COVID-19: A message from Chancellor Dehghani: Spring break update

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On March 24, 2020

Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani sent the following message to students, staff and faculty on March 24:

Dear Colleagues and Distinguished Friends,

I continue to be amazed at how the Missouri S&T community came together to rally around a common cause. Over the course of just two days last week, the faculty transitioned to delivering essentially our entire suite of courses online. In matter of hours this past Saturday, a group of our students, faculty and staff came together to address a critical community need when Phelps Health reached out to ask if we could use our 3-D printers to create protective masks and face shields for their employees. In response, our students, faculty and staff from our Makerspace and the Kummer Student Design Center put over a dozen 3-D printers to work and started producing prototypes within a matter of hours. Kudos to everyone involved in this effort to help our community – including those who are helping from afar.

While the physical campus is mostly closed, let me assure you that the university is open and functioning well.

Although it is officially spring break, and while most of us are continuing the business of the university remotely for this limited time, some of our staff continue to work on-site to ensure that critical operations continue, while still maintaining social separation. I want to thank all of you who are on campus performing essential and required services. To our custodians and landscapers, student health staff, police and security officers, IT and residential life staff, counselors, food service staff, and others – thank you for continuing your important on-site work in service to our students and university community. The vast majority of our students have now departed campus. Nevertheless, for those who remain, we are committed to continuing essential services.

Our faculty also continue to work hard to maintain the high-quality S&T education our students have come to expect. This week, they are refining their curricula and remote instruction style, applying lessons learned from last week to be fully prepared to resume online classes on Monday, March 30.

Processes are in place to limit or restrict access to buildings and research laboratories. University Police will ensure buildings remained locked during this time and will monitor any necessary access.

At this time, all employees should plan to report to their work site on Monday, April 13. Also, as previously announced, all academic instruction, research and university functions will continue remotely through the end of the semester.

To our students, especially and specifically, I say, I am sorry and am terribly disappointed that the turn of events has resulted in the disruption of in-person instruction, campus activities and campus traditions such as the revered St. Pat’s events. It truly saddens me to see the campus deprived of your presence and energy. Your liveliness, participation, creativity and interaction with us, the faculty, staff and administrators, is what fuels us. I assure you that we are hard at work to do everything possible to bring us all back together at an appropriate, safe time. We will come together again and will celebrate togetherness like never before.

During this uncertain time, I appeal to all of you to practice kindness and compassion. We all are facing unusual levels of stress. Our students may need additional help in this transition to online learning. Our international students feel particularly vulnerable, given that they are away from their families. Our staff and faculty also are adjusting. All of us should be mindful of our guiding principle to protect the health, safety and well-being of the S&T community. We will continue to work together as a community, and toward that end, we are planning a virtual town hall soon after spring break to reconnect as a community.

Thank you for all you are doing in this unprecedented situation. This spring break is unlike any we have ever experienced. I hope you are taking some time to take care of yourselves. Please be safe.

Sincerely,

Mo Dehghani
Chancellor

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On March 24, 2020. Posted in Announcements, Coronavirus