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COVID-19 Preparedness and Response: Systemwide Resources

Dear University community,

As we work to address the global COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, we appreciate the diligent steps our university communities are taking in support of our students, faculty, staff and the many people our work aids and enriches every day. Leaders on your campus and at the system level are continuing to receive updates from our emergency management experts and incident command teams to communicate with students, faculty and staff on safety precautions, travel guidance and other necessary actions as needed.

Now more than ever, our collaboration is necessary so we can maintain learning and working continuity while preserving the health and safety of our community. In support of these efforts, the UM System has centralized resources and information for your use.

Teaching Continuity 
The Office of eLearning includes staff on each campus who are available to provide support for moving courses to a remote teaching model. Experts are available to provide academic technology and instructional design support in conjunction with existing university resources like our excellent teaching and learning centers. There are robust resources to support your operations in:

  • Remote and online teaching
  • Academic technologies, including Zoom, Canvas and other tools
  • Distribution of course materials and reading
  • Lab activities
  • Assessment strategies
  • Course and classroom communication needs
  • Identifying the best resources for your course and your students

If you need assistance to move your courses online, reach out to our eLearning professionals at keeplearning@umsystem.edu. 

Remote Work
Staff and faculty are still expected to report to work in-person. Supervisors should begin having discussions with their employees to have plans and technologies in place should it become inadvisable or not possible to report in-person. Further guidance regarding remote work will be shared as necessary.

Your campus IT division can assist your academic and administrative units to prepare for this possibility ahead of time. Please use your standard process to contact your IT support team if you need assistance. For additional information on how remote work may be achievable for your unit, access our Remote Work/Remote Teaching FAQs.

Travel Reimbursement
As trips, events and conferences are canceled, every effort should be made to minimize losses. The Office of Finance encourages you to first seek refunds for any canceled travel expenses that may have been or may be incurred. In cases where vendors will not refund travel, the University will reimburse employees expenses incurred for university business. For questions on obtaining reimbursement, access our Travel Refund Guidance FAQs. For additional support, the Finance Resource Center can be reached at (573) 884-1234, toll-free at (877) 752-1117 or by email at financesupport@umsystem.edu.

Human Resources Support
The Office of Human Resources has compiled a Coronavirus Q&A with answers to general questions regarding travel, pay, leave and more. In addition, HR colleagues and supervisors can refer to the HR Guidelines for Virus-Related Outbreak Concerns.Employees may require additional support and information that our current policies do not cover or accommodate. If you confront a circumstance not covered in our Q&A or policies, the HR Service Center is available to offer employment-related guidance and support. Please reach out via phone at (573) 882-2146, toll-free at (800) 488-5288 or by email at hrservicecenter@umsystem.edu.
 

Employee Assistance Program
We recognize this is a stressful time for our community and beyond. All employees—regardless of eligibility for other benefits—have access to free, confidential help for personal or professional challenges. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides counseling services and occupational stress programs. You may also choose to connect with a provider from the comfort of home with the behavioral health services available through University insurance.

As local and national circumstances evolve, our universities will continue to do our best to provide accurate, timely information. Centralized resources and updated information will continue to be found on our dedicated webpage at http://umurl.us/COVID19. This site includes links to the campus-level pages, which have additional, local information from MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL. I encourage you to stay apprised of the latest recommendations from the CDC and the U.S. Department of State for the most up-to-date information on the pandemic.

Thank you again for your dedicated service and attention to our University community in this challenging global climate.

 

Sincerely,

Mun Y. Choi
UM System President

 

Reviewed 2020-03-13