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UM System President Mun Choi sent the following email on March 19:
Dear Staff, Faculty, Students and Friends,
As we continue to watch the COVID-19 crisis unfold, new developments – and our subsequent decisions – are occurring on an hour-by-hour basis. While we have taken many actions to help prevent the spread of the disease, we must do more.
Effective 12 a.m. Monday, March 23, I am issuing a presidential directive that no one physically works on our universities unless they are requested to do so by an appropriate supervisor. This action excludes MU Health Care and our ongoing clinical operations. This directive will be in effect through Sunday, April 12, at 11:59 p.m. At this time, employees should expect to report back to their work site on Monday, April 13.
Staff and faculty will either work remotely if they can or, if that is not possible, they will be paid through enhanced leave measures that we are putting into place.
Faculty will continue remote teaching through the end of this week (Friday, March 20) and resume remote teaching Monday, March 30, following spring break.
I know there will be questions about how this affects certain areas of our community. To help with some of those concerns:
• Provosts, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts for Research will share specific communications with deans, associate deans, directors and department chairs on approvals for exceptions.
• Operations leaders will ensure our public safety and plant operations continue.
• Student affairs leaders will continue supporting any students with programming, mental health support, health services and any other needs.
Supervisors will have employees report in person only for duties that are necessary to continue the university operations in this interim period. Exceptions should only be made in rare cases. This directive is for every employee throughout our four universities and the UM System. Employees of MU Health Care and the MU School of Medicine, supporting direct patient care operations, will continue to follow direction from leadership and the incident command center.
Buildings will be secured during this entire period. There are some students who do not have other options to support their continuing education, including international students. Those students will be allowed to remain in our residence halls. We will continue to provide dining options and other needs.
Our universities will provide updates as quickly as possible as we work through each set of challenges, prioritizing the health of our communities.
I appreciate what each and every member of our UM family has done to help stop the spread of this disease. This situation has required that we find unconventional methods to continue our mission of serving our constituents and Missourians, and I’m proud of the commitment that we all share.
Mun Y. Choi, Ph.D