Procedure Information

PDF Version

Number: 4.4.2

Name: Weather and Short-Term Emergency Closings

Author: Policy Committee

Effective Date: February 27, 2020

Next Review Date: AY2023–2024

Regulatory Authority:

Part 1. Scope.

This policy articulates the procedures that are followed at North Hennepin Community College and its satellite locations when it becomes necessary to cancel academic or non-academic activities, delay the opening of the College, or close the College due to inclement weather or other emergency conditions.

The authority to cancel classes, cancel activities, delay opening, or to close the College when a weather or other emergency exists, resides exclusively with the College president or designee. The closure of state agencies by the Governor or the Commissioner of the Department of Employee Relations does not apply to North Hennepin. Employees, students, and visitors should heed only notices which explicitly note classes have been canceled or opening has been delayed at North Hennepin, or North Hennepin is closed.

Part 2. Definitions.

Subpart A. Cancellation

Cancellation of classes may refer to the cancellation of one, several, or all classes, in the absence of officially closing the entire College. Cancellation of non-academic activities refers to cancellation of an event, e.g., athletic events, theatrical productions, concerts, or workshops.

Subpart B. Delayed Opening

Delayed opening refers to opening of all operations for both institutions at a later time, other than those operations essential to the protection of life and property. Only weather essential employees (as defined below) must report to work during their regularly scheduled shifts.

Subpart C. Closing

Closing the College means to close all operations other than those deemed essential to the protection of life and property. Closing the College results in the cancellation of classes; student, faculty, and staff activities; and meetings. All general offices are closed. Only weather essential employees (as defined below) must report to work during their regularly scheduled shifts.

Subpart D. Weather Essential Employees

The NHCC President shall review each year those weather essential employees who must report to work during times the college is closed or there is delayed opening due to emergency procedures. The following positions are designated as weather essential for such purposes:

  • Vice President of Finance and Facilities
  • Director of Facilities
  • Director of Public Safety
  • Groundskeepers
  • Plant Maintenance Engineers
  • Building Maintenance Foreman
  • Public Safety Officer
  • Building Utilities Mechanics
  • Management Information Systems Supervisor 2
  • Information Technology Spec 4
  • Information Technology Spec 3
  • Information Technology Spec 2
  • Part 3. Decision Making.

    During emergency situations, the President or designee will assess local conditions and monitor advisories by appropriate authorities. Those factors include:

    1. Situations: threatening weather, fire, hazardous waste spill, crime alert
    2. Conditions: temperature, wind, precipitation, condition of roads
    3. Authorities: highway maintenance agencies, transportation agencies, law enforcement agencies, weather bureaus. pollution control, environmental, workplace safety agencies, regional MinnState campuses, and local school districts

    The President or designee will use those data, including contacts with the appropriate authorities (at least one local and one state) to determine whether the situation constitutes a threat to the health and safety of people at the College. If students are threatened, a decision to cancel classes may be made; if employees, students, and visitors are threatened, a decision to close or delay opening the College may be made.

    For cancellation of classes and/or activities, special attention will be given to night classes, for which many of the students travel considerable distances. Weather considerations will be given considerable weight.

    For classes offered in Buffalo, the college will consult with the Buffalo Community Education Office and will consider the unique circumstances and driving conditions of that geographic location in making a decision on class cancellation. We understand that weather conditions there are not always consistent with conditions at the main campus and that many students drive from considerable distances. The President may designate the Buffalo Program Coordinator as the decision maker for class cancellations in Buffalo.

    The decision to cancel a non-academic event, in the absence of closing the College, will be made by the director of the activity in consultation with the Director's supervisor.

    Whenever possible, decisions to cancel day classes will be made by 5:00 a.m., decisions to cancel night classes will be made by 3:00 p.m., and decisions to close or delay opening the College will be made by 5:30 a.m.

    Part 4. Procedures.

    The President or designee will determine the nature, time, extent, and duration of cancellation, delay, or closing.

    As appropriate, the President or designee will notify the radio and TV stations and off-campus sites; send a campus-wide e-mail message; send a STAR Alert; put the message on the information monitors and the NHCC website; instruct Public Safety to make the announcement over the campus-wide PA system, and walk through the buildings to ensure the message is received.

    Department, division, and area offices, and the Information Center, will change phone messages to announce the cancellation (including duration) to callers.

    Academic Deans will assist with sharing the notifications of campus closing details.

    In the case of cancellation, all employees will complete their normal work schedule during the duration of the cancellation. Employees who wish to be absent from work will check with their supervisor, and take the appropriate leave.

    In the case of closing, Public Safety will be responsible for ensuring that all buildings are vacated and locked at the designated time of closing. Specific buildings will be designated as locations where students, visitors, and employees may wait for pick-up rides.

    "Essential" personnel will remain available for duty as needed until released by the President or designee.

    Part 5. Work Responsibilities.

    Subpart A. Cancellation of Classes and/or Activities

    When classes are canceled but the College is not closed, individual faculty will take personal leave or make appropriate curricular adjustments as outlined in NHCC 4.4 and 4.4.1 Class Cancellation.

    When non-academic activities are canceled, the activities shall be rescheduled when appropriate and possible.

    As appropriate, non-weather essential employees may request alternative work arrangements from their supervisors.

    Subpart B. Closing the College

    When the College is closed due to an emergency which threatens the health and safety of individuals, employees not designated as "essential" are excused from duty with full pay. Closing the College applies to all employees without regard to labor contract. "Essential" employees who are not excused from work will be paid at their regular rate of pay.

    Employees who reported to work and were sent home will not be paid for more than their regular scheduled hours. Employees will not be enriched through additional compensation, including compensatory time, or increased benefits as a result of an emergency situation.

    Employees who were required to remain at work will not be paid for more than their regular scheduled hours or the actual number of hours worked, inclusive of any overtime.

    Employees with pre-approved sick and personal leave will follow bargaining unit contracts.  In cases where the issue is not explicitly addressed in the bargaining unit contracts, employees will not be charged for sick or personal leave.

    Employees on approved leave without pay will not be paid for this emergency leave time.

    Employees who called in, on the day of an emergency, for vacation time, compensatory time, or leave without pay, will be credited with emergency leave from the point of the declaration of the emergency to the end of the scheduled shift, if the College ceased operations during their regular shift.

    Employee uniform time reports will indicate the number of emergency hours utilized in the remarks section on their uniform time report.

    An employee's absence with pay for emergency situations will not exceed 16 hours during that emergency unless the president has authorized a longer period.

    Subpart C. Inclement Weather When the College is Not Closed

    Due to personal circumstances during inclement weather, such as place of residence, employees may find it necessary to leave work early even though the College has not been closed. Further, employees may be unable to get to work even though the College is open. In such cases, emergency, personal, or vacation leave may be granted, or, if working conditions permit, the time may be made up or alternative working arrangements may be made at the discretion of the supervisor.

    Part 6. Campus Review.

    Review Action: Date(s)

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Review: March 11, 2019

    Campus Community Review Period: March 27, 2019–April 11, 2019

    AFSCME Review: November 5, 2019

    MAPE Review: November 5, 2019

    MMA Review: November 5, 2019

    Shared Governance Council Review: December 22, 2019

    Student Senate Review: November 1, 2019

    Interim President Jeffrey Williamson Approval: February 27, 2020

    Campus Community Dissemination: September 22, 2020

    History

    • Formerly NHCC II.16.01
    • Date of Adoption: 01/08/98
    • Revised
      • 11/20/2000
      • Spring 2016: created a specific weather and emergency closing procedure
      • Spring 2019: updated list of weather essential employees; approved by Jesse Mason by proxy for Interim President Jeffery Williamson.