COVID-19 Weekly Update (5/5/20)

May 6, 2020

(This message was originally sent on May 5, 2020. It is being published here for preservation.)

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

Planning for Fall 2020 is underway, and this week brings you guidance on how to begin that work. We also, as always, have people to celebrate and many ways to contribute to our community at this moment.

Academic Planning for Fall 2020

The Academic Operations Team has been meeting since mid-April with the charge to address academic-related issues resulting from COVID-19 over the next 6-18 months. They have recently released general guidelines for Fall 2020, which you can read here:

General Guidelines from Academic Operations Team

These general guidelines should allow chairs to begin working with their faculty to make department-specific decisions about their curriculum. The Academic Operations Team (AOT) has now broken into four subgroups to drill down into more specific areas of focus: lecture courses, labs and studio courses, internships, and faculty workload issues. As subgroups have concrete guidance to share, it will be released through this weekly email. The goal is to have all academic guidance released by June 1. We welcome your suggestions as we envision Fall 2020. Additionally, I encourage you to send us your ideas on how we might use our learning during the current pandemic to design new ways to teach, learn, and assess learning. If we do it right, innovations in pedagogy and delivery that help reduce the cost of education, could become the lasting legacy of COVID-19.

Repopulating Campus

 Following guidance from the state and public health officials, we are creating plans to bring back, in limited numbers, faculty whose research requires them to be on campus, as well as some limited staff members who cannot perform their work from home. All others who do not need to be physically present must continue to work from their off-campus locations. This limited re-entry plan will start with faculty and staff requests, which will be approved by chairs, deans, and supervisors, and ultimately by academic, research and facilities leadership. As we prepare for this limited return to campus, we will put in place protocols to support social distancing and public safety under the direction of public health officials. We will soon share forms for these requests next week for a careful return later this month. As we develop the process, please start thinking of faculty in your areas who might be accorded priority based on the nature of their work, knowing we want all individuals who can work from home to continue to do so.

Survey (and Apology!)

My sincere apologies – Due to a technical glitch, individual names were not populated in an email survey sent on my behalf on Monday. The survey asked you to provide input on “your experiences with various methods of digital education (including remote instruction and fully online) this term.”  I apologize for the error, and encourage you to complete the survey by Thursday. You may complete the survey here – Take the Survey

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:

Kemper Announcements Postponed

In order to preserve the MU tradition of surprise classroom Kemper announcements, we will delay revealing the 5 fabulous winners until Fall 2020. We are planning these already, and hope that it will bring great joy to students and faculty when we honor these winners in the fall.


The Mizzou Store is doing its part to assist students in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are donating $5 from the purchase of each #MizzouStrong T-shirt to the MU Student Emergency Fund, dedicated to helping students with medical and emergency costs, safety, food and temporary housing needs. Join us in showing your Tiger pride.

Exciting Extension Activities

In challenging times, Missourians come together. MU Extension and communities across the state are showing up for each other. Take a look here for some of the things MU Extension is doing to serve Missourians. #ShowMeResilience.


After being nominated by their undergraduates and reviewed by a committee of prior Mentor Awardees, two faculty members are selected each year for the Undergraduate Research Mentors of the Year. Congratulations this year to:

Dr. Mili Kuruvilla-Dugdale, Assistant Professor, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, School of Health Professions

Dr. Antoinette Landor, Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Science, College of Human Environmental Sciences

Kudos to Dr. Bill Butlar (College of Engineering) and his team – they just received all necessary approvals from the FDA to begin full-scale production and distribution of a very timely product – Hand Sanitizer – in fact the product will have its own brand.  And yes, you guessed right, it will be the  “Tiger Paw” hand sanitizer – see below. Their goal is to have the first batches checked by a local testing firm, and be ready to supply and scale upwards as needed.

As always, thank you for all you do, for your patience and grace during these challenging times. Many of you have sent me emails and words of encouragement during the last month – your kindness is empowering, and I am deeply grateful for the same.


Latha Ramchand
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs