Campus Closure Protocol 2011
Purpose: This protocol is to be used as a guide to determine when non-essential operations and services at Royal Roads University are to be cancelled due to an urgent situation.
Preamble: Royal Roads University has students and visitors on campus or studying in programs throughout the year. For that reason, every effort will be made to maintain regular operations. However, one of three levels of campus closure may be triggered by an event or a situation that could affect or has already affected the health, safety or welfare of students, faculty, staff or campus visitors.
In essence, decisions to close the campus must be reviewed and recommended by senior leadership responsible for campus operations and approved by the president or designate. Communication of this decision is led by the Office of the Associate Vice President Community Relations and Advancement (CRA).
Procedure: If the security office or another university department determines some or all campus roads, buildings or grounds may not be safe or usable for any reason, the following procedures will take place if a level one or two closure is under consideration (definitions appended). A level three closure will trigger an immediate, full-scale evacuation of the campus or disaster response if evacuation is not possible.
- Security or the department in question will advise the director of Physical and Environmental Resources (P&ER) of the reason the campus may need to be closed.
- If relevant, the director of P&ER will consult with the manager of Gardens and Grounds for additional information.
- The P&ER director will advise the AVP, Planning & Site Operations as to what level of closure, if any, is recommended.
- The AVP, Planning & Site Operations will notify the VP&CFO who, together with the president, will decide if the university is to be closed and what level of closure will be designated.
- If the decision to close the university is made, the AVP Planning & Site Operations will inform the director P&ER and AVP Community Relations and Advancement.
- The director of P&ER will enact whatever physical support services are necessary to re-open the campus and/or ensure its safety for residents, students, staff and visitors.
- The AVP Community Relations and Advancement will ensure that the following communications actions are taken:
- A temporary message is recorded on RRU’s main phone line (250-391-2511) by the university receptionist or designate
- An email is sent to all staff, associate faculty, and on-campus students (communication to distance students, if required, will generally be the responsibility of the program areas)
- Victoria radio stations are notified (starting with CFAX and CBC)
- A message is posted on the public website
- Internal communications will take place as outlined in the campus telephone tree procedures attached
- Program designates will inform faculty and students in classes on campus
- Managers will ensure their staff members have been informed, especially those who do not have ongoing access to email
- Staff and faculty with on-campus offices will record an appropriate message on their voice mail
- Staff and faculty who have the capacity to work from home are expected to make every effort to do so
- Should the decision to close the university be made outside of normal business hours (i.e., evenings or weekends), a decision will be made by 6:00 a.m. of the affected business day so that communications activities can get underway. However, advance communications will go out as soon as information is available and departments with essential service responsibilities will be expected to immediately begin preparations.
Re-opening the University
A decision as to timing for re-opening the university will be made by the VP&CFO in consultation with the president.
- The CRA designate will inform all staff, associate faculty, and on-campus students by email of the re-opening
- The CRA designate will determine the need to inform local radio stations of the re-opening, and follow through as required
- The CRA designate will change the recorded message on the RRU main switchboard and the message on the website
- Program designates will inform faculty and students of any program-specific information
- Managers will ensure their staff members are informed according to their department procedures
Level One Closure: Staff members are expected to make every reasonable effort to carry out their work on site. If not possible for safety reasons, they are to confer with their supervisors to determine what work should be assigned and executed remotely. Classes and residencies will continue in most cases. Continuing Studies, visitor services and executive programs will have discretion to decide if their programs will continue.
Examples: small-scale building fire, small-scale flooding or contained chemical spill (all of which may cause the closure of one building but leave others open), a short-term power outage, or inclement weather that is starting to make commuting a challenge.
Level Two Closure: Non-essential staff and day students will be asked to go home or stay home. Residencies will continue wherever possible. Staff required to support residencies, essential building and IT maintenance activities and re-opening activities may be requested to stay on campus.
Examples: significant snowfall (decisions in this care are usually based on the road conditions of secondary municipal streets), extended power outage.
Level Three Closure: All staff, students and visitors will be asked to evacuate the campus, with the exception of designated crisis response personnel. In the case of a regional disaster – such as an earthquake – where evacuation may not be possible, crisis procedures will be implemented.
Examples: a major earthquake or major building or forest fire.
Essential Staff: Will be determined on a departmental basis according to divisional responsibilities. Generally all those employees involved with ensuring the campus is safe and operational as well as those charged with key operational tasks such as supporting residencies. Designations may change with each circumstance.
- Staff members are asked to get their information from one of the information sources described above rather than phoning the security office.
- Each department is expected to have procedures for responding to the various closure designations.
- Staff members on RRU’s emergency contact list must designate a backup contact. If both the primary and secondary backups are expected to be unreachable for any period of time, Security must be informed of the alternate designate.
- Emergency campus closures are not equivalent to statutory holidays or staff appreciation days. Employees are expected to make a reasonable effort to carry out their duties wherever they can safely do so. Those who cannot will not be penalized; however those who are able to continue working during their normally scheduled shifts will not receive time off or overtime payments. Nor will employees on scheduled leave during a closure receive credit for their leave. Employees who cannot get to work or work from home when the campus is open are required to use their vacation time or take time off without pay.