or other paid time off, shall account for the time away from work as if there were no closing.

Essential Services During University Shutdown

There are some essential services which must be provided despite the adverse weather. These guidelines have been established to provide for those conditions.

  1. The appropriate Vice President shall determine what services shall be defined as essential.
  2. Employees who are required to work on essential duties shall be granted equivalent time off for hours worked during their regular shift during the official close-down period. Equivalent time off shall be scheduled at a time mutually agreeable to the employee and the supervisor.
  3. If the employee's work schedule requires it, overtime shall be paid for the time worked.

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