School Closings Policy

  1. Purpose – This policy is implemented to ensure that the Creighton School of Dentistry operates in a manner which is safe for faculty, staff, students and patients during University announced closures.
  2. Scope – This policy pertains to faculty, staff, students and patients of the School of Dentistry during announced University closing due to inclement weather or other conditions impacting operations.
  3. Authority/Administrative Office – The Office of the Dean, Dean of Clinics and Operations Director.
  4. Definitions – key words necessary for understanding the document.
  5. Policy – The School of Dentistry will follow University closure announcements with the following exceptions:
    If closure occurs during normal operating hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) the following protocols apply. 
    Clinical Care in Progress:
    The School of Dentistry’s will, in the best interest of our patients, continue operations until patients under active care have their care completed and that patients in transit are assisted to the degree possible on a case by case basis upon arrival by means of care or rescheduling, whichever is determined to be the most appropriate given conditions at hand.
    Once alerted as to the University’s closing, procedural care started on patients in the clinic environment will continue under faculty direction and be taken to logical points of conclusion. Consideration must be given to the safety of patients, faculty, staff and students under presenting closing conditions. If the patient desires to leave due to the nature of the closing, the faculty member will determine if temporization or completion would be the appropriate course of care.
    A variety of other circumstances may emerge that require consideration (for example: the patient has just been seated in the clinical environment and procedural care has not started; patients arrive and are waiting for their upcoming appointment; the late arriving patient; patients present who have traveled extensive distances; or whether or not to start care when the patient presents with infection/pain or is at risk for the development of an emergency scenario in the near term if care is not initiated). Therefore, a case by case management strategy will be employed.
    Under most circumstances, the faculty, patient and student should discuss reasonable care options (from rescheduling to completion of planned care) representing the best interests of the patient from a dental/systemic health standpoint as well as their general safety given conditions of the closing. Adjudication of these decisions and differences in opinions as to how to proceed will be managed through the Dean of Clinics in conjunction with the Operations Director.
    Further, the School will designate essential staff personal required to remain on duty with the faculty and students to assure safe clinical care, exiting of the building and the closing down of general operations. Staff will comply with procedures outlined below for time reporting. Staff will not leave the School of Dentistry until released from work by their manager, the Dean of Clinics or the Operations Director.
    Non-Clinical Course Delivery in Progress:
    Lecturing faculty will have the discretion to finish lecturing at the most appropriate stopping point or at the next schedule break between classes.
    Laboratory faculty will have the discretion to finish the lab exercise at the most appropriate stopping point or at the next scheduled break between classes.
    Staff working in support of such courses will remain until the class is dismissed and equipment and supplies are appropriately stored according to standard operating procedures. Staff will comply with procedures outlined below for time reporting.
    Closing Notifications outside of Normal Business Hours
    If University closing announcements are made after the close of clinic/academic operations, faculty, staff and students will be made aware through CU Alerts and notifications on local media outlets.  Patients will be notified by means of telephone, texting and emails by a School of Dentistry contracted vendor. Patients are also made aware through local media announcements.
  6. Procedures – The university has the discretionary authority to determine how to post time when it closes because of inclement weather or adverse conditions for its hourly/non-exempt employees.  The following guidelines will be used at the School of Dentistry:
    1. Hourly (non-exempt) employees who have been designated as essential personnel and who work during emergency closings will be paid double pay. In addition to regular hours worked during the university closing, these personnel will be paid equivalent excused hours. The process will be hourly employees will report regular hours worked in addition to excused time of the equivalent time worked on the web time entry system. This will eliminate the need to ‘find’ the time to let the person be gone during normal business hours or use future “comp” time.
    2. When an employee is temporarily working in the same metropolitan area (for example, presenting or attending training) and the university closes, the employee should receive equivalent time for working.
    3. When an employee is temporarily working in another metropolitan area (for example, presenting or attending training) and the university closes, the employee should not receive equivalent time for working.
  7. Amendment Statement – Creighton University reserves the right to amend and individual units have the right to use this policy as a foundational document in the development of specific policy for that unit in order to meet its specific operating conditions or accreditation requirements with prior approval to do so.