Virtual Town Hall

Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani hosts virtual one-hour meetings for all S&T students, staff and faculty, as well as local community leaders, to come together to communicate needs and concerns and encourage one another to work together. Dr. Dehghani is joined by a panel of S&T leaders representing health care, human resources and finance, and academic affairs.

This page houses video recordings of the meetings, slides and responses to questions that could not be addressed due to time limits.

For details about Missouri S&T’s plans and guidelines regarding COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.mst.edu.

Join our next town hall

Topic: Campus Reopening Plans
10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13
via Zoom

 If you have questions regarding reopening plans that you would like to have addressed during the forum, please submit them to SandTChancellor@mst.edu by Friday, Aug. 7.

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.

June 24, 2020, Town Hall

1. Are there any plans to limit class sizes or implement a hybrid course model? 
Class sizes for in-person courses will be limited by classroom capacity under the six-foot social distancing requirements. Many courses will adopt the hybrid model, in which some material is delivered or activities are conducted online, while others are done in person under the social distance guidelines. 

2. How do you plan to address lab work if classes go online? 
Dr. Costas Tsatsoulis, vice chancellor of research, will host a Zoom meeting 3-4 p.m. Friday, July 17, to discuss research continuity at S&T. If you would like to attend, please contact Abbie Sherman, executive assistant, at abigayle@mst.edu for the Zoom link.

3. Will Fall Break be cancelled?
At this time, Fall Break (Oct. 1-4) has not been canceled. Changes to the academic calendar will be communicated as soon as decisions are made. For S&T’s latest updates regarding COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.mst.edu

4. What is the latest campus view on required paid tuition for students on grants that had previously been under (grandfathered) tuition waiver? 

Dr. Richard Wlezien, vice provost and dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, addressed this topic about the changes to Policy II-26 during the college’s open forum on June 17. The topic is discussed at approximately 15:30 minutes into the Zoom recording.

May 21, 2020, Town Hall

1. I'm a faculty member. If I'm making substantial changes to my fall courses I need to know now. When will these proposed changes be communicated to us?

Changes to the fall 2020 academic calendar are likely for all four UM System universities, including S&T. Final plans for the fall semester should be announced soon.

2. Will students with covid-19 or in doctor recommended precautionary isolation be excused from coursework?

S&T faculty and student health staff will work with students on a case-by-case basis to address the learning needs of students with COVID-19 or in isolation.

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

June 24, 2020, Town Hall

1. Will S&T institute across-the-board salary cuts for faculty and staff? 

All options are being evaluated. Budget decisions for Fiscal Year 2021 – which began on July 1, 2020 – have not all been determined.

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.

May 21, 2020, Town Hall

1. If students have contacted financial aid regarding scholarships and financial assistance but have not received a response, who should they be directed to?

Now that staff are beginning to return to the office, we encourage students and families to contact the department again at 573-341-4282 or at sfa@mst.edu. If you reach the voicemail, please leave a message and someone will respond as quickly as possible. If students and families are unable to reach someone by those means, please visit sfa.mst.edu/contact-us/staff-directory for direct contact information for the Student Financial Assistance staff.

April 2, 2020, Town Hall

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.  

COVID-19 UPDATES

For the latest updates on S&T's plans and guidelines regarding COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.mst.edu

June 24, 2020, Town Hall

1. What is capacity for testing and contact tracing?

Capacity for testing has certainly increased in the last month and is adequate for our current need.  We have partnered with the local hospital and the local health department to coordinate testing, our local CVS may also open a testing station. Our plan is to screen all incoming students and selectively test those who meet standard criteria or who develop fever or symptoms. 

 2. Is it possible or desirable to test all members of the campus community by Day 1? 

At this time our plan is for comprehensive screening with targeted testing and to intensify testing within certain sub-populations. The usefulness of mass testing on day one does not appear to meet our needs at this time.

3. What about using disposable face masks? 

Cloth facial masks will be required in classrooms and gathering areas and when social distancing can not be maintained. We will ask each student to bring 3-5 cloth facial coverings to campus. Disposable facial masks are an allowed substitute but they are considered single use.

4. When people go home for Thanksgiving break, will they be required to self quarantine? 

This is certainly a possibility. Some universities have decided to not return to campus after the Thanksgiving break and transition to online learning. It is too early to state what our plans are at this time, but we hope to have a better idea in October.

5. Will Dr. Goodman provide peer-reviewed research on the safety of face shields?

The science in this area, as is the case with most science, is incomplete. As we await for peer-reviewed research, we rely on “best practices” that are published by reliable organizations. We do attempt to rely on current research when available.

Here is an example of a recent meta-analysis for face masks:

Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Derek K Chu, Elie A Akl, Stephanie Duda, Karla Solo, Sally Yaacoub, Holger J Schünemann, on behalf of the COVID-19 Systematic Urgent Review

Group Effort (SURGE) study authors

www.thelancet.com Published online June 1, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31142-9

6. How will lab work be safely done by students?

Dr. Costas Tsatsoulis, vice chancellor of research, will host a Zoom meeting 3-4 p.m. Friday, July 17, to discuss research continuity at S&T. If you would like to attend, please contact Abbie Sherman, executive assistant, at abigayle@mst.edu for the Zoom link.

7. Can a student opt to wear a face shield instead of a mask?

The current requirements and guidance regarding the use of face coverings when returning to campus are posted in the “Stop the Spread” section of the return to campus web page.

The requirement calls for face coverings. Face coverings are defined as a cloth or plastic shield that is worn to cover the mouth and nose to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease.  Cloth face coverings are designed to fit snugly on the face. Plastic shield face coverings are designed to fit closely directly in front of the face but not on the face. The purpose of a face covering is to protect public health.

May 21, 2020, Town Hall

1. Will students be quarantined for 14 days after arriving on campus?

The Incident Command Team (ICT) is considering several plans for students who will live in campus housing this fall. The team is currently considering:

  • A gradual move-in process (over days and with screenings and appointments)

  • Screening of all students on arrival for  campus housing (questionnaire for symptoms, travel, recent contacts and taking temperatures)

  • Testing individuals who meet predetermined criteria (still being developed)

  • A quarantine period (at least seven days) before allowing classroom attendance and community events

  • Health and safety education during the quarantine period

  • A decision on face coverings

2. Is the potential virus transmission through air conditioning in summer a concern? What precautions are being taken to prevent infection through ventilation systems?

S&T campus facilities staff have been closely following the developing guidance from industry resources to adjust building ventilation systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, and facilities staff continue to investigate other techniques being considered by heating, air and ventilation (HVAC) professionals and health professionals. We have also involved S&T faculty experts in the area of aerosol exposure and ventilation design for their guidance and expertise.

S&T buildings were designed to meet building code ventilation requirements, which are based on total occupancy, so most, if not all of the time, our buildings are over-ventilated. Different filtering systems such as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are used in hospitals, cannot be installed in our buildings because the HVAC systems were not designed to include space or achieve pressure-drop required by HEPA-type filters.

Campus facilities staff have checked all HVAC systems including filtration and have determined they are all in good operating condition. Facilities staff continue to monitor systems and perform preventive maintenance at regular intervals throughout the year to provide the best indoor environment for our faculty, staff and students.

3. Once school starts, will there be cleaning done in the residence halls by S&T to help stop the spread of Covid-19?

Yes. S&T staff have continued to clean residence halls, as well as all buildings and offices, and will continue to do so throughout the fall semester. As addressed following our first town hall on April 2, 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. 

4. What steps will be taken for restrooms in terms of sanitization and also social distancing?

S&T staff will continue to follow best practices for cleaning and sanitizing restrooms, and strategies are being developed to help maintain social distancing in restrooms.

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.

Interested in learning more about anti-racism? Check out the books available in this reading list: Anti-racism and you

1. Currently most underrepresented groups (black, Hispanic, LGBTQ, women, Native American) are all supported by one department. What strides have the campus made to better support those resources to improve the attrition and retention of black students?

It is the responsibility of every department on campus to provide support for our underrepresented students. While Student Diversity Initiatives provides the bulk of mentorship opportunities and education programming for campus, they are supported by Equity and Title IX, which investigate bias incidents on campus. Programming and financial support are provided by both colleges, and Student Affairs, through Student Involvement, provides additional programming and logistical support for campus. International Affairs provides support for the scholars who come to us from abroad.

In the last two years, the campus has re-organized to create a solid core of services and a first point of contact for student advocacy on behalf of our underrepresented students. In turn, the departments in that core have strong partnerships with academic and non-academic functions of the university to enhance recruitment and retention.

2. What is the specific campus plan for when hate-based language or behavior is exhibited towards black students? Historically ( within the last 6 years) students have consistently escalated issues of racist language and actions towards black students and there has not been a noticeable change seen.

When bias incidents of this type occur, the university conducts a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation. Sometimes the language or behavior is protected by the university’s legal duty to protect free expression; however, there are some contexts in which the university will take action to discipline the offender. For example, speech or behaviors by a university employee toward a student or other employee; speech within the classroom space, when not relevant to the subject under discussion; speech that is achieved with vandalism of public spaces, speech or behaviors that present a threat to the health and safety of our community.

Regardless of whether the university has the ability to discipline the offender, the university always provides supportive resources for those impacted by the behaviors, and provides educational opportunities to our community to better intervene when such behaviors occur.

If you are aware of specific instances of this type of behavior, we encourage you to report them.

3. Can the campus provide specific training or resources for the professors/admins for better handling “hot topics” and noting specific challenges with underrepresented students in STEM?

Currently, the university provides workshops on “hot topics” to all new faculty through our CAFE program, and ongoing professional development opportunities to all faculty and staff. We are currently developing a mandated experience in order to set a baseline competency for all of our employees.

4. When was the last time the campus brought in an outside consultant to review our racial climate (including interviewing students, faculty, staff)? What recommendations did they have?

Missouri S&T conducts climate surveys on an ongoing basis. We released our last report in Fall 2017.

Equity and Title IX 2018-19 report: https://equity.mst.edu/media/administrative/equity/documents/annualreports/2018-2019%20ETIX%20Annual%20Report.pdf

5. What action can the CDO's office take on campus to protect a person facing discrimination on campus to protect them and hold the perpetrators accountable?

Every report made is investigated thoroughly, and any person that files a report is protected against retaliation due to their participation in this process.  The best way to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable is by reporting troubling behaviors in a timely manner, providing sufficient detail that the university can follow up appropriately.

6. What efforts are being taken to have the appropriate representation with campus advisors? In the past advisors would recommend changing majors from engineering to art or music to myself and other minorities on campus.

As we streamline and improve our registration and advising process, we will be adding advising staff to better serve our students. We are always seeking highly qualified candidates from underrepresented backgrounds. If you are ever the subject of an advisor, or any other university employee, targeting you due to your race, ethnicity, gender, or other protected class status, please report it so that we can take immediate action.

7. Did going highly selective negatively affect S&T student recruitment?

The designation of S&T as a highly selective university by the Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education clarified the type of university we are. We’ve met the state’s highly selective criteria for years. As far as its effects on recruitment, we’ve heard some concerns, but the highly selective designation is not a component of our recruitment strategy or recruitment marketing.

8. How is the university working with law enforcement to address biases in the community causing additional hurdles to overcome for black and brown students. In particular, I was arrested and jailed over 25 times in five years causing me to be late for class and miss tests and assignments. This type of oppression drives minority students and student athletes out of the city.

Our university police department has made many improvements under its current leadership, and is one of the strongest advocates for inclusion in the S&T community. Every hire makes the department more representative of the community it serves. They work closely with the Rolla Police, and model that same professionalism. The Rolla Police have also engaged with the university for training opportunities on cultural competency, trauma informed approaches, and mental health issues.

9. What is being done to help teachers understand their unconscious biases? In particular, telling black students they will not pass the class on the first day, and also telling the same students they should do music, history, or art.

Unconscious bias is a key factor in the perpetuation of systemic racism. All new faculty members engage these topics during their orientation to campus. Any faculty member that participates in hiring committees for our campus or UM system has to participate in an unconscious bias workshop. We are exploring the feasibility of making this a requirement for all of our employees, and introducing mandated cultural competency training.

Meanwhile, if you observe such behaviors, against yourself or someone else, please report it. The more we know about specific trouble spots, the sooner we can intervene.

10. What is being done to address false claims of harassment by blacks students or black staff? In particular, I was involved in a false claim that would have gotten me expelled. What system do you have in place to properly evaluate these situations with proper representation through the evaluation process?

We take all reports seriously, and our working assumption is that reports are made in good faith. It is possible that during the investigation, we discover that the behaviors described in the report occurred differently than represented. This happens; someone is allowed to be mistaken in their perceptions and recollections, without it being a ‘false report.’ There are very few times we have found a report to be the result of malice and a deliberately presented falsehood; reports like these are subject to discipline. We guard against people being wrongfully sanctioned by employing a thorough investigative process, with multiple levels of review before any finding.

11. What is being done to address programs tailored for black and brown minorities in particular? Keeping in mind, white females in particular are now dominating the minority pipeline.

The university supports multiple programs that provide assistance and mentorship to our underrepresented  and at-risk students. If you are interested in more information, we recommend checking out Student Diversity Initiatives for more information.

12. How many Black faculty members do we have on this campus?

There is no requirement for faculty or staff to identify their race or ethnic origin, but 15 of our faculty have self-identified as Black.

Recruiting diverse faculty and staff will continue to be a high priority for Missouri S&T. We know it’s important to provide a faculty and staff that is more representative of the general population.

June 24, 2020, Town Hall

1. Will building access be restricted this fall for the public or students?

Current plans are to resume normal building operations and access once campus opens this fall. 

2. Will staff who might have a fever or other symptoms, but are able to still perform their job duties, be able to work remotely until their symptoms go away? 

Questions about telework accommodations will need to be discussed with individual supervisors. Guidance can be found at https://www.umsystem.edu/ums/rules/hrm/hr700/hr700

3. Do staff members need to wear their masks when in the office? 

Staff only need to wear face coverings in situations where one is not able to maintain a distance of six feet. Please refer to the return to campus webpage for further guidance. 

4. Since face masks will be required in classes, does this relax the six-foot distancing rule in classrooms and allow more students in the classrooms?

All students should use a personal space distance of six feet between them in all situations, including in the classroom. 

5. Will seniors get preference at the Career Fair?
There will be no categorical preferences for the Fall Career Fair. We anticipate plenty of time slots available at all companies to accommodate all interested students.

6. Will S&T allow flexibility for staff with school age children, pending how the public school system chooses to move forward with class for this upcoming school year?

Planning for the fall semester continues, and university planners are taking many issues into consideration, including the impact of pre-college school systems. 

7. Are we free to spend the weekend with our family if they travel from out of town?  

Currently there are no restrictions to spending time with family who visit from outside the Rolla community. We ask that any student, faculty member or staff member practice preventive measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 or other respiratory diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) recommends you:

  • 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 your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.

8. I know that faculty and staff travel has been discussed, but what about student travel?

COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

Any student, faculty member or staff member who travels within the United States is allowed to return to work or school unless: 

  • They come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 or is under investigation for exposure
  • They are exhibiting signs of illness
  • They have traveled by mass transit (ie. airplane, train, bus).
  • They were unable to practice social distancing during the trip. In other words, if they were closer than six feet from another person for 15 minutes or more
  • They did not wear facial coverings in public places. If you have any questions or concerns about travel, email COVID@mst.edu.

9. When should off-campus students arrive? Do they need to check in anywhere? 

All students are encouraged to check in by appointment Aug. 15-17. Students living on campus will check in at the Gale Bullman Building. Students who commute from home (live off-campus) and new students living in Greek houses or the Christian Campus House will check in at the Havener Center. Returning students who will live in Greek houses or the Christian Campus House will participate in a modified (but nearly identical) check-in at their campus residence.

May 23, 2020, Town Hall

1. When students return in fall, will services like tutoring, writing support, student success center, and etc. still be offered in person-to-person format? Or will services/spaces like the Writing Center and SSC be closed due to social distance?

Planning for the fall semester and student support services is continuing through the summer. Further details will be shared on the coronavirus.mst.edu website.

2. Will the S&T Campus take into consideration how the public school system ends up holding classes for students starting in August (in regards to flexibility of working from home vs on campus)? There is talk of students going at different hours/days and that will impact numerous employees that have school age children.

Planning for the fall semester continues, and university planners are taking many issues into consideration, including the impact of pre-college school systems.

3. Will office evaluation be mandatory in shared offices or is it elective?

At this time, supervisors may request a review of the workspaces under their supervision. The request form is available from the “Supervising employees” section of the return to campus web page.

4. What are campus personnel rights returning to campus regarding any mandatory mask and temperature requirements, if any?  Will these be enforced?  What happens if campus personnel refuse?

The current requirements and guidance regarding employees returning to campus are posted in the “Employee health” and “Employee checklist” sections of the return to campus web page.

5. Will staff be given an option to continue to work remotely without fear of penalties (ie layoffs, etc.)?

Missouri S&T will continue to follow the guidelines set forth in the HR-700 policy 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. 

Regarding concerns employees may have about reprisals, the university has procedures in place in which faculty and staff may file a grievance. More information about these procedures is available here.

6. Will hand sanitizer and masks be readily available and provided to the departments on campus upon the return of staff, faculty and students?

Current plans call for hand sanitizer stations in each building on campus. Employees and students should plan to bring their own cloth face covering for use. For further guidance, please refer to the “Employee health” and “Employee checklist” sections of the return to campus web page.

7. Once the campus is fully open in fall, can we use contact-tracing app?

Use of a common contact-tracing app is being considered, but no policy or procedure for using such an app has been determined.

8. Colorado School of Mines already (prior to Covid-19) had provided professional cleaning of resident hall dorm room once a week and professional cleaning of communal restrooms daily. Will S&T consider meeting the standards of one of their most comparable competitors for engineering students?

Based off the work-from-home situation for UM employees, would the university consider allowing departments to consider a blended work arrangement of "in-office" and "at-home" if the quality and effectiveness of job duties would still be maintained and appropriate to said job role?

Opportunities for flexible or “blended” work arrangements are possible for some. See S&T’s flexible work arrangements website for more information.

9. When are the projected plans for the master construction plan and why is this under consideration given the provided losses in enrollment, funding, etc.?

S&T conducts ongoing master planning to address current and future needs of the university. While the present situation may impact issues related to enrollment, funding, instruction and operations, it’s important that master planning continue. The most recent master plan was updated in 2017. Further updates to that plan began in 2019 and included significant opportunities for student, faculty and staff input via focus groups and surveys (see survey results). Work related to the master plan will continue in 2020.

10. What steps has the UM System taken to advocate for the importance of international education in Washington D.C. and Jefferson City? Or, as a state institution, do we plan to realign our recruitment strategies to the political stance of Missouri’s elected officials?     

Missouri S&T works closely with the UM System, especially the government relations team, to advocate for support for S&T as well as the entire system. At the federal level, the UM System also retains the services of a lobbyist to assist in our efforts to promote all UM universities to our state’s members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

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.

Slides

June 4, 2020, Budget Presentation Slides