November 16, 2020 - UMSL to transition to remote learning following Thanksgiving Break

Dear University Community,

As we are all aware, the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise not just in the St. Louis region, but throughout the state and across the nation. It is essential for all of us to take even greater precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. To that end, the University of Missouri–St. Louis will transition a majority of our remaining in-person meetings of blended undergraduate and graduate courses to remote learning formats beginning Monday, Nov. 30, for the last three weeks of instruction and final exams following Thanksgiving break.

Faculty are expected to transition their courses to remote learning with the exception of those that require the use of specific facilities such as laboratories or specialized equipment. Faculty should work with their respective deans to determine such exception courses and communicate to students if in-person instruction will continue as well as expectations for online or in-person final examinations no later than Friday, Nov. 20.

Since before the fall semester began, faculty teaching in-person blended courses have been carefully preparing for a potential pivot to remote instruction if conditions warranted doing so. As such, we are well equipped to ensure a smooth transition so that our students can finish the semester strong. Our Keep Learning site provides tailored resources for students to pivot to online instruction including online learning strategies, while our Keep Teaching site provides resources for faculty including examples of how to re-envision common classroom activities.

It's important to note that our situation at UMSL remains relatively safe and we have few active cases associated with our community. As such, university operations will continue uninterrupted with on-campus services such as residence halls, residential dining, health services, university libraries and more remaining open for the remainder of the semester. Advising. academic support and career services will remain available through virtual appointments. We will continue to monitor our on-campus situation as well as follow CDC guidelines and St. Louis County and state health orders to ensure our campus community remains safe.

To assist with final examinations, the Campus Testing Center will remain open as well, by appointment only. Campus Testing Center staff can assist faculty with converting any exams into Canvas and proctoring exams for students who need accommodations or for whom Proctorio is not a good option.

I know that this has been a challenging semester due to the pandemic. But, please know that I see the sacrifices you are making. What’s most important for all of us in this moment is to remember that we cannot let down our guard against this virus. This recent spike in cases is especially concerning as the holidays – and holiday travel – approach. I encourage our Triton community to remain vigilant, whether you’re learning or working from campus or home. Wear a mask, maintain social distancing, clean your hands well, limit gatherings, monitor your health daily and stay home if you are sick.

I take great pride in knowing that many in our Triton community have taken the right steps to slow the spread of this virus and I admire the perseverance that each of you have demonstrated throughout this time. I wish you all health and well-being as we finish this most unprecedented of semesters. 

Stay safe,

Kristin Sobolik
University of Missouri–St. Louis