New policy guides campus during emergencies, severe weather


The university’s policy on emergency reduction in operations (SPG 201.27) has been updated based on the recommendations of the Committee on Emergency Closure Procedures Specific to Severe Weather.

Prompted by the extraordinarily harsh weather conditions last winter, the university’s executive vice presidents charged the faculty and staff committee to help ensure that U-M is well prepared to reduce operations if necessary.

While the committee reviewed the criteria for reducing operations in an emergency weather situation, the updated SPG guides reductions in operations that could result from a number of different emergencies.

The goal is to be able to act quickly while helping to protect the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, patients and the public.

The policy has been renamed from emergency closure to Emergency Reduction in Operations, recognizing that the needs of a residential student community do not allow for complete closure.

The policy makes the executive director of the Division of Public Safety and Security responsible for analyzing conditions and consulting with other experts before making recommendations to the president on reducing operations in Ann Arbor.

Leaders at UM-Dearborn and UM- Flint continue to be responsible for decisions about the reduction of operations on those campuses.

All schools, colleges and administrative units will be responsible for annual updates to their Continuity of Operations Plans and for identifying both the operations (e.g., police, medical, animal care, etc.) and the specific employees that would be critical to report to campus during reduced operations.

This year’s listings of critical faculty and staff are due from campus units to the DPSS Emergency Management Office by the end of November.

Associate Vice President for Human Resources Laurita Thomas chaired the committee and calls this an important step in the university’s ability to effectively and efficiently reduce operations during an emergency while maintaining critical services.


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