MSU Human Resources >> Policies-procedures >> University-wide >> Modified Operations Policy FAQs


faqs - modified operations policy 

While it is rare that the university is forced to modify operations/services, employees need to know their departments’ procedures should this happen. Respective unit leadership will communicate any additional guidance, if applicable. Please note that only the President, or authorized designee, may decide to move to modified operations. Colleges, departments, schools, and other campus units cannot move to an official period of modified operations on their own. Please review the Modified Operations Policy and Procedure for complete information. 

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding the university's policy and procedures regarding modified operations.  

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The President decides, in consultation with the MSU Chief of Police and appropriate individuals given each unique set of circumstances that may arise. It is important to remember that it is rare to declare a period of Modified Operations, and when it does happen, the period is generally short-term.

If the university moves to modified operations, University Communications will notify local news outlets and will place messages on the University’s homepage www.msu.edu and on various social media networks.  The Michigan State University Police Department will issue an Emergency Notification message. 

Now is a good time to review your preferences at MSU Alert. By visiting http://alert.msu.edu/ , members of the MSU community can sign up for alerts via landline phone message, text message and e-mail.

In the absence of a specific announcement to the contrary, all classes, operations, and other functions continue as normally scheduled.

If operations are moved to Classes Canceled, all employees are expected to report to work as usual. Although the university is open during periods of adverse conditions, supervisors may alter work schedules to make allowances for unique travel problems. Employees are advised to use discretion and caution regarding their health and safety. Employees must still account for their normal workday by working or taking vacation leave.

If the university enters Modified Operations, classes are canceled and non-essential operations are suspended.  Only critical employees with essential functions as designated by their supervisor and/or as defined in the department’s BCP should report to work at their campus work location.

Please review the Modified Operations Policy for more information.

No. If the university enters modified operations, classes are canceled and non-essential operations are suspended.

No. If the university enters modified operations, classes are canceled and non-essential operations are suspended. 

Faculty and academic staff deemed non-critical may use their professional judgement in deciding to engage in work during periods of modified operations, so long as they do not interfere with emergency operations .

For research labs, in many cases graduate assistants (and faculty and staff) still need to report to campus to perform essential animal welfare activities, manage critical resources (such as cultured cells), and/or ensure the continuity of important experiments. Such requirements should be established in advance by way of the governing unit’s Business Continuity Plan. Leaders will need to communicate with those that will be required to respond.

All clinical settings have emergency procedures that will be enacted. As each situation is different, leaders will communicate with those that will be require to respond.

No, students should not participate in clinical activities, either on-site or off-site, while the university is in modified operations. Appropriate arrangements for make-up work will be coordinated between the student, faculty, administrative coordinators and/or clinical sites. These considerations should be established in advance by way of the governing unit’s Business Continuity Plan.

Students and faculty in cohort clinicals must communicate with their clinical instructor and see if it is safe to travel. If travel is deemed unsafe, faculty will then communicate with the undergraduate Program Coordinator and Course Coordinator to authorize cancelation of a clinical. Every effort is made to communicate a “travel” plan the night before predicted storms, since our students and faculty often must travel very early in the morning to get to their clinical experience. Appropriate arrangements for make-up work will be coordinated between the student, faculty, administrative coordinators and/or clinical sites. These considerations should be established in advance by way of the governing unit’s Business Continuity Plan.

Students in a precepted experience should communicate directly with their preceptor at their clinical site (i.e., hospital) and their assigned faculty (via text) that they have to cancel their shift related to the university’s modified operations. Appropriate arrangements for make-up work will be coordinated between the student, faculty, administrative coordinators and/or clinical sites. These considerations should be established in advance by way of the governing unit’s Business Continuity Plan.

Non-critical support staff should not work during a period of modified operations. Employees who work on-premise, despite being designated as non-critical, and/or despite instructions to the contrary from their supervisors, may be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.

Each unit has Business Continuity Plans and will communicate expectations based on the situation at hand. Based on the current modified operations policy, employees that work remotely or on premise during the designated period will be allowed commensurate time off to be scheduled later. See modified operations policy.

All departments should update their Business Continuity Plan, share it with employees and retain it in the unit.

Units should not move to cancel classes or other activities unilaterally without discussion with appropriate leadership if there is not an official period of modified operations. The decision to move to modified operations shall be made by the President or authorized designee. Colleges, departments, schools, and other campus units will not move to modified operations on their own.

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