In spring 2020, all of our jobs — and our lives — changed significantly when the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe.
Together we worked hard over the last two years to keep the university operating while protecting the health and safety of faculty, staff and students.
This was an arduous task, and we all worked harder and under different conditions than we ever have before. Our efforts paid off — we delivered classes, supported students and kept the university driving forward.
Thank you for all of your work.
As we draw closer to COVID-19 being deemed endemic, we have reached a new stage of the pandemic. Case numbers continue to fluctuate, but we are nowhere near the highs we experienced early on.
Vaccines are readily available, hospitalization rates are much lower, and the medical community has more research and new tools at its disposal to manage COVID-19.
At the end of this semester, we will roll off the bulk of our COVID-19 policies and initiatives.
We will discontinue our COVID-19 dashboard at the end of this week. We will plan for travel, campus events, and university operations to be normal during the summer and throughout next academic year; recognizing, of course, that changes in the COVID-19 situation could require us to bring back certain mitigation policies and initiatives.
The following policies will terminate May 23, 2022:
- Athletics Reentry Policy.
- COVID-19 Masking Policy.
- COVID-19 Testing Policy.
- Vaccination Guidance to Coordinators of Programs Requiring Travel or Increased Risk Activities.
The last of our temporary pandemic policies — the COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave Policy — will expire June 30, 2022.
As masking continues to be required in many healthcare facilities, campus clinics will have authority to set their own masking policies.
Asymptomatic testing will continue to be available, and Magers Health and Wellness Center will continue to administer COVID-19 vaccinations and test and treat students or employees who have symptoms of COVID-19.
Celebrate our #BearGrads
I hope you will join me for commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday.
We will recognize over 3,100 graduates in three ceremonies on the Springfield campus and one ceremony on the West Plains campus.
At the 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. ceremonies on Friday, Dr. Frank Einhellig and Dr. Jim Baker will deliver commencement addresses. These two long-standing administrators at MSU are retiring in June, and you don’t want to miss their parting remarks. I look forward to having them by my side for one last set of commencement ceremonies.
At the 5 p.m. ceremony on Friday, Dr. Glenn Coltharp, the retiring President of Crowder College, will receive an honorary doctorate from the Springfield campus and deliver his commencement address.
At the West Plains’ campus at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Mike Ennis, owner of Eminence Manufacturing and long-time supporter of workforce training programs at Missouri State University-West Plains, will receive an honorary degree. Dr. Baker will deliver the commencement address.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!