Virtual Town Hall

Join us for the next Town Hall

June 4, 2020, Town Hall focused on S&T's budget

Join us for the next virtual town hall at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 4, via Zoom.

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Video Archive

Questions and Answers

We’re sorry we could not address every question during the one-hour town halls. Below are written response to questions we couldn’t respond to before time ran out. For clarification, some questions have been edited or paraphrased.

April 23, 2020, Town Hall

1. Will faculty who maintain rigorous standards be compared to faculty who become extremely lenient, in terms of CET scores, and then those CET scores used in the fall to “punish” unpopular faculty? 

Dr. Steve Roberts, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, offers the following response:

Some faculty have expressed concern that their CET scores this semester will be negatively affected by last month’s switch to online teaching, and that these scores could have undue influence on next year’s annual reviews, third-year reviews, and promotion and tenure evaluations. Spring 2020 will long be considered an anomaly, and so I encourage you simply to do your best to promote learning and engagement among your students for the rest of the semester. In the future, it will not be hard to explain an unusual variation in CET scores during the COVID-19 pandemic. And for those of you interested in improving your online teaching strategies, I encourage you to consider one of four self-paced Canvas courses that will run this spring and summer to help faculty refine their online course goals, methods, materials, and assessments.”

2. In a previous town hall, it was mentioned that faculty make accommodations as necessary on exams. Is that in agreement with UM Legal opinions, in terms of equity concerns that may be raised by students who do not get such accommodations? For example, if a student is exempted from proctoring on exams, but other students are proctored in the same class, how is that viewed for the remainder of this semester? In particular, can a faculty member have a letter from an administrative office that specifies the accommodations to be made for that particular student, so as to be protected from negative repercussions due to complaints from other students in the same course?

Dr. Steve Roberts, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, offers the following response: 

“Sound instruction in a challenging environment requires flexibility. Without abandoning any requirements of accreditation agencies such as ABET, we need to be flexible and adaptable for all students, and those adaptations are not necessarily exactly the same for every student. Importantly, we need to offer every student in our courses a chance at success, even if that means we need to take some extra steps to help them, or give allowances that we would not have normally offered. Acknowledging displacement due to COVID-19 is not the same as accommodating a disability, and the need to be flexible and sensitive is perhaps more urgent. We know that not all students (nor faculty) have reliable high speed internet, not to mention hardware and software that we typically can access most easily in classrooms, or at least, in residence on campus or in Rolla. We also know that students may face challenges based on hardware and software requirements off-campus, including VPN barriers, third party learning site outages, and network instability. If and when specific materials (resources, hardware,and software) are required for a course, assignment, or assessment, then students need to be warned well in advance so they can prepare. Especially as we move into summer and fall, flexible plans that are sensitive to students’ varying situations will be most helpful. We should start designing our courses now to be adaptable to contingencies – combinations of online and on-site experiences – and achievable for all students.”

3. How will the campus and UM System help faculty to advertise their online classes to students on other UM campuses, and perhaps even more broadly? 

S&T is currently developing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with UM System’s eLearning. 

April 16, 2020, Town Hall

1. Will professors offer more online options in coming semesters? 

This is a possibility. Missouri S&T’s recently established Academic Planning Committee is evaluating and will propose changes to S&T’s academic programs, academic calendar and instructional modalities. The overarching goal is to increase enrollment in degree and certification programs, with special attention to access and timeliness of degree and certificate completion.

2. Will we continue to enhance our classes with recorded lectures in our traditional classroom setting to increase the resources for our students to include a repository of recorded lectures for students?

This is a possibility. S&T’s Academic Planning Committee is evaluating and will propose changes to S&T’s instructional modalities as well as academic programs and the academic calendar. Within the committee, the group’s digital learning subcommittee is considering online, distance, asynchronous, synchronous, hybrid, flipped, and other methods to expand access to students.

3. Are we looking to offer nursing programs for a broader range of options for students? 

Our Academic Planning Committee is evaluating our academic programs and the possibility of adding programs. The committee’s undergraduate education and enrollment management subcommittee is reviewing  S&T’s current undergraduate portfolio (degrees and certificates) and will determine if additional programs should be considered. Likewise, the committee’s professional graduate education subcommittee is evaluating and  considering new graduate programs (degrees and certificates). 

The committee’s recommendations will be provided to the provost by Friday, May 22. 

4. It has been recommended that faculty significantly change their modes of assessment.  For example, changing from in-class exams to projects. How shall we respond to students who object to such major deviations from the syllabus? 

Dr. Steve Roberts, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, says that it is understandable that students may object to syllabi changes. After all, both students and faculty started their classes with certain expectations outlined in their syllabi and – due to no fault of the students and no fault of the instructors – course changes became necessary when classes were transitioned online. Roberts advises faculty to explain their reasons for changes, thank students for expressing their concerns, and make accommodations as necessary.

5. Has any decision been made on how finals will be administered? 

Instructors may choose how to administer final examinations for their classes and are encouraged to review various testing options, including non-monitored testing. 

Online proctoring resources such as Proctorio are available from the UM System. Details are posted in the faculty resources section of keeplearning.mst.edu.

However, faculty are asked to consider non-proctored assessment because students face significant technological challenges as placebound learners. These challenges can include no access to a webcam, unreliable internet service and no private workspace in their homes. 

6. How are student complaints about faculty actions handled?

Student complaints about faculty actions will be handled the same way they were handled before the transition to online only instruction, substituting virtual meetings in place of face-to-face meetings. 

Students should first discuss the matter with the faculty member involved. If the student is unable to resolve the concern, he or she may consult with the department chair. The next level of discussion should be held with the college dean’s office. If, after engaging in these levels of discussion, a resolution is not found, then the student may contact the provost’s office to discuss the matter.

A student who wishes to file a complaint regarding alleged inappropriate conduct of a faculty member, as defined in Section 330.110.F of the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations Section 330.110 Standards of Faculty Conduct, should follow the process outlined under Section 330.110.G of this policy. 

7. For this semester, how should faculty respond to students who say “This isn’t what I signed up for?”

Dr. Steve Roberts recommends using candor and compassion when responding to students. Online-only instruction isn’t what most students signed up for, and it isn’t what most faculty signed up for, either. Listen and thank the students for expressing their concerns. Consider any suggestions they offer and work with students to make accommodations as appropriate. 

8. Will there be salary increases for faculty in the promotion and tenure process? 

The promotion and tenure process will continue as outlined in the faculty bylaws and tenure regulations of the University of Missouri System’s Collected Rules and Regulations.

9. Is there any timeline for when the labs will reopen? 

The Incident Command Team (ICT) is working closely with the vice chancellor of research, faculty and college deans to determine the timeline. Plans will be communicated once they are determined. 

April 2, 2020, Town Hall

1. Is it possible for students to get an incomplete for their courses and complete the remaining work when face-to-face teaching is available again, and not have this effect their financial aid?

Faculty Senate voted to change the requirements for satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading for this semester (see article), and we hope that this change will reduce the need for incompletes. The incomplete grading policy is provided in the academic regulations (PDF).

2. What support is available to help faculty ensure exam integrity while online classes are all we can do?

It may not be possible to ensure exam integrity to the extent that we can during a normal face-to-face semester. Faculty should try to ensure the highest level of integrity possible by using the timing feature in Canvas, asking questions that make it difficult to cheat, and reminding students that the Student Honor Code is based on the highest standards of personal responsibility and integrity.

Faculty are also encouraged to create assessments that are as flexible as possible, given that students are in various situations at home that may include weak or unstable internet access, sharing of devices among family members, a lack of privacy or quiet space for taking tests, and a reluctance (or lack of hardware) to use proctoring software. That said, the proctoring software Proctorio is available in Canvas for faculty to use when it seems to be the best option.  Some information about Proctorio is available on the Keep Learning website. Faculty may reach out to CAFÉ for advice and guidance about how to create meaningful assessments for students while still ensuring the integrity of those activities to the highest extent possible.

3. What are the rules about (re)posting Zoom class recordings online by students? Some students in my class told me they are going to post the recordings on YouTube, and I am concerned about the rules regarding copyright of educational materials, which I think include class recordings. Should I encourage or discourage the students to put recordings in the public domain, like YouTube?

Recording of course activity by students and distribution is governed by CRR 200.015. View the policy for details.

To summarize, it’s best not to share the recordings in a public domain.

Students can record their classes unless prohibited by the instructor. Students who are not sure if their instructor prohibits recording a class should check their course syllabus or ask their instructor. Exceptions for recording may be made for a student with a disability as part of an accommodations plan created through S&T’s disability services program.

Even if the faculty member has not prohibited recording, a student who records a class cannot distribute it – through posting on YouTube or other means of distribution – without authorization of the faculty member and any recorded students. It may also violate copyright laws, depending on the materials used.

Here are details: CRR 200.015

May 7, 2020, Town Hall

1. Has there been thought put into becoming a private university? 

Missouri S&T will remain a public university and committed to our land-grand heritage of providing accessible education to qualified students. But it is crucial that we become more self-reliant so that when there are fluctuations in state support, we will better be able to adapt without taking drastic measures such as layoffs and furloughs. We are grateful for the tireless work of our state legislators, most recently responding to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The road ahead will not be easy, but the dedication of our legislators, the support of our donors, the resourcefulness of our faculty, staff and students, and the intrinsic value and strong reputation of a Missouri S&T education will lead to a strong recovery for our university. Being part of the University of Missouri System is an asset to Missouri S&T and as a public university, we have the important responsibility of educating future engineers, scientists, teachers and leaders in all fields.

April 23, 2020, Town Hall

1. What is the long-term approach to expenditures in excess such as meals, meetings, travel, etc., to deter financial situations from being cyclic in nature and better use funding and resources in a more frugal manner, so funds may be better used for staff incentives and other programs for sustainability?

The primary reason that our financial situation has been negative the last few years is not a spending problem; it is a revenue problem. Our undergraduate enrollment has been declining over the last few years, which has had a direct, dramatic impact on revenue. We have also experienced a significant decline in international masters student enrollment over the same time period. The resulting revenue decline is the reason for the financial budget cuts that the campus has experienced in the last several years. The way to financial stability is to grow enrollment.

2. If employees take a pay cut, will pay be re-implemented at a later date when the campus is fully operational?

There are various types of temporary pay reductions available under the UM System’s HR-710 policy. Some are limited to three months, and some can be renewed up to a year. For specific questions, please contact the human resources department.

3. Will employees who are near retirement be targeted for furloughs and layoffs? What is the decision process being made for how these will be addressed?

No actions are age based. The full-time equivalent (FTE) for a position should match the work being done. Furloughs may be for workload issues or budget issues. All things being equal, layoffs should be based on performance, job description, reorganization or other relevant factors.

4. Will departments that sacrificed staff in the last wave of budget cuts be taken into consideration for this one?

Budget decisions are based on institutional strategic direction and the need to balance the budget.

5. Staff always seem to be the first to go in budget cuts which is not fair to them or to current staff taking on their duties. We still see a lot of expenses going out to buildings, etc. Most staff are already working paycheck to paycheck. Are you looking at layoffs for faculty as well as staff? 

Unfortunately, all budget actions will impact people as compensation is more than 80% of our operations budget. According to UM System’s Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR), tenured faculty are not eligible for layoff. Details about which positions are eligible and which are not eligible are included in CRR 350.051

6. Is there consideration being given to offering full-time staff the opportunity to reduce their FTE to 75% – yielding cost saving and flexibility for families? 

All options are being evaluated. However, medical benefit costs are per person and in many cases, the benefit cost for a 75% employee is almost as much as the actual salary, making this option not financially viable in many instances.

7. Staff making lower wages can barely afford to live as a single individual (this is while working two jobs) with university salary and the current cost of living. Are lower-paid staff pay cuts being considered?  

The university is not currently considering across-the-board cuts for staff.

April 16, 2020, Town Hall

1. Is any consideration being made to lay off or furlough upper administration positions to save money?

Yes, all costs are being evaluated. As announced by the UM System on April 14, each university is creating plans for budget cuts of up to 15% or higher. At S&T, our leadership team is looking at scenarios of 10%, 15% and 20%. This requires S&T to consider several options, including layoffs, unpaid leaves, restructuring, strict cost containment and other measures. Chancellor Dehghani and his leadership team have also taken voluntary pay cuts of 10% for the months of May, June and July to help offset budget reductions.

2. With the possibilities of layoffs and furloughs, is it possible for employees to voluntarily cut their hours or take leave without pay instead of layoffs? 

All costs and methods for reducing costs are being evaluated. S&T leaders are evaluating several ways to cut costs and are open to ideas.

3. When will we know which contingency plan leadership is going with?

Some decisions will be made by April 30 to address the FY20 deficits, and to work toward a budget for FY21 to be completed prior to the June Board of Curators meeting. The planning process will remain on a 60- to 90-day planning timeline, and Missouri S&T leaders will revisit the FY21 budget beginning in July to adjust our plans dependent upon the circumstances. The FY21 budget will be revisited quarterly as needed.

4. Are any of the upper administrators taking voluntary pay cuts willing to take bigger cuts or make them permanent? (My understanding was the current 10% cut is only temporary.) 

The 10% administrator salary cuts will begin May 1 and be in effect at least through July 31. All costs and potential savings are being evaluated at this time. 

5. Short and long term, will the university plan to limit travel, dining, etc. expenses and promote more online meetings as cost savings to avoid budget fluctuations? 

All costs are being evaluated, including university-sponsored travel and related expenses. Special emphasis on reducing travel and other operating expenses continue in compliance with President Choi’s directive.

6. Will we be able to hire student employees in this hiring freeze? Will there be restrictions or special approvals needed for student employees like professional staff?

Students on work-study funds will continue to be paid based on their financial aid award. All other hiring, full or part-time, as well as any personnel action including changing of funding or compensation requires several levels of approval. The chancellor has final approval. 

Although hiring is restricted at this time, we are not technically under a hiring freeze. For more details on funding guidelines related to COVID-19, please visit the UM System site

7. Are any early staff retirement plans being considered?

It is not likely that an early retirement program will be offered for staff at this time due to the high costs and funding impact on the pension plan. 

8. Will there be salary increases for faculty in the promotion and tenure process? 

The promotion and tenure process will continue as outlined in the faculty bylaws and tenure regulations of the University of Missouri System’s Collected Rules and Regulations.

9. What is the plan for buying land around the university? Will this continue or slow down because of budget concerns?

Missouri S&T leaders are reviewing all university plans, especially those that involve larger cash uses in the next 30-90 days. All purchases that can be delayed without negative impact on the long-term plans of the university will be delayed in the short term.

April 2, 2020, Town Hall

1. Will there be a hiring freeze for GTAs?

Yes. A hiring freeze for the entire University of Missouri System went into effect on March 27, following a message from UM System President Mun Choi.

2. With the current university budget and enrollment issues, will the university support funding for staff? 

No decisions have yet been made regarding funding for staff, other than the current hiring freeze and freeze on reclassifications, promotions and pay increases, as outlined in President Choi’s March 27 message.

3. If employees see termination of employment or furloughing, is it anticipated that students be terminated first?

University leaders have not yet made any decisions regarding termination of employment, layoffs or unpaid leaves of absence for employees. The economic impact of COVID-19 is affecting Missouri S&T as well as many other universities, businesses, non-profit organizations and virtually every aspect of society. Missouri S&T’s leadership team, along with leaders at the UM System and the MU, UMKC and UMSL campuses, all are considering options and scenarios for budget planning.

4. Does this mean there could potentially be another round of layoffs and/or early retirements?

As indicated in the response above, university leaders have not yet made any decisions regarding termination of employment, layoffs, unpaid leaves of absence or early retirement options for employees. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Missouri S&T as well as many other universities, businesses, non-profit organizations and virtually every aspect of society. Missouri S&T’s leadership team, along with leaders at the UM System and the MU, UMKC and UMSL campuses, all are considering options and scenarios for budget planning.

5. How is student telework being determined? Do direct supervisors have the authority to authorize or approve continued telework apart from department leads in order to support continued functions?

Telework is determined by the job duties and nature of the position. Some work can be completed by telework while other work cannot. Supervisors must obtain the necessary approvals from their department and division heads for telework arrangements. Supervisors are accountable for ensuring the productivity of their employees who are teleworking. See hr.mst.edu/updates/hr_700_resources for policies, information and approval forms.

As outlined in President Choi’s March 19 directive, no employee (full-time, part-time, temporary or student) should physically work on any UM System campus, including Missouri S&T, “unless they are requested to do so by an appropriate supervisor.” Supervisors communicate with and obtain the necessary approvals from their department or division heads for telework arrangements.

April 2, 2020, Townhall

1. I am doing my master’s and I was supposed to be graduating this semester, unfortunately not being able to go to the laboratory to proceed with my research at this point will delay for sure my date of graduation. I am really concerned about how I am going to be able to finish my degree since I will need to enroll in the summer period and I do not have the money to cover this tuition plus my living expenses. Is the university going to support grad students somehow?

Several of our alumni have rallied to support our students by giving to the Miner Resilience Fund. This fund was created to provide support to our Student Emergency Fund, to purchase short-term internet access and Wi-Fi hotspots for students in remote areas, and to help our students in many other ways. We encourage you to seek assistance through our Student Emergency Fund.

2. Are there any mechanisms for the university (and other campus housing organizations) to request economic hardship funds from the trillion dollars of funds President Trump indicated he was making available for businesses negatively affected by coronavirus?

We are investigating the possibilities of obtaining a portion of these funds.

April 16, 2020, Town Hall

1. Will the university provide a discount or credit for tuition and fees?

While we offered discounts for room and board and our meal plans, at this time, we are not offering discounts for tuition or other fees. We realize this transition to a fully online class experience for the remainder of the spring semester created challenges for our students, but our faculty are committed to offering the same quality education our students expect from Missouri S&T. In consideration of this significant change, our Faculty Senate recently adopted changes to our grading system to allow for “satisfactory/unsatisfactory” grading.

2. I want to know if there will be a refund towards lab fees, gym fees and student activity fees.

We have offered discounts for room and board and meal plans, but at this time, we are not offering discounts for tuition or other fees. 

April 2, 2020, Town Hall

1. Will the monthly payment for staff and faculty for the fitness center continue to be collected off the monthly/bi-weekly pay? 

Some fitness center members have chosen to keep their payroll deduction for the fitness center as it is while others have chosen to cancel their payroll deduction at this time. If you would like to cancel your payroll deduction for the fitness center, please use the payroll deduct form posted on studentrec.mst.edu/fitness-center/membershipinfo or contact Andy Scholl, fitness facility manager, at scholld@mst.edu.  

May 7, 2020, Town Hall

1. What options are being offered to those students who have preexisting conditions and might not be able to return to the campus in phase 5?

Pre-existing conditions affect students, staff and faculty. The definition of the group will defer to CDC guidance as it develops: (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html

Currently, students will need to consider housing options, academic options and socialization choices. Students should consider: distance learning, single rooms, online learning, carry out dining, etc. This is not an inclusive list and I would suggest these choices be discussed with medical input.  Student Health Services staff can be contacted at: https://studenthealth.mst.edu/

2. Is it safe to bring campus visitors and have them meet with admissions counselors, faculty, and student ambassadors? Most schools are not allowing any campus visitors.

Current campus policies restrict visits to campus. Now that the Rolla stay-at-home order has been lifted, effective May 5, university officials are reviewing policies and may soon relax restrictions as part of the gradual repopulation of campus. 

3. How will a sick student be taken care of? Where will they be housed? How will they get food? Many students come from all over the USA and do not have family near. 

We are developing plans to care for on-campus students who test positive.This plan will include temporary private housing to allow a student to be separated from the rest of the campus community and to self-monitor or self-isolate. These students will also receive medical oversight from our student health staff. Students will be able to receive testing at the student health center. Medical care and follow up will also be supported by the student health providers. Meal delivery to this location will be available. Students residing off campus will still have student health resources. Separate housing for off campus students is not decided.

4. How is campus preparing for the return of students from those higher affected cities and areas around the country and world to safeguard the faculty and staff who have been healthy throughout this ordeal? 

As part of the campus repopulation plan we plan to provide space for students to self-isolate if needed. We also anticipate an increase in testing for antigens, which will could lessen the amount of time required to isolate..

5. Will necessary sanitization materials and protective wear such as masks be provided for staff use at service points such as the IT help desk, the library, etc.?

Missouri S&T will follow the guidelines set forth in HR policy700 regarding faculty and staff who are working on site. This policy advises employees to wear a cloth mask or other face covering that covers their mouth and nose if they are unable to maintain six-foot social distancing or if otherwise required by federal, state or local public health orders.

Employees are encouraged to continue healthy habits while working on site. Employees should:

  • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or if soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue, the inside of their elbow, or something other than their hands.

  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Avoid sharing equipment with other employees to the extent possible and take precautions such as disinfecting and hand-washing after use when such sharing is necessary.

6. What mental health services are available for students, faculty and staff?

Missouri S&T offers several services for the health and well-being of our Miner community, including student health, counseling, wellness, care management, student recreation and disability support services. You can get more details about these areas at a new website, wellbeing.mst.edu. Unsure who to talk to? The website’s referral guide can help you determine where to go with an issue.

April 23, 2020, Town Hall

1. I know the herd immunity was mentioned but how does the school expect this immunity to be obtained if people are forced to stay away from each other? I feel like opening fields would be a great idea for those who want to work out and if they get in contact with the virus they can build immunity. The university recently took down the sand volleyball nets.

Please realize that these medical decisions are made on a national level and not a university level.There are CDC guidelines along with state mandates and local ordinances that must be followed. 

Your question is interesting and deserves some discussion. The best example of your suggested scenario for herd immunity is in Sweden. Note this reporting: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/28/europe/sweden-coronavirus-lockdown-strategy-intl/index.html.   Time will tell if this approach has merit.

2. The CDC says the virus will return this fall, along with the seasonal flu. How is S&T partnering with Phelps Health to prevent the hospital from being overwhelmed with students and residents? 

This is an ongoing area of planning as holding classes on campus in the fall will bring a student population surge into the area. We are working with both the local health department and Phelps Health to plan for this scenario. We are considering all aspects of screening, testing and contact tracing. This will be a collaborative effort. The possibility of traditional influenza and COVID-19 presents additional diagnostic and testing challenges for which we are planning.

3. Dr. Goodman.... I hear on the news, and from you, that more testing needs to be done. Does that mean testing will be done for everyone, even those without symptoms?

Testing is multifaceted and deserves some explanation. Testing gives data for decision making and has several purposes. 

a. We can test to see if someone with symptoms has the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

b. We can test, usually randomly, people who have no symptoms to evaluate the presence of the virus in our community.

c. We can test for antibodies to see if someone has had the infection (not knowing if these antibodies are protective). 

The assumption is if we can test those with symptoms early and often we can quickly and selectively isolate individuals. The more we know about our community the better we can respond.

April 2, 2020, Town Hall

1. How do you plan to sanitize the dorms before fall semester?

All rooms and public spaces in our residence halls have been disinfected and sanitized, and all staff are using best practices for cleaning and sanitizing the spaces, including micro-misting of all surfaces with health-care-grade disinfectant. We will deep clean all residence hall rooms between now and the beginning of August. 

2. What precautions are in place to ensure proper sanitation of labs? What can we do to make sure people are safe, even after this pandemic begins to cease?

We’ve provided guidance and information on lab safety and sanitation on our coronavirus information website, specifically under the health and safety tab. There is specific information on keeping workstations clean and on lab safety. There is also more detailed information in this March 19 message from Dr. Costas Tsatsoulis, vice chancellor of research and graduate studies. In addition, our environmental health and safety staff are referring lab faculty and staff to CDC guidelines for cleaning hard and porous surfaces, electronics and more.

3. What about the health and safety of “essential” employees still required to work? Those staff have families and their communities that are also being endangered.

All employees should follow the guidance and information on lab safety and sanitation on our coronavirus information website, specifically under the health and safety tab. In addition, we encourage all employees to follow these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

May 7, 2020, Town Hall

1. What are the fall plans for student events and activities like athletics, concerts, etc.? 

Several university officials and units are determining whether to hold various fall events in the traditional manner or whether to modify them to allow for greater safety precautions. Some plans have already been modified. For example, the Campus Performing Arts Season, which usually begins in September, has been postponed until the Spring 2021 semester, and the Fall Career Fair will be held virtually. More information about fall plans will be shared as it becomes available. 

2. Will staff be given the option to work remotely going forward?

Missouri S&T will follow the guidelines set forth in HR policy700 regarding telework arrangements. Supervisors are encouraged to review operations and identify employees who can perform their duties through telework arrangements. Telework arrangements that are already in place may continue, subject to review between the employee and supervisor. (MK)

3. Will hand sanitizer, gloves and masks be provided to all departments on campus?

The Incident Command Team is reviewing what provisions will be provided, depending on the job requirements.of individuals. Currently, the university plans to provide hand sanitizer stations in each building. Guidance regarding face coverings is provided in HR policy 700.

4. Will departments be required to take temperatures of employees and students? 

Missouri S&T will follow the guidelines set forth in HR policy700 regarding the recording of employee temperatures. Employees are asked to measure their own temperature before work each day. The employee will not report to work and will notify their supervisor of any temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. 

5. Have guidelines been established to conduct multidisciplinary research testing with multiple off site organizations? For example, UM staff?

No. We are currently focusing on opening some of our local laboratories for research

April 16, 2020, Town Hall

1. Will the monthly payment for staff and faculty for the fitness center continue to be collected off the monthly/bi-weekly pay? 

Some fitness center members have chosen to keep their payroll deduction for the fitness center as it is while others have chosen to cancel their payroll deduction at this time. If you would like to cancel your payroll deduction for the fitness center, please use the payroll deduct form posted on studentrec.mst.edu/fitness-center/membershipinfo or contact Andy Scholl, fitness facility manager, at scholld@mst.edu.  

April 2, 2020, Town Hall

1. Would the university like to comment about making a contract with Phelps Health to receive overflow patients into campus housing, in the event that it becomes necessary, and how that will impact the staff and their required duties (physical operations).

Yes. We have been in discussions with Phelps Health on providing potential housing for health care staff and doctors (not patients), but there is not yet an agreement in place. As an important part of the Rolla community for nearly 150 years now, we have always been committed to assisting our community, and this crisis is no exception.

2. What is Residential Life doing for students living on campus with nowhere to spend declining balance dollars (DBDs)?

Avenue C remains open in the basement of Residential Commons 2, and Miner Munchies is available for students in Miner Village. As a safety measure, we’ve reduced the dining options for students who have a meal plan and are still on campus or in the community.

3. Will the strategic plan be placed on hold related to current campus construction and new construction (specifically related to University Drive)?

Missouri S&T’s partnership with the Move Rolla Transportation Development District (TDD) program is continuing at this time. The TDD program calls for rerouting University Drive. At this time, there are no changes to this plan. 

4. Will there be on-campus living options for the summer for students who do not have access to internet at home?

We are still looking at options for the summer, including whether summer classes will be held online, but hope to have more information on this issue soon.

5. Following the model of Kroger and Walmart, which are installing protective glass for cashiers and pharmacy personnel, what measures will the university put into place to protect those of us who work in front offices where interaction with others is within close quarters?

Missouri S&T continues to follow federal social distancing guidelines. These guidelines indicate that individuals should maintain a distance of six feet from others at all times, including in the workplace. Additionally, most employees are now working remotely.

6. Assuming campus will be open in the fall, what is the current thinking about hosting groups and activities on campus during the summer months, for example PRO/recruiting sessions, Havener events, meetings, etc.?

We continue to look into this possibility. We will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and other public health agencies at the local, state and federal levels.

May 7, 2020, Town Hall

1. Have we considered reaching out to homeschool students, both local and nationwide?  They can be overlooked but are a wonderful opportunity. 

Yes. We attend college fairs for homeschooled students in Missouri and Texas and contact these students through the lists of SAT/ACT names. When evaluating transcripts for such students, we ensure they are reviewed in a fair manner. We welcome ideas of how to reach a larger population of homeschooled students. 

April 23, 2020, Town Hall

1. Can incoming students who have applied and been accepted to S&T but have not yet visited campus expect to take a tour over the summer?

Once campus operations restart and when the visit center is open (based on the repopulation plan) we will start scheduling campus visits. We will limit these visit groups to adhere to the 10/6 rule as well as any other requirements specified as part of the repopulation plan. 

April 2, 2020, Town Hall

1. How is the university going to support Greek recruitment for the fall semester?

The university is focused on increasing the “yield” of admitted students. Our yield campaign involves faculty and students contacting our admitted students, email and video messages from the chancellor, and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, transitioning many of our recruitment and yield efforts online. Now that we have moved all “on-the-ground” events for accepted students to online and social media efforts, we are including information on Greek life in these new campaigns.

2. How is recruiting coming along?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic began to fully affect our nation, the number of admits and fall enrollment was growing. Since mid-March, however, it seems that many students and their families have hit the “pause” button as they wait to see whether universities will be open in the fall. Even so, the interest in Missouri S&T has not diminished, and we fully intend to open our campus as soon as we can. We also are committed to providing a quality Missouri S&T education, whether it is offered online, in person or in some combination.

Since January, our faculty, admissions team and others have been working hard on a “yield campaign” to increase the percentage of students we have admitted into students who have fully committed to Missouri S&T. Our yield campaign involves faculty and students making phone calls to these admitted students and messages from the chancellor. We have moved our Preview, Registration and Orientation (PRO) events to online events and are promoting virtual tours of campus and virtual one-on-one or small-group sessions with our admissions staff. You can find out more about these efforts at visit.mst.edu.

We also continue to recruit graduate students. Based on current restrictions on international travel and American consulate closures around the world, we will need to see what the next few months looks like to see how many of our admitted international graduate and undergraduate students will be able to join S&T on campus.

3. Given many recent and upcoming recruiting events have been cancelled, what are the plans now?

We have quickly moved as many recruiting events online as possible. Our PRO events are now virtual, we are promoting virtual tours of campus and virtual one-on-one or small-group sessions with our admissions staff, and similar efforts. You can find out more about these efforts at visit.mst.edu.

Our mathematics and statistics department is putting the math placement tests online so that incoming students can take the test online. We have also launched social media closed groups to keep in touch regularly with potential students and their families.

4. Has there been consideration to mobilize current students to reach out and engage potential incoming students?

Before the closure of campus, Chancellor Mo Dehghani held several meetings with the Student Council Executive Committee and discussed outreach to prospective students in their high schools. Now that high schools are also closed, we have moved to plan B. Now, we have some student ambassadors who work with our admissions staff and reach out to admitted students as part of our yield campaign. We also are increasing social media activity, primarily led by our student ambassadors, to keep new incoming students engaged.

5. With the economic impact of this virus, along with prior years’ enrollment downturns, do you think that getting an additional 400 students is even a possibility at this point?

It’s certainly a stretch goal, given the current situation, but we are doing everything we can to achieve that number. There is too much on the line for our university to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. We must do the best we can to strive toward the goal of attracting an additional 400 students in the fall.