COVID-19 Weekly Update (6/24)

June 24, 2020

(This message was originally sent on June 23, 2020. It is being published here for preservation.)

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

Our updates for the week are shown below. The FAQ list for Fall 2020 preparation is also included at the end of this email. Our goal is to ensure you receive information on a timely basis – if you have suggestions for other topics you would want to hear about, do let me know.

Communicating Scheduling Updates to Students
During the past three weeks, many of you have been working hard to modify the Fall 2020 schedule to accommodate smaller class sizes to provide a safer teaching and learning environment for our students. We want to let you know that right now the fall 2020 schedule is still under construction. These updates will be finalized over the next couple of weeks, and will happen in real-time on the live schedule. It is critical to note that students will stay enrolled in courses that they have currently signed up for, unless the class is canceled due to low enrollment. They may, however, see changes to the way that the courses will be delivered (e.g., a traditional face-to-face course may change to a blended course where part of the class is held in person and part online). Once the updates to the schedule are complete, students will be encouraged to talk to their academic advisor and their instructors to answer questions they might have about their updated schedule.

Registrar’s Website
The Registrar’s Office re-launched their website with new menus and easier navigation. If you link to any of their pages from your department’s website, please check for broken links.

International Student & Scholar Services
On Monday, June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a new Presidential Proclamation that goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 24, 2020. It suspends the entry of H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L-1, L-2 and certain J-1 visa holders who are currently outside the U.S. and do not have a visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation.
This proclamation does not apply to:

• F-1 students and those on OPT or STEM OPT
• J-1 students (including student interns) and those on academic training
• J-1 research scholars, professors and short-term scholars
• H-1B/L-1 visa holders physically present in the U.S.
• H-1B/L-1 visa holders already in possession of a valid visa
• TN, B-1, E-3, O-1 and other temporary work visa holders
• Any U.S. lawful permanent resident
• Spouses and children of U.S. citizens

MU international students or scholars planning to travel outside the U.S. should consult with their ISSS adviser before finalizing their plans. At this time, we do not know how this proclamation will affect the adjudication of current or future H-1B cases, or how it will affect Canadian nationals who do not require any of the above-named visas to enter the United States. Additional information about this and other immigration-related proclamations is available on the NAFSA website. We continue to monitor immigration-related proclamations and other U.S. government decisions closely, and will send updates as new information becomes available. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us by phone (573-882-6007) or email (

Teaching for Learning Center Training Opportunities This Week
Wednesday, 6/24
Canvas Overview for Instructors
Facilitated by Course Design & Technology
Details and RSVP here.

Thursday, 6/25
Teaching Grad Seminars in an Online or Hybrid Environment
Facilitated by Drs. Laura Page, Lissa Behm-Morawitz, and Jonathan Cisco
Details and RSVP here.

10:00am – 10:45am
Cultivating Pedagogies of Care: Overview of the New Collection & Discussion
Facilitated by Dr. Tori Mondelli and Dr. Susan Hrach, Director of the Faculty Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and professor of English
Details and RSVP here.
Resource: Tips for Inclusive Teaching Online, PowerPoint

Congratulations to Chuck Henson, Trial Practice Professor of Law at our Law School – Chuck is a Missouri Lawyers Media 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Awards winner, and a part of the of the 2020 group of 21 honorees from across Missouri. The Diversity & Inclusion Awards recognize attorneys, firms and organizations for significantly advancing diversity, inclusion and the dignity of all people in Missouri’s legal profession and in communities in which exceptional legal work impacts justice for all.

Congratulations also to our Presidential Engagement Fellows (PEF) who were nominated and who have accepted the nomination:
Dr. Dima Dandachi
Dr. Virginia Ramseyer Winter
Dr. Scott Christianson
Dr. William Horner
Dr. Kathleen Preble

The goal of the PEF program is three-fold – to share research and creative activities with audiences across the state, to give our stakeholders a personal connection to the work of the University’s faculty, and to help fulfill our land grant mission to disseminate and apply knowledge for the benefit of all Missourians. Click here to read more about this program.

As always thank you for all you do.


Latha Ramchand

FAQ for Chairs about Fall 2020 Planning from the Provost’s Office

Note: This FAQ sheet will be updated weekly, with any changes highlighted in bold.

June 23rd FAQs

What do I do if I want to make a change to the Fall course spreadsheet or schedule?
Instead of editing the spreadsheet, please email Carla Whitney with any changes you have at this point. Please keep changes to the essential ones, as the Registrar’s staff is working with a lot of information right now.

Are faculty allowed to include a “facemasks required” statement in their syllabus for face-to-face classes?
A standard statement will be released shortly which will address this matter and which faculty can incorporate on their syllabi.

Is it true that we are using the 3-foot-distance guidelines instead of the 6-foot-distance guideline in lab courses?
If the students and instructors are wearing N95 or other medical grade masks in labs, then they can use the 3-foot-distance guideline. Units will be responsible for providing these masks. Labs are currently being reassessed for capacity under this new guideline.

June 16th FAQs

Will any of the large venues – like Jesse Auditorium, The Missouri Theatre, Mizzou Arena – be made available for classroom space?
The Academic Operations Team is working with Operations to see how many large spaces of this kind will be available. If they do become available, the registrar will begin scheduling large courses in them.

Are faculty required to deliver a face-to-face course remotely to students who are sick or quarantined?
Faculty have always been responsible for helping students with medical issues make up the classwork and stay on track in the course. The difference in Fall 2020 is that, because of the scope and scale of the situation, faculty should have a plan ahead of time for how they will do this. Faculty are not being asked to create fully online and F2F versions of the same class to accommodate this possibility, but they are being asked to think about how they would offer a reasonable approximation of the course, should this situation emerge. Example strategies might include having students participate remotely via Zoom or a similar platform, or recording their class lecture which the student could view and review at their convenience.

June 3rd FAQs

When will the spreadsheet from the registrar be circulated?
The spreadsheet will be circulated this week, and chairs will have one week to complete and return it to the Registrar. Spreadsheets were returned on Thursday, June 11.

Do chairs need to find new rooms for their courses?
If the room is one that is centrally scheduled, then reassignments of rooms will be handled centrally; chairs don’t need to find new rooms. The new capacity for each room will be indicated on the spreadsheet, so chairs will need to indicate if they are requesting a new room for a given course. If the room is one that is scheduled by the department, then chairs should shift things around (or request a centrally scheduled room) if necessary.

Should chairs prepare faculty about possible changes to their schedule?
Some faculty may have changes to their schedules, for instance in a case when an appropriate room cannot be found at the time they were assigned to teach. We will make every effort to not change class times, but suspect that some changes will be inevitable. You should wait on communicating this to faculty until you know more details.

Will there be 10 or 20 minutes between classes?
While the initial recommendation from the Academic Operations Team had been for 20 minutes, this was going to be very disruptive to the schedule. We will stick with the regular schedule of 10 minutes between classes. If faculty find that there are any issues in terms of students exiting and entering the classroom, they can consider alternative arrangements (e.g., ending class a few minutes early and implementing activities to make up for missed class time).

Should chairs automatically honor faculty requests to move online. Are there criteria that chairs should be applying?
Chairs should reach out to their faculty who want to teach online. Faculty who are at risk for complications from COVID should be accommodated with online teaching. Our HR policy uses the CDC’s definition of risk, which includes those who are 65 years and older, or those with underlying medical conditions. Chairs should also make decisions about moving other faculty online as it is appropriate to their curriculum, and to the students in the class (as much as possible, preserve face-to-face experiences for freshmen classes).

Can chairs give honoraria to faculty to do online learning courses to improve their teaching for fall?
As part of their appointments, as a campus, we expect faculty to engage in efforts to improve all of their teaching. If appropriate, chairs with agreement from the dean, should follow the University of Missouri’s CRR as related to extra compensation.

Can incoming faculty sign up for the summer online training courses?
Yes they can, and chairs should encourage them to do so. The department that is hiring the new faculty member must work with their departmental IT professional to create SSO IDs (pawprints) for the new faculty members. The IT professional can get them whenever you have a definitive start date of employment. This is the best way to access the sites.

Should chairs reach out to students to let them know about changes to courses that they are registered in?
No. The Registrar will be in touch with students about changes to their schedules.

Can chairs move a course online even if it is a course taken by first year students?
Our goal is to ensure that first-time college students have the opportunity to take a significant amount of their courses in person, but we recognize that it may not be possible for all classes populated by first time students to be delivered face to face. Chairs should work with their deans to ensure that the freshmen experience is largely face-to-face.

If faculty prefer to teach upper level courses online, can chairs honors those requests?
Chairs need to look at all of their offerings to strike a balance among those that can be offered face to face, online, and in a hybrid format, while also making decisions that make the most sense pedagogically.