Clif Smart: “We Will Start to Reopen Campus”

Missouri State President Clif Smart said in a social media posting the University would begin to reopen from the COVID-19 lockdown over the next few weeks.

In an update posted to the school’s website on May 5, Smart outlined some of the steps and changes that will be a part of Missouri State’s return to a “normal” schedule.

Smart said that while all summer classes will take place online, some summer activities will be taking place on the campus. The SOAR program (Student Orientation, Advisement, and Registration) will take place beginning July 6, with a mix of online and in-person sessions.

“Please know that we are keenly aware of the lower risks for students and the higher risks for faculty and staff,” Smart wrote. “However, we will have seated classes and students living in residence halls in the fall.”

The University has been meeting with experts to make what they term “appropriate adjustments” to their classes and processes.

Changes could include:

  • More classes than usual will be offered online or in a hybrid format.
  • Faculty are engaging in training to ensure all virtual classes are delivered in a quality manner with high academic rigor.
  • We are encouraging all faculty members to have contingency plans in place to deliver their classes virtually should the need arise.
  • We will adopt and strongly encourage social distancing practices in classrooms, residence halls, and dining and gathering spaces on campus.
  • Some campus events will be canceled and others adjusted to reduce size and enable social distancing.
  • We are designing a new housing strategy that will accommodate this new mode of campus living.

Employees will begin to return to the campus on a schedule designed by their supervisors. Most campus operations are expected to be restored in some manner when students arrive on campus in mid-August.

The university will also implement social distancing requirements in offices, encouraging employees who are immunocompromised or have other health issues to continue to telecommute. The University had an already established policy for telecommunity employees.

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