Based on current data and guidelines from the CDC, Truman State University plans to resume in-person instruction when the fall semester begins Aug. 17, 2020.
Details on specific steps will continue to be emailed to campus and posted to the Fall 2020 website as they become available. Due to the ever-changing circumstances relating to COVID-19, the University is trying to maintain as much flexibility as possible and will make any necessary adjustments as needed.
In an effort to limit exposure to and spread of COVID-19, the University will follow the advice of the CDC, specifically its recommendations in regard to higher education. This includes social distancing measures and strict sanitation protocols. The CDC also recommends the use of cloth face coverings among students, faculty and staff as feasible and essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.
While this is a return to campus, it is not yet a full return to previous norms. In addition to social distancing and increased sanitation protocols, the University is adjusting the fall semester calendar. The start and end dates will remain unchanged, and a full academic semester will be observed; however, in-person instruction will conclude Nov. 24, the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. This is an attempt to limit students’ exposure to the virus due to holiday-related travel and is in line with what many other schools around the country are doing this semester. Along with Faculty Senate, Staff Council and Student Government, the University Board of Governors were consulted in reference to the calendar at their June meeting and concurred with the decision.
In order to provide students with courses of appropriate duration for the credit hours awarded, the University will forgo the traditional breaks observed during the fall semester. This includes Labor Day, Midterm Break and the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving Break. Strategies are being developed to provide alternative ways to experience breaks as the traditional days off will not occur. All instructional hours will be completed before Thanksgiving Break. Any final course requirements will be conducted remotely in the following two weeks. Courses already scheduled for entirely online delivery will be unaffected.
To meet CDC guidelines for higher education institutions, courses will be offered in face-to-face, hybrid or fully online formats. Students should expect to have a mixture of course formats in their schedules. The format of each fall course will be available by July 15. Students who have questions about their fall schedules should contact the Center for Academic Excellence at 660.785.7403.
Campus buildings will remain locked until at least July 24. For the time being, employees should remain in their current status. Those who are working from home should continue to do so. As employees are recalled to campus, they will be supplied with specific instructions regarding steps to take to promote the health and well-being of the entire campus community.
Department heads will outline the return process for their individual units in the weeks prior to the start of classes and will address any possible changes to office protocol that will be needed to meet CDC guidelines for higher education. Specific guidelines will also be posted to the Fall 2020 website when they are finalized.
Employees who fall into a high-risk category for COVID-19 as defined by the CDC site may request an accommodation with regard to returning to campus. Appropriate medical documentation should be presented by July 1. Accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Employees who have child care issues this fall may be eligible for Emergency FMLA through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. A request form can be found here and should be submitted to Human Resources with supporting documentation. Questions about accommodations or Emergency FMLA may be submitted to Human Resources at email@example.com.
The Labor Day holiday will be moved to Tuesday, Dec. 22. An energy-efficiency day will be utilized for Monday, Dec. 21, resulting in the University being closed for the entire week.