March 19, 2020 - Update regarding presidential directive

Dear UMSL Community,

COVID-19 has dramatically transformed life at UMSL and at educational institutions across the globe. Throughout this month, our Executive Policy Group and Pandemic Unified Command teams have worked diligently to take actions to ensure the continued safety of our students, faculty, staff and extended community.

Local, state and federal public health officials continue to instruct institutions of higher education to dramatically reduce the density of on-campus populations. With that in mind, UM System President Mun Choi issued a directive this afternoon to drastically limit the on-campus physical presence of essentially 100 percent of employees. To carry out this directive, please note the following actions at UMSL:

  • From March 23 through April 12, all UMSL employees are required to work remotely with very limited exceptions. At this time, the only exceptions for on-campus employees include limited staffing in Health, Counseling and Disability Access Services, Residential Life and Housing, IT Help Desk, Postal Services, UMSL Police, and Facilities Management. The UMSL Chancellor must approve any exception.

  • While the vast majority of our employees are able to work remotely for this limited time, those employees whose functions cannot be performed remotely – including those of part-time and student employees – will be paid through enhanced leave measures.

  • This directive requires a mandatory ramping down of all campus research labs before March 23, unless otherwise notified. Essential personnel necessary to maintain critical procedures, experiments and equipment management have already been identified and granted limited access to labs.

  • We have asked residential housing students who have the ability to return home or make alternate housing plans to do so on or before March 22. Those who move out will receive a housing bill discount for the semester as well as carry forward or reimbursement for dining plans. Those students with extenuating circumstances, such as international students, will be allowed to remain in residential housing on a case-by-case basis.

  • Beginning March 23, there will be extremely limited access to academic, administrative and student services buildings. UMSL Police will ensure buildings remain locked during this time and will monitor any necessary access.

  • At this time, employees should plan to report back to their work site on Monday, April 13.

  • As previously announced, all academic instruction will continue remotely through the end of the semester.

This is an uncertain time that calls for deliberate and necessary action. At the core of this decision is our guiding principle to protect the health, safety and well-being of our community, state, nation and world by doing our part to flatten the curve and limit the transmission of disease during this global pandemic. We will work together to maintain our support structure for teaching and learning for a fully remote faculty, staff and study body while dramatically reducing the density of on-campus populations.

We appreciate your cooperation as we respond to this unprecedented situation as a community. I wish all of you good health and learning in the coming weeks.

Be safe,

Kristin Sobolik
Interim Chancellor and Provost