COVID-19 Weekly Update (July 8)

July 9, 2020



(This message was originally sent on July 8, 2020. It is being published here for preservation.)

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

Our updates for this week are shown below.

News Concerning International Students
Hope you read the email sent earlier today about our commitment to our international students. Below is a message that was sent to all our international students from the International Student and Scholars Services office. This message addresses the recent modification from SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program). The campus will continue to update you as we learn more and as we work to support our international students through this difficult time.

The Student Exchange Visitor Program issued updated guidance for the fall 2020 semester on Monday, July 6. We know that many of you are concerned about some of the conditions outlined in this guidance. Until we can obtain clarification from SEVP, MU will abide by the conditions and ensure the necessary steps are taken to protect your visa status so that you may continue your studies unimpeded.

MU’s fall 2020 Show Me Renewal Plan implements a hybrid academic model, which allows for face-to-face, blended and fully online courses. SEVP has stipulated the following conditions for F-1 students attending schools using a hybrid model.

Online course restrictions
• Students attending schools with a hybrid model will be allowed to take more than one course or three credit hours online. However, students are not allowed to take only online credits.
• This exemption does not apply to F-1 students in English language training programs, who are not permitted to enroll in any online courses.

Form I-20 updates

• Schools adopting a hybrid model must update the Form I-20 for each F-1 student certifying:
o That the school is not operating entirely online.
o That the student is not taking an entirely online course load.
o That the student is taking only the minimum number of online courses required to make normal progress in their degree program.

• ISSS advisers, who serve as designated school officials, will update and reissue all Forms I-20 to reflect these changes in program enrollment and student information. Priority will be given to students who require new visas or are outside of the United States. You will be contacted by Aug. 4, 2020, when your new I-20 is available.

Mid-semester changes in operational stance

• If a school changes its operational stance mid-semester, resulting in students switching to only online courses, students must leave the country or take alternative steps to maintain their nonimmigrant status, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction.
• MU is aware of the serious problems this would pose for international students and leadership is discussing ways to address this.

Students outside the U.S.

• If you are a continuing student and are unable to return to the U.S. for fall 2020, contact your ISSS adviser to discuss your options.
• If you are a new student and wish to defer your admission or start classes online, contact your adviser in International Admissions or the Graduate School.

ADA Accommodations for Faculty
Last week at the Chairs meeting, HR went through some important information about ADA Accommodations v COVID Arrangements for faculty and staff in Fall 2020. Attached are the slides from that presentation. Please make sure to direct anyone who needs to get an official ADA accommodation to your HR representative.

Exam Proctoring in Fall 2020
If courses will have proctored exams in Fall 2020, we must include a note in myzou so that students are aware of this. Sometimes proctoring services will require students to pay an additional fee, while other times it is free (Proctorio is free). Please make sure to email Carla Whitney (whitneycm@missouri.edu) to let her know if you need a note added to any courses and, if so, if it should read either: “exams will be proctored” or “exams will be proctored; additional fees may apply.” If you have more than 10 courses, please put these in a spreadsheet and include the class code. If you are unsure which proctoring service you may be using, please use the latter note, as that will ensure that all scenarios are covered.

Upcoming Town Halls
There will be two upcoming Town Halls to discuss the return to campus for faculty, staff, and students. The one for faculty and staff will be on July 21 at 4pm and the one for students and families will be on July 22 at 4pm. Zoom invitations are forthcoming.

Thank you for the work you are doing to prepare for the Fall semester.

Sincerely,

Latha Ramchand