COVID-19 Weekly Update (6/3)

June 4, 2020

(This message was originally sent on June 3, 2020. It is being published here for preservation.)

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

I realize that we are all dealing with physical exhaustion on the one hand, and grief, anger, and pain on the other. The list of updates below deals with programming issues meant to help us plan for the fall semester.
As we create instruction plans for our fall classes, let’s continue to remind ourselves that we also have a responsibility to do what is right, and to call out bias – in our classrooms and in our zoom rooms. We also have an opportunity – our work as educators has the power to heal and create lasting change. As we head into the month of June, here is the list of items we are working on.

Show Me Renewal
As shared in the “Show Me Renewal” email sent earlier today, planning for our return to in-person teaching, research, and service is well underway. There are several groups working on different aspects of Fall programming. Our communications team is working to create a website to share all details on the various scenarios we are planning for the Fall 2020 semester.

FAQs for Chairs about Fall 2020
Below are some FAQs that have come up in multiple meetings with chairs, who are currently guiding their faculty through decisions about the fall semester. These FAQs will be revised and updated weekly.

Faculty Council Considers Revision to the Academic Calendar
A proposal has been sent to Faculty Council to begin and end the fall semester early, such that students would not return to campus after Thanksgiving break. Because all changes to the academic calendar need to be recommended by Faculty Council, before going to the chancellor, president, and Board of Curators, Faculty Council will vote on this proposal this Thursday. Campus communications will keep everyone informed of any changes to the academic calendar so that you can plan accordingly.

As you share with me, I plan to send a list of teaching, counseling, mental health and related resources. I also plan to include a brief summary of the action items that are being shared in response to my email from yesterday (Thanks to all of you.).

Counseling services:
From Prof. Keith Herman (thanks Keith)
This is a searchable database of every social service provider in Boone County by service needed, age of recipient, service delivery options (e.g., telehealth) and insurance options. We expanded beyond services for families and youth to include services across the lifespan. This directory is being updated continuously to provide real-time information as services evolve in response to COVID-19.

Created by FACE, the Coalition, MPSI, Center for Evidence-Based Youth Mental Health, and the Boone County Children’s Services Fund.

From Laine-Young Walker:
The Boone County Early Childhood Coalition (BCECC) is a grant funded program in partnership with MU School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. The BCECC offers a free developmental screening program for young children that includes the presentation of results by an early childhood provider.

The Survey of Well-being of Young Children (SWYC) is a universal screening tool for children two months through five years. This screening can be completed in 10 minutes by a parent or caregiver and can assess children’s well-being within developmental milestones and social emotional health. Also included is a piece to assess family context for mental health concerns, drug and alcohol abuse, and food insecurity. The SWYC allows us to recognize patterns within development and behavior so as to improve the parent-teacher partnership as well as to focus intentional supports for our young children and families. Parents or primary caregivers interested in a developmental screening for their child can request a survey for their child by visiting: and clicking on Start Screening Today!

Teaching–From Prof. Elisa Glick
Our virtual Faculty Forum for the Faculty Institute for Inclusive Teaching is now live! Despite the considerable challenges of this covid semester, our cohort did exceptional, brave, and innovative work that has already helped to make our Mizzou curricula and learning environments more inclusive.

Call to Action Against Bias
Thanks to all who have already responded to my email call to action. I am grateful for your immediate response and plan to compile the list and share with this team.
In the meantime, I hope we can all:
• Reach out to faculty who are hurting
• Reach out to students who are fearful and angry
• Tell them we care
• Ask them how we can help
• Listen

The Library of Congress announced the appointment of 40 undergraduate and graduate students to its highly competitive Junior Fellows summer intern program, to be held virtually this year. Chelsey Brown, a Mizzou student from Lee’s Summit, was selected to study in the area of African and Middle Eastern Studies. The Junior Fellows will work on their projects under the mentorship of Library staff during this 10-week paid internship program and then will have an opportunity to present their most significant discoveries during the virtual Junior Fellows display day.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), announced their 2020-2021 class of Associate Fellows, including two from Mizzou: Brianna Chatmon and Levi Dolan. Chatmon received her MLIS at the University of Missouri in 2020 and interned at the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library. Dolan received his MLIS from the University of Missouri-Columbia in the Spring of 2020 and was the graduate library assistant for the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library and a research assistant for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. This is the first time we have had our MU SISLT graduate students attain this level of recognition from the National Library of Medicine.


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

Note: This FAQ sheet will be updated weekly.
June 2, 2020

When will the spreadsheet from registrar be circulated?
The spreadsheet will be circulated this week, and chairs will have one week to complete and return it to the registrar.

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.

As always, I thank you for all you do.


Latha Ramchand