Concordia St. Paul News

February 20, 2014

Campus Closing Procedures for Inclement Weather

In accordance with the core mission of Concordia University, St. Paul, our Inclement Weather Closing Policy equally values the safety and lives of students, faculty, and staff, while recognizing that the effective operation of the university must be maintained. We strive to make reasonable timely decisions regarding campus closure that weighs all the variables and feedback available at the time of the decision.  In an effort to ensure we are transparent in our decision making process, we have compiled a list that includes many of the variables that are reviewed when we consider the level of campus closure to implement.

On rare occasions, classes at Concordia University, St. Paul may need to be canceled and offices closed due to adverse weather conditions. While Concordia expects that individuals make a good faith effort to travel to campus during inclement weather conditions if the university is operating and does not declare an emergency closing, it is also important for individuals to use their own discretion in determining whether it is safe for them to travel to campus.

Decision to Cancel Classes or to Close Campus

Who makes the decision?
The decision to cancel classes or to close campus will be made by the Senior Vice President /Chief Operating Officer and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Those two individuals will consult with the university President, Director of Human Resources, Plant and Facilities, Student Life, and Academic Deans to ask for recommendations, but will ultimately make the final decision.

When is the decision made not to open the campus?
Decisions regarding closings and cancellations or delay of day classes will be announced by 7 a.m., while the decisions for cancellation of afternoon classes will be announced by 11 a.m. Face-to-face evening classes or university sponsored events cancellations will be announced by 2 p.m.

While the policy denotes an early morning decision, our goal is to let students and staff know the night prior of any curtailment.

What is the notification procedure?
Notices regarding closings, cancellations or delays will be immediately posted on the campus portal webpage. This should be used as the primary resource for students, staff and faculty, since detailed information will be included in this location.

The university will also notify local media stations regarding closings or cancellations (including KARE 11; WCCO-TV Channel 4; KSTP-TV Channel 5; and WCCO Radio AM 830) regarding closings or cancellations. Please be reminded that we cannot control how rapidly these media locations update their announcements.

Students, staff and faculty are strongly encouraged to subscribe to Concordia’s E2 campus notification system. This system will send subscribers text messages about cancellations or closures.

What are employees work arrangement options during inclement weather conditions in the absence of an official campus closure?
Concordia employees are urged to use their discretion in deciding whether they can safely commute to and from campus. If personal health or safety is an issue in that decision, responsible judgment should be used. Employees may request time off prior to and in the absence of an official campus closure. With supervisor or manager approval, employees must take personal time or leave without pay if no personal time is available. Campus supervisors and appointing authorities are encouraged to be flexible in authorizing personal time or requests for schedule changes on short notice, as they are able and as workloads permit.
Are alternate work arrangements for Concordia employees available during inclement weather conditions in the absence of an official campus closure?
In some instances, the supervisor or appointing authority may determine that an alternate work arrangement, e.g. telecommuting, could be used to support university activity and business needs during inclement weather conditions. Alternate work arrangements must be approved by the supervisor or manager with approval from human resources.

How should regular employees who work during an official campus closure be compensated?
Regular Employees who are authorized to work during an official campus closure may be granted paid administrative leave for the time worked at the discretion of the appointing authority. Employees would not receive additional pay for the hours worked during the closure but could be granted alternative time off. Temporary (including retirees hired into temporary positions) and student employees who work during a campus closure must be paid for hours worked but are not eligible to receive administrative leave.