Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 50: Safety and Security

Suspended Operations

BPPM 50.40

For more information contact:
   Office of Emergency Management


In accordance with state regulations, the Washington State University President or designee may suspend the operation of all or any part of the institution whenever the President or designee determines that public health, property, or safety is jeopardized due to an emergency. (WAC 357-31-260)


The President provides written delegation of authority to designees to suspend University operations. Copies of the written delegations of authority to suspend operations are maintained in the Human Resources Services office at WSU Pullman.

Typical Designees

Typical designees include, but are not limited to, chancellors of WSU campuses, directors of research and extension stations, and the WSU Extension Director.

Suspended Operations Procedures Development

Natural, security, and public health emergencies may require the University to suspend some or all operations at any of the campuses, the research and extension stations, or the county and reservation extension offices.

Each chancellor is responsible for developing policies and procedures for their respective campus. Each research and extension station director is responsible for developing policies and procedures for their respective station. The WSU Extension Director or designee is responsible for developing policies and procedures for county and reservation extension offices.

See the following sections for inclement weather procedures applicable to:

Emergency Notifications

In times of crisis or when critical information must be shared, the University provides emergency information and guidance to WSU personnel and students. Based upon the nature of a given event, the University may use one or more of the methods described below:

  • Authorized users activate the WSU CougAlert System to provide direct emergency notification to students, faculty, and staff through land line and cellular telephone using voice and text messaging and e-mail. To receive notifications, WSU personnel and students must register their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses through the myWSU portal.
  • The WSU Alert listserv provides direct e-mail notices to all faculty, staff, and student e-mail addresses that appear in the WSU online telephone directory.
  • WSU Insider provides emergency notices and references to WSU News articles to all subscribers of WSU Insider.  
  • Supervisors and others in charge of WSU units provide direct verbal information and instructions to WSU personnel. Likewise, other appropriate leaders such as residence hall counselors, provide such information to students.  
  • Faculty and instructors provide emergency notices and references to distance learning students if their class is cancelled.

WSU Everett

See WSU Everett Campus Emergency Procedures.

WSU Everett follows the Everett Community College (EvCC) campus alert and closure procedures. The EvCC alert telephone hotline is 425-388-9100.

WSU Pullman

At WSU Pullman the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and other authorized users provide notice of significant conditions or events and additional information on the WSU Alert website.

OEM also provides:

  • Emergency messages on the WSU Alert telephone hotline at 509-335-2345; and  
  • Notices on the OEM Twitter page (@WSUAlertPullman)

WSU Spokane

See WSU Spokane Campus Alerts.

WSU Tri-Cities

See WSU Tri-Cities Alerts.

WSU Vancouver

See WSU Vancouver Alerts.

WSU Off-Campus

WSU Extension

The WSU Extension Director or designee sends an e-mail message suspending operations to all affected non-Pullman extension faculty and staff.

Research and Extension

Each research and extension center (REC) or station (RES) shares suspended operations information and updates with personnel by telephone tree.

The REC or RES director notifies the CAHNRS Dean’s office (509-335-4561); the Extension Director’s Office (509-335-2933) and, if possible, the Agricultural Research Center (509-335-4563) of the situation and the decision.

During an emergency situation, each REC or RES main office is the information center for any updates or instructions, rather than the REC/RES’s safety committee.

Building Damage

If a damaged WSU building is insured under a commercial insurance program, contact Risk Management Services to document and potentially file a claim for damages and/or business income loss; telephone 509-335-6893.

Staffing During Emergency Closures

See BPPM 60.40.

Revisions:  May 2022 (Rev. 594); Oct. 2018 (Rev 521); May 2014 (Rev. 431); Oct. 2009 (Rev. 349); Aug. 2008 (Rev. 327); Aug. 2006 (Rev. 285); Apr. 2002 (Rev 207); Nov. 1986 – new policy (Rev. 65).