COVID 19 Weekly Update (4/29)

April 29, 2020



(This message was originally sent on April 29, 2020. It is being published here for preservation.)

Dear Department chairs, Associate Deans, Deans, Vice-Chancellors and colleagues:

 This week’s update brings you some new developments as well as reminders and updates to the academic operations during this swiftly-evolving time:

General Faculty Meeting: Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 2:30-4:00 Zoom Link

Please join UM System President and MU Interim Chancellor Mun Choi and Faculty Council Chair Clark Peters for the rescheduled Spring 2020 virtual general faculty meeting. To submit a question ahead of time or during the meeting, please visit this form. This meeting will be available through a Zoom webinar and also recorded for later viewing.

 Final Exams (Reminder)

As we shared on April 14, no changes have been made to MU’s final exam policies for Spring 2020. No final exams may be held outside of the final exam week. For the Spring 2020 semester, the final exam period begins Monday, May 11th, at 7:30 a.m. and ends Friday, May 15th, at noon. You can find the SP20 final exam schedule here.

If you plan to give a traditional final exam, please try to use Canvas. Canvas allows you to do timed exams, create question banks, randomize questions, etc. See more here and here. If you require proctoring or enhanced security features, check out Proctorio and the Respondus lockdown browser. It is important to investigate these resources now, as they require advanced set-up from you and your students. The Office of eLearning is offering Proctorio trainings weekly. See our April 14 email for detailed guidelines on giving final exams this semester.

Recruiting and Retaining Students

Last week, we shared with Chairs, resources from Enrollment Management (see Connecting With Students below) to help faculty reach out to new students and check in with current students. We encourage you to ask all departments to have a plan to make these student and parent connections.

Guidance on Summer 2020 Credit Internships, Clinical Placements and Research (Updated)

Please see below the updated guidance for undergraduate student, graduate student, and postdoctoral credit internships and clinical placements and research. The italicized portions show the revisions since the last guidelines that were sent on April 14.

Stay at home directive

Earlier this week Governor Parson shared his plan for non-essential businesses to return to limited activity with social distancing precautions, among other adjustments. As shared in the email on Tuesday from VC Gary Ward, the University will follow the President/Interim Chancellor’s directive that no one may physically work on the Mizzou campus or in UM System offices unless they are requested to do so by an appropriate supervisor. We will continue under our current arrangement until further notice. Please send your requests for exceptions to deans who are coordinating this with Gary Ward and let’s all make sure we adhere to the rules for social distancing and behaviors to mitigate risk.

Applause

 If you missed the announcement last week, Dr. Steven Zweig has been named dean of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, effective April 1, 2020. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Zweig, who has been serving as interim dean for the last year.

David Schenker has been honored with the Outstanding Faculty Award by the Honors College. Dr. Schenker is a Professor in the Department of Ancient Mediterranean Studies and has been at Mizzou since 1991. His teaching has ranged widely across Classical Humanities offerings, first semester Greek and seminars on the tragedians, Plato, and other configurations of Greek literature. He is a long-standing faculty member in the Honors College, and has served as president of the MU Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Kamilla Sarvestani was selected as a Delta Scholars Program Fellow. The Delta Scholars Program is a multi-leveled immersion program for undergraduates committed to improving the lived experience of residents in the Mississippi Delta. The MU Fellow works in conjunction with the Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Fellows and the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College of Mississippi State University. The program features informational meetings with academics, policymakers, and non-profit organizations in the Delta and conduct research that focuses on food security, education, and economic development in the region in support of an approach that helps remedy the issue.

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Recommendation for Summer 2020 For Credit Internships and Clinical Placements for Undergraduate and Graduate Students (April 23, 2020 Update)

Undergraduate and graduate internships and student clinical placements are recognized as critical and formative experiences for many of our students. As always, and particularly during the current global health situation, each student and their Academic Unit should consider all opportunities thoroughly and weigh possible risks with the benefits of the internship experience.

Some academic degree programs require approved credit bearing internships for graduation. Some of these are also required by accrediting bodies. The requirements within academic programs not related to accreditation are often associated with a best practice for the discipline and widely adopted across the country by these disciplines.

With this context in mind, the following principles must be followed for all credit-bearing internships and clinical placements for Summer 2020:

  1. Any internship/clinical placement that can be done in a fully remote format is allowed
    1. Clear expectations for the intern supervisors and faculty must be established to track student work with appropriate and ongoing feedback throughout the internship experience.
  2. If remote options are not available, alternative experiences that replace the internship while still achieving the learning outcomes related to internship experiences should be pursued.
  3. In person or hybrid internships/clinical placement for credit should only be considered if there is no longer a stay-at-home order or if the placement is in an area defined as “essential” based on the local order and items 1 and 2 above are not possible or appropriate because of accreditation, licensure, or other requirements. Approvals of in person or hybrid internships/clinical placement must follow a clearly articulated process and require approval by the chair/director and dean (or their designee). Each college should design the process to review exception requests.
    1. To consider an approval, the following documentation is necessary:
  • The name of the organization hiring the intern, the location of the internship, and the start/end dates of the internship.
  • The company/organization’s commitment to upholding public health standards that address health and safety of the intern(s).
  • A job description with clear work expectations, learning outcomes and assessment for the internship.
  • The organization’s commitment to comply with labor laws
  • A statement from the student to state how they will maintain their own personal safety.

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Recommendation for Summer 2020 For Research for Undergraduate and Graduate Students (April 23, 2020 Update)

Undergraduate and graduate research is recognized for providing critical and formative experiences for many of our students. As always, and particularly during the current global health situation, each student and their Academic Unit should consider all opportunities thoroughly and weigh possible risks with the benefits of research experiences.

Some academic degree programs require research for graduation. Students also pursue research opportunities to prepare them for advanced degrees and to expand employment options. In addition, students are critical for many funded research projects

With this context in mind, the following principles must be followed for all credit-bearing and funded research for Summer 2020. Please note that credit-bearing includes dissertation and thesis hours:

  1. Any research that can be done in a fully digital and remote format is allowed.
    1. Clear expectations for the research supervisors/faculty must be established to track student work with appropriate and ongoing feedback throughout the research experience.
  2. If digital and remote options are not available, alternative experiences that replace or complement research while still achieving the learning outcomes related to research should be pursued.
  3. In person or hybrid research activities should only be considered if there is no longer a stay-at-home order or using guidance from the Office of Research and Economic Development, the research is considered essential and items 1 and 2 above are not possible or appropriate because of federal funding requirements or research projects that are required for master’s and doctoral programs. Note, research that is required to meet thesis/dissertation expectations for a final defense in Spring or Summer Semester, or requirements of a new position that has already been accepted can be submitted for consideration as essential.
  4. Approvals of in person or hybrid research placement must follow a clearly articulated process, All research projects require approval by the chair/director and dean (or their designee). Each college should design the process to review exception requests.
    1. To consider an approval, the following documentation is necessary:
  • The location of the research experience, and the start/end dates of the research experience.
  • Documented commitment to upholding public health standards that address health and safety of the student(s), as defined in the CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html).
  • A description with clear work expectations, learning outcomes and assessment for the research experience.
  • A statement from the student to clarify how they will maintain their own personal safety.
  • If appropriate, a statement from the PI or advisor/mentor that provides details about the safety precautions that will be taken by the lab or other research setting.

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Connecting with students

CURRENT EFFORTS

Virtual Tour 

We are fortunate that we already have a fairly robust online virtual tour and are able to direct students to view campus in this way while campus visits are not possible.

Potential Action Items for Schools & Colleges

  • Schools and colleges can incorporate assets (photos, video) into existing stops on the current virtual tour
  • Edit any school/college outgoing recruitment communication to drive prospects virtual tour
  • Schools and colleges have the option to purchase an additional instance for their building to be shot in July to help with recruiting 2021 class

Virtual Mizzou Overview Presentations

We built a Mizzou Overview presentation in Slate which is presented live twice a day online. The sessions, at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm central time, are led by an Admission Representative. Students that we had to cancel visits for this spring were the first invited to sign up for these through text and email. We also offer live evening sessions on Tuesday and Thursdays.

Recorded Mizzou Overview presentations will be housed on a new website hosted by PlatformQ’s Coduit system in the upcoming weeks. Live chat will be available for these recorded sessions.

Schools/Colleges and campus partners such as Residential Life and the Honors College can upload videos for students to watch from the Conduit system also. Health Professions has videos already uploaded to the system and we are working with other academic units to get their videos placed online also.

Virtual 1:1 Appointments with Admissions/Campus Partners

Prospective or admitted students have the ability to request a 1:1 appointment with an Admissions Representative or representative from their school or college through Admissions Visit website, visit.missouri.edu. Students can request these appointments between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm Monday-Friday or also specify an alternative date/time in the evening or weekends that works for them.

Potential Action Items for Schools & Colleges

  • Individuals within the school or college to meet with students via Zoom if requested. We will facilitate the meeting if a student requests it.
  • Publicize that admitted students can meet with department staff via Zoom in all outgoing communications and school/college websites
  • Schools and colleges will have the opportunity to record information sessions and load them to the site and then schedule live chats at particular times. Admissions will reach out when this capability is available but all schools and colleges should be prepared to do an online presentation as soon as possible.

Virtual Presentations to High Schools

Admissions hopes to start facilitating presentations via Zoom to high schools in the near future. We see this option developing in the future as counselors develop programming for their sophomores and juniors online later this semester.

Virtual Countdown: Mizzou Presentations

We created a virtual yield presentation for admitted seniors to replace our in person Countdown yield events.  These events will provide information regarding next steps, housing and orientation through PlatformQ.

Virtual Current Mizzou Student Panels

Prospective or admitted students have the ability to attend a virtual Current Mizzou Student Panel through the website visit.missouri.edu each day at 3:00 pm central time. Three to five currently enrolled students from various majors will chat for one hour with any student that enters the Zoom room. Meant to be informal, students can submit questions ahead of time. An Admissions Representative will be on hand to moderate the chat and ask questions to spur the conversation, if necessary.

Potential Action Items for Schools & Colleges

  • Schools and colleges can host Zoom or Platform Q Conduit student panels with their own ambassadors working through the Admissions Office to get these set up.

Recruitment Council

The Recruitment Council has representative from all of the academic units and campus partners with a vested interested in undergraduate student recruitment. The council usually meets three times a year, but under the current circumstances we are having weekly meetings. All those on the council provide updates, share ideas and best practices for student recruitment. Admissions will provide updates regarding expanded recruitment for Fall 2020 and Fall 2021 students.

Updates to Visit Webpage

The Admissions visit page has been reworked to include all options that a prospective or admitted student can connect with us. This includes all options listed above and reminds them that physical campus tours have been suspended until further notice. This is meant to be a one-stop-shop for all those requiring assistance with their enrollment steps.

Potential Action Items for Schools & Colleges

  • Encourage students who want to visit to this page in all outgoing communication (URL has not changed)

New COVID-19 Admissions Page 

A new website has been developed to provide answers to commonly asked questions at this point in the enrollment process as it relates to COVID-19. This website has been included in communication directed to both parents and students and has been incredibly popular. It will be updated as new information becomes available in regards to Financial Aid, Housing and Summer Welcome.

Potential Action Items for Schools & Colleges

  • Direct students and parents to this site as necessary.
  • Send updates to Admissions with any specific information as it becomes available if it fits within the scope of the site.

Personalized Notecards

Admissions Representatives are sending handwritten personalized notecards to admitted students congratulating them on scholarships or asking them if they have questions about their major. The notecards encourage the student to reach out directly by phone, email or set up a Zoom meeting.

12,134+ notecards have been written to date. Last year the end total number of handwritten cards to admitted students was 7,669.

Potential Action Items for Schools & Colleges

  • Schools and colleges can work with Admissions to set up their own letter/notecard writing campaigns.

Direct Mail

The current direct mail and email cycle to admitted seniors is currently still running at full capacity. Sophomore and junior inquiries, as well as senior inquiries that have not applied for admission, are still receiving our full print and electronic communications from Admissions. Prospective sophomore and junior students continue to be communicated with by RNL to convert them to inquiries. All emails have been reviewed/edited for tone (ie: edits to excited birthday message, etc.)

Potential Action Items for Schools & Colleges

  • Review all emails for tone and/or sensitive content (photographs of hospitals, etc.)
  •  Schools and colleges can work with Enrollment Management Communications regarding mailings but we caution against adding additional emails into the cycle due to the quantity that students are receiving now.
  • Schools and colleges can work with Enrollment Management Communications to add additional paper mailings into the cycle.

Counselor Communications

Admissions is planning to send a newsletter via email to counselors to update them about key items including super scores, etc. In addition, Admissions Representatives are emailing counselors in which they have existing relationships with a friendly update and letting them know how to contact Admissions during this time.

New “Close to Home” Campaign

Admissions & Enrollment Communications developed a new campaign that emphasizes that Mizzou is “the perfect distance away from home.” The campaign includes several social media posts (current student testimonials), a landing page, a series of emails and five postcards. The audiences we are targeting are:

-admitted, non-deposited students/parents in Mid-Missouri, St. Louis & Kansas City

-non-applied students/parents in Mid-Missouri and feeder schools in St. Louis & Kansas City

-admitted FS2019 students that did not enroll at Mizzou but attended an out of state college (potential transfers that may want to stay close to home). This is intended to increase both applications and yield.

Campus Visit Planning

We know that when we move back onto campus and offer daily visits we know we will be inundated with visitors of all high school ages. We plan to offer a wide array of times for students to visit throughout the weekday and weekends. On the chance that campus could reopen this summer, we have booked space for every Saturday this summer to host visits and Meet Mizzou Days.

Potential Action Items for Schools & Colleges

  • If allowed, offer school/college sessions every weekday and many weekends throughout June and July

 International Student Recruitment Efforts

International Admissions is conducting several webinars with EdUSA and Cialfo in multiple target markets and looking at scheduling out others, including through the summer.

International Admissions is working with partner universities to provide high school counselors at closed high schools the ability to conduct webinars for undecided seniors and high school juniors.

International Admissions have invited admitted students to connect via Zoom conferences or their preferred social media channels.

Our International Admissions student ambassadors have all reported that they are able and willing to connect with prospective students for the remainder of the semester.  We plan to work on ways to connect our current Mizzou international students with prospective and admitted international students.

IDEAS FOR NEW TACTICS

Admitted Student Virtual Yield Event April 26

Admissions, Residential Life, and current Mizzou students are hosting two admitted student events on Sunday, April 26 with one event for residents and one event for nonresidents.

Summer Welcome Follow up

We will contact all students after they participate in Summer Welcome to see if they have any additional questions regarding enrolment for the fall.

Residential Life Community Advisor Communication

Work with Residential Life to have community advisors reach out to incoming freshmen who will be living on their floors after the second round of assignments go out.

Promotion of Safety Measures for Fall to Parents

Need to demonstrate to parents how Mizzou intends to disinfect and clean buildings, classrooms, residence halls and public spaces throughout the school year. Is the university shrinking registration of lecture halls for classes?

Faculty Communication to Students

A faculty member from a class that each student has registered for could reach out to a student welcoming them to Mizzou and looking forward to having them in class this fall.

Retention of FS2019 Class

Have faculty reach out to current MU students registered for their fall classes

Have academic advisors call students that haven’t registered for fall classes yet

Fall programming to keep students engaged socially needs to happen and needs to be publicized well in advance so students are more likely to want to return with their peers (Greek Life, Homecoming, student organizations, etc.)

As always I thank you for all you do and please know we are here to help.

Sincerely,

Latha Ramchand