Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Process for Complete or Partial Closing of the University

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 University 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.

It is important to note that Rochester Institute of Technology is a residential campus. As such, any cancellation of classes or closing of the University 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.

The following process outlines the procedures and conditions by which a cancellation/closure will occur. 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 (or threat of violent crime)

  • Process - When a general campus emergency condition exists or is pending (other than medical related emergencies), Global Risk Management Services 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 University 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, Global Risk Management Services , in consultation with RIT's Student Health Center Director, will determine the level of threat to the campus community and they will notify the Sr. Vice President of Student Affairs, and the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration. Consultation between the Sr. Vice President of Finance & Administration, the Sr. 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 University community, and Rochester community, if necessary, will follow steps outlined in ”Notification” section 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 Services will determine the estimated duration of the building(s) closure. Facilities Management Services will notify Global Risk Management Services who will in turn notify 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 University community, and Rochester community, if necessary, will follow steps outlined in the “Notification” section below.
  • Special Processes for Specific Building Emergencies
  1. Bomb threats - When a bomb threat is received by anyone at the University, the threat should be reported to Public Safety immediately (x5-3333). 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 the “Notification” section 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 “Notification” section 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 Assoc. 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 Management
  2. National Weather Service
  3. Town of Henrietta Highway Department
  4. Local media
  5. Facilities Management Services (campus condition and transportation)

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 Management advises "emergency travel only".

In addition, Public Safety will monitor on-campus roadway, parking, walkway and building conditions. In the event campus conditions deteriorate to unacceptable levels, then Public Safety in consultation with Facilities Management Services will notify the Assoc. 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 the Notification section below.

Notification

  • Overnight Development of Emergency Conditions - When conditions develop overnight, an effort will be made to have an announcement to University News Services by 5:00 a.m. This announcement should be aired by 6:00 a.m. If the emergency condition persists for more than one day, a daily announcement will be made by University News Services.
  • Chain of Communication - When a decision to close or cancel classes is made, the responsibility and chain of communication will be initiated according to Chain of Communication Table.
  • Channels of Communication - Notification of emergency closings/cancellations will be announced through internal and external channels by University News Services.

Internal RIT Communication Methods:

  • RIT Message Center: An emergency message is delivered via e-mail and to the MyRIT portal. The entire RIT community (students, faculty, staff) will receive emergency messages via e-mail.
  • Social media: RITNews Twitter and RIT Facebook
  • Web sites: http://emergency.rit.edu and www.rit.edu
  •  “Cancellation/emergency hotline”: (585) 475-7075
  •  RIT’s Main number: (585) 475-2411
  •  Voice Mail: A voice mail blast is sent to over 3,200 faculty and staff.
  • Radio station WITR-FM (89.7)

External Communication Methods:

  • Students, faculty and staff are advised to stay tuned to Rochester-area media.
  • Cancellation/closing information will be announced on the following television and radio stations:
    • TV – 8 (WROC), 10 (WHEC), 13 (WHAM), FOX Rochester, TWC News
    • Radio 
      • AM – 1040, WHAM 1180 News Radio, 1240, Fox Sports 1280,1370 
      • FM – 89.1, 92.1, 92.5 WBEE, Fickle 93.3, 94.1 The Zone, Radio 95.1, 95.7 ESPN, 96.5 WCMF, 97.9 98PXY, 98.9 The Buzz, 100.5 The Drive, WARM 101.3, Sunny 102.3, 103.9 WDKX, Kiss 106.7, 107.3 The Bull

Chain of Communication

Responsible Party Notification To

Sr. Vice President, Finance & Administration

  • 1st Alternate - Assoc. Vice President F&A - Global Risk Management Services
  • 2nd Alternate - Assoc. Vice President, Facilities Management Services
President,  Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice Presidents, and direct reports
Provost & Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs Associate/Asst. Provosts, all Deans & other Academic Affairs Division Heads
President Board of Trustees (when appropriate)

Chief Communications Officer

  • Alternate - University News Services Director
Internal and external channel of communication as outlined in this process
Deans/Academic Departments Faculty, staff and students using locally prescribed methods (e-mail, myCourses, signs, etc.)
Sr. Vice President, Student Affairs Notify respective departments within Division of Student Affairs, including Margaret's House
Vice Presidents (non academic) Notify respective departments