Guidelines on Maintaining Operations during a Pandemic

The College of Southern Maryland seeks to protect its students, faculty, staff, visitors, and its facilities during widespread health emergencies. To that end, the college has established procedures to maintain operational continuity and recovery when a CSM, Maryland, or Federal State of Emergency is declared or the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) is activated.


  • Pandemic: A widespread public health emergency with the potential to cause significant injuries or deaths, shut down the college, and/or significantly disrupt operations.  It is assumed that many college operations will be executed remotely.
  • Emergency Management Operations Team (EMOT) and Emergency Management Policy Group (EMPG): College leadership who are assembled and directed by the President and the Chief Operating Officer to plan for, guide, respond to, and recover from a crisis. The EMOT and the EMPG are the teams identified in the college’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).
  • Essential College Operations: College operations that must be maintained at all times. In the event of a pandemic, these operations are instruction, student support, information systems, business operations, physical plant maintenance, and public safety.
  • Core Staff (Tier 1 plus Leadership Responsibilities): Employees whose assigned job duties and responsibilities are considered critical (and necessary) to maintain the essential operations of the college when a State of Emergency is declared, or the COOP is activated due to pandemic. Core employees are those needed to meet the immediate needs of essential college operations.
  • Tier 1 Employees (Full Work Mode): Tier 1 employees are those assigned maintaining essential college operations.  Tier 1 employees include faculty, designated Continuing Education instructors, and selected student services personnel, as well as employees responsible for maintaining infrastructure systems.
  • Tier 2 Employees (Partial Work Mode): Tier 2 employees may be assigned tasks or part of their work to be completed remotely during modified hours for a specified period of time.  Generally, these assigned duties and responsibilities are not immediately critical to maintaining the essential operations of the college; however, the college has determined they need to continue during the disruption.
  • Tier 3 Employees (Limited Work Mode): Tier 3 employees are considered to be “on call,” and will generally be assigned to limited duties during the emergency and will be fully recalled once normal college operations resume.

Activating Emergency Operations:

As a general practice, the College of Southern Maryland makes every effort to maintain its normal schedule of operations. However, in the event of a pandemic, the college may close facilities, modify hours of operation, or operate remotely. At such times, the college has a prescribed method for evaluating and communicating these changes to college students, faculty, staff, and the general public. This procedure directs faculty and staff work requirements during a pandemic, not payroll assumptions.

  • Decision to Authorize Tiered Work Modes
    The college president (or designee) has the sole authority to make decisions regarding any changes to the normal operating schedule of the college.

  • Assignment of Core Staff Status:
    The college uses the term Core Employees to identify those employees who are required to work during an emergency event to maintain essential college operations.

    President Council and other designated leaders will determine the critical operations within their respective units and ensure that those essential services are maintained during a pandemic. They shall coordinate with Emergency Management Policy Group in order to maintain consistency and continuity. 
  • Telecommuting from Home or Alternate Work Locations:
    During a pandemic Core Staff, Tier 1, and Tier 2 employees should be prepared to work remotely. Those employees should follow all college protocols for access to and approval for remote work.

  • Levels of Operations 
    • Full – all campus and online systems are fully operational. 
    • Reduced –most instruction moved online. Student support and administrative offices open. 
    • Compressed – all instruction online. Minimal onsite student support and administrative services. 
    • Remote – all instruction and most work functions operate remotely. On campus access restricted to authorized personnel.