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University of Missouri System President Mun Choi sent the following to faculty, staff and students on March 15:
Dear students, faculty, staff and administrators,
Thank you for your extraordinary efforts to support our response to the COVID-19 situation. As we have previously shared, we will continue to provide frequent updates to our communities as we adapt to evolving circumstances.
Unprecedented situations require unprecedented efforts, and we are proud of the tremendous work from all of our faculty, staff and students over the last few weeks in preparing for the possibility that in-person instruction would have to be suspended.
Beginning Monday, March 16, our universities will join many other higher education institutions around the country in taking all of their academic programs onto remote learning platforms.
We view this week, the final week before spring break, as a soft launch of our new remote learning platforms. This allows our faculty, students and staff to familiarize themselves with new tools and new practices. We want everyone to take this time to ensure technologies are working properly and that communication is flowing effectively between faculty and students.
Tomorrow, remote coursework will commence at all four universities as we’ve planned. And we ask that everyone exhibits flexibility and understanding for our students, faculty and staff to adjust. During this week, there will be no penalties for missed connections, or assignments, tests or quizzes. It is important for faculty to communicate with their students and for students to provide input to their faculty to address situations as they develop. If we discover areas for further instruction or training, we will quickly provide assistance and resources to those who need them.
We have confidence in our university communities to rise to this occasion. But we also move forward recognizing that we will face some challenges as all of our faculty, students and staff master using our remote learning platforms. We all share a commitment to achieving high quality remote learning programs.
This entire experience will inspire new skills and creative solutions that will benefit our university communities in the future long after the COVID-19 situation.
As this soft launch begins, please utilize the following resources and let us know of any problems so they can be quickly addressed. Also watch for university-specific communications, resources and guidance in the coming days.
Finally, we strongly encourage students to login to Canvas and complete the Online Student Orientation at your university as soon as possible, if you have not done so already.
Mun Y. Choi, President, UM System
Alexander N. Cartwright, Chancellor, MU
C. Mauli Agrawal, Chancellor, UMKC
Mohammad Dehghani, Chancellor, Missouri S&T
Kristin Sobolik, Interim Chancellor, UMSL