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Public Health and Safety Response Policy

Policy Information

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Effective Date: 
September 1, 2020
Last Revised Date: 
August, 2022
Responsible Unit: 
Dean of Students Office / Human Resources

Purpose and Summary

This Policy provides for the Health and Safety of the University of Arizona (University) Community during a Pandemic and other Health or Safety emergencies.

The University President is responsible for the management of the University under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). This includes taking any necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the University Community.


This Policy applies to the University Community.


Educator means any University employee responsible for teaching, advising, or instructing undergraduate and/or graduate students.

Health and Safety means personal security; public safety; emergency preparedness; public health; workplace safety; protection of environmental and physical resources; and safe and healthful facilities and service delivery.

Pandemic means an outbreak of a disease across a country or the world that is declared a pandemic by the State of Arizona and/or a federal public health authority.

State of Emergency means the existence of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons or property within the state caused by air pollution, fire, flood or floodwater, storm, epidemic, riot, earthquake or other causes, as proclaimed by the Governor of Arizona (defined by ARS § 26-301.15).

University Community means any of the following individuals: (a) University student; (b) University employee; or (c) third party, including but not limited to, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and designated campus colleagues.


A. University Public Health and Safety

It is the duty of the University Community to take necessary Health and Safety precautions to help protect one another during a Pandemic, public health, safety, or other State of Emergency. During such emergencies, the University President or their designee will evaluate and employ a number of strategies and resources as part of public Health and Safety response planning.

Public Health and Safety response planning may include imposing restrictions on certain behaviors or requiring individuals to take specific actions (collectively, “Health and Safety Measures”). Health and Safety Measures that impose requirements must be approved by the President or their designee. Health and Safety Measures may take the form of administrative directives, policies, procedures, as well as enforcing applicable laws, government orders, or ordinances. 

B. Guiding Principles

The following principles will guide public Health and Safety response planning at the University:

  1. the University is committed to monitoring and addressing emerging Health and Safety issues;
  2. the University seeks to provide a safe, secure, and healthy environment in which the University Community can achieve their educational, research, outreach, service, and employment goals;
  3. the University is committed to promoting a safe environment for the University community who participate in events or use resources, facilities, and services;
  4. the University is committed to working with local, state, national, and global public health officials and subject matter experts as needed in responding to a public health emergency; and
  5. the University is committed to providing open and timely communications regarding its decisions and Health and Safety plans.

C. Mutual Responsibility

The University Community must comply with Health and Safety Measures to fulfill their mutual responsibilities to maintain positive health and safety conditions for the benefit of the University Community.

Members of the University Community may seek an accommodation or exemption to the Health and Safety Measures based on disability, medical condition, or religious beliefs.

Compliance and Responsibilities

A. Policy Oversight and Enforcement

College, Unit, and Department supervisors are responsible for the enforcement and oversight of the University Health and Safety Measures and this Policy as it applies to employees and to those individuals, programs, and activities for whom and which they are responsible.

The Dean of Students or their designee is responsible for the enforcement and oversight of the University Health and Safety Measures and this Policy as it pertains to students. Educators have authority to enforce the University Health and Safety Measures and this Policy in their classrooms, laboratories, and other spaces of learning and exploration in their domain. In accordance with ABOR Policy 5-308 (Student Code of Conduct), the University will hold students responsible for their off-campus conduct if it presents a health, safety, or security risk to the University Community. 

The University seeks to achieve compliance with its Health and Safety Measures through educational efforts. A University Community member's failure to follow required Health and Safety Measures may result in disciplinary action according to relevant student or employment policies and procedures.

Any exceptions to this Policy must be approved by the University President or their designee.

Frequently Asked Questions*



Related Information*

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic by the University is based on guidance from public health officials or current research. As guidance or research changes, the University Community may be asked to follow processes and procedures not specified in this Policy. For the most current COVID-19 information, please visit the University COVID-19 Response website.

For information about accessibility concerns related to Health and Safety Measures, visit the Disability Resource Center website.

For information about religious accommodations related to Health and Safety Measures:

Student Conduct University Policy

University Staff Standards of Conduct Policy

University Handbook for Appointed Personnel

University Religious Accommodation Policy

University Disability Resource Center

Revision History*

08/11/2022: this revision includes:

1.   Change in policy status from Interim to Permanent.

2.   Revisions to Definitions, second paragraph added to Policy Section C - Mutual Responsibilities, and revisions to Related Information section.

09/2020: New Interim Policy.

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

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