COVID-19 Campus Operations Update

Dear Members of the Midwestern State University Community:

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, I am writing you with the latest update for our campus and to explain our decision, effective March 30, to move to essential services only for campus operations. The health and well-being of our campus remains our highest priority. Although there are no confirmed cases on our campus, the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding this pandemic are a significant challenge that we are taking very seriously.

We recently received guidance on the continued operation of our institution in Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order Number GA 08 issued on March 19, 2020.  In the executive order, institutions of higher education are directed to operate in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. As described in the text of the order, the state is following guidance from the CDC to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent practicable. And in accordance with CDC’s guidance for institutions of higher education, we continue to collaborate and work together with our local health departments. 

Given Governor Abbott’s directives and his office’s encouragement to take any and all necessary precautions including incorporating social distancing and limits on the total number of people in one space, we have moved all instruction to an online modality for the remainder of the semester. We continue to provide housing and food services to a limited number of students for whom it is necessary. 

Governor Abbott’s encouragement to use teleworking as much as possible also takes into account that certain staff must remain in their work environment. Likewise, specific offices will need to remain open to ensure the continuity of our operations. Consequently, effective March 30, MSU will move to essential services only for campus operations. This means that we will be limiting the number of employees who work on campus as much as we can while still allowing for the business of the University to be conducted.

Essential services at MSU include:  

Business Office
Cabinet members and support staff
Deans and Directors and staff
Distance Education
Enrollment Management
Human Resources
Information Technology
Mail Service
Mustangs Pantry
Purchasing/Contract Management
Residence Life and Housing
University Library
University Police
Vinson Health Center

Anyone working in these areas should consult with their supervisor regarding who will remain working on campus and who can/should work remotely. A variety of other services (counseling, career services, advising and others) will be offered online, via phone or through other means.

All other employees should work with their supervisors to create remote working arrangements to begin on March 30, 2020. Human Resources has developed a Working Remotely webpage with resources for employees and supervisors to assist in this transition. The page includes a guide to working remotely as well as links for applicable forms.

These are indeed extraordinary times, but we will get through this difficult situation by continuing to work together. I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to the faculty and staff for their diligent work especially over these last few weeks to keep the health and well-being of our campus community of paramount importance.

Thank you to everyone for your patience, cooperation, and support.

Suzanne Shipley, President