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Campus Closure - Employee Communications

Jan. 28, 2019

Campus Community –

South Dakota State University will close its Brookings campus due to the forecasted weather conditions that include extreme cold temperatures and an extreme wind chill warning.

The closing impacts SDSU’s main campus and all supporting research farms and offices in Brookings County. The closure will go into effect 3 p.m. Tuesday and remain until noon Thursday. All classes and campus events are canceled and only employees classified as “essential” will report to work.

Employees are encouraged to check with their supervisors as to whether or not they are essential.

Please note that other employees may be required to be on call in the event circumstances need their services. Supervisors will notify you if you are an “on call employee.”

The wind chill warning goes into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday and lasts through 9 a.m. Thursday. According to the National Weather Service, a wind chill warning means the combination of very cold air and the wind will create dangerously low wind chill values at or below minus 35 degrees. Frostbite can occur quickly and even hypothermia or death, if precautions are not taken.

The lowest wind chill is expected to occur Tuesday evening through Wednesday, with around minus 45 Tuesday night and dropping to minus 60 throughout Wednesday. It is strongly encouraged to limit exposure to the outdoors during this time.

Updates and/or changes to the closure will be made through the emergency communications system and other communication channels. Information will be available on the university’s safety and security webpage.

Thank you for your service to SDSU and being a Jackrabbit. Below is a list of questions you may need answered. If you have other questions, please contact Human Resources or your immediate supervisor.

Do I get paid during the closure? – Employees who are considered “non-essential” will be granted administrative leave. Employees who are essential will be required to report to work. Overtime eligible essential employees required to work will receive administrative leave hours plus hours required to work.

What about employees in Aberdeen, Rapid City and Sioux Falls – Those facilities remain open at this time. Rapid City is not within the area for extreme temperatures. Any decision on administrative functions in Aberdeen and Sioux Falls will be made in conjunction with the other BOR universities that oversee those facilities. Employees are encouraged to take into account their own personal safety if they are scheduled to be in either location.

What about students living on campus? – The Division of Student Affairs will continue to operate food services in Hansen Hall, Larson Commons and the University Student Union. Students are being encouraged to stay indoors during this time.

What about online courses – The closure only impacts classes on the main campus. Online courses will continue.

What about research farms and extension offices? – Essential employees will be on site at all research farms and other locations requiring animal care. Planning for this weather event has already started to ensure animal safety.

Extension offices and research farms outside of Brookings County will work through SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station to make decisions on an individual basis as it applies to location, weather conditions and employee safety.

What is the policy on closures? –

            The BOR policy can be found at - https://www.sdbor.edu/policy/documents/4-40.pdf

            The university policy can be found at - https://www.sdstate.edu/sites/default/files/policies/upload/Emergency-Closings.pdf