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2.10 Emergency Closures

Origination date: 9/16/2003
Applicability: Academic Professionals, Administrators, Classified Staff, Faculty, Service Professionals

Under certain conditions, including weather-related conditions, it may become necessary to cancel classes or close the campus(es) of NAU.  The NAU President or his/her designee may declare a cancellation of classes and/or partial or full university closure.

Classes Cancelled

When the NAU President or his/her designee declares that classes are cancelled, students who are enrolled in and faculty who teach classes that have been cancelled shall be relieved of classes for the period of time specified by the President or designee. The absence shall be considered excused for students. In the case of class cancellation, faculty impacted by the cancellation shall use paid emergency leave time to account for the absence.

University Closure

When the NAU President or designee declares a university wide closure, employees who are not identified as essential personnel shall not report to work or shall leave NAU upon notice by a supervisor or dean, director or department head that the University is closing. Only departments and employees who provide essential functions shall be open and perform duties. Employees shall not choose to work during a campus closure unless specifically directed to do so by the supervisor or dean, director, or department head.

Essential personnel include some or all of the employees who work in the Essential Service Units defined by Northern Arizona's University's Emergency Closure Procedures Manual. In order to sustain specific business activities, other units or personnel may be designated as essential for the purposes of a specific closure. The Vice Presidents and Provost are responsible for determining which units are deemed essential at the time of closure. Supervisors and managers shall notify the employees in affected units as soon as possible if they are needed as essential personnel for a specific closure. Employees performing certain job functions in certain units may regularly be part of the essential workforce in the case of an emergency closure.

Employee Compensation during a Closure

Essential Personnel

Non-exempt employees, as determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), who are designated to be essential personnel and required to work during the emergency, will receive time off with pay that is equal to time worked during the closure. Options include taking the time off with pay during the same work week or adding that amount of hours to the compensatory balance to take off at a later date at the discretion of the supervisor. If total hours physically worked for a non-exempt employee in any workweek exceed 40 hours, overtime compensation or compensatory time off for the hours worked in excess of 40 hours will be at a rate of one and one-half times the rate at which the person is paid. The combination of compensatory time or pay received for working during an emergency closure and the pay for time worked beyond 40 hours in a work week shall not exceed one and one-half times the rate at which the person is paid. Overtime for non-exempt, benefit-eligible employees may be compensated either by cash payment or compensatory time off at the discretion of the University. Refer to NAU Personnel Policy #2.03 Overtime/Fair Labor Standards Act for more specific details on overtime pay.

FLSA exempt personnel who work extra hours during a closure will not be paid for the additional time, but may receive flexible time off for some of the hours worked at a later date at the supervisor's discretion.

Non-Essential Personnel

Non-essential personnel shall use paid emergency leave to account for the absence. Emergency leave is paid time and may only be used in situations when the University President and or her/his designee have declared a cancellation or closure.

Employees who have been granted approval by their supervisor to not report to work and have requested sick leave, vacation leave, or personal days off prior to a declared emergency closure, will be charged for the time off as requested. Paid emergency leave is not available for hours previously approved for absence.
Employees paid on an hourly basis and temporary employees are not eligible for emergency leave pay.

Work/Leave Procedures when the University Remains Open

If employees choose not to attend work or leave early when a closure has not been declared, compensatory time (for FLSA non-exempt employees), vacation, or absence without pay shall be used to account for the absence. The employee must follow normal department absence procedures. Supervisors are encouraged to be flexible with employee work schedules when feasible, balanced with the need to maintain the ongoing operations of the University.

Other options to cover employee work time missed when the University remains open may include:

Statewide Impact

Other NAU sites statewide shall not automatically be impacted by a class cancellation or university closure that occurs on the main campus. Individual sites will be notified if the cancellation or closure impacts those sites. Statewide site closures will not automatically impact operations at the main campus.


Employees should stay tuned to local radio stations for cancellation or closures affecting the Universities. Other sources of information about cancellations or closures include the NAU website and NOW line (928-523-0007).