EFFECTIVE DATE: July 09, 2015
PRESIDENT: William Flores
While every effort will be made to maintain normal operations at all times, there may be
instances when emergencies warrant closure of the University of Houston-Downtown
(UHD). This PS establishes the authority for decision-making and rapid communication of
vital information in the event of an emergency situation.
2.1 Emergency Situation: Emergency situations include, but are not limited to, active
shooter situations, hurricanes, flooding, fire, tornadoes, ice storms, chemical releases,
fires, explosions, violence, and other situations that affect the overall operation of the
University. In the event of an emergency situation that has the potential to subject all or
part of the University community to danger, the primary concern will be the safety of
all members of the University community. The University will also strive to minimize
interruptions to the educational, research, and service missions of the University.
3.1 The President shall have the sole authority to close the University or to order its
evacuation. Decisions regarding the evacuation and/or closing of the University will be
made by the President (or the President’s authorized designee) in consultation with top
executive staff. In the absence of the President, the authority to act will pass to
authorized representatives in the following order:
3.1.1 Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost
3.1.2 Vice President for Administration and Finance
3.1.3 Vice President for Advancement and External Relations
3.1.4 Vice President for Employment Services and Operations
4.1 In any potential University emergency the following steps will be taken:
4.1.1 The Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management, Chief of Police,
Director of Emergency Management, Manager of Environmental Health and
Safety (EHS) and Executive Director of University Relations will confer with
the Vice President for Administration and Finance and together will evaluate
the facts and the potential danger.
4.1.2 The Vice President for Administration and Finance will advise the President of
the facts and evaluation of potential danger.
4.1.3 The President will confer, as needed, with members of the Cabinet and
determine what action is to be taken.
4.2 When the necessary actions have been agreed upon, the President or designated
representative, will notify the following individuals and groups of the action, as
4.2.1 UHD Cabinet members
4.2.2 UHD Police Department
4.2.3 Office of the UHS Chancellor
4.3 The Office of University Relations will send an announcement through all available
resources, including UHD website, social media (Facebook, Twitter and others), email,
text and other media as appropriate to notify the University community of the decision
regarding closure, as long as the emergency has not interfered with the
telecommunications availability. Between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. it is the responsibility of
each college or department administrator to ensure that those employees without phone
or email access receive notification.
4.4 The Office of University Relations will ensure that a message is posted on the
University’s homepage on the website.
4.5 If an emergency occurs after regular work hours but while classes are in session, the
Office of University Relations will notify the UHD Police Department, which will notify
all individuals still on campus of any decision regarding closure or evacuation.
4.6 The Office of University Relations will contact the media via a press release. University
students, employees, and visitors may obtain information regarding University closures
by checking the website.
4.7 University employees will be paid at their regular rate during the period of closure, and
timesheets should reflect such time as administrative leave. Employees may, at their
option, elect to leave their duties prior to the official closing and/or remain absent beyond
the official reopening. Payment for such absences will be charged to vacation accrual. If
there is no vacation balance, the absence will be considered leave without pay.
There are no exhibits associated with this policy.
Responsible Party (Reviewer): Vice President, Advancement and External Relations.
Review: Every three years on or before May 1
Signed original on file in Employment Services and Operations.
Issue #1: 01/14/00
There are no references associated with this policy.