(COLUMBIA, Mo.) — University of Missouri System officials announced Friday that all four universities will conduct remote courses for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, extending the recently announced suspension of in-person classes.
Universities will remain open to ensure students who need access to dining and housing, library resources or broadband are accommodated. This announcement follows declarations of emergency by U.S. President Donald Trump and Missouri Governor Michael Parson to combat COVID-19, which allows emergency officials to obtain access to resources reserved for emergencies.
“Our university communities are working hard to maintain the level of excellence that our students and Missourians expect from their public research university,” UM System President Mun Choi said. “We are also working with colleagues around the world to develop treatments for COVID-19, sharing our extensive testing capabilities and sustaining our commitment to research and health care as we continue our service to the state.”
For the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, the following actions will take place at the Missouri University of Science & Technology, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Missouri-St. Louis:
- All coursework for in-person classes will be delivered remotely beginning next week.
- Libraries, residence halls, and dining halls will remain open.
- Recreational centers and complexes will be closed.
- Officials will make decisions about final exams and commencement at a later date. Students and employees will receive further details about these changes in the near future. Administrators at all four universities are reaching out to supervisors, asking them to prepare their offices to support remote work options in the future should that become necessary.
“We recognize this is an unprecedented, challenging time,” Choi said. “I’m extremely appreciative of the hard work of our four chancellors and their faculty and staff over the last several weeks. We remain dedicated to our missions of educating our future leaders and conducting research that improves lives, including research that will help us find answers to defeat this virus.”
Examples of research studies at UM System universities involving viruses similar to the coronavirus include:
- Identifying molecular modeling of inhibitors docked into coronavirus.
- Obtaining data from early in the outbreak to better understand how it has been spreading.
- Working to understand immune responses to the virus.
- Recognizing how viruses suppress or augment inflammatory and antiviral responses.
- Understanding how the public’s reactions, including perceptions and behaviors, can affect the spread of the virus.