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College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College normally will NOT close for inclement weather.  The college will only close in cases of severe weather or other emergencies that require the closing of most businesses, industries, schools, and colleges in the immediate area.  Other emergencies that might require a closing, delayed opening, suspension, or interruption of work hours include fire, loss of electrical power or impairment of the heating and cooling systems.  The president of the college will consult with plant operations, public safety, and the president’s team to determine the circumstances of college closings or other modifications to normal work hours.

If a decision is made to close the college prior to the start of the normal workday, or if there is to be a delayed opening, the media will be notified prior to 5:30 a.m. so that students, part-time faculty, and the public can be notified of the closing or delayed opening; however the most up to date information on HCC’s status is on the college website and main telephone line.  College closings or delayed morning classes will be communicated by 6:30 a.m. to staff and faculty by a formal, internal telephone notification system.  Cancellation of evening classes will be communicated by 3:00 p.m.  Students and adjunct faculty can obtain information on closings and delayed openings from designated regional radio and television stations, the college’s website, and main college telephone number 443-518-1000.  The list of designated regional radio and television stations is available in the office of public relations and marketing.

The college’s schedule of operations is as follows:

Day schedule: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Evening schedule: 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Night schedule: 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

If a decision is made to close the college during day or evening operations, the president or designee will inform the vice presidents of the official closing time and authorize them to activate the formal internal notification system and will notify the office of human resources and the business office of the exact hours of closing.  The office of public relations and marketing will activate any necessary calls or changes to the media, college phone message, and website.  Policies concerning the status of classes with various start times can be found in the student handbook.

If it becomes necessary to cancel, interrupt, or suspend the work shift of employees scheduled to work during the night schedule, the executive director of capital projects and facilities or designee will have the authority to make this decision.  After the decision has been made, the executive director of capital projects and facilities or designee will notify the vice president of administration and finance, human resources and the business offices no later than the following morning of any shift adjustments including the exact hours of college closing.  It will be the responsibility of the vice president of administration and finance to notify the president of any closing during the night schedule.

Certain personnel may be required to continue to work until the emergency has been minimized and no longer necessitates their services.  Appropriate compensatory arrangements will be made if personnel are required to work beyond the announced closing time.

It is expected that employees will use their judgment to determine if they can report to work without taking unnecessary risks regarding their safety.  The college's "Liberal Leave" procedure 63.08.09 provides a leave option for staff who believe their safety may be jeopardized by reporting to or remaining at work.

HCC Mobile Alert System

Howard Community College offers a mobile alert system to all enrolled students.  This free, opt-in service enables people to receive instant notification of important information to a phone, email, pager, or desktop RSS application.  Users will only receive messages related to emergencies and any optional message groups chosen.  People who sign up are responsible for any standard text messaging charges from the cell phone carrier.

 Effective Date:  2/13/2009