Catastrophic Events and Continuity of Operations Policy


Crisis and emergency management preparation is an essential function for EMU. The university will mitigate the impact of crisis situations and operational disruptions on its campus community through implementing policies and procedures that provide for continuity of operations in cases of a catastrophic event.


To provide guidance for a safe and efficient response to disruptive events that impact EMU’s faculty, staff, and students.


Catastrophic Events and Continuity of Operations

EMU maintains and adheres to specific policies and procedures regarding crisis situations, catastrophic events and program discontinuances in order to minimize the length of time that students’ educational activities are disrupted and, when applicable, minimize the length of time that students, faculty, and staff are displaced.

Continuity of Operations

Operational Systems

The university leverages highly available educational technologies such as the Learning Management System (Moodle) and the Google Workspace collaboration platform, which are hosted in the “cloud”, to minimize the likelihood of noticeable service interruption. Further, the Information Systems Policy on Security of Information Technology Resources ensures that systems are protected from vulnerabilities, adequately secured, and backed up to prevent record destruction and/or data loss.

Policies Ensuring Continuity of Operations & Emergency/Crisis Response

The following EMU policies and procedures are also intended to help mitigate the impact of emergency events on College operations: 

  • Permanent Academic Records Policy: provides guidance for ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and security of all documents and records created, received or maintained in the course of university academic activity.
  • Refund Policies (Refund and Withdrawal Policy- Undergraduate, Refund and Withdrawal Policy-Graduate and Seminary): provide guidance for ensuring that financial refunds are processed timely and consistently and in accordance with EMU policy, and applicable federal, state and accreditation requirements. In the event that a catastrophic event occurs, the university maintains the authority to enact additional financial refunds to students that are deemed appropriate during such circumstances.
  • Emergency Operations Plan (EOP): provides detailed emergency instructions for EMU faculty, staff, students, and visitors to ensure safety and protection of property during fire, severe weather, loss of utilities, and other emergencies.

Program Discontinuances 

In the unlikely event that EMU cannot deliver the instruction for which students have enrolled, the university commits to one or more of the following courses of action, depending on each individual student’s needs:

  • Providing a reasonable alternative for delivering instruction and/or services for which students have paid
  • Providing reasonable financial refund for the education students did not receive
  • Providing assistance for transferring earned credits to other institutions

EMU students will be notified in person by university administration and then counseled about their options by their advisors. In accordance with institutional accreditation requirements, a teach-out plan will be submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) prior to its implementation.

Approved by Provost's Council, June 11, 2021

Responsible party

The provost is responsible for this policy.

Policy Review

This policy is to be reviewed every three years.


Employee Handbook, Student Handbooks