Process for Complete or Partial Closing of the University

Various circumstances will occur that could result in closure of the University or full or partial cancellation of classes. Under some circumstances, classes may be delayed or canceled for less than an entire day. For clarification, the full or partial cancellation of classes may be campus-wide or building/college-specific, which may affect some or all of RIT faculty/staff work schedules. A closure of the Institute infers full cancellation of classes and will impact the majority of RIT faculty/staff work schedules. (Refer to the following paragraph regarding RIT employees' work obligations during these cases.) The following process outlines the procedures and conditions by which a cancellation/closure will occur.

It is important to note that Rochester Institute of Technology is a residential campus. As such, any cancellation of classes or closing of the Institute may require the presence of various key personnel ("essential personnel") and performance of duties during these emergencies. Department heads, in advance of these situations, need to determine which positions are critical for maintaining essential duties during these occurrences.

University closings and/or cancellation of classes could result from three broad categories of conditions: general campus emergency, building emergency or weather related condition. The decision and notification process regarding each broad category follows:

General Campus Emergency

Examples: health epidemic, strike, disturbance or violent crime

  • Process - When a general campus emergency condition exists or is pending (other than medical related emergencies), Public Safety will take the lead in assessing conditions and notifying the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration and the Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs. Consultation between the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration, the Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs and, as the situation dictates, other vice presidents will result in a recommendation to the President and a decision on the scope of University closing and class cancellation. Notification to the Institute community, and Rochester community, if necessary, will follow steps outlined in Section IV below.
  • Special Process for Medical Related Campus Emergency - When a medical related campus emergency exists or is pending, Public Safety, in consultation with RIT's Student Health Center Director, will determine the level of threat to the campus community and they will notify the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Asst. Vice President - F&A for Global Risk Management Services and the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration. Consultation between the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration, the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs will result in a recommendation to the President and a decision on the scope of University closing and class cancellation. Notification to the Institute community, and Rochester community, if necessary, will follow steps outlined in Section IV below.
     

Building Emergency (location specific)

Examples: Loss of power, gas or water line break, bomb threat, fire

  • Process - When a building emergency occurs (other than a bomb threat or fire), Facilities Management will determine the estimated duration of the building(s) closure. Facilities Management will notify Public Safety who will in turn notify the Asst. Vice President - F&A for Global Risk Management Services, the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration and, the respective Vice President, Dean(s) and/or department head(s) of the building(s) involved. Consultation between the Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs, Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration and the respective Vice President and/or Dean(s) will result in a recommendation to the President and a decision on the scope of building closure/class cancellation and its duration. Notification to the Institute community, and Rochester community, if necessary, will follow steps outlined in Section IV below.

  • Special Processes for Specific Building Emergencies
    1. Bomb threats - When a bomb threat is received by anyone at the Institute, the threat should be reported to Public Safety immediately (x5-3333) (information and instructions available from Public Safety). Public Safety will alert the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration and University News Services. The Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration in consultation with the Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs and President, as appropriate, will decide on the course of action. Chain of Communication will follow Section IVB below. Public Safety will take the lead in coordinating any building evacuation, search and investigation of the threat. The building(s) will remain closed until such time as determined safe for human occupancy. Public Safety will make status reports to the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration who will authorize re-entry to the building when appropriate.
    2. Fire - When Public Safety receives notice of an active fire situation, it will notify the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration, Facilities Management Services and University News Services. Public Safety will provide coordination of the fire emergency and will announce to Facilities Management Services and University News Services when a building entry can be made to assess damage. Facilities Management Services will assess the damages and make any necessary report to the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration regarding damage and building availability. Notification to the University as a whole will follow the steps outlined in Section IV below.
       

Weather Related Condition (campus wide)

These conditions create unsafe travel and mobility both on and off campus.
Examples: Significant snowfall, ice, fog, floods or extreme cold.

  • Process - When a weather related condition is pending or exists, Public Safety will take the lead in assessing conditions and will provide regular and updated verbal reports to the Asst. Vice President F&A for Global Risk Management Services. Public Safety will monitor reports regarding conditions from the following sources:

    1. Monroe County Office of Emergency Preparedness
    2. National Weather Bureau
    3. Town of Henrietta Highway Department
    4. WHAM - AM Radio Station

Conditions that could give rise to RIT implementing a severe weather closure include but are not limited to:

  • Public Safety receiving storm data from these four sources of an area wide "storm warning advisory of no unnecessary travel," ,
  • Monroe County Office of Emergency Preparedness advises "emergency travel only".

Notification will follow the steps outlined in Section IV below.

Public Safety will monitor on-campus roadway, parking and building conditions. In the event campus conditions deteriorate to unacceptable conditions, then Public Safety in consultation with Facilities Management Services will notify the Asst. Vice President - F&A for Global Risk Management Services, who will, in turn, make recommendations to Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration. The Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration will notify the Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs, who will decide on the course of action. Notification will follow the steps outlined in Section IV below.

Notification

  • Overnight Development of Emergency Conditions - When conditions develop over night, an effort will be made to have an announcement to University News Services by 5:30 a.m. This announcement should be aired by 6:30 a.m. on the stations listed below in Section C. If the emergency condition persists for more than one day, a daily announcement will be made by University News Services using the Channels of Communication referenced in Section C below.
  • Chain of Communication - When a decision to close or cancel classes is made, the responsibility and chain of communication will be initiated according to Table I attached.

  • Channels of Communication

    Notification of emergency closings/cancellations will be announced through the following channels by University News Services.

    Internal RIT channels
    1. An emergency closing/cancellation message will be recorded on the Institute Closing & Cancellations Hotline 475-7075 and RIT's main number 475-2411
    2. The RIT Home Page, Emergency Page and UNS Home Page
    3. Social Media (Facebook and Twitter)
    4. Message Center email blast (daytime)
    5. Voicemail blast to campus phones (daytime)

         External channels

        TV - Channels 8, 9, 10, 13 and 31

          Radio - WHAM, WCMF, WDKX, WITR, WXXI, WBEE, WRMM, WPXY, WBZA, KISS 106.7, 95.1 The Brew, and 100.5 The Drive

Chain of Communication

Responsible Party Notification To
Sr. Vice President, Finance & Administration
~1st Alternate - Asst. Vice President F&A - Global Risk Management Servs.
~2nd Alternate - Acting Director, Facilities Management Services
President, Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice Presidents, Chief Communications Officer, Chief Information Officer, Facilities Management Services, Public Safety, and Human Resources
Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs Associate/Asst. Provosts, all Deans, CIMS and RIT Incubator, Wallace Library, & other Academic Affairs Division Heads
President Board of Trustees (when appropriate)
Chief Communications Officer
~Alternate - University News Services Director
Television and radio stations (including student radio station WITR) and activate on-campus emergency message on telephone 475-7075 V, 475-7076 TTY and 475-2411 and on electronic message boards. Provide e-mail announcement to all faculty, staff and students. Post log-on message regarding the closing or cancellation to RIT Web Page.
Deans/Academic Departments Post signs on all main entrance doors to academic buildings when notified of emergency closing or cancellation of midday classes. Will notify NTID Television Center to place a closing message on closed circuit Channel 7.
Vice President, Student Affairs
~Alternate - Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs - Student Conduct
Notify respective departments within Division of Student Affairs, including Margaret's House.
Vice Presidents (non academic) Notify respective departments by order of reporting structure.