Planned power outages – Monday, March 21, 2016 2 –11 p.m.

To: UC Santa Cruz Campus Community

From:  Pamela G. Peterson, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel; Steven Stein, Associate Vice Chancellor, Staff Human Resources; Jean Marie Scott, Associate Vice Chancellor, Risk and Safety Services; Rhonda Tramble, Senior Engineer, Physical Planning & Construction

On Monday, March 21, 2016, testing to the main campus electrical system will impact power to the entire upper campus with the potential for five to eight power outages of 30-50 minutes each between 2 and 11 p.m.

Previous notice was provided to building coordinators.  The testing is related to the new Fackler Cogeneration Plant and system controls.  The outages will NOT affect lower campus buildings such as Women's Center, Carriage House, Barn G, H Barn, Family Student Housing, Faculty Housing, Cook House, ERC, childcare facilities, or off-campus buildings.

Beginning at approximately 2 p.m. (not earlier) there will be a series of five to eight power interruptions of 30-50 minutes in duration.  It is advised that units work under the assumption that the electrical power in the affected areas will be unavailable after 2 p.m. and plan their workday accordingly.

The purpose of this notice is to assist the community with preparedness.  Managers and supervisors have the responsibility for providing direction to employees, students, and volunteers, including operational decision-making. In the event of a power outage, they are responsible for employee safety and for the implementation of all related business continuity actions. Managers are asked to prepare and address any questions that individuals under their supervision may have. Please read this detailed information closely and work to ensure readiness.

Human resource information

For employees who normally work on campus during this time, the workplace may be affected by power outages. To ensure employee safety and avoid a loss of pay due to the planned outage, managers and supervisors should consider the following:
  1. A change in employee schedule – an employee’s work schedule may be adjusted to work around the power outage period;
  2. A change in employee work location – an employee may be directed to work at an unaffected on-campus site or off-campus university-managed site, or to telecommute;
  3. Scheduling an off-site training – managers may select to schedule a department training at an off-campus site; 
  4. Vacation or compensatory time off (CTO) – Managers may approve advance requests for vacation or CTO in accordance with policy and labor agreements.  Managers may not, however, curtail operations and require employees to use vacation or CTO;
  5. Administrative leave with pay – Although not expected, if specific campus operations are officially determined to be inaccessible, the campus provost/executive vice chancellor may approve administrative leave with pay for those employees who are expected to work but are unable.   Managers will be notified should administrative leave with pay be approved.
Facilities information
  1. Emergency power – The standard emergency power supply for the campus, inclusive of emergency lighting will be operable during the scheduled outage.
  2. Lighting – Managers should ensure that there is adequate lighting to support a safe workplace.  If a workplace does not have enough light to work, please reassign the employee workspace.  It’s also best to ensure that employees and offices have flashlights on hand.
  3. Elevators and accessibilityBuilding coordinators, divisional facilities staff, building managers, or supervisors will need to post signage at all floors indicating they should not be used during the testing period, 2-11 p.m.  Please prepare signage in advance and assign the posting to a specific person.  Use of the elevators during this time could result in entrapment within the elevators requiring a fire department response.  Anyone needing an elevator to access their place of work or general campus activity should consult with their supervisor for alternative accessibility options and work locations for the time of the outage.
  4. Housing and residential areas – Although it is spring break, there will be students living throughout all residential areas.  UCSC Dining operations will be closed.  A separate, detailed message will be issued to residential students.
Communications information

 Information about significant impacts will be posted on the campus home page,, under the “University News” section.  

 In addition to updating the webpage as information warrants, the Public Information Office will:
  1. Record information on the campus's communications hotline, 459-INFO (831-459-4636).
  2. Relay information on a regular basis to KZSC Radio (88.1 FM) for broadcast.
  3. Share information via Twitter,
ITS information

All campus services hosted in the Data Center will remain operational. Campus websites, digital and analog telephones, 911, Blue Light phones (apart from the cellular locations), and the two-way radio systems will also be operational. Please note the following that may experience service interruptions:
  1. Network service in many campus buildings will be disrupted.
  2. CruzNet and eduroam wireless access may experience intermittent outages.
  3. Campus cellular phone service will have limited coverage.
  4. Blue Light emergency phones that rely on cellular connectivity may be impacted.
  5. Buildings with VoIP telephones that have no backup generator will lose power if the battery run time expires.
  6. Research clusters hosted in the Data Center will be shut down.
  7. MyUCSC – although applications housed in the campus Data Center will remain fully functional during the outage, faculty and staff working on campus should be prepared for building network outages which could disrupt connections to campus systems. Faculty especially should take precautions if entering grades via MyUCSC from their office or any campus building during the outage period, as a sudden network outage could result in lost work. Precautions include saving often, working from a non-campus location, or refraining from entering grades (or performing other critical systems-related work) during the outage window.
Emergency services

All campus emergency services will be operational including UCSC PD, dispatch and Santa Cruz Fire.  Per standard protocols, emergency response needs should be obtained via 9-1-1.  Please do not contact dispatch for general outage questions or issues.  These concerns should be directed to campus managers and supervisors.

Additional resources

The campus police department and Office of Emergency Services have multiple resources available on their websites. Emergency preparedness, training resources, and contacts:
If you have questions, please consult with your direct supervisor or department manager.