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Inclement Weather Policy

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King University is concerned about the safety of students, staff, and faculty. This policy and these procedures have been guided by the belief that the University is a community and as such is normally open during periods of ordinary seasonal inclement weather or other minor disruptions. The University equally values the safety and lives of all students, faculty and staff, while recognizing that we must maintain the effective operation of the university during inclement weather and other emergencies when possible.

In the event that any King University campus is closed or classes are canceled, all online classes will continue as scheduled. All classes that normally meet in person may continue via online assignments, web video conferencing, extra assignments, and individual conferences at the discretion of the faculty member. Additionally, course work may be made up by rescheduled class times, extended class time, or other alternatives as determined by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

University Operating Status

Under extraordinary conditions, however, the University may implement one of the following, which are described in detail below.

Close entirely and cease

  1. Cancel classes at the Bristol campus or any assortment including but not limited to Kingsport and Knoxville sites or other off-site classes held on other college
  2. Delay opening while asking essential personnel to report
  3. Early release due to extreme adverse weather or other campus emergency
  4. Temporarily close a building or section of campus

Closed

This status may apply under unusual, extreme conditions. If the University is closed, employees are not to report.  However, certain Essential Employees necessary to protect the university and maintain life safety systems may be asked to report by the appropriate Vice President (or his/her designee) on a case-by-case basis. These employees may or may not have been classified as “Essential Personnel” on their job descriptions, since all employees may be called upon in a crisis.  Each employee will be notified in response to each specific emergency. An official closing announcement will be communicated via the University communications channels described in this policy.

Cancellation of Classes

Classes are canceled on all or part of the Bristol campus, or the Kingsport and Knoxville campuses and all other operations continue to function as usual. Employees should report as usual. Undergraduate student employees do not have to report to work if they choose not to, but should notify their supervisors. Graduate student employees should check with their supervisor for guidance. Classes will always be canceled when the entire campus is closed.

Delayed Opening

This status may apply when severe weather conditions interfere with employee travel but conditions are expected to improve.  Classes will normally be canceled during the time of the delayed opening with essential personnel expected to report.  If conditions do not improve, a decision may be made later to close the University (essential personnel reporting). An official delayed opening announcement will be communicated via the university communications channels described in this policy.

Early Release

This status may apply when severe weather conditions interfere with employee travel.  Generally classes will not be canceled, and some offices may need to continue to operate. As a result, some staff may be asked to remain or, in the case of second or third shift employees, to report to work by the supervisor.

Second and third shift employees should check with their supervisor to determine whether or not to report.  An official early release announcement and time will be communicated to all employees via the University communications channels described in this policy.  Essential personnel will be expected to remain until relieved or notified by their supervisors to leave.  As indicated elsewhere in this policy, employees must make individual decisions about whether to travel between the University and home based on local conditions. Every effort will be made to accommodate essential personnel who feel that it is unsafe to travel.

Localized and Temporary Closing

When working conditions in a particular building or location intolerable. Supervisors or employees in the affected unit(s) should discuss the problem with Campus Security or the supervisor of Facility Services.  If the problem cannot be resolved, the supervisor may request permission of the appropriate Vice President to temporarily close the area or location. Temporary building closures may only be authorized by the Vice President for Finance and Administration or the Director of Safety and Security.

Cancellation of Fine Arts Activities

The Vice President of Academic Affairs in consultation with the Director of Safety and Security shall communicate, through appropriate channels cancellations of any Fine Arts events. Fine Arts activities may remain on schedule during a campus closure depending on the reason for the closure.

Cancellation of Athletic Activities

The Athletic Director or designee in consultation with the Director of Safety and Security shall communicate through appropriate channels cancellations of any athletic events and activities. Athletic activities may remain on schedule during a campus closure depending on the reason for the closure.

Decisions to Change the Operating Status of the University During an Emergency

Emergency decisions to close the University for reasons other than weather will be made by the Vice President for Finance and Administration and Director of Safety and Security in consultation with other University executives as needed.

Decisions to Change the Operating Status of the University During Inclement Weather 

Inclement weather can come at various times of the day and any given day of the week with unpredictable intensity and geographic impact. Cancellation and delay decisions are based on available information concerning the conditions of roads near a given instructional location. The University recognizes students often drive from locations where conditions may be quite different. If any student determines road conditions are unsafe for their travel to class they should contact their instructor by phone and/or email in advance of the class. There are five primary factors behind a decision to cancel classes and/or close a campus or other college facility: 

  • The time of day: the amount, rate, and type of precipitation; and the best weather forecast information available at the time of the decision.
  • The condition of major roadways in the region.
  • The condition of primary roads around Univeristy facilities.
  • The condition of sidewalks and parking lots around University buildings.
  • The operational status of other entities such as public transportation, etc.

The final decision for changing the operating status of any King University campus, facility, or function is the responsibility of the President or his designee. For the purposes of this policy, responsibility for implementation is delegated to the Director of Safety and Security.

 When inclement weather occurs or is predicted, the following process will be followed: 

  1. The Director of Security will monitor weather conditions and will contact the local police, city public works, and/or state departments of transportation to ascertain road conditions in all areas where King University offers consultation may also be made with the King University Facilities Services Department and other offices/departments as appropriate and necessary.
  2. If conditions warrant a change of schedule by 6 a.m. a snow schedule should be called and appropriate media and offices will be notified.
  3. If conditions worsen by 9 a.m. then the University will be closed for inclement weather. Appropriate media and offices will be notified.
  4. If inclement weather worsens or occurs during the day, a decision for cancellation of evening classes should be made by 3 p.m. and appropriate media and offices will be notified.
  5. If inclement weather occurs or worsens after 3 p.m., the Director of Security and/or the Security Officer on duty will advise faculty/students of the weather conditions and advise early dismissal.
  6. On Saturdays, a decision regarding closing/cancellation of classes should be made by 6 a.m. and appropriate media and offices will be notified.

Schedule changes will be announced in the following ways:

  • Local Media
  • King University email
  • King University Web site
  • Emergency Text Notification
  • King University Information Line 423.652.6446

The announcement will specify which campuses or classroom sites will be affected. Please be advised no announcement means the schedule will remain as usual and cancellation of classes at one location does not automatically imply cancellation at other locations. For sites based on another college campus, we will defer to the decision of that campus regarding schedule changes and/or cancellation of classes due to inclement weather.

Faculty, staff, and students should always exercise personal safety when driving to and from campus.