UM System cancels in-person classes for remainder of spring semester

Dorms, dining halls remain open
Posted at 7:45 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 20:45:14-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — All four campuses in the University of Missouri System will move to online classes only for remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

Classes at the University of Missouri-Columbia and University of Missouri-Kansas City already had suspended classes through the end of the month.

The UM System also includes the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Missouri Science and Technology in Rolla.

“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 in a statement announcing the decision. “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.”

All classes will be conducted remotely, but the campuses will remain open “to ensure students who need access to dining and housing, library resources or broadband are accommodated,” according to the UM System’s release.The decision came shortly after Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced a state of emergency and within hours of President Trump declaring a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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All coursework at the UM System’s four campuses will be delivered remotely.

While residence halls, dining halls and libraries will remain open, all recreational centers and complexes will be closed for the remainder of the spring semester.

A determination about how to handle final exams and graduation ceremonies will be made at a later date.

Each UM System university also is preparing remote work opportunities for staff when possible “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.”

According to the UM System release, its universities are currently engaged in several aspects of coronavirus-related research, which include:

  • Molecular modeling of viruses similar to COVID-19;
  • Data analysis on COVID-19’s spread;
  • Immune response studies;
  • Inflammatory and antiviral responses of COVID-19;
  • Understanding how the public’s reaction affects COVID-19’s spread.