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UM Board of Curators executive committee votes to give temporary authority to president on decisions related to COVID-19 response


Christian Basi

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Monday, the University of Missouri Board of Curators executive committee voted to give UM System President Mun Choi temporary authority for any policies, procedures or other measures that are appropriate to address the public health emergency related to COVID-19. 

“We are facing challenging times, but we are fortunate to have strong and steady leadership at Missouri’s public research university system,” said Julia Brncic, chair of the UM Board of Curators. “Time is of the essence, and this vote allows President Choi to take swift and decisive actions that are in the best interests of our students, faculty and staff.” 

In his first act following the vote, Choi approved a new policy that would allow eligible employees, who cannot telework, to use up to 30 days of accrued sick leave to care for any immediate family member due to closures or limits in operations of a school, day care or other care provider. Employees also may use accrued vacation leave for this purpose. Those that don’t have accrued vacation can take up to 15 days of leave before it is accrued. 

Additionally, an employee who is directed away from work to quarantine for precautionary reasons may be granted administrative leave of up to 15 days if telework is not possible. The policy also provides expanded available leave in other circumstances. More details can be found here.

“I’m very appreciative to the hard work of every faculty and staff member at our four universities,” Choi said. “We have so many people dedicated to our mission of serving the state. These new policies allow us to support the wellbeing of our employees and their families while maintaining our teaching, research and service missions.” 

Administrators are also encouraging supervisors to review operations and identify employees who can perform their duties through telework arrangements. These decisions must be made while still maintaining university operations. Supervisors may use resources available at HR’s Working Through COVID-19 website to assist with this process. Employees who continue to report to work should follow basic preventive measures and avoid close contact with others.


Reviewed 2020-03-17