Interim Policy on Catastrophic Events and Continuity of Operations

Crisis and emergency management preparation is an essential function for Averett University (AU). 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 AU’s faculty, staff, and students.


Catastrophic Events and Continuity of Operations

AU 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 (Canvas) and other workspace collaboration tools, to minimize the likelihood of noticeable service interruption. Further, the Information Security Policies and Standards (OP 025.2) ensures that systems are protected from vulnerabilities, adequately secured, and backed up to prevent record destruction and/or data loss.

The university utilizes cloud backup services to store and protect our data. This includes an online managed backup service that provides the university with a system for the backup, storage, and recovery of computer files. Backups are performed on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. This is a cost-effective, secure, and scalable backup solution that protects and stores enterprise-wide university data.

University back and recovery procedures are tested and verified on an annual basis to ensure the processes work both in the backup and recovery steps and that our data is accessible and readily available in the event of an outage, systems failure, or natural disaster.

Policies Ensuring Continuity of Operations & Emergency/Crisis Response

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

  • Permanent Academic Records Interim 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 Policies for Traditional Students, Averett Online Financial Aid FAQs: Program Withdrawals):provide guidance for ensuring that financial refunds are processed timely and consistently and in accordance with AU 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 Response Plan (ERP): provides detailed emergency instructions for AU 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 AU 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

AU students will be notified by the 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.

Responsible party

The Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Chief Operating Officer are responsible for this policy.

Policy Review

This policy is to be reviewed every three years.


This policy is located on the Campus Security webpage: