The end of this week marks the mid-point of the fall semester. As you know, we will close campus this Thursday and Friday for deep cleaning. I hope you will take a well-deserved break and recharge for the second half of the semester.
This semester has been different from any other academic term we have experienced. The challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic have been significant. However, we have demonstrated that even the biggest obstacles can be overcome.
Through our collaboration and hard work, together we have achieved success. This success is due to the positive attitudes, flexibility and resiliency of our faculty, students and staff. Thanks for your good work.
As I mentioned last week, our enrollment increased this fall because of your efforts. In light of our enrollment success, last week I worked with our leadership team to roll back a portion of the hiring freeze that we instituted earlier this calendar year. We also eliminated the freeze on maintenance and repair projects.
We still have a lot of work to do. In the current environment, many analysts have warned that enrollment success in the fall does not necessarily translate to enrollment success in the spring. Please continue your efforts to support our students and help them overcome the barriers they face.
The Missouri State Way and United Way campaigns have kicked off. Missouri State University faculty and staff make a difference on our campus and in our community by participating in these campaigns.
Your contribution to the Missouri State Way campaign helps change lives of our students and helps them manage their education and their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. By providing internet devices from the Emergency Student Fund, donations to the Bear Pantry, personal protective equipment or scholarships, the MSU Foundation uses funds raised through the Missouri State Way campaign to ensure that MSU students can attend class and continue their studies regardless of their financial background or difficult circumstances.
The United Way campaign addresses the urgent needs of some of our most vulnerable community members in Springfield and the Ozarks. The United Way of the Ozarks connects communities, people and hope. It has convened community leaders for a coordinated response to the pandemic, provided critical supplies, and raised and distributed more than $164,000 in funds to help our community respond to COVID-19.
Learn more about how the United Way of the Ozarks has helped our community through the Covid-19 pandemic.
To continue to support our local community, the United Way needs our support.
You will receive a Missouri State Way and United Way campaign packet in campus mail this week. You can also find information on the campaign webpage. Please join me in contributing to each of these important organizations.
After you complete your forms, please plan to attend the free virtual celebration event at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 13. Details can be found on the campaign webpage. We will draw for prizes at the event, and everyone that attends will receive a bookstore coupon.
Finally, I want to encourage you to recognize your colleagues who have done exceptional work.
The Staff Excellence in University Service Award recognizes excellence in service to the university among staff employees. Through this award, the university recognizes staff who strive to do their jobs well on a daily basis, who go beyond the call of duty in a special situation, and who have contributed in a significant way to the success of the university.
Each year, six full-time staff receive this award (which includes a one-time $1,500 award).
Currently enrolled students, employed staff, faculty or administrators are encouraged to nominate full-time staff employees for the Excellence in University Service Awards.
The deadline to nominate a staff member is Nov. 13. You can review the selection criteria and complete a nomination form on the Staff Excellence in University Service Award webpage.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!