University Administrative Policies


UNM_Policy_Office-L communicates important policy announcements (such as policy approvals, revisions, or campus review-and-comment periods).

UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-2069

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 6130: Emergency Control

Date Originally Issued: 07-01-2001
Revised: 08-01-2006, 10-01-2009, 12-12-2016, 08-13-2018, 12-09-2020

Authorized by RPM 7.14 ("Risk Management and Insurance") 

Process Owner:  University Emergency Manager

1. General

The University of New Mexico has an obligation to conduct its educational, business, clinical, and support activities on a regular basis and will remain open unless conditions exist that endanger the University community or impact the ability to operate. This policy describes the response of the University during such an event, which shall be referred to as an “incident.” In cases of a weather related emergency, this policy may supplement UAP 3435 (“Inclement Weather").

This policy describes the responsibilities of staff, faculty, and students at University entities in Albuquerque during an incident.  Although this policy is specifically designed for the Albuquerque campus, in the event of an emergency at any of the branch campuses or at UNM West, main campus Emergency Operations Center personnel are ready to provide support and technical assistance (see also Section 2.1 below).  

2. Emergency Control

The University will conduct incident response in accordance with national standards, such as those established by the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the National Response Framework (NRF), and the Incident Command System (ICS)

2.1. Emergency Operations Plan

To minimize the adverse effects of an incident, the University has developed an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) to serve as the framework for incident response.  The EOP will be implemented when the University or its surrounding community has been subjected to an incident that exceeds, or has a negative impact on, the resources normally available. 

The UNM Emergency Manager coordinates, maintains, and exercises the EOP.  Any University department that identifies a need for a plan specific to its operation must work with the UNM Emergency Manager to assure that its plan is coordinated and updated with the University's EOP. 

Branch campuses and UNM West shall maintain an EOP and work with the UNM Emergency Manager to coordinate and integrate their plans with the University's EOP.

2.2. Emergency Management Committee

The UNM Emergency Management Committee (EMC) is chaired by the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and composed of representatives appointed by the chair from major areas of the University. The Committee reviews incidents, plans, exercises, and provides recommendations to help ensure that the University is prepared to deal with any incident.

2.3. Emergency Operations Center

Support of incident response under the Incident Command System will be centralized in an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The primary role of an EOC is to bring together all relevant information about the incident in one place, organize that information into a useful format, and facilitate the coordination of resources needed to respond to the incident. The EOC will be located away from the areas of highest activity so as to avoid interference with their operations, yet the EOC will be close enough to provide reasonable access to current information. The EOC is equipped with redundant forms of communication, capable of twenty-four (24) hour operations, and secured from unauthorized access. Both a primary EOC and back-up location have been designated.

Activation of the EOC may occur under any of the following circumstances:

  • the size of the incident requires logistical support beyond that available on-scene;
  • the incident is of long duration; or
  • the magnitude of the incident requires external resources or implementation of unified command.

2.4. Emergency Declaration and Immediate Response

Individuals who encounter an emergency situation should take immediate steps to protect themselves, notify nearby endangered people, and call 911 to initiate the University's emergency response systems. If the UNM Police Department determines that the situation may become an incident, it will notify the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration (or designee).  The Chief of Police and the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration will immediately decide if an incident will be declared.

If an incident is declared, the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration will notify the University President and the EOP will be implemented. Depending on the nature of the incident, the Police will notify the appropriate individuals listed in the EOP.

2.4.1. Director of EOC and Authority to Allocate Resources

The University President has designated the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration as the EOC Director. The EOC Director is authorized to implement whatever measures are necessary to protect life and property from the effects of an incident. This includes the commitment and use of University personnel, equipment, and financial resources, and calling for assistance from other organizations, as may be required to cope with the incident.  Only the University President can modify the EOC Director's emergency control orders.

3. Work Schedules During Emergency

The effectiveness of UNM emergency control depends upon the total support and rapid response of all personnel. The EOC Director will determine which employees play a critical role in emergency control and which employees are required to leave their worksite for safety reasons. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and may affect only a portion of the University. Employees not affected by the incident will remain at their normal duty stations and follow their normal work schedules.

3.1. Critical Employees

Employees designated as critical are expected to give their full support and attention to emergency control. They will be paid for hours worked, including overtime for non-exempt employees if forty (40) hours per work week is exceeded. In addition, to acknowledge their dedication and support both exempt and non-exempt employees will be granted additional compensatory time off, at the straight-time rate, for actual hours worked during the incident. Compensatory time taken in such cases is not considered time worked for overtime compensation purposes.  If, due to the nature of the incident, compensatory time cannot be taken in accordance with the time limits listed in Section 2.3 of UAP 3310 (“Compensatory Time"), an extension may be approved by the cognizant dean, director, or department head.

3.2. Non-critical Employees Required to Leave the Work Site

Employees required to leave their worksite for safety reasons will report their time off as paid administrative leave. This time is not considered time worked for overtime compensation purposes. Employees on previously approved sick or annual leave or on a shift assignment or working in an area not affected by the incident are not eligible for the paid administrative leave.

4. Final Exam Week

If emergency control is enacted during final exam week resulting in the cancellation of an exam, instructors may elect one of the following options:

  • Assign as final grades the current grades that students have going into final exam week.
  • Make provisions for students whose exams are canceled to contact them for the re-scheduling of a make-up exam or alternative arrangements.
  • As a last resort, choose to assign incomplete grades. 

5. Clery Act Notifications

Separate from, and partially overlapping with, the University’s incident response procedures for emergency control, as appropriate, the University must issue Emergency Notifications (Alerts) and Timely Warnings (Advisories) to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998 (Clery Act).  For more information, see UAP 2745 (“Clery Act Compliance”).

5.1. Emergency Notification (Alert)

Under the Clery Act, an Emergency Notification (Alert) notifies the UNM Main and UNM West campus community of any significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on campus that involves an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees. Emergencies should be reported to the UNM Police Department by calling 911.

Once an emergency has been reported to the UNM Police Department, the on-call UNMPD Command Staff individual will make the determination to activate an Emergency Notification (Lobo Alert). The on-call individual may use the assistance of the University Communications and Marketing Department (UCAM) in crafting the wording of the message for the UNM community.

UNM branch campuses will have a designated person to activate their Emergency Notifications (Alerts), in accordance with their own campus protocols. UNM Police can provide assistance with the LoboAlerts System as needed.

Some examples of Emergency Notifications (Alerts) could include:

  • Approaching extreme weather
  • Armed intruder
  • Bomb threat
  • Explosion, fire, or gas leak
  • Serious health-related outbreak
  • Riot
  • Terrorist incident

Testing of the Emergency Notifications (Alerts) process occurs periodically, as follows:

  • The UNM siren system, email, text, social media and UNM webpages will be tested once every semester to test functionality.
  • UNM will conduct an emergency exercise once every four years using alternating locations across campus, which will include first responders who would typically respond to emergency situations.
  • UNM will conduct tabletop exercises of emergency responses every year, with the exception of the year that the live exercise is implemented.
  • UNM will evaluate these exercises upon their completion to understand their effectiveness and evaluate the goals of each test.

5.2. Timely Warning (Advisory)

When a Clery Act crime is committed within the University’s Clery geography and the situation poses a serious or continuing threat, the UNM Police Department will issue a Timely Warning (Advisory) to promote safety and aid in the prevention of similar crimes on the UNM Main or UNM West campus. The Timely Warning (Advisory) should include appropriate information as soon as it becomes available, such as location, crime, description of subject (if known), and any other pertinent details that will promote safety and aid in the prevention of similar crimes.  Additional updates may be issued as the situation evolves.

UNM Branch Campuses will have a designated person to activate their Timely Warning (Advisory) procedures, according to their own campus protocols.  The UNM Police Department can provide assistance with the Lobo Advisory System as needed.  

To require a Clery Act Timely Warning (Advisory), an incident must:

  • Involve a Clery Act crime;
  • Occur within the Clery Geography, which includes:
    • On-campus (buildings on the Albuquerque Campus);
    • Non-campus (buildings not reasonably contiguous to the Albuquerque Campus, but which are leased or owned by the University of New Mexico); and,
    • Public property (public property that is immediately adjacent to the Albuquerque Campus).
  • Be reported to a campus security authority (see Section 4 of UAP 2745) or local police authority; and,
  • Represent a serious or continuing threat to the students and employees on campus.

The determination of a “serious or continuing threat” is made by the on-call Command Staff individual at the UNM Police Department. Once the determination of a serious and continued threat has been made, the on-call Command Staff individual will activate the Timely Warning (Lobo Advisory) and may use the assistance of UCAM in crafting the wording of the message for the UNM community.

A decision as to whether to issue a timely warning and to what segment of the UNM community to advise, will be made on a case-by-case basis in light of all the facts surrounding a crime, including:

  • The location of the crime
  • The seriousness or violent nature of the crime
  • Whether there is still a continued threat to the UNM community
  • The nature of the threat, whether it is a general or specified threat

A Timely Warning (Advisory) might not be issued if it could compromise the apprehension of a suspect.

5.3. Methods of Communication

UNM will use the following methods for providing Emergency Notification (Alert) and Timely Warning (Advisory) notices:

  • UNM E-Mail: To provide faculty, staff, and students with Emergency Notifications (Alerts) and Timely Warnings (Advisories)
  • UNM Web Page: To provide information about Emergency Notifications (Alerts) and Timely Warnings (Advisories)
  • Lobo Alerts (an emergency texting system): To provide information about Emergency Notifications (Alerts) and Timely Warnings (Advisories); all UNM employees and students are automatically enrolled in this system
  • UNM Sirens (strategically placed warning sirens): To warn the campus community of a current or impending emergency situation; community members should shelter in place and look for further information through Lobo Alerts, UNM E-mail, or the UNM Web Page

6.  Points of Contact

Questions or comments regarding incident response during an emergency may be addressed to the UNM Emergency Manager through the UNM Police Department (505) 277-2241.  Questions or comments regarding the University’s Emergency Notifications and Timely Warnings under the Clery Act may be addressed to the Clery Compliance Officer.

7. References

UAP 2745 (“Clery Act Compliance”)

UAP 3310 (“Compensatory Time")

UAP 3435 (“Inclement Weather")