Update: On Monday, Nov. 16, Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani issued a clarification to this release about students’ return to classes after Thanksgiving break. Read more here.
Missouri S&T plans to resume on-campus classes following Thanksgiving break, Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani announced tonight (Sunday, Nov. 15).
In an email to campus, Dehghani cited the relatively low incidence of COVID-19 cases among the university population as a reason for returning to campus “to complete this semester as planned – with a return to our current model of in-person, hybrid and online learning after the Thanksgiving break.” He also urged students, faculty and staff to take “even greater precautions against the spread of COVID-19.”
As of last Friday (Nov. 15), Missouri S&T had 61 reported active cases out of a university community of 9,027 students, faculty and staff. That translates to 0.68% of the university community, Dehghani noted in the email.
“These numbers, as well as our ability to treat, quarantine and isolate cases (which has been stretched, but not exceeded), give me confidence that we will be able to complete this semester as planned,” he wrote.
In his message, Dehghani also announced the cancellation of his annual holiday brunch for campus and urged students, faculty and staff to refrain from planning holiday gatherings of any kind, on or off campus. He encouraged students who need to adjust their schedules after Thanksgiving break to notify instructors as soon as possible.
Thanksgiving break for Missouri S&T students begins Monday, Nov. 23. Classes resume the following Monday, Nov. 30. The semester ends Friday, Dec. 18.
The full text of Dehghani’s message is below:
Distinguished colleagues and dear friends,
Last week, we recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases at S&T since classes began in August. Cases are on the rise in Rolla, in our state and across the nation. Given this situation as we enter this final week before Thanksgiving break, it is essential that all of us take even greater precautions against the spread of COVID-19. We plan to return after Thanksgiving break to successfully complete this challenging semester, but it will take every one of us working together for the common cause to make that happen.
It’s important to note that even with the rise in cases locally, statewide and nationally, our situation at S&T is relatively safe. As of Friday, we had 61 reported active cases at S&T – or 0.68% of our university community of 9,027 students, faculty and staff. These numbers, as well as our ability to treat, quarantine and isolate cases (which has been stretched, but not exceeded), give me confidence that we will be able to complete this semester as planned – with a return to our current model of in-person, hybrid and online learning after the Thanksgiving break. We will continue to monitor our situation and contact tracing data, should the need arise to adjust our plans.
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’d like to re-emphasize several of the points from Dr. Dennis Goodman’s message last week about Thanksgiving safety and safely returning to campus for those who leave during the upcoming break.
Please take the following measures to protect yourself, your family and friends, and others:
I acknowledge that this has been a challenging semester due to the pandemic. Please know that I see the sacrifices you are making. I take great pride in knowing that many of you have taken the right steps to slow the spread of this virus. Our community has done a stellar job of protecting one another. It may be difficult to keep the momentum going, but we can and we will.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who attended my State of the University address on Nov. 5. If you missed it, you can watch a recording at chancellor.mst.edu/state-of-the-university.
About Missouri University of Science and Technology
Founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 8,000 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 99 different degree programs in 40 areas of study, including engineering, the sciences, business and information technology, education, the humanities, and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T is known globally and is highly ranked for providing a high return on tuition investment, exceptional career opportunities for graduates, and an emphasis on applied, hands-on learning through student design teams and cooperative education and internship opportunities. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.