Emergency Closing Procedures

School of Public Health Policy

The decision to close SPH for classes and the decision to close the Medical Campus for employees are made independently of one another. However, if the Medical Campus is closed for the day, no classes will be held.

A responsible party is designated for each decision in these processes. A backup person is designated for each responsible party. That person will fill the role in the absence of the responsible party. When both parties are absent, decision making and notification responsibility will move up rather than down the chain.

Emergency Closings for Classes

Decision: The Dean of SPH (Bob Meenan) has designated the Associate Dean for Education (Lisa Sullivan) as the responsible party to determine whether or not classes are delayed or cancelled. The Associate Dean for Education makes this decision in consultation with the Registrar (Chris Paal) who will also serve as the backup decision maker.

The timing and broadcast of the decision to cancel classes will be as follows:

  • 10 a.m. or earlier classes—A decision will be made by 6:30 a.m. for posting on the BUSPH website by 7 a.m.
  • 1 p.m. or earlier classes—A decision will be made by 8:30 a.m. for posting on the BUSPH website by 9 a.m.
  • 2 p.m. classes—A decision will be made by noon for posting on the BUSPH website by noon.
  • 6 p.m. classes—A decision will be made by 3 p.m. for posting on the BUSPH website by 3:30 p.m.

Notification: Once a decision is made to cancel classes, the Associate Dean for Education will notify the Director of Student Services (Mary Murphy Phillips) or her backup (Brendan Hoey), the Director of Communications (Kara Peterson) or the Web Writer (Michael Saunders) and the Manager of Operations (Sally Dwyer) or her backup (Sharon Touw).

The Director of Student Services will:

  • Post a website message and send a broadcast email alert to students; and
  • Notify the Educational Media Center (to post cancellation notice outside classroom)

The Director of Communications will:

  • Post a website message and send a broadcast email alert to employees

The Manager of Operations will:

  • Record a class cancellation message on the main SPH telephone number; and
  • Notify the relevant BUMC offices including:
    • Control Center (8-4144)
    • Public Safety (4-4444). A Public Safety Officer will staff the Talbot front desk from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekday evenings regardless of whether or not classes are held
    • Telecommunications HELP desk (4-4500)
    • Office of Emergency Planning & Response (4-2188 or 617-872-8825) to update the Emergency Information Line (617-638-6886)

Note: no classes will be held at any time when the Medical Campus is closed for the day. However, classes may be held in the event of a delayed opening or an early release.

Emergency Closings for Employees

Decision: The decision to close the Medical Campus for the day is made by Medical Campus Administration (Karen Antman, Provost; or her backup, Tom Moore, Assoc. Provost and Gary Nicksa, VP for Operations or Bill Gasper, Assoc. VP for Financial & Business Affairs) in consultation with the Dean of SPH (Bob Meenan) and other Medical Campus deans. The SPH Associate Dean for Administration & Finance (Patricia O’Brien) serves as backup for the SPH Dean.

Notification: Once informed of an emergency closing decision, the Dean or the Associate Dean will notify both the Director of Communications (Kara Peterson) or the Web Writer (Michael Saunders) and the SPH Manager of Operations (Sally Dwyer) or her backup, the Project Coordinator (Clara Pereira).

The Director of Communication or the SPH Insider editor will:

  • post an employee closure message on the website and send out a broadcast email alert to faculty and staff;

The Manager of Operations will record an employee closure message on the main SPH telephone number.

Note: In the event the Medical Campus is closed, a BU Alert phone message to that effect will be sent to all students and to those faculty and staff who have not opted out of this emergency notification program.

Delayed Openings and Early Releases

Decision: The decision to delay opening the Medical Campus or to have an early release is made by Medical Campus Administration (Karen Antman, Provost; or her backup, Tom Moore, Assoc. Provost and Gary Nicksa, VP for Operations or Bill Gasper, Assoc. VP for Financial & Business Affairs) in consultation with the Dean of SPH (Bob Meenan) and other Medical Campus deans. The SPH Associate Dean for Administration & Finance (Patricia O’Brien) serves as backup for the SPH Dean.

A list of essential SPH employees will be developed and maintained by the Associate Dean for Administration & Finance. The list will designate those employees who must report to work when there is a delayed opening or an early release for employees but classes are being held. The Talbot reception desk must be covered during working hours when classes are in session.

Notification: Same as in “Emergency Closings for Classes” above.

Contact Information

Name Email Phone
Sally Dwyer spzdwyer 617-414-1406
Brendan Hoey Brendan2 617-638-5067
Bob Meenan rmeenan 617-638-4639
Mary Murphy-Phillips mcmurph 617-638-5059
Patricia O’Brien pobrien 617-638-4637
Chris Paal Cpaal 617-638-4963
Kara Peterson Kara 617-638-4052
Michael Saunders msaunder 617-638-4036
Lisa Sullivan lsull 617-638-5047
Clara Pereira claraper 617-414-8425
Control Center 617-638-4144
Telecommunications Help Desk 617-414-4500
Ed Media/Room Scheduling 617-638-4040
Security 617-414-4444
Essential Employees
Receptionist 617-638-4684
Student Services Rep 617-638-5059
Registrar’s Office Rep 617-638-4963