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Keenum shares employee operating guidelines for March 16-20


TO: All Mississippi State University Employees
FROM: MSU President Mark E. Keenum
RE: Operating guidelines and procedures for the week of March 16-March 20

As I promised on Saturday, here are the operating guidelines under which Mississippi State University will operate for the next week. Developed in concert with the appropriate members of the university’s leadership team, these guidelines should address all primary matters of concern to you as university employees. Realizing that this is an unprecedented emergency, I urge those of you with more specific concerns to first work with your supervisors to resolve those concerns in a patient and productive manner. MSU will update this information as often as needed. Follow and university social media for additional information.

While spring break has been extended another week, Mississippi State University will be open Monday, March 16. The University is monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 constantly and asks that you continue to monitor your email as well for further announcements and/or changes.

Unless otherwise indicated below, the University is requesting that all non-essential employees stay at home until you are contacted by your supervisor to report to work.  All employees who are able to work remotely, should do so. 


We ask that all deans, directors, and department heads/supervisors report to work Monday. 


Faculty are expected to spend the coming week preparing to transition their classes to an online format.  Resources will be available both on campus and online to provide the necessary training.  If you are able to access the online training, we ask that you please do so and that you work remotely to the extent possible.  Additional information will be forthcoming from your Deans and Department Heads.


If you are typically designated as essential personnel when the University makes an emergency closing, we ask that you report to work on Monday, March 16th.  Your supervisor will provide you with further instruction Monday.

If you are returning from travel or are showing any symptoms of COVID-19, please see the instructions below and notify your supervisor immediately.


If you are typically designated as non-essential personnel, we ask that you stay at home until you are contacted by your supervisor to report to work.  Your supervisor will provide you with further instruction Monday.  A large number of employees who are typically designated as non-essential will be required to work over the coming days.  Because the University is still open, each department will need a limited number of employees to remain operational.  We will ask all supervisors to reduce the number of personnel to the bare minimum and to rotate those employees who must report to the extent possible.  Please understand that the University is operating under unprecedented circumstances, and we need each employee to remain flexible.


Local schools have announced that they will be closed this coming week and many other schools/daycare facilities will be closed as well.  In light of that, we understand that many of you will be facing challenges related to childcare.  We have asked all of our Deans, Directors, and Department Heads/Supervisors to accommodate you with these challenges to the greatest extent possible.  If you are impacted by this situation, please let your supervisor know of your circumstances.


During these unprecedented times, all employees who are unable to work for any reason or who are not asked to report to campus will be placed on administrative leave with pay.


If you are returning from international travel, from a cruise, or from any location where you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you must get clearance from the Longest Student Health Center before you return to campus.  Please call the Health Center at 662-325-2055 before returning to campus.  The Health Center will notify you and your department head by email of the clearance to return to campus or the requirement not to return to campus.

If you are not allowed to return to campus, you will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days.  During the 14-day period, you will be expected to work from home to the extent possible.  If you are unable to perform your work functions from home, you will be placed on paid administrative leave.


If asked to report to campus, you should notify your supervisor if you have symptoms (a fever of 100.4 F or greater along with cough or shortness of breath) and should not come to campus.


For consistency across campus, we ask that you direct any questions or concerns about your individual employment situation to Human Resources Management at 662-325-3713 if you are unable to resolve your question or concern through your supervisor or chain of command.  HRM is in constant communication with all necessary administrators and will answer your concerns as quickly as possible with necessary input from campus administration.


Follow msstate.edu and MSU social media for updates. We will continue to utilize email to update you so please check your email frequently.

Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 4:35 pm