Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search


This policy establishes standards for continuity planning in order to prevent or minimize disruptions to critical operations.


This policy applies to all university organizational units.

Policy Statement

Continuity plans ensure an organizational unit’s capability to continue its essential functions and to preserve essential facilities, equipment and records across a broad range of potential emergencies. Common elements of a continuity plan include an identification of critical functions and associated key people, consequences of slow recovery, strategies for ensuring continued functioning, and action items for improving a unit’s resilience. Every organizational unit is highly encouraged to develop and maintain a continuity plan.

Organizational units that are assigned specific responsibilities in the university’s Emergency Operations Plan or Recovery Plan, and other organizational units upon which they depend for continuation of their most critical functions, are required to develop and maintain a continuity plan.

Schools and divisions may require organizational units beyond the scope of this policy to develop and maintain continuity plans.

Plan Review & Approval

Prior to initial approval by executive leadership, continuity plans are to be reviewed by the Office of Emergency Management and validated through a tabletop exercise. Subsequent approval of annual revisions is the responsibility of the head of the organizational unit.

Roles & Responsibilities

Organizational units (a university school, division, department, center, or office) meeting the criteria for continuity planning are responsible for:

  • Developing and maintaining a continuity plan using the system provided by the Office of Emergency Management.
  • Reporting annually to the Office of Emergency Management on the status of its continuity plan, to include any implementations, updates, personnel training, and completed action items.
  • Communicating its plan with relevant stakeholders across the university.

Executive leadership (e.g. executive deans, vice presidents) is responsible for:

  • Providing initial approval of continuity plans.
  • Reviewing an annual report on the status of continuity planning.
  • Ensuring that organizational units within their school/division have adequate plans and procedures in place to prevent or minimize disruption to their own critical functions and those of dependent units.

The University Risk & Compliance Committee is responsible for:

  • Identifying criteria for prioritization of unit completion of continuity plans.

The Office of Emergency Management is responsible for:

  • Developing and maintaining a university-wide Continuity of Operations Plan, with which organizational unit continuity plans dovetail.
  • Providing organizational units with a system for developing and maintaining continuity plans and related training as needed.
  • Assisting organizational units with plan review, exercise, and evaluation.
  • Reporting annually on the status of continuity planning to executive leadership.

Compliance Training and Tracking

The Office of Emergency Management is responsible for compliance tracking and reporting as described in the Policy Statement. The University Risk & Compliance Committee is responsible for prioritization of continuity planning efforts.

Approval Entity(ies)

Reviewed by the Emergency Management Program Committee on January 26, 2016
Reviewed by the Risk and Compliance Committee on April 4, 2016
Approved by the Academic Council on May 3, 2016

Approval Date

May 3, 2016

Effective Date

May 3, 2016

Executive Sponsor(s)

Patricia Campbell (Executive Vice President)
David Harris (Provost)

Responsible Office(s)

Office of Emergency Management
Risk & Compliance Committee


The University reserves the right to change this policy from time to time. Proposed changes will normally be developed by those responsible for the policy with appropriate stakeholders. The approval entities have sole authority to approve changes to this policy.

Review Cycle

Last reviewed on May 11, 2017. Next review date is May 11, 2018.

Related Policies

Emergency Management Program – University Policy