COVID-19 Announcements

Amidst the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation, there have been numerous emails sent to faculty and staff. Find them archived here in reverse chronological order.


Dear Minnesota State University, Mankato Employee,

As our state responds to COVID-19, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-07 on March 17 to support state agency employees during this unprecedented time. This order provides one of the best paid leaves in the country for employees who cannot work due to certain COVID-19-related circumstances.

Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) rolled out the paid COVID-19 leave policy and request form on March 18 to state agency employees. Generally, all employees who can telework should. Employees who cannot telework may be reassigned or redeployed. For employees who can’t telework or be reassigned or redeployed, Paid COVID-19 Leave is available.

Last week President Trump signed into law a federal government emergency coronavirus relief package. It includes paid sick leave benefits for employees who must take time off because of the spreading virus, as well as expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits for leave for school and childcare closures due to COVID-19. MMB has updated our state policy to comply with the federal law. The revised policy is posted on MMB’s website and is effective April 1.

The April 1, 2020 revised Paid COVID-19 Leave policy includes addition of:

  • Paid school care leave for kids under 18, rather than only 12 and under
    • For kids older than 12, this is another use of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, is limited to a total of up to 12 weeks of FMLA at 2/3 pay, and runs concurrently with employees’ existing FMLA leave balance. The remaining 1/3 can be supplemented with accrued vacation or comp time. The total amount of FMLA leave available to any employee eligible for both FMLA and this leave will not exceed 12 workweeks in the fiscal year.  Employees who have already exhausted their FMLA balance for the fiscal year are limited to up to 80 hours of this leave (pro-rated for part-time employees) at 2/3 pay. The remaining 1/3 can be supplemented with accrued vacation or comp time.
    • At this time, we will not impose these caps and limitations on school leave for younger kids or children with disabilities who need care.
  • Care leave for individuals other than family members
    • This is limited to 80 hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) at 2/3 pay. The remaining 1/3 can be supplemented with accrued vacation or comp time.
    • At this time, we will not impose these caps and limitations on care for family members.
  • We expanded some uses for the employee’s health and caring for others, but generally our prior policy already provided the benefits required by federal law, and more.

Contact your supervisor to discuss your use of Paid COVID-19 Leave. To request Paid COVID-19 Leave, you must submit a Paid COVID-19 Leave Request Form to the Office of Human Resources for approval. You may contact Steve Barrett, Director of Human Resources at 507-389-2015 or hr@mnsu.edu with any questions.

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President

Steve Barrett
Director, Human Resources


Good afternoon,

I am writing today to update the campus community on a decision I have made to allow students to choose Pass-No Credit grading for their Spring 2020 courses. The decision to allow this option for students reflects the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in, moving all of our more than 3,300 courses to online or alternative delivery in such a short time.

Many other universities in our region, including the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State, have offered students P/NC or a similar option.

Beginning in early April, we will allow students an opportunity, ending April 26, to choose a P/NC grading system for any of their classes this semester. We will provide students with information and resources they will need to make an informed decision here: http://www.mnsu.edu/grading. We also encourage students to consult with advisors and instructors so they can make the best decision possible for them.

 We understand this decision will require additional work down the road to assure that students are held harmless for their choices. Until Thursday of last week, we were awaiting guidance from the System Office on this change. When we received word that it would be a local campus decision, Provost Cecil immediately sought input on the ramifications of the change through a survey of department chairs and consultation with FA leadership and others. Almost all of our chairs responded and we will use their feedback as a starting point in our work to address the implications of this change.

We have two goals during this crisis. First, we must keep everyone in our campus community safe. Second, we must assure that our students continue progressing towards their goals. This grading option will help our students stay on track.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact Provost Cecil in the Office of the Provost at provost@mnsu.edu.

I am proud of the way our faculty, staff, and students are dealing with this unprecedented situation. Thank you for everything you do.

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President


Dear Students:

Our extended Spring Break ends this weekend and classes resume online or in alternative delivery format on Monday, March 30.  I know this is not how any of you expected this semester to go, and it is certainly not what I expected either! I would much rather see you in person on campus this week instead of interacting with you virtually. Please know that even though many of you are not here with us physically, we care deeply about each of you and want you to be successful this semester and into the future.

Since remote teaching and learning is a change for many of us, this message contains information on the various resources we have put in place to help you succeed.

  • Get Started With Online Learning: Download the quick guide to student tech resources for learning online. For an extensive and continually growing list of all student resources, visit the  Keep Learning website.
  • Stay Informed: Please check your MavMail account regularly as that is our official way of communicating important information with you. All of our announcements are also posted on the University Coronavirus webpage.
  • Student Advising and Course Registration: University Advising is available to answer any questions you have about advising or course registration for summer and fall semester. Learn more here, or contact them at advising@mnsu.edu. Please also update your contact information in E-Services so we are able to connect with you!
  • Student Worker Information: State and federal legislation provides for student worker compensation during the COVID-19 situation. Please contact your student worker supervisor or visit the Student Payroll webpage to learn more.
  • Refunds: Students seeking refunds for residential life housing, dining services, or parking permits, please be patient with us as we work through these decisions and implementation. Further information will be shared as it becomes available and will be posted on our Coronavirus webpage.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we all work together to figure out how to move ahead in our new reality. Even if we are not together on campus, we are all still part of the #MavFam! Our faculty and staff are all working in unison to help you complete the semester successfully. Please contact your faculty, college dean or the Office of the Provost with any concerns or needs.

I wish you well with the rest of your spring semester—and I look forward to seeing many of you again next fall as well.

Go Mavs!

Richard Davenport
President


Dear Students,

Earlier today you received a message from Chancellor Malhotra announcing Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-20 which states, in part, that:

“Beginning on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 11:59 pm through Friday, April 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm, all persons currently living within the State of Minnesota are ordered to stay at home or in their place of residence except to engage in the Activities and Critical Sector work.”

The colleges and universities that are part of the Minnesota State system are among the entities identified as “Critical Sector work,” and thus, the University will remain open to provide essential educational services and resources for students. Classes will begin again on March 30, through either online or alternative instruction. Your instructors will be reaching out to you with more details, if they have not already done so.

Although most buildings on our campus are now closed and most of our staff is working remotely, we remain committed to providing the services you need. More details about how to access the services you need can be found at www.mnsu.edu/coronavirus.

The University administrative team is diligently working to identify how Minnesota State Mankato will comply with this Executive Order to maintain the health and well-being of all our faculty, staff, and students, while also providing the necessary educational services. More information will be forthcoming as details are finalized.

Thank you all for remaining committed to your education during this time of uncertainty. Until my next message, be safe and well.

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President

Message to Students from Chancellor Malhotra


Dear Faculty and Staff,

Earlier today you received a message from Chancellor Malhotra (copied below) announcing Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-20 which states, in part, that:

“Beginning on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 11:59 pm through Friday, April 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm, all persons currently living within the State of Minnesota are ordered to stay at home or in their place of residence except to engage in the Activities and Critical Sector work.”

The colleges and universities that are part of the Minnesota State system are among the entities identified as “Critical Sector work,” and thus, Minnesota State University, Mankato will remain open to provide essential educational services and resources for our students. Classes will begin again, as previously communicated, on March 30. 

Please note, this Executive Order does not restrict virtual work or telework (i.ework from home), and in fact it encourages those Minnesotans who are able to telework to do so. Many of our staff and faculty are already engaged in telework arrangements and should continue to do so unless directed otherwise by their supervisors.

The University administrative team is diligently working to identify how Minnesota State Mankato will comply with this Executive Order to maintain the health and well-being of all our faculty, staff and students, while also providing the necessary educational services. More information will be forthcoming as details are finalized.

Thank you all for continuing the University’s good work during this time of uncertainty. Until my next message, be safe and well.

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President

Message to Faculty and Staff from Chancellor Malhotra


Dear Campus Community,

A member of the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus community has reported that they have been diagnosed with lab confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus). While the Minnesota Department of Health has determined that the risk of exposure at our University is low, my thoughts are with this individual and my wish for them is a speedy recovery.

I understand that this news may create unease in our community. The safety, security, and health of our staff and students is our top priority.  To that end, we have followed cleaning procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for further guidance. We are also working with MDH to identify and notify any close contacts.

The most important actions each of us can take to further protect ourselves include:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practicing self-care by eating a healthy diet and taking time to rest
  • Frequently cleaning all commonly touched surfaces
  • Avoiding large gatherings

This is our first notification of a case of COVID-19, and we are thankful to this individual for their self-awareness and reporting their condition to Minnesota State Mankato. As access to diagnostics increases (through clinical diagnosis or laboratory confirmation), so will the number of positive cases – both in the wider community as well as here at Minnesota State Mankato. Therefore, we expect that future diagnoses like these will not necessarily result in school-wide communication.

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, The Minnesota Department of Health recommends:

  1. Stay at home for at least 7 days, and for 3 days with no fever and improvement of respiratory symptoms – whichever is longer. (Your fever should be gone for 3 days without using fever-reducing medicine).
  2. Use the CDC website on how to Care For Yourself at Home with COVID-19.
  3. If your household contacts were exposed to you while you had symptoms, they should try to stay home as much as possible for 14 days.
    1. They should closely monitor their health, and if symptoms occur, they must isolate themselves. More guidance on this can be found here: MDH COVID-19 Basics
    2. Use the CDC website for How to Minimize Spread.

If you are concerned about your personal health due to symptoms, please contact your medical clinic prior to arriving so they can take the necessary precautions to keep other patients and medical staff safe. There are many resources listed on our website dedicated to COVID-19 with reliable and up to date information. 

This is a challenging time, and I know many of you may be feeling stress or anxiety.  Faculty, staff, and students may call the Minnesota Department of Health hotline at (651) 201-3920 with questions about symptoms, treatment, or risk of COVID-19. An Emotional Support Help Line is available for all students at 866-342-6892, and Student Health Services is answering student questions related to COVID-19 at (507) 389-5591. In addition, both the University Student Health Services and the Counseling Center are offering remote services for students.  Of course, the Employee Assistance Program is vital in promoting well-being among our employees with confidential counseling services.

We will get through this together as a community, and will be stronger when we emerge.

Take care,

Richard Davenport
President


Good afternoon,

Earlier this week you received a message from me instructing everyone that individuals who could telework should prepare to do so by Friday, March 20, in an effort to protect the health and safety of our campus community. Obviously, this action causes a major disruption to our normal business operations. I am proud of the proactive response by many offices to respond to these disruptions and provide alternative modes of completing our necessary work.

I am also pleased that despite the upheaval in your workdays, you have remained committed to serving our students. This has been a particularly difficult time for them, with everything from how they learn to where they live, work and eat changing on a daily basis. I ask that you continue to keep their needs in mind as you adjust to working remotely or with limited operations.

My message today contains many “need-to-know” details about our campus operations during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Building Closures:

To protect the safety and well-being of staff who need to remain on campus or intermittently access their offices, all university buildings will be closed to the public and locked at the end of the business day today, Friday, March 20.

Exterior door access is available to employees with your Mav Card at the designated electronic door.  Please call University Security at 507-389-2111 for assistance. 

This closure does not apply to the Library, University Dining Center, or Residential Life buildings, which will remain open to provide services to students.

Business Services Operations:

The majority of the Business Services Office staff will be telecommuting to various degrees.  With this mind, please review the attached instructions for completing and submitting forms and supporting materials to the Business Services Office. If you have questions regarding this document, please contact Steve Smith at steven.smith@mnsu.edu or Rick Straka at richard.straka@mnsu.edu.

Parking and Bus Operations:

Please see the attached memo from David Cowan regarding parking and bus operations.

Mail and Delivery Services:

Mail and Delivery services, including Fed Ex, UPS, and other packages will continue at this time. Please contact Tammy Trcka at tamara.trcka@mnsu.edu or 389-2173 if you have questions about any changes to your department’s mail delivery location.

StarAlert:

Please update your contact information in StarAlert so you are receiving important Minnesota State University, Mankato campus, and Minnesota State system messages. Access to StarAlert can be found here: https://my.mnsu.edu/account/

MMB Self Service:

Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) would like all state employees to update the following My Personal Information components in Self Service as soon as possible.

1. Add or update your personal information summary so we can reach you during an emergency. This includes your address, phone numbers, and email. Indicate your preferred mode of contact.

2. Complete or update the pandemic availability question to indicate if you are able or unable to work during a pandemic event based on specific criteria.

3. Complete or update your skills profile with your license and certificate information. Identify any license or certificate information you have, even if not associated or required for your current position. We may use this information if needed to quickly find employees with the necessary skills to assist in maintaining critical services to Minnesotans.

For help, go to the My Personal Information section of Self Service and select Instructions. Pertinent help is on pages 15-17.

Questions?

Contact your supervisor or human resources office. Continue to check mn.gov/bereadymn and the Minnesota Department of Health Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website often for the latest information.

Thank you for your attention to these matters. As always, stay home if you are sick, cover your cough, and wash your hands regularly.

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President

Business Services Office Communication

Bus and Parking Memo


Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I regret to inform you that we have determined at this time to cancel our spring commencement ceremonies on May 9, 2020. We understand that many students and their families were looking forward to this day of celebration, and we are sorry that we will be unable to proceed with our normal celebrations. We are taking these precautions because we care about everyone’s safety and well-being.

We are looking at creative alternatives to celebrate our spring graduates. Additional details will be shared as plans are finalized. Regardless of any alternative option this spring, please know that students scheduled to walk in the spring commencement will be welcome to join us for the fall commencement ceremony, if they so desire.

More information as it becomes available on future commencement plans will be available at www.mnsu.edu/graduation or submit your question via email to events@mnsu.edu.

Please continue to be safe and well.

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President


Dear Faculty and Staff,

This afternoon we received new guidance from the System Office indicating that until further notice, all colleges and universities and the system office are directed to take immediate action to implement telework for all employees unless work responsibilities require an employee to be physically present on site. By Friday, March 20, 2020, any employee who can work from a remote location will be required to do so. I have attached the Chancellor’s Memo on the topic for your review.

I have called an emergency Cabinet meeting tomorrow afternoon to discuss the details of the telework plan for Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Please know, our campus leadership has already been working on telework planning and many of our offices are prepared for this change with some beginning telework tomorrow. All employees who have not yet planned for telework should stand by for more information and speak to their supervisors.

We will provide more information as soon as we can. In the meantime, please let me thank all of you for everything you are doing to help our students through this crisis. I could not be prouder of our campus community. Our university is a special place and please know that I appreciate you and all that you do.

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President

Memo to Leadership Council from Chancellor Malhotra


Dear Minnesota State University, Mankato Students,

As you may know, Spring Break has been extended again for students. Spring Break continues until March 29, and your classes will resume with online and alternative delivery on Monday, March 30.

This is a complex and fluid situation and we appreciate your patience.

Your professors will reach out to you soon with more information about how courses will be delivered. In the meantime, we encourage you to log into e-services (https://www.mnsu.edu/eservices/) and enable text messaging so we can keep you posted with the latest information.

We want you to know that helping you continue to progress toward graduation is our top priority as we all confront this global pandemic crisis. We know you have many questions and we stand ready to answer them as best we can in this unprecedented situation.

Thank you again for your patience as we work through all the details surrounding this transition to online and alternative learning. We want you to succeed and we pledge to help you any way we can in the coming days and weeks. Stay safe and we will be in touch again soon.

Kind regards,
David P. Jones, Ph.D.


March 16 - Resumption of classes pushed back to March 30

March 15 - Travelers returning from other countries

Message to Faculty

March 16, 2020
8:08 a.m.

Good morning,

I am following up on Chancellor Malhotra’s email of last night to amplify a couple of key points.

1. Resumption of classes via online and alternative delivery has been pushed back to March 30. Faculty and staff should use this week and next to prepare for online and alternative delivery of coursework and support services. There are a wide variety of support services available for those who need help with that transition. They include the http://www.mnsu.edu/keepteaching site as well as the following library services:

2. Staffing/Continuity of Operations: I have asked Deans to identify staff in each college/unit office who could potentially telecommute and assure that they are prepared to do so with appropriate technology, broadband Internet access, knowledge of the university VPN, etc. If you have an underlying health concern, are caring for someone with an underlying health concern, or have any other reason to believe you are a candidate to telecommute, please contact your supervisor.

Once again, I want to thank everyone for their dedication to helping our students through this unprecedented situation. Everyone understands these alternative delivery methods and work arrangements are not ideal. Our goal must be to do the best we can for our students despite these obstacles.

Kind regards,
Matt


Message to Faculty and Staff

March 15, 2020
12:34 p.m.

Dear Minnesota State Mankato faculty and staff,

Effective immediately:

All travelers that are returning from a Level 3 country must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.  The full guidance from the CDC is located at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-europe

Travelers returning from other countries or from domestic travel need to monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.  Travelers that are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.  The full guidance from the CDC is located at

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/coronavirus-global

If you are a faculty or staff member who needs to self-quarantined or stay home to monitor your health after traveling, please notify the Office of the Provost, provost@mnsu.edu.

If you are a student who needs to self-quarantine, stay home to monitor your health, or needs accommodations to self-quarantine, please notify Student Affairs, student-affairs@mnsu.edu.

If you have questions regarding exposure as a result of travel, Minnesota Department of Health asks you to call 651-201-5414 or 877-676-5414 for guidance.

Please visit the campus Coronavirus web site at http://www.mnsu.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates or to post your questions.

Respectfully,

Matt


Dear Minnesota State Mankato Students,

Effective immediately:

All travelers that are returning from a Level 3 country must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.  The full guidance from the CDC is located at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-europe

Travelers returning from other countries or from domestic travel need to monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.  Travelers that are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.  The full guidance from the CDC is located at

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/coronavirus-global

If you are a faculty or staff member who needs to self-quarantined or stay home to monitor your health after traveling, please notify the Office of the Provost, provost@mnsu.edu.

If you are a student who needs to self-quarantine, stay home to monitor your health, or needs accommodations to self-quarantine, please notify Student Affairs, student-affairs@mnsu.edu.

If you have questions regarding exposure as a result of travel, Minnesota Department of Health asks you to call 651-201-5414 or 877-676-5414 for guidance.

Please visit the campus Coronavirus web site at http://www.mnsu.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates or to post your questions.

Respectfully,

David P. Jones, Ph.D.


Good afternoon,

I wanted to follow-up yesterday’s messages from Chancellor Malhotra and President Davenport with a few additional points of interest and reminders.

As President Davenport noted, we have extended Spring Break for students until March 23. Campus remains open and faculty and staff should report to work. The extra week gives faculty an opportunity to plan for online and alternative delivery of all courses for the remainder of the semester beginning March 23.

With the exception of unique, off-campus instructional situations like clinical experiences, student teaching, and aviation flight training, we will not hold on-campus classes for the remainder of the semester. Students in those unique instructional situations will be contacted by their professors with more information.

Campus is open and while classes are moving to online and alternative delivery you are welcome to be here. Residence halls remain open for those residential students who need to be here for any reason. Food service is available. Memorial Library and most other campus buildings will be open next week.

We have created a support site for students who are inexperienced with online learning: http://mankato.mnsu.edu/keeplearning.

If you have questions about academics, please contact us at provost@mnsu.edu. We will try to answer your questions or connect you with experts who can help.

I want to thank you ahead of time for your patience as we adapt our classes and campus services for online and alternative delivery. Please know that your continued progress toward graduation is our top priority during this crisis.

We want you to succeed and we promise to do everything we can to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Kind regards,
Matt


Good afternoon,

I wanted to follow-up yesterday’s messages from Chancellor Malhotra and President Davenport with a few additional points of interest and reminders.

As President Davenport noted, we have extended Spring Break for students until March 23. Campus remains open and faculty and staff should report to work. The extra week gives faculty an opportunity to plan for online and alternative delivery of all courses for the remainder of the semester beginning March 23.

The goal of this move to online and alternative delivery is to allow students to stay away from campus. We have encouraged students to stay away if they can, though residence halls remain open for those students who have nowhere else to go or who need to be here because they have jobs in the community. We know that with this shift many of our students will choose not return to Mankato this semester.

Thus, with the exception of unique, off-campus instructional situations like clinical experiences, student teaching, and aviation flight training, we expect that faculty will not hold on-campus classes for the remainder of the semester.

We recognize that this creates enormous challenges in areas like laboratory sciences, art studios, and performance classes and we are ready to help faculty address those challenges.

This is a public health crisis and a worldwide pandemic. It is going to require creativity and innovation in order to help our students succeed. The timing is difficult and planning for those alternative experiences needs to happen quickly. Our goal must be to create learning opportunities that, while not ideal by any measure, address our students’ needs and keep them on schedule for graduation.

As a reminder, we have created a Web site to help anyone with questions about moving classes online quickly: http://mankato.mnsu.edu/keepteaching.

We also have a support site for students who are inexperienced with online learning: http://mankato.mnsu.edu/keeplearning.

In addition, the faculty and staff of Memorial Library offer a wide variety of services that can help with the transition. Contact a librarian for more information.

If you have questions about specific kinds of learning experiences, please contact us at the Office of the Provost, provost@mnsu.edu. We will try to answer your questions or connect you with experts who can help.

Many faculty members have come forward offering their online teaching expertise to assist faculty colleagues with this shift to online and alternative delivery. I am grateful to them for their willingness to help. If you have special skills you would like to offer to help colleagues with this transition, please contact Associate Vice President Jennifer Veltsos: Jennifer.veltsos@mnsu.edu.

It has been a turbulent few weeks. I hope everyone has a restful weekend in preparation for what will be a busy time next week preparing for this shift to online and alternative delivery.

Thank you for everything you do to help our students succeed.

Kind regards,
Matt


Dear Faculty and Staff,

Chancellor Devinder Malhotra communicated today that we are extending Spring Break by one week for our students and suspending all classes (including classes that are already online) for that week. Beginning March 23, all coursework at Minnesota State University, Mankato will resume and be delivered through online or alternative instruction.

We believe this is a prudent course of action and I urge everyone to pull together to assist our students in their academic goals.

Please review the following points:

  • While students are allowed to extend their Spring Break next week, employees will continue to report to work as usual. Student employees and graduate students who are able to work next week have been encouraged to do so.
  • Employees who believe they, or a member of their family are at-risk because of the possibility of infection should contact their supervisors to arrange other work alternatives. Those arrangements might include working remotely, or taking appropriate leave.
  • Individuals who recently traveled internationally to a Level 3 country, please self-identify and determine with your supervisor alternative work arrangements for 14 days to limit the risk of secondary exposure.
  • In addition to the already-suspended school and business-sanctioned international travel, Minnesota State System has now suspended school and business-sanctioned out-of-state domestic travel, effective Monday, March 16. Please do not make new travel arrangements at this time. If you have non-refundable travel expenses for a canceled trip, please contact your supervisor. Additionally, we highly recommend any travel plans for this weekend be re-evaluated for your own safety and well-being of others.
  • If you have questions about delivering a course online, addressing a situation unique to a class you are teaching, or anything else related to academic affairs, please contact the Office of the Provost at provost@mnsu.edu. Also note that we have a Web site: http://mankato.mnsu.edu/keepteaching which may help with your transition to online or alternative delivery.
  • For other questions, please review our FAQ at http://mankato.mnsu.edu/coronavirus. The page includes a “submit a question” button where you can submit your questions about any topic related to this unprecedented situation.

We ask that everyone work together on the many challenges that are ahead as we embark on this major shift in how we deliver our courses. Minnesota State University, Mankato is a special place. I know we will rise to the occasion as a campus community in this difficult time.

Thanks to all of you for everything you do and for making this a great university!

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President


Dear Students,

A recent communication from Chancellor Malhotra announced that we are extending Spring Break one week (March 16-20) for all students and suspending all classes (including classes that are already online) for that same week. This will allow professors and others to prepare classes. Beginning March 23, all classes will resume and be delivered through online or alternative instruction. Student workers, including graduate assistants, may return to work on campus next week. Any student worker, or graduate assistant who does not wish to return to campus should contact their supervisor.

We want to help all students complete their Spring semester classes and successfully complete their degree requirements. We are committed to supporting you during this unprecedented situation.

  • If you have questions or concerns, including accessibility, online learning or other alternative instruction, please contact the Office of the Provost at provost@mnsu.edu.
  • For other questions, please review our FAQ at http://mankato.mnsu.edu/coronavirus. That page includes a “submit a question” button where you can submit your questions about any topic related to this situation.

Minnesota State Mankato students who live in campus residence halls and Stadium Heights, please note the following:

  • If you need to live in campus housing throughout the semester, you will continue to have access to your room or apartment. 
  • If you simply need to collect some belongings, you will also have access to your room or apartment. 
  • There will be limited dining service available in the University Dining Center and Centennial Student Union next week. 
  • If possible, we do encourage you to consider staying at home, or another location until classes resume on March 23.  In fact, you may wish to stay at home for the remainder of the semester and continue your studies online or through alternative instruction identified by your faculty.
  • Additional questions about your housing can be directed to the Office of Residential Life at reslife@mnsu.edu or 507-389-1011.

Students, you should be aware that travelers returning from CDC Level 3 countries are required to observe a 14-day period of self-quarantine and monitoring.

  • You can learn if the county you visited is on this list here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
  • During this quarantine period, you are not permitted to come to work, attend class in-person, or participate in any other campus or community activities.
  • The university does not have the capacity to provide self-quarantine locations on campus for students. Students needing to self-quarantine will be required to return to their permanent home residences or self-quarantine in their off-campus apartments.
  • Students who reside in university housing and are unable to return to a home residence should contact University Housing in the Office of Residential Life at reslife@mnsu.edu or 507-389-1011. 

Please know that we want everyone to succeed and will work with you to make that possible. In the meantime, take precautions, and be safe and healthy. Everyone at Minnesota State University, Mankato stands ready to help you.

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President


Faculty and staff,

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely. Many of you have asked about moving courses online. Universities across the U.S. and internationally have begun to make that transition.

While no decision has been made to transition to online instruction here, it is prudent for everyone to be prepared should that become necessary. We are asking that you begin planning for that possibility.

It is important to acknowledge as we plan that everyone understands moving in-person courses online is neither simple nor ideal. This is an unprecedented situation. The fact is that if we must forego in-person classes, this is the best we can do for our students as we deal with a serious public health crisis.

With that in mind, a team from the Office of the Provost, CETL, and IT Solutions have created this web site:

http://mankato.mnsu.edu/keepteaching

There you will find basic resources that can help you plan for the possibility of moving your in-person course online. You will also find links and contact information for people who can help you plan for this possible transition. We are also taking steps to assure that, should a transition occur, all of our students can access online classes.

Support staff and the administration stand ready to assist as you consider how you might move your classes online. Let’s work together to help our students through this situation.

If you have questions, comments, concerns, or ideas to share, please contact me at provost@mnsu.edu.

Thank you for all you do for our students and our university.

Kind regards,
Matt


Campus Community,

The University has assembled a Pandemic Response Team that continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) epidemic and the impacts it has on our faculty, staff and students. In today’s message I share an update on our campus preparations and action, the status of university activities, and other tips and reminders. Please remember to visit often our University Webpage for the most current information and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

University Actions

I have asked several of my executive officers to closely monitor this evolving situation and recommend to me appropriate follow-up actions based on their ongoing interactions with state and federal health officials, the System Office leadership teams, and best-practices they observe in the higher education community. Additionally, I have asked all of my cabinet members to review and update their Continuation of Operations Plans (COOPs) should the COVID-19 epidemic reach pandemic level. Our Pandemic Response Team stands ready to engage if the situation escalates.

International and Domestic Travel

In my previous communications to you, I shared that the Chancellor of the Minnesota State System suspended all international travel effective on February 28, 2020. Since that time, our administration has been working diligently with affected students, faculty and staff to resolve the logistical and financial implications of cancelled trips and reservations. Please remember this suspension is “indefinite” at this time and no new international travel should be scheduled until further notice.

We had five students that were studying abroad in a Level 3 advisory area. Those students have returned home safely. Students that are studying abroad at a Level 1 or Level 2 country are not required at this time to return home. The Center for Education Abroad and Away has been in direct contact with those impacted students and will update them accordingly if their status should change.

There are no current restrictions on domestic travel.

Classes, University-Sponsored Activities and Possible Online Instruction

At this time, University classes and campus events and activities will commence as scheduled. You may have seen in the media that some higher education institutions have begun to cancel events or move their in-person classes to virtual courses/suspended classes. If the University moves in a similar direction, additional instructions and resources will be forthcoming. Faculty will receive an additional message from Interim Provost Cecil regarding resources available to faculty in the event we need to move to an online learning model for an extended period of time.

Reminders and Tips

As this situation continues to evolve rapidly, fears tend to rise to the highest level. Please remember to treat others kindly and respectfully, and do not make assumptions about COVID-19 exposure or other discriminatory comments based on perceived race, color or ethnic origins. Any concerns regarding potential discriminatory actions should be referred to our Equal Opportunity & Title IX office at eotitleix@mnsu.edu or 507-389-2986.

As a reminder, while there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, the CDC recommends that everyone take every day preventative actions such as:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

We continue to monitor the situation and will provide additional updates as more information becomes available. Please check your email regularly for updates regarding this situation.

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President


Dear Campus Community,

The coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation that has made national and international news. While at this time the risk of becoming sick with COVID-19 is low, Minnesota State University, Mankato is closely monitoring the developing situation related to COVID-19 and is committed to taking steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our faculty, our staff, and our students.

Out of an abundance of caution, Chancellor Devinder Malhotra has suspended all Minnesota State – related international travel effective immediately. This includes study abroad programs, and any other activities involving faculty, staff and students. We recognize there are a lot of unanswered questions right now and we are working hard as a campus to address these in the near future.

We will continue to monitor reports, guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department and review this action on a recurring basis.

Resources and information that you may find helpful are below:

  • We are cooperating with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are conveying their information and guidance related to COVID-19 to our university. MDH and Minnesota State are working to develop regular communication channels to proactively address school-related topics with regard to COVID-19.
  • Information that MDH is making available for schools, colleges and universities is available at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools.html.
  • To date, there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 reported at any Minnesota State college or university or at the system office. At this time, MDH assesses the risk of becoming sick with COVID-19 for people in Minnesota schools, as low, and is not recommending that events or extracurricular activities be cancelled. However, as noted above, international travel has been suspended at all Minnesota State colleges and universities.
  • Anyone in the U.S. who has not traveled to China or been in contact with someone confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days is at low risk of becoming sick with the virus
  • We encourage all students, faculty and staff to:

Other Informational Resources: There are many sources of information on COVID-19 including state, national and international organizations. Primarily sources for Minnesota State monitoring, planning, and response are:

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH):

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

State Department (DOS):

Sincerely,

Richard Davenport
President