Dear Lion Family:
Thank you for your continuing cooperation and understanding as we have strived to navigate this challenging period in Missouri Southern’s history.
Each decision that has been made in relation to the Fall 2020 semester – including classes and campus operations – has been made with the utmost consideration of the overall safety of the Lion community and for as little disruption to the academic and student experience as possible. Because of your support, our efforts have been successful, with the blend of hyflex courses allowing us to stay face-to-face for as long as possible.
We appreciate your patience as we waited to make a final decision on our post-Thanksgiving plans to ensure that we had a clear understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our campus community, as well as the most current recommendations from our state and local public health officials.
Out of an abundance of caution and due to the recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Southwest Missouri, following the Thanksgiving break, in-person and hybrid courses – with limited exceptions outlined below – will move to online delivery for the last two weeks of the fall semester, including the final exam period.
This decision will result in reduced activity on campus, particularly as residential students will be given the option to stay home after the break, thereby helping to prevent future spread of the virus. This action is supported by both the Student Senate and Faculty Senate.
All previously stated health and safety protocols will remain in effect during this period, including the mandatory use of face coverings and the required practice of social distancing. Following consultation with local public health officials and our key constituencies, we are confident that the decision to move academic programming primarily online for the final two weeks of the semester, while continuing to offer on-campus residential and student services, will be the best move forward for Missouri Southern as we conclude the fall semester.
In the meantime, know that we will consistently monitor the situation in the Joplin area, and will be in contact detailing plans for the spring semester. At this time, we want to assure you that if the conditions allow, it is our intent to return to the face-to-face/hyflex courses for the Spring Term. You may continue to access the most current and comprehensive campus information, including dashboard data, by visiting our COVID-19 website. If you have any questions on plans for the remainder of the fall semester, please direct them to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or call the student affairs office at 417.625.9392.
Thank you for your continued flexibility as we navigate these challenging times together.
Dean Van Galen, Ph.D.
Missouri Southern State University