Business Continuity at The University of Iowa


Welcome to the business continuity program page for The University of Iowa.  On this page you will find general information about the UI business continuity (BC) program and the continuity planning tool that the UI will utilize to assist departments to create flexible all-hazard plans.

For purposes of planning at the UI, business continuity is defined as the continuity of critical functions following an incident that overwhelms normal everyday operations.  Continuity planning is a separate, though complimentary, activity from disaster recovery, which historically applied to information technologies related activities. Disaster recovery (DR) planning efforts take place within UI Information Technology Services (ITS).  Continuity planning is also distinguished from emergency preparedness, which focuses on immediate response efforts to protect human life and property. Business continuity can be thought of as the big picture, with some details, that can be documented prior to a disaster to ensure that the UI can continue to perform all operations necessary to meet its threefold mission of education, research and service. 

Business Continuity Goals

Institutional goals of business continuity at The University of Iowa include:

  1. Reduce disruption to normal operations following a disaster by conducting education and planning in advance.
  2. Increase knowledge of institutional interdependencies and reliance on shared resources.
  3. Increase rapid decision making abilities at both the departmental and institutional level during and immediately following a disaster.
  4. Reduce a variety of potential losses by identifying issues that may arise during an incident.
    • UI potential losses could be human life loss or bodily injury; short or long-term research; academic interruptions (suspended classes); or financial revenue from a multitude of sources (athletic events, performances, etc.).
  5. Identify strategies to protect operations, including:
    • Insurance
    • Cross-training of individuals to ensure personnel coverage for critical functions
    • Off-site back-ups and/or separation of risks
    • Contracting and purchasing options where other academic institutions may be able to temporarily remotely support UI functions
    • Plan to move select personnel to an alternate facility following a disaster
    • Designate who can work from home during a disaster and who must be available at assigned physical locations
  6. Protect institutional reputation by demonstrating a commitment to uphold The University of Iowa's tripartite missions of education, research and service.
  7. Discover and eliminate errors such as faulty assumptions before they cause loss of resources.
  8. Recognize the need for written documentation of policies and processes, thereby reducing reliance on key individuals who may be unavailable during or following an incident.

Business Continuity Planning and Kuali Ready

Business Continuity Planning and Kuali Ready The University of Iowa has a subscription to Kuali Ready, a continuity planning tool originally developed by the University of California at Berkeley specifically for use at institutions of higher learning. The UI is an early adapter and was one of the first universities in the United States to sign up for Kuali Ready when subscriptions were opened in July 2010.

Kuali Ready is accessible to The University of Iowa community through the following link:

Beginning in 2011, the Department of Risk Management will provide training and access to Kuali Ready for University of Iowa departments interested in using Kuali Ready to create business continuity plans. Initial priorities will be provided to units that previously completed a continuity of operations plan for the UI Pandemic Influenza Response Plan or experienced disruption following the flood of 2008.