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4.4 – Weather/Short Term Emergency Closings

MnSCU Policy

Part 1: Cancellation of Classes due to Weather or Other Short Term Emergencies. The authority to cancel classes due to weather conditions or other short term emergencies resides with the College President or (one of) the Vice Presidents in consultation with the Physical Plant Director. MnSCU Policy 1A.10 Emergency Management is applicable for long term closures. Cancellation of classes does not excuse any employee from work. Employees of the college,including faculty, may take personal leave, vacation leave or use earned compensatory time when classes are canceled and they choose to be absent from work. Faculty members may make appropriate curricular adjustments as approved by administration (e.g. scheduling make up classes or meetings), or make duty adjustments as approved by management (e.g. office hours or other compensatory activities).

Part 2: Campus Closing due to Weather or other Short Term Emergencies. The authority to close the college campuses when a weather or other emergency of 6 calendar days or less resides with the President or (one of) the Vice Presidents in consultation with the Physical Plant Director. The closure of state agencies by the Commissioner of the Department of Employee Relations does not apply to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions. The Governor of Minnesota has emergency powers to issue an executive order to change the work schedule of executive branch employees in cases of natural disaster or other emergencies (M.S. Section 12.21-see related documents below). This does apply to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities employees.

Subpart A: The following procedure shall be used to determine when weather conditions constitute a threat to the health and safety of college employees and students:

    1. Assessment of weather and travel conditions (temperature, wind, precipitation, condition of roads) shall be made in consultation with at least one of the following authorities:
      1. State Highway Patrol District Office
      2. Minnesota Department of Transportation district offices
      3. Local television and radio news channels
    2. A listing of positions and employees of the college who provide services that are essential to protect life and property during campus closings due to weather conditions shall be housed in the Office of the President. These “weather essential” employees will not be excused from work duty during campus closings.
    3. Students and employees will be notified of cancellation/closure via email. Such announcements will also be posted to the web site. Canceled classes and activities are announced on the following radio and commercial television stations: KDAL-AM, 610- AM; KDAL-FM, 95.7-FM; KKBC-FM, 105-FM; KLDJ-FM 101.7-FM; KTCO-FM, 98.9-FM; KRBR-FM, 102.5-FM; WDSMAM, 710-AM; WEBC-AM, 560-AM.
    4. The decision to cancel classes will be made by 6 a.m. when possible.
    5. Students are encouraged to use their own judgment when weather conditions are severe.

Subpart B: A copy of the written procedures is filed with the Chancellor.

Subpart C: The College’s Emergency Response and Crisis Management Plan shall include a list of emergency situations other than those due to weather conditions for which campus closure would be an appropriate action. A list of essential employees that would not be excused from work duty during campus closings due to identified
emergency conditions shall be maintained by the President’s office.

Subpart D: When a campus closing is declared, college employees are excused from work with pay. A campus closing applies to all employees without regard to labor contract. An employee’s absence with pay for each emergency situation shall not exceed the equivalent of two work days unless the President authorizes a longer period. Weather or other emergency essential employees who are not excused from work will be paid at their regular rate of pay.

Subpart E: The declaration of a campus closure shall, whenever possible, clearly identify the timeframe when employees are excused from work.

Subpart F: The college shall notify the Chancellor or designee after the decision is made to close a campus due to weather conditions or other emergency conditions. This notice will be used by the Office of the Chancellor to respond to inquiries regarding campus closures.

Related Documents: to view any of the following related statutes, go to the Revisor’s Web site (http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/). You can conduct a search from this site by typing in the statute number.

    1. Minnesota Statute 12.21
    2. Minnesota Statute 43A.05, subd.4

Date Implemented: November 3, 2005

Date Updated: October, 2007