Looking ahead to the next fiscal year, the question we must now attempt to answer is how best to position the university to respond to the challenges that still lie ahead.
From Andrew D. Martin
“In order to accommodate a slow and deliberate return to normal operations, we are making changes to our academic calendar, to allow for a phased approach to bringing students and faculty back to the Danforth Campus.” Chancellor Martin shares an update on the fall semester.
We will hold a Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 on the Danforth Campus on Sunday, May 30, 2021, as long as conditions at that time allow us to do so safely.
We are working toward a phased approach to returning employees to campus. This will begin in June with a very small number of faculty and staff whose physical presence is necessary for managing essential laboratory research or remote teaching activities. We also continue to plan for the fall semester.
After careful consideration and guidance from our infectious disease experts – and given the orders still in place in our local jurisdictions – we will not be making any changes at this time, and our alternate operations will continue until further notice.
There are a number of additional steps that we must take now to preserve our financial resources and keep the negative impact on our employees to the lowest levels possible.
In the interest of transparency and keeping you informed, I am writing today with a series of important updates, with additional information to follow soon.
As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community, we’re constantly reviewing new developments and making adjustments to university policies and procedures. With summer fast approaching, we’re writing today to share with you some important updates about summer programming.
We are writing today to share some important updates to Chancellor Martin’s message that was sent to the university community on March 11.
It’s important for us to be forward-thinking and take reasonable steps to protect our financial security. With this goal in mind, as well as awareness of the challenges of on-boarding new employees during alternate operations, effective immediately we are instituting a hiring freeze for the Danforth Campus and the Central Fiscal Unit (CFU).
As we all are settling into this new phase of our lives, it’s a good time to take stock of where we are as a university community, and how we got here. Over the past two weeks, we’ve responded to the evolving situation in some rather astounding ways.
No later than Monday, March 23 – or sooner, for those departments that have been able to make the switch quickly – we do not want anyone on campus, other than employees who are required to perform essential work that requires a physical presence on campus.
I’ve learned within the past 24 hours that four members of our university community have tested positive for COVID-19. While this news is certainly troubling, and we are concerned for our employees and students, it is not entirely unexpected that we would have cases confirmed in our community.
Yesterday I shared the incredibly disappointing news with our graduating students that we have made the difficult decision to cancel May Commencement, given the risk to our community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.
After very careful thought and determination, as well as recent guidelines from the state of Missouri, we have made the immensely tough decision to cancel Commencement.
Our primary responsibilities at this time are to take care of ourselves, support our families, do all we can to slow the spread of the disease, and help the university maintain its essential role. In order to help us meet our responsibilities, the university is taking a set of major steps.
We are reviewing our guidelines on pay and benefits for faculty and staff, and taking a close look at university operations to protect our community moving forward. More information will be forthcoming.
Danforth and Medical Campus classes will shift to online instruction. Beginning March 23, there will be no in-person courses taught in the classroom or any other setting until at least April 30, 2020.
We are putting a number of university policies in place to help guide our decision-making about travel, events and visitors to our campuses.