School Closure Policy
To protect the health and safety of campus residents and staff, sustain business continuity, and accommodate the previously-scheduled academic activities of faculty and students, including classes, rehearsals, practices, study sessions, and access to library materials.
The College will remain open unless weather conditions are so severe as to require closure. This policy applies to day, evening, weekday and weekend classes of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and Law School as well as all scheduled meetings and events at the institution. Individuals are advised to take necessary precautions and to avoid dangerous conditions traveling to, from, and around the campus.
The Provost is responsible for making all decisions on inclement weather closure for Lewis & Clark. In the Provost’s absence, the Vice President for Business and Finance will make the decision.
In the event of severe weather conditions on and around the institution that could lead either to closure, class cancellation or late opening, the Director of Campus Safety, or designated backup, will notify the Vice President and Provost, or designated backup, the Vice President for Business and Finance, about conditions that might call for a closure or delayed opening.
Because classes and events are scheduled for weekends as well as weekdays, weather conditions are monitored seven days a week.
Ideally, the decision will be made and communicated before early morning commuters have left home. Sometimes, however, emerging weather conditions make early notification impossible, or require closure or cancellation of some activities during the day.
If the decision is to close, cancel some activities or to delay opening, the Director of Campus Safety will immediately notify the following offices and individuals, in the order listed below:
- Communication Services: The Director of Public Relations or designated backup will post the information on the SNOW-line, update the Lewis & Clark Web page, and notify local media outlets.
- Food Services: Lewis & Clark Food Services General Manager or designated backup.
- Facilities Services: Associate Vice President for Facilities or designated backup.
- Transportation Services: Associate Vice President for Facilities or designated backup.
- Lewis & Clark Officials or their backups: Vice President for Business and Finance or designated backup. Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences or designated backup. Dean of Students or designated backup. Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Counseling or Director of Administrative Services. Dean of the Law School or Assistant Dean of Administrative Affairs. Associate VP and Director of Human Resources or designated backup.
- In case of a power outage also call: Director of Network and Technical Services or designated backup.
These individuals are in turn responsible for relaying information to their sectional supervisors.
To avoid confusion and inconsistent and unauthorized messages, the Director of Public Relations will distribute ALL closure, cancellation, or late opening announcements. The Director of Public Relations will post announcements to the SNOW-line and the Lewis & Clark home page and issue an announcement to media sources. Students, staff, faculty members and visitors should always use the home-page announcement and SNOW-line as their source of the most up-to-date and authoritative information.
In the event of delayed opening, Lewis & Clark, as appropriate, will announce “opening delayed until 9:30 a.m.” or “morning classes canceled until 11:30 a.m.” or “evening classes will be held/canceled beginning at 5 p.m.” Regularly scheduled classes that begin at or after these times will meet. For example, if the institution opens at noon a class that begins at 11:30 a.m. will not meet. If the institution opens at noon a class that begins at 12:30 p.m. would be taught.
Announcements on the SNOW-line and institutional webpage will provide information about the status of the shuttle service.
Individuals will have two primary ways of obtaining school closure information:
1. Call the SNOW-line, 503-768-SNOW (503-768-7669 or 503-768-7965),
2. Go to the Lewis & Clark Web page.
When, as a result of varying conditions in the area, many other institutions have closed but Lewis & Clark is open, the Director of Public Relations will post a “Lewis & Clark is open” message on the SNOW-line only: 503-768-SNOW (503-768-7669 or 503-768-7965).
PRIORITIES DURING A CLOSURE
Priority #1: Protecting the health and safety of campus residents and those staff who are required to report to work during closures to support the residents and to ameliorate physical conditions at the institution.
Principal considerations include food and water (available in Fields Dining Room), shelter, access for emergency vehicles to enter campus, good communication throughout the school closure among Campus Safety, Facilities Services, Campus Living, and Bon Appetit.
Priority #2: Sustaining business continuity and proper function of facilities, with the goal of minimizing health risks, damage to equipment, or loss of data that may result from lack of attention during a closure.
Priority #3: Accommodating the previously-scheduled academic activities of faculty and students, including classes, rehearsals, practices, study sessions, and access to library materials.
When the institution is closed due to hazardous weather conditions, academic activities are necessarily suspended and academic facilities will remain locked.
When major winter storms are predicted, members of the campus community (students, faculty, and staff) are encouraged to anticipate the possibility of closure by taking home with them materials that they might require for their work. In the event of a closure, academic facilities may be inaccessible and/or closed.
When normal academic activities are disrupted due to weather closures, College offices and teaching faculty are asked to adjust timelines to reflect weather realities on the ground.
If Lewis & Clark is officially closed before employees report to work, employees will not be expected to report unless specifically requested to do so by their supervisor, and will be compensated for a regularly scheduled workday. Exempt employees will not receive additional compensation for time worked during a closure. Non-exempt hourly workers who are required to report to work will be compensated according to any applicable collective bargaining agreement. If no collective bargaining agreement applies, non-exempt workers will be compensated for a regularly scheduled workday plus hours actually worked on the day or days the institution is closed. Employees who are requested to come to work when the school is closed will not be penalized if they are unable to report for work because of road conditions, storm damage, injuries, etc. Finally, for ALL employees, pre-approved vacation or sick time that falls on days when the institution is closed will not be charged to the employee’s vacation or sick time. If Lewis & Clark is open and employees are unable to report for personal reasons (e.g. road conditions in the area of their home), the supervisor must be notified as early as possible. Time lost due to personal reasons will be charged to accrued vacation. If an employee does not have vacation accrued, this time will be treated as time off without pay.
If a delayed opening is announced, employees are expected to report to work at the appointed time.
If Lewis & Clark closes after employees have reported to work, they will be paid for the remainder of their regularly scheduled shift on that day.
Inclement Weather Closure Such a closure is the result of either extended and/or potentially dangerous power outages or extremely hazardous on-campus and/or road conditions caused by snow, heavy icing, downed trees, and power lines.
By definition, an inclement weather closure means that conditions at Lewis & Clark have been judged unsafe and all activities, except for those providing essential support for campus residents and preservation of the built environment, are suspended. Only residential students, live-in staff, and staff with responsibilities for the health and safety of persons and property are expected to be on campus when the institution is closed.
All classes, meetings, and events are canceled and all support services other than those essential for ensuring housing, food, and safety for campus residents are closed. Facilities such as Watzek Library and Pamplin Sports Center will be opened for residential students only when it becomes reasonably possible to provide access and staffing for those sites.
The community is asked to respect the fact that Campus Safety and Facilities personnel have critical responsibilities for addressing health and safety issues. Furthermore, these offices are likely to be understaffed under such circumstances. Campus residents should avoid areas of the campus with roads and pathways that have not been cleared. Non-residents and employees who are not required by conditions of their employment to report to work come to campus at their own risk.
Late Opening Conditions which would otherwise require an institutional closure if prolonged will result instead in a late opening if the conditions are expected to moderate sufficiently within a reasonable time to allow for normal commuter traffic and a resumption of institutional activities.
In addition to all day closures and late openings, the institution may occasionally exercise other options to address the particularities of certain weather situations. For example, in the case of a late morning snow storm with predictions of afternoon temperatures in the 40s, Lewis & Clark may remain open, but suspend classes for several hours. Details will be provided on the snow line and on the institutional webpage.
Approved by Operations Council, March 12, 2009 and Approved by Executive Council September 9, 2009