This procedure is arranged as follows:

1.0 Overview
2.0 Responsibilities of Faculty and Staff
3.0 Suspended Operations Announcements
4.0 SEFS Suspended Operations Notice

Main Contacts

UW Information Line

(206) 547-INFO


UW Home Page


SEFS Main Number

(206) 543-2730

Applies to

This procedures applies to the closure of the University of Washington Seattle campus only, and provides operational guidelines to implement the University suspended Operations Policy (University Policy Directory, Executive Order #27).

Assume the University is open and holding classes unless notified to the contrary in accordance with the procedures provided herein.

When to use

Use this procedure whenever emergency conditions require that the University suspend operations of the institution, except that in the event of a campus-wide disaster or complete power and telecommunications outage, the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences' Emergency Plan will go into effect. The University's Emergency Plan should be consulted for questions concerning suspension of operations due to localized emergencies that impact only a small area of the University.

Exceptions for Essential Services

Certain essential services will continue to be operational and be staffed regardless of suspension announcements, but may operate on a reduced schedule or scope of activities. Consult your supervisor if, by the nature of your position, you are considered essential staff.

Process Description

Suspension of operations is the temporary discontinuance of normal work activities, academic programs, and other campus events. Operations will be suspended as follows:

  1. Administration makes assessment of conditions and potential to seriously disrupt the operation of the University.
  2. President makes the decision to suspend operations.
  3. Activation of notification systems to inform faculty, staff, and students of suspension decision.
  4. Application of compensation guidelines for time off during suspended operations (See University Policy Directory, Executive Order #27), or contact Personnel Services for information.


Responsibilities of Faculty and Staff


If telephone services are operational, notification will be provided by telephone, with back-up methods by cellular telephone, pager, fax, and electronic mail.





Faculty, Staff, and Students

  • Listens to news media messages and other communication as defined by the unit's policies.
  • Follows expectations as defined in the unit's policy for "essential" and "non-essential" personnel.
  • Contact UW Information at 547-INFO if unsure of suspension details.
  • Secure work area if mid-day suspension.
  • Confirm with supervisor or personnel services regarding compensation practices in the event of a full or partial suspension of operations (See University Policy Directory Executive Order #27).
  SEFS Administration
  • Inform faculty, staff and students of Suspended Operations by contacting Division Offices and posting notifications to SEFS faculty and staff email lists.
  • Post Suspended Operations notifications on office bulletin boards, Section 5.0.

SEFS Administration, Center Directors

If the University suspends operations on a Friday and special events scheduled for the weekend may be affected, unit heads should contact News and Information to:

  1. Clarify the status of the University's weekend operations.
  2. Disseminate information to the media regarding special events.

News and Information Services

  • Notifies the wire services, radio, and television stations, and the daily newspaper, using one of the specific announcements found in Section 4, Announcements, paragraph A or B.
  • In the event of a suspension of operation during normal business hours, notifies Deans, Vice Educational Outreach, and Executive Director of Health Sciences Administration via email.
  • Activates UW Home Page emergency announcement.


Suspended Operations Announcements


Communication Technologies and News and Information will utilize one of the following announcements, as appropriate:


"The University is open today and operating on a regular schedule (any exceptions will be listed here)."





"Most University operators are suspended for today. Classes will not be held administrative offices are closed, and all scheduled public events are canceled (any exception will be listed here including information about Bothell and Tacoma campuses). Essential services personnel are required to be at work."


Note: The University cannot guarantee that the news media will repeat the message exactly as given, or that a particular station or publication will necessarily publicize the message at all.


Announcement Interpretations





"The University is open today and operating on a regular schedule."

In accordance with the University's suspended operation policy, the University will normally remain open during inclement weather conditions.

Supervisors may adjust the work schedule or approve leave for employees who may be late or depart early because of such conditions. (Refer to University Policy Directory, Executive Order #27).

Under certain conditions, suspension or cancellation of particular programs or activities (e.g., evening classes or scheduled public events) may be warranted even though the University otherwise remains open. In such cases, the suspended or canceled programs will be specifically identified in the announcement.


"Most University operations are suspended for today. Classes will not be held, administrative offices are closed, and all scheduled public events are canceled."

When most University operation are temporarily suspended, there will be no classes (including extension and evening credit classes). Employees, other than those in essential services units, will not report to work or are expected to leave the workplace if suspension happens mid-day. All scheduled events will be canceled, except as expressly announced to the contrary. Campus retail food service operations and the Intramural Building will be closed.

Essential services - including the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Hall Health Center, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, Health Sciences Library, Physical Plant, University Police, the residence halls, and other essential support services - will remain open, but may operate on a restricted schedule or scope of services.


Effective Period of Announcement


Any decision to suspend operations will be applicable to the day of the announcement only. Thereafter, decision will be made on a daily basis as to the status of the University's operations, and communicated to the University offices and media in accordance with this procedure.


SEFS Suspended Operations Notice

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