Business Policies and Procedures Manual
WSU Off-Campus Locations Suspended Operations
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There are emergencies that may require the University to suspend some or all operations at WSU locations that are not located on one of the five main campuses. (See also BPPM 50.40 for University-wide procedures regarding suspended operations.)
This section provides procedures regarding evaluation of and response to emergencies that may affect WSU County and Reservation Extension offices, Research and Extension Centers (REC), and other remote research locations. See the following BPPM sections for procedures for WSU locations not covered in this section:
- BPPM 50.41 – WSU Pullman
- BPPM 50.42 – WSU Spokane
- BPPM 50.43 – WSU Tri-Cities
- BPPM 50.44 – WSU Vancouver
- BPPM 50.46 – WSU Everett
Moving Normal Operations to Suspended Operations
When a location moves from normal to suspended operations, the presumption is that it returns to normal operations on the following day unless the person, or their designee, given the authority to suspend operations decides otherwise.
Students, volunteers, and employees should check with their location’s administrative office for the latest condition level information.
WSU County and Reservation Extension Offices
The applicable County or Reservation Extension Office Extension Director, or their designee, may move the office from normal operations to suspended operations when an emergency affecting the office is imminent or active.
The applicable County or Reservation Extension Office Director (or designee) reports the emergency conditions to the WSU Extension Director and other Extension administration team members as appropriate. The director (or designee) may also make recommendations for temporary changes to University operations.
The WSU Extension Director notifies the CAHNRS Dean of the emergency and the current status of the location(s).
WSU Research & Extension Centers (REC)
The applicable REC Director, or their designee, may move the REC from normal operations to suspended operations when an emergency affecting the REC is imminent or active.
Reporting Status of Emergency Conditions
The applicable REC Director (or designee) reports the emergency conditions and may make recommendations for temporary changes to University operations, to the CAHNRS Dean. The director also notifies the associate deans for CAHNRS extension, research, and academic programs of the emergency.
The REC Director (or designee) notifies applicable emergency response resources as needed. See Types of Emergencies below.
Other Off-Campus Locations
Some off-campus locations do not report directly to WSU Extension or the CAHNRS Office of Research. In the case of an emergency affecting such locations, the director or facilities manager responsible for the location may move it from normal operations to suspended operations. The director, facilities manager, or designee alerts local response resources as applicable. See Types of Emergencies below.
Reporting Status of Emergency Conditions
The director, facilities manager, or designee reports the emergency conditions to the next level supervisor. That supervisor is responsible for reporting up the appropriate chain of command that oversees operations at the off-campus location.
Actions taken by the off-campus location administrator or designee(s) to notify personnel and others affected by the emergency may include, but are not limited to:
- Provide suspended operations or delay information and updates with personnel by telephone tree.
- Manage internal and external communications.
- Notify television and radio stations, external newspapers, and other media outlets as appropriate.
- Release other emergency communications deemed appropriate under the circumstances, including the use of WSU Alert (see BPPM 50.40).
- Notify response resources as applicable. See Types of Emergencies below.
Office and Unit Responsibilities
All WSU County Extension and Reservation offices, RECs, and other remote operating units/locations must develop Emergency Response Plans and Continuance of Operations Plans, in accordance with Executive Policy EP25 and BPPM 50.39. In addition to other Emergency Response and Continuity of Operations responsibilities, the purpose of these plans is to:
- Prepare for possible emergencies.
- Ensure that administrators, faculty, staff, and students are informed of the closure of offices within the area.
- Ensure that administrators, faculty, staff, and students are informed of the postponement of special events or activities.
- Reinforce the communication of any decisions reached by the responsible director(s) or designee(s).
Directors (designees) are to exercise discretion in determining essential services and minimal staffing levels in accordance with BPPM 60.40 and applicable leave policies. Additional guidelines related to suspended operations are available from Human Resource Services (HRS) Suspended Operations.
The procedures above are not intended to cover all possible eventualities. The University administration assumes that the decision-making and relevant communications are adapted, as appropriate, to suit the circumstances. The University administration does not assume that all individuals who may be coming to or are at off-campus locations can be notified of an emergency.
Note: All WSU employees and students should enter their emergency contact information in myWSU.
Various types of emergencies may occur at WSU off-campus locations that could require differing responses and affect different units.
The designated management personnel, based on University impact, presents University or Extension leadership, as applicable, with relevant information and updates regarding the location conditions, public safety, and applicable health impacts after an emergency.
As soon as possible before or during an emergency, University or Extension leadership make decisions about the operational status of the location and related facilities. In the case of imminent danger to people and/or buildings (i.e., fire or active shooter), decisions are made after the affected area is secure and the scene is stable.
Applicable Suspended Operations Resources
The table below lists possible emergencies that may occur at off-campus locations. Responsible department(s) and/or personnel that work with the designated management personnel at the location and keep University or Extension leadership abreast of the situation are identified in the table, along with other resources that may assist as needed.
|Emergency||Responsible Dept.||Other Resources|
|Inclement Weather||See Inclement Weather Procedures|
|Active Shooter||Local law enforcement||Human Resource Svcs. and Cougar Health Ctr. Counseling and Psychological Svcs.|
|Bomb Threat/Explosive Device||Local law enforcement||WSU Facilities|
|Fire||Local fire department||WSU Facilities, Police, EH&S, and Risk Mgmt. Svcs.|
|Wildfire Smoke||Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S)||WSU Facilities and Cougar Health Svcs. (CHS)|
|Hazardous Materials – Biological/Radioactive Releases||Office of Research Assurances (ORA)||WSU Facilities, EH&S, CHS, and local response agencies|
|Hazardous Materials – Chemical Releases||EH&S||WSU Facilities, ORA, CHS, and local response agencies|
|Public Health Communicable Disease||EH&S||CHS and local response agencies|
|Utility||Local law enforcement||EH&S, ORA, CHS, Public Safety, and local response agencies|
|Geological Event (e.g. earthquake, tsunami, volcano eruption.)||Local law enforcement||WSU Facilities and local response agencies|
Designated personnel consult with professional weather information services and collect relevant information regarding campus conditions. They then provide the director or location management with regular updates on the conditions at the location throughout the weather emergency.
While a weather emergency may be declared at any time if conditions necessitate it, the following are the most likely weather scenarios with target timelines for reaching decisions.
During Night or Early Morning Hours
If the inclement weather occurs during the night or early morning hours, designated personnel report pertinent information on the inclement weather event no later than a specified time set by the administrative office for each location. Such a report initiates the procedures described in this section (BPPM 50.45).
Designated personnel then report a summary of weather factors and operational concerns based on best available information to the director or location management no later than a specified time set by the administrative office for each location.
If there is advance warning of a potential weather event, designated personnel notify the director or location management the previous evening to be on standby for a call the following morning at a specified time set by the administrative office for each location.
During the Day
If the inclement weather event occurs during the day, designated personnel collect the pertinent weather information and report the information to the director or location management as soon as possible. Such a report initiates the procedures described in this section (BPPM 50.45).
Evening Classes and Operations
If an inclement weather event is expected to affect evening classes and operations, a decision should be reached no later than a specified time set by the administrative office for each location to allow time to provide appropriate notice.
Revisions: May 2022 (Rev. 594); May 2014 – new policy (Rev. 431).