Emergency Closure Policy

UAF Policy: 02.05.011

Revised: November 9, 2011

Responsible Chancellor's Cabinet Member: Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

Responsible Department/Office: Marketing and Communications, All Vice-Chancellors

Download signed policy (PDF)


The University of Alaska Fairbanks main campus is a residential campus that will conduct classes, maintain essential services and remain open  for business to the extent possible during severe weather conditions or other unusual circumstances. Employees should be ready to attend work even in severe conditions to the extent they can safely do so.


Residential location affects individual ability to safely commute during unusual circumstances, with residential students able to attend classes and employees living near campus or on main roads often able to safely commute. The campus must conduct classes and remain open for business through conditions may impact some students' and some employees' ability to safely commute. Certain employees are necessary to maintain essential services and are required to attend work to the degree that they can safely do so.

This policy provides broad guidance for leave options or attendance, recognizing that each situation may present unique challenges depending on the severity of conditions, employee, and student residential location, the academic calendar, and date of event.


Severe weather conditions, natural or man-made disasters or other unusual circumstances are events which may impact campus operations or employee ability to commute to work.


During emergency situations, Cabinet will convene to review the circumstances and conditions. In consultation with their staff, Vice-Chancellors are responsible to determine essential services and to ensure services, classes and business are continued to the extent possible; the Chancellor will determine whether to cancel classes or close campus. The Chancellor will coordinate with the President. 

For rural campuses under the College of Rural and Community Development, the Chancellor delegates the above responsibilities and decision-making to the campus directors who will report conditions and notify the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education when conditions require invoking procedures under this policy.

In extreme circumstances, the Chancellor may close campus and authorize the use of administrative leave for employee absences from work. Administrative leave will be authorized only in extreme circumstances that impact even those students and employees who live on or near campus. 

Restricted funds do not allow for payment of administrative leave and individual units will pay administrative leave time from available unrestricted funds. 

UAF Marketing and Communications is responsible to disseminate updated information to our campus and community through all available channels. If administrative leave is authorized, employees will be notified through a variety of channels as implemented by UAF Marketing and Communications. 


Non-compliance may result in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.




Absent conditions requiring the authorization of administrative leave, the following options regarding employee leave may be implemented by supervisors, consistent with Cabinet determinations:

Department Status:

  1. Vice-Chancellors must coordinate decision-making through Cabinet and keep the Chancellor advised of planned actions; Vice-Chancellors must coordinate with each other to be assured that essential services are adequately covered. 
  2. Vice-Chancellors and supervisors should determine essential services and communicate department status and operating hours to employees. 
  3. Vice-Chancellors may choose to reduce hours or remain fully open for business as circumstances dictate; employees who wish to work and avoid leave use should be accommodated to the extent possible. Supervisors should remain flexible during unusual circumstances and consider whether employee attendance is necessary to perform critical or essential functions.
  4. Vice-Chancellors will update Marketing and Communications of department status.
  5. Marketing and Communications will communicate information on University status during emergencies.

Leave Options

  1. Employees may telecommute from home and work all or part of the day with supervisor approval.
  2. Employees who are unable to safely commute to work, and are unable to telecommute, may use annual leave, leave without pay, or any combination of these leaves, for all or part of the day. Sick leave may be used only for qualifying events described in University Regulation 04.06.130.
  3. If employees can safely commute and have access to their workspace, they can work a normal day.
  4. With supervisor approval and if the arrangement does not violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees who do not have adequate leave may flex their work schedule to make up time missed due to conditions. Overtime and overtime pay must be approved in advance by the supervisor.
  5. Other options as the Chancellor may authorize under circumstances presented.



Brian D. Rogers, Chancellor
University of Alaska Fairbanks