N. Policy on Temporary Emergency Measures

Georgetown University is a diverse, open academic community dedicated to creating and communicating knowledge and educating women and men to be the next generation of global citizens.  To maintain this thriving community, the most basic responsibility of the University is to provide a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff, and others so they can participate fully in the life of the University.  The openness and free exchange of ideas central to the community is dependent upon a safe environment. Yet, the size, complexity and prominence of the University exposes it to a wide range of threats, natural and manmade, internal and external.  

As the chief executive officer, the President is ultimately responsible for maintaining a safe environment for faculty, staff and students.  In carrying out this responsibility, the President has the authority to implement temporary emergency measures to protect the community, to take steps to prevent, mitigate, and respond to safety and security threats, and to ensure prompt recovery.  The President may delegate authority to appropriate University officials and may work, as necessary, with external authorities. The President must exercise this authority with due consideration for the rights of individual members of the community, including liberty, privacy and free expression, and within the resource constraints of the University.

The University endeavors to make decisions in a collaborative and deliberative manner.  This approach, however, may not be possible when presented with serious and imminent safety or security threats.  Accordingly, when the President determines that there is a serious risk to the safety of the University or to the health of the University community that requires immediate action, the President is authorized to take any action that, in the President’s reasonable judgment, is necessary, legal, and appropriate under the circumstances, including acting outside of standard University procedures.  When doing so, the President will notify and consult with relevant faculty and administration leaders as soon as practicable, and unless there are exceptional circumstances, within no more than three days. If the President is unavailable or incapacitated, then the Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer or the relevant Executive Vice President, as appropriate, may act in the President’s stead.  In the case of the Qatar campus, if the President and Provost are unavailable or incapacitated, then the Dean of Georgetown University Qatar may act in their stead.