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Section 2 Plan Administration

Section 2 - Plan Administration

2.1 Administration and Support

Supported at the highest level of the institution, the authority for emergency management activities of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery are vested in the president, who is also responsible for approving all policies having an effect on this plan. When the plan is activated, it is done so under the authority of the university president.

Individuals, groups and departments have been identified or created and given specific duties and responsibilities listed in this document and work with other groups and individuals on campus to develop and implement emergency management processes for SDSU.

2.2 Record of Changes

The Emergency Management Specialist is responsible for distributing all revised or updated planning documents to all departments, agencies and individuals tasked in those documents.

Date of ChangeChange(s) Entered ByDate EnteredSummary Of Changes

2.3 Emergency Management Team (EMT)

Reporting to the president, the Vice President and General Counsel is the cabinet level executive responsible for emergency planning and the chair of the EMT.

The EMT members are university staff with specific duties and responsibilities. They work with others to develop and implement emergency management processes for SDSU. When responding to a threat, the EMT member’s roles may change to members of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

The EMT is generally responsible for the four phases of emergency management, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery for the university and for assuring there are sufficient emergency management process and procedures in place that are tested, evaluated and modified as needed.

The EMT chair, or designee is responsible for the overall management of the actual or potential incident. In doing so is responsible for providing information and recommendations to the president/provost. When responding to a real or potential threat, the EMT member’s role’s change to members of the EOC.

Emergency management touches nearly every facet of the community. EMT/EOC membership list is necessarily broad and is composed of the following positions on campus.

EMT Members

  • Vice President & General Counsel - Chair
  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vice President for Technology and Security
  • Vice President for Finance and Budget
  • Vice President for Research and Economic Development
  • Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
  • Associate Vice President for Facilities and Services
  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Director of University Marketing & Communications
  • Chief of Police
  • Chief of Staff

Team members and their backup successor have been identified. This information is provided in the EMT list in the Appendix A to the plan.

2.4 Emergency Management Team Roles and Responsibilities

Vice President & General Counsel

As the executive-level member responsible for emergency planning, response, and recovery this position will direct and coordinate university activities related to emergency management. This position is responsible for determining the permanent and ad hoc members of the EMT. This position determines when and at what level to open the EOC and the overall coordination and support of incidents as well as the coordination of resource request and internal and external communications. When the incident does not, or no longer, requires a tactical response this position is the incident commander for the SDSU. Coordinates with the Office of Human Resources.

This position has the authority and ability to create and authorize emergency communications.

This position provides legal guidance to the team.

Emergency Management Specialist

Reporting to the Vice President and General Counsel, this position is responsible for the day-to-day activities of emergency planning and response. This position is responsible for maintaining the EOCs in a state of operational readiness, for the monitoring and display of situational awareness, and for ensuring the EOC has the ability to create and deliver emergency communications. This position has the ability but not the authority to create and send emergency messages as authorized by the EMT Chair.

Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

This position works with PIO and IC to coordinate media releases associated with inter-governmental cooperation issues. Provides planning expertise to the EMT. Monitors incident operations to identify potential inter-organizational problems.

Vice President for Technology & Security

This position is responsible for the university computer systems based communications, maintenance, testing, backup, restoration, and recovery. This position is responsible for oversight of University security in information systems and University Policy Department and Environmental Health and Safety functions.

Vice President for Finance and Budget

This position is responsible for financial and administrative operations related to planning for, responding to or recovering from an incident. This includes approving emergency purchases, expense tracking, maintaining payroll/payables capabilities and cost projections.

This position coordinates activities and responsibilities with Risk Management, Purchasing/Accounts Payable, and management of the telephone contract for the university. This position is responsible for coordinating contracting and contract management, emergency procurements and documenting emergency purchase orders.<

Associate Vice President for Facilities & Services

This position is responsible for preventative/protective measures, damage assessment, building inspection and utility provider liaison. This position is responsible for the coordination of restoration and repairs for campus grounds and facilities and related delegated purchasing.

Vice President for Research and Economic Development

This position serves as the liaison between faculty and members of the EMT/EOC. As such this position may provide planning expertise and provide research and analysis support to the EMT.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

This position has a great range of responsibilities. These include, but not limited to, call center operations, counseling services, family reunification, medication distribution, student tracking, treatment and triage, student financial support via financial aid and liaison with hospitals and the South Dakota Department of Health.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

This position is responsible for shelter in place, campus sheltering, student evacuation and the actions necessary in the support of these activities.  As the manager of the food service contract, this position also has a role in providing food service in an incident. 

Director of University Marketing & Communications

This position is responsible for all internal and external communications, print, broadcast and social media monitoring, rumor control, scheduling news conferences and press releases, and is responsible for providing scripts and talking points for call center and social media contact points.

Chief of Police

The Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) liaison is responsible for providing information from the Incident Command Post, if one exists, to the EOC. This liaison will work closely with first responders at the scene and will provide situational updates to the EOC. This position and others in the police supervisory chain of command have the ability and the authority to send emergency communications to the community.

Chief of Staff

This position provides a liaison between the senior team and the EMT. Work with PIO and IC to coordinate media releases associated with inter-governmental cooperation issues. Monitor incident operations to identify potential inter-organizational problems.


At the discretion of the EMT chair, others may be added as ad hoc members. For example:

International Programs - This position assists with issues related to international students.

Dependent on the type and duration of an incident additional personnel may be added to the EMT/EOC staff. These may include purchasing specialists or subject matter experts related to the incident. Additional support staff may be added to serve in a variety of roles to include scribes and runners.

2.5 Order of Succession

Pre-identifying orders of succession is critical to ensuring effective leadership during an emergency. In the event an incumbent is incapable or unavailable to fulfill his/her essential duties, successors have been identified to ensure there is no lapse in executive leadership. Authority shall return to the incumbent when they are able to resume essential duties. In the case of the university president, authority is regained when the president is capable of resuming essential duties or an interim or permanent replacement has been installed by the Board of Regents. The university orders of succession is:

PositionSuccessor #1Successor #2Successor #3
PresidentProvostVP for Student AffairsVP & General Counsel
Provost & VP for Academic AffairsVice Provost for Undergraduate EducationVice Provost for Graduate Education & Extended StudiesSenior Dean
VP for Student AffairsAssociate VP for Student AffairsDean of StudentsDirector of Housing & Residential Life
VP & General Counsel (as EMT Chair - not legal advice)VP for Student AffairsProvost & VP for Academic AffairsEmergency Manager
VP & General Counsel (for legal advice)Assistant General CounselSDBOR General Counsel 

Successors have the same responsibilities and authority as the incumbent. The plan identifies primary and backup members for the EMT. These backups have the same responsibilities and authority as the person they replace.

It is the responsibility of those in the order of succession to notify the chair of any planned absences. Should a situation occur where the UPD is unable to contact the EMT chair, the order of succession should be followed immediately.

2.6 Emergency Management Team/ Emergency Operations Center

In an emergency, there are typically two types of responses. The first is the tactical response to the incident that requires action by first responders, fire, police and EMS. With the exception of the chief of police or designee, members of the EMT/EOC, regardless of their position with the university, do not dictate the tactical operations of first responders. First responders’ actions are effectively the response to the incident.

Instead, EMT/EOC members are responsible for actions that can be described as response to the response. These include such actions as mitigation, communication, victim services, recovery and continuity of operations activities.

Since most response to the response actions are the responsibility of the EMT it is important to have an active, engaged and well-developed EMT with campus-wide representation.

When an incident, or the potential for an incident occurs, EMT members may automatically become members of the EOC. It is important to understand that while the membership of the EMT and the EOC are the same, their operations are different. EMT discussions are often theoretical, which is appropriate for training and policy/procedure development. EOCs are established in response to an actual or threat of an actual event and operate in a more-focused manner dependent upon a specific pattern of fact.

When members of the EMT operate as members of the EOC, they are responsible for the general institutional response to the incident. General responses are those activities not under the direct control of first responders.

2.7 Risk Management Team (RMT)

The mission of the RMT is to efficiently and effectively protect the assets of South Dakota State University in the conduct of university activities. This mission can be accomplished through the prudent use of risk management and insurance programs, safety, and loss control techniques. The RMT implements risk management techniques.

The risk management team chair acts as a liaison to the State of South Dakota Office of Risk Management, provides support and direction to the RMT, approval of agendas, reports to the EMT each semester, provides a forum for members across campus to openly discuss risks, and sets the tone and influences the culture of risk management within the university.

The risk management philosophy of South Dakota State University is to:

  • Protect SDSU’s assets;
  • Ensure a safe environment for employees and for the public who come in contact with state employees or property as services are provided;
  • Minimize the possible interruption of vital public services;
  • Safeguard that all exposures to financial loss are discovered and handled appropriately and;
  • Reduce the costs and consequences of accidents, including insurance premiums, through effective risk management.

The following five steps of risk management are followed:

  1. Develop a risk management assessment calendar and plan, meeting accordingly.
  2. Identify risks of loss throughout university operations.
  3. Evaluate risks of loss to determine loss frequency and severity.
  4. Control risks of loss through:
    1. Elimination or avoidance of the risk;
    2. Reducing the loss potential through loss prevention;
    3. Assumption of the risk;
    4. Risk transfer through contracts or insurance.
  5. Report on identified risks and controls.
  6. Implement risk management controls.
  7. Monitor the effectiveness of risk management controls and implement changes where appropriate.

The chair will coordinate the activities of the RMT and be a liaison with the State of South Dakota Office of Risk Management for reviews and the campus responses thereto with the assistance of RMT.

RMT is responsible for coordinating and implementing risk management programs within our university departments and at our university facilities. Departments and facilities will assist RMT in identifying, measuring and minimizing exposures to loss by:

  • Conducting facility inspections to identify and address safety hazards;
  • Conducting services and operations in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and safety standards;
  • Properly reporting accidents, incidents and unsafe conditions;
  • Reviewing losses to identify trends or situations requiring loss prevention efforts;
  • Ensuring policies and procedures remain current, are communicated to all employees and enforced;
  • Drafting all contracts with the appropriate risk management language;
  • Communicating to the Risk Management Team changes in exposures; and
  • Implementing the Risk Management Teams recommendations.

The RMT reviews risk management, workers’ compensation and other reports dealing with accidents and incidents occurring at the university. After reviewing such reports, the team suggests remediation efforts needed to ensure no further similar incidents will occur.

All appointments to the RMT are by position, comprised of a cross section of university departments. A list of positions follow. However, it should be noted that a designee can be appointed by the team member under appropriate conditions with approval of other current members of the team. Responsibilities include:

  • Review liability and workers’ compensation losses to identify trends and determine appropriate courses of action, including training or changes in facility maintenance;
  • Inspect facilities periodically to ensure all employees comply with established practices and to identify and correct hazardous conditions;
  • Determine safety related training needs;
  • Assist in development of loss control and safety orientation programs for new employees;
  • Review the agency’s policies and procedure manuals to ensure it remains current and that all documentation practices are in effect and complies with the state’s risk management policies and guidelines;
  • Report work activities and accomplishments at least once per semester to the Chair of Emergency Management Team and also ensure dissemination to the provost and the president’s administrative assistant; and
  • Communicate and collaborate with the emergency management specialist.

Risk Management Team

  • Chair - State Risk Management Liaison
  • Director, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Human Resources – Workers’ Compensation Manager
  • Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Engineering Extension
  • Facilities and Services
  • Research Compliance
  • Student Health Services
  • University Housing
  • University Police
  • Office of General Counsel
  • University Auditor

Members from academic departments may be appointed, as necessary, with approval of the team.

2.8 Continuity of Operations Team

The SDSU Continuity of Operations Team is responsible for the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). The COOP is designed to mitigate the effects of a man-made or natural disaster that may affect a single building or operation, a significant portion of the campus, the entire campus or the region. EMT members are the primary members of the Continuity of Operations Team and are responsible for identifying staff within their span of control to address continuity planning in their area.

The COOP covers all university operations, departments and service areas, including contracted operations. It is designed to provide plans for the full range of potential emergencies from those that cause the temporary interruption of a single function to the shutdown of the entire campus requiring the suspension of all nonessential functions and the relocation of essential functions to an alternative site for an extended period of time.

The mission of the university is teaching, research and public service. The COOP is based on the principle that day-to-day operations of the university may be altered to maintain or protect the critical missions of the university, the preservation of health and life safety, the protection of property, the protection of research, maintain or restore the ability to teach and the return to normal or near-normal operations as quickly as is feasible.

The university has grown increasingly aware of the depth and breadth of potential emergencies and their ability to disrupt operations and jeopardize the safety of faculty, staff and students. As a result, emergency planning, including continuity planning, is a critical function. In addition, it is good business practice. The changing threat environment has shifted awareness to the need for COOP capabilities that enable the university to continue essential operations in the face of a broad spectrum of emergencies.

The all-hazards approach to continuity planning ensures that regardless of the event, essential functions will continue to operate and services will continue to be provided to the extent possible to faculty, staff and students. This approach includes preparing for both natural and man-made emergencies.

COOP planning system for the state of South Dakota is web-based system for developing and maintaining Continuity of Operations (COOP) for each government entity. The university COOP is maintained by the Emergency Management Specialist.

2.9 Pandemic Plan

The SDSU Pandemic/Contagious Disease Threat Emergency Response Plan (PERP) is an annex to the university COOP and is designed to prepare for and respond to a localized viral outbreak through a pandemic. The Brookings County Pandemic Influenza & Infectious Disease Response Plan is found on the website.

2.10 Supplemental Plans, Process and Supporting Policies

Additional plans and policies that support emergency management can be found in the Appendix.