COVID-19 Daily Update: April 6, 2020

April 10, 2020

(This message was originally sent on April 6, 2020. It is being published here for preservation.)

I hope you and your families are doing well. While we may not see each other face-to-face as often, or as much as we would like to, please know that every one of our students, staff, faculty and community in Columbia have been top of mind for all of us in the Office of the Provost, and especially for me. More now than at any other time, we need each other, and our collective strength and resilience will guide us as we deal with the challenges associated with COVID19.

Below I share the issues that were discussed in the Academic Preparedness Team over the last week:

Summer 2020 Courses

Summer 2020 courses will be delivered online. Chairs should begin consulting with faculty who are teaching summer courses and start moving those courses to an online format. There is a subcommittee working on issues related to internships and research for Summer 2020, and further information on these academic matters will be forthcoming.


As you will have already seen in the announcement of April 2, spring commencement will be postponed. A subcommittee is working on how and when we can best celebrate our graduates, and more information on this will be forthcoming.


Please see the Chancellor’s email of April 1 which describes some of the disruptions to zoom meetings that our community, and communities across the country, have been experiencing. These can be very disturbing. Please familiarize yourselves with ways to protect your meetings from these acts.

Upcoming Meetings

In the coming weeks we will be holding meetings with faculty by college. All faculty in the colleges are invited, as this is an opportunity to ask questions and raise issues that are specific to your school or college. Faculty will be receiving invitations to these shortly. The first two will be:

April 6th – 1pm : School of Nursing
April 8th – 11am: School of Medicine (Tentative)

Academic Integrity

We know that academic integrity issues will be a challenge over the next few weeks. Many of you are administering exams and quizzes in ways we have not done before. We should remain faithful to our commitment to academic integrity and to fairness in our virtual classrooms, although we will not be able to prevent all instances of dishonesty. Many of the technologies available for us have tools to reduce the risk of cheating and to detect plagiarism. Let’s remind students of the Mizzou Honor Pledge: I strive to uphold the University values of respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence. On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this work. Please ask them to reaffirm their commitment to submitting their own work and to Mizzou’s core values.

Mental Health

You have received several emails with mental health resources in them. Here is a compilation of those resources for you:

  • The MU Counseling Center is offering crisis and consultation services 24/7 by phone at 573-882-6601.
  • MU Psychological Services Clinic is offering brief (1-5 sessions) therapy for children and adults who would like support in coping with stress and anxiety related to the life and routine changes due to COVID-19. All sessions will be delivered via videoconference or telephone. Information is available at:

  • We recently introduced our campus to Sanvello, a free mental health app that was introduced to the campus earlier this year and that helps users manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • The Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential counseling services and occupational stress programs to eligible employees and their dependents.
  • The National Grad Crisis-Line is staffed by trained counselors who understand unique grad student needs/struggles: 877-GRAD-HLP.
  • Free weekly Zoom sessions for mindfulness (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 12 p.m.) and yoga (Monday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 8:30 a.m.) available to all faculty, staff and students.


  • Goldwater Scholars – Competing with over 1,340 applicants, two of our students, Jonathan Fajen (second–year Chemistry student) and Mollie Harrison (third-year Chemical Engineering student), were chosen with 394 others to be 2020 Goldwater Scholars. As you may know, the Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious national recognition for excellence in undergraduate research. Jonathan aspires to “obtain a PhD in chemistry and study fundamental problems using synthetic and computational techniques.” Mollie intends to earn a PhD in chemical engineering, “conducting advanced drug delivery systems research at the National Institutes of Health, a hospital, or in industry to improve and create disease treatments.” Congratulations Jonathan and Mollie, and kudos to our faculty and staff who help our students succeed.
  • Mark Twain Scholars – This past week, I was fortunate to participate in a virtual celebration as we recognized the finalists for Mizzou’s Mark Twain Fellowship (MTF). Established by Chancellor Emeritus Deaton, the MTF recognizes a student who has shown a high level of academic achievement, designed a meritorious program of graduate study, and demonstrated leadership and service within MU and beyond. Something exceptional about this group of finalists is they have all advanced in the selection process for a nationally competitive award. The Mark Twain finalists are:
    • Christian Cmehil-Warn: Rhodes Scholarship finalist
    • Bryce Fuemmeler: Marshall Scholarship finalist
    • Sarah Gilmer: Fulbright U.S. Student Program semi-finalist
    • Luke Guerdan: Rhodes Scholarship finalist, Gates Cambridge Scholarship finalist, Churchill Scholarship alternate
    • Faramola Shonekan: Rhodes Scholarship finalist, Fulbright U.S. Student Program semi-finalist
    Because this was a virtual event, we were able to connect with past Mark Twain scholar alumni across the country and across world. We had alumni from New York City, San Jose, and Dublin, who zoomed in to participate in the event. In listening to each alum and to this year’s finalists, it was crystal clear that, at Mizzou, our students are doing well by doing good for the community, for society, and for humanity at large. Thank you to all our faculty and staff for helping our students realize their aspirations. Congratulations Christian, Bryce, Sarah, Luke and Faramola.

• Charles Sandage Award – Since 1996, the American Academy of Advertising has given the Charles H. Sandage Award for Teaching Excellence to an educator who excels in creating an engaging and effective teaching environment. We are delighted to share that Dr. Shelley Rodgers, from the Journalism School will receive the award this year. She is the first Mizzou professor to win this award! Congratulations Dr. Rodgers.

• Let’s Participate – Large musical ensembles are some of the very best ways to instill community in our students. We all miss this experience right now. Digital musical communities across the world are coming together right now, and Mizzou is no exception. This week, the MU School of Music will showcase the first of several virtual performances for all to enjoy. The first one is the “MU Alma Mater Project.” Further details can be found on the School of Music’s Facebook page – click here to view the same and be sure to participate.

Clearly we have much to applaud, and celebrate. I wish you my best and hope to see you at one of our upcoming meetings.

Thank you for all you do.

Latha Ramchand