May 13, 2020
Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, firstname.lastname@example.org
Interim MU Chancellor and UM System President Mun Choi and MU Provost Latha Ramchand announced today that select MU employees will be eligible to return to campus beginning May 20 as part of the university’s “Show Me Renewal” initiative. The initiative’s first steps of a phased approach will allow an approved group of faculty, university leaders, staff and graduate students who perform on-site research and other needed duties to return to campus while adhering to safety measures.
“We are excited to begin moving back to campus,” Choi said. “Working together, we’re confident that we can welcome faculty, staff and students to campus in a thoughtful and safe manner. Additionally, we’ll continue monitoring the situation and talking with public health officials in case we need to make any changes.”
Returning employees will adhere to safety policies that include social distancing, hand hygiene and appropriate cleaning measures. Individuals also will commit to monitoring their personal health and will stay home if fever or other symptoms are detected. Other guidelines emphasize coughing or sneezing into one’s elbow and using face coverings or personal protective equipment during times when social distancing is not possible.
“Working with our experts and local, state and federal health officials, we will take a gradual, phased approach to resuming important research activities on campus,” Ramchand said. “Research is the key to fighting emerging diseases, such as the coronavirus, and it’s important that we allow our scientists to get back into their labs and continue this work that is so important to our state and nation.”
All other employees who can perform their job duties at home will continue to do so until further notice from their supervisors. In the coming weeks, more faculty and staff are expected to return to campus through a phased approach. The Show Me Renewal initiative will ultimately lead to the campus being ready for the beginning of the fall semester.
“The university has been cleaning and disinfecting buildings throughout campus to ensure a safe and clean environment for all faculty, staff and students,” said Gary Ward, MU vice chancellor for operations. “We will continue to evaluate the public health conditions in Columbia and work toward returning more employees to campus as the situation allows.”
“We continue to plan and take actions so the campus will be ready for our students in the fall,” Choi said. “Simultaneously, we are preparing contingency plans for multiple scenarios that include full remote delivery of education in the fall term.”
Earlier this week, Choi asked new groups of faculty and staff experts to develop detailed plans for ramping up for the fall on a variety of key functions to prepare for the return of students. University officials will continue to monitor public health guidelines in Columbia and provide details on the next phase as appropriate.