March 12, 2020 Update

Sent Thursday, March 12, 2020, 8:47 a.m.

CAFNR information regarding MU coronavirus response

CAFNR Faculty and Staff,

In support of Chancellor Cartwright’s message from late yesterday (see below), I provide details as they specifically pertain to CAFNR and the University’s response to the coronavirus pandemic:

  • The University remains open, and faculty and staff are expected to continue reporting to work.
  • Please review all plans for events (through March 29) and upcoming travel (through April 12) with your Division Director. Decisions will be made on what is deemed essential travel and events in consultation with the Dean’s Office. CAFNR is discouraging student clubs and organizations from holding meetings next week (March 16 – 20), and student travel sponsored by the university has been restricted.
  • In-person classes are suspended through March 29, however campus remains open.
  • Undergraduate student employees should continue to perform their work responsibilities, provided they are comfortable with being on campus. Supervisors of student employees should support students should they elect not to work during this time period.
  • CAFNR’s public-facing businesses will remain open, including Buck’s Ice Cream Place, Tiger Garden floral shop, Mizzou Meat Market and the Café at Eckles. Again, student employees should continue working, provided they are comfortable in the work environment. Supervisors are to support student employees in these decisions.
  • See Mizzou’s Quick Start Guide to Remote Teaching for assistance with teaching remotely, or contact your Division Director. We have an obligation to our students to maintain continuity of their learning experiences.
  • Please respond to questions from students and parents with consistent information from Mizzou or from this email. Direct any questions that are beyond the scope of this communication to Dr. Bryan Garton at gartonb@missouri.edu.
  • Finally, we encourage all faculty, staff, students and administrators to stay home if not feeling well. Supervisors need to lead by example in this regard and show employees that staying home is the default if not feeling well. The symptoms of COVID-19 cannot be distinguished from other respiratory infections, and, in the absence of a definitive clinical test, there will be increasing chance of unintentional transmission as COVID-19 spreads through the U.S. Please, stay away from campus if showing any signs of respiratory illness, which may include (from MU Health Care):
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell

The Provost also asks faculty to keep in mind, when planning virtual coursework:

  • Please establish a communications plan with your students, letting them know when you will be available, how quickly you will respond, and in what form you will respond.
  • Please assure students maintain access to course materials, taking into consideration both ability to access the necessary technologies (computer, internet access, etc.), and also any disability issues that come into play in the online format.
  • You may need to reevaluate assessment practices. Previously-scheduled quizzes and exams may need to be postponed or modified. There are ways to continue with these assessments in the online format, but faculty should decide if this is essential, or if alternative strategies are sufficient.
  • Please be cognizant that you may not be able to do everything you would have accomplished in person next week. Instead of trying to learn a host of new technologies in a short period of time, you are better served by taking the time to decide how courses and expectations need to shift to meet students’ needs.
  • Regarding instructor and course evaluations, your division director will note this serious disruption to your course(s).

We appreciate all you do for CAFNR and understand you might still have questions about how the next couple of weeks will work. Don’t hesitate to contact your Division Director or my office with questions or concerns.

And remember that you can find all Mizzou communications related to COVID-19 at mualert.missouri.edu/coronavirus.

Christopher R. Daubert, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor & Dean
College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
University of Missouri

Chancellor’s Message