(This message was originally sent on October 1, 2020. It is being published here for preservation.)
Dear Department Chairs, Associate Deans, Deans, Vice-Chancellors and colleagues:
Student success – Enrollment, Retention, and Graduation
As the News Bureau reported today, overall enrollment for the fall is up 3.5% based on the four-week census date. Record numbers include the overall retention rate (89.4%) and the six-year graduation rate (73%). Much of this success can be attributed to an early intervention program identifying and addressing issues freshmen face and connecting them with the resources they need, whether it is financial hardship, academic challenges, or stress. Behind every number and statistic on retention and graduation is a student whose life and journey is impacted by the work you do – thank you for taking the time to care and for making a difference in the lives of our learners.
Registering for Spring 2021
The schedule of courses will become visible to students in myZou today. Thank you to all the faculty who have been figuring out what courses to offer, what modality to offer them in, and what kinds of activities and assignments work best in this new learning environment. Early registration will begin on October 28.
We want to remind everyone that, unlike for the Fall semester, students will now be registering for courses with the modality (online, blended, traditional) of the course already set. This will mean that students have much greater control over what kinds of courses they enroll in. If faculty believe that a different modality would be better for the pedagogy in their course, they should work with their chairs to establish that as soon as possible. Also, a resource is forthcoming shortly from the Teaching For Learning Center that will help faculty ask the kinds of questions necessary to determine a course’s best modality.
Support for Graduate Students
The campus is responding to the needs of our graduate students during this time in multiple ways. In terms of direct and immediate support: any graduate student who self-reports being positive will be contacted by a contract tracer/member of the CARE team. They should let the CARE team know that they need temporary housing and the Dean of Student’s Office will arrange a hotel space and meals for them. For graduate students who need to quarantine or isolate away from their home (because they don’t have access to a private bedroom and bathroom), the university will make space available for their use. For graduate students who had to pay for a hotel room to isolate or quarantine, we will reimburse their costs. Additionally, a donation of $20,000 has been made to the food pantry and the University will make additional donations through colleges/schools. Lastly, the Chancellor has allocated $500,000 for bridge funds for doctoral students who could not complete their dissertation due to the disruptions in COVID. More information about how to request these funds for the Summer 2021 or Fall 2021 semesters will be announced in the next few weeks.
Earlier today Ryan Rapp (VP for Finance, UM System) and Rhonda Gibler (VC for Finance, MU) shared an update on our budget. Please make sure to talk to your faculty about the University’s current budget situation. This should help guide everyone as decisions are made within individual departments, colleges, and units.
Mizzou’s United Way campaign kicked off this week and will continue through December 1. Employees can pledge online at unitedway.missouri.edu and may choose to make your gift through payroll deduction. Read more at the Heart of Missouri United Way or watch the kick-off video with Marshall Stewart.
As we approach November 3, 2020, election day, we encourage everyone to vote. The Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) has requested faculty to allow students the time they need to exercise their civic duty of voting and serving as poll workers. Please encourage faculty in your departments and colleges to do the same.
Thank you for all you do and for your leadership during these challenging times.