Campus Closure Policy

Month/Year Posted: 
February, 2003
Policy Number: 

Supersedes P 00-09


When it becomes necessary to close the campus to normal operations, a number of factors will influence whether all or part of the campus will be affected. These factors include, but are not limited to, the risk of injury or death to people, property damage, and disruption to essential utilities.


The purpose of this policy is to establish general guidelines for personnel involved in a campus closure and to assist Emergency Management personnel in closure and/or evacuation of the campus in response to an emergency or potential safety hazard.


In accordance with Title 5, California Code of Regulations, sections 41302 and 42402, the University President or designee is the only person(s) who may direct a campus closure.


It is the policy of Humboldt State University that whenever there is an immediate or potential danger to life (including health and/or safety) and property, the University will take every possible action necessary to protect life and property. Those actions may include partial or complete campus closure and evacuation of all or some persons or any other actions in accordance with this policy and the Campus Emergency Management Plan.


Unplanned Event
An unplanned event is an event that has occurred, and which affects all or a portion of campus normal operations, without notice. ("Notice" refers to documented approval by an authorized University representative.) An unplanned event may or may not necessarily pose an apparent threat to life or property.
Planned Event
A planned event is an event that will occur, and which affects all or a portion of campus normal operations, with notice. A planned event may not necessarily pose an apparent threat to life or property.
An emergency is a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence that requires immediate attention and affects all or a portion of normal campus operations. An emergency generally involves an apparent threat to life or property.
Essential Personnel
Essential personnel are employees designated by the University President or President's designee(s) who, by virtue of their employment responsibilities, provide services essential to the protection of life and property when an unplanned event, planned event, or emergency occurs that affects all or a portion of the persons at the university or any university property. This category is exclusive of staff who are asked by the Vice President and/or designee to work their usual schedule during an emergency.

Procedures For Unplanned Events And Emergencies

Initial Response
If an emergency or unplanned event occurs that threatens the safety of persons or property, the University Police Department (UPD) should be notified immediately. The University Police Department will ensure the most rapid response of necessary resources. University Police personnel will conduct or coordinate with other personnel a rapid needs assessment and communicate the findings to the appropriate designated authority to further ensure that the campus administration receives the information necessary to evaluate the need to close all or a portion of campus. It should be noted that some unplanned events or emergencies may dictate the need for a University Police Officer to exercise his/her police officer powers to direct persons to evacuate buildings or areas directly affected by a criminal or non-criminal incident for safety and evidence preservation purposes.
When an unplanned event or emergency occurs, the most senior University Police Officer on duty will notify the following university officials as soon as possible in the following order:
  1. Chief of Police (Emergency Operations Center Director)
  2. Emergency Operations Executive or designee
  3. University President or designee
Campus Closure
The decision to close the entire campus or any portion of the campus when an emergency or unplanned event occurs shall be made by the University President or designee. In most cases this decision will be made on the basis of information and recommendations received through consultation with the Emergency Operations Executive, University Police Department, and/or other Emergency Management personnel.

When campus closure is authorized and/or a campus emergency is declared, the Emergency Operations Executive will direct the Emergency Operations Center Director (Chief of University Police) to implement campus closure procedures in accordance with Section 5 (Levels of Emergency) of the Campus Emergency Management Plan.

Distribution: All Faculty and Staff