The Catholic University of America

Faculty Handbook

Section D: Special Procedures

III-D-6 Emergency Procedures


The University has standard operating procedures to provide the necessary guidance for Faculties, Staff and Students in the event of an emergency. These guidelines ensure that proper and timely action can be taken to protect the health and welfare of all members of the University and to protect property against vandalism and violence. Authority and responsibility will be delegated, as noted below, in each officer or appropriately designated individual. Active support of these guidelines by all members of the community is essential.

Emergency Council. The Emergency Council consists of the President, Provost and other Vice Presidents, General Secretary of the University, Executive Director of the Office of Public Affairs, Director of Public Safety, Assistant Director of Public Safety, General Counsel, Dean of Students, Director of Housing, Director of Facilities Planning & Construction, Director of Maintenance, Director of Environmental Health, the Director of the Counseling Center, the Chaplain, and others as may be appointed by the President. In the event of a possible or actual emergency, the members of the Emergency Council will gather in the Office of the provost, 103 McMahon Hall, or another designated location to discuss the implementation of an emergency management plan. Only the President or, in his absence, the Provost or other designated representative will convene the Emergency Council and direct the implementation of the emergency management plan.

Procedures.  An emergency will be declared only at the direction of the President or, in his absence, the Provost or other designated representative. The President’s authority to take immediately disciplinary action and to call for assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department will be delegated to the responsible administrative officers in the circumstances outlined below. During an emergency, the Office of Public Affairs will be continuously staffed and the Director of Public Affairs will make all public statements concerning the emergency.

Levels of Response. The Provost or other designated representative of the President will determine the level of response required in a prospective or actual emergency.

  • The Vice President for Administration will be responsible for securing the University against threats or actions that undermine the safety or persons or property, including the use of the Office of Campus Security and, if deemed necessary, the Metropolitan Police Department.
  • In a protest or demonstration by students in which disruption is not threatened, the Vice President for Student Affairs will be responsible for assembling administrative officers, members of the Faculties, and students as required to establish means for prompt response to the cause of complaint or to immediate circumstances.
  • In the event of the occupation of buildings or property or other disruptions that constitute interference with normal functioning, the Provost will be responsible for securing cessation of the interference and for this purpose may invoke disciplinary penalties, including the suspension and expulsion of students.