Contact: Sid Salter
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Citing an abundance of caution, Mississippi State University today announced that classes will be suspended for the week after Spring Break, March 16-22, as MSU continues to monitor the potential impacts of COVID-19 in Mississippi and makes additional operational plans. This class suspension applies to students only; faculty and staff will continue with normal operating procedures.
“Our primary responsibility is to safeguard our students, faculty, and staff during this health crisis,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “At this juncture, as COVID-19 is now a growing reality in Mississippi, this course of action is prudent and provides us the best opportunity to make the transitions necessary to most effectively meet our educational responsibilities as well.”
Keenum urged students, faculty and staff to exercise good judgment in reaction to this announcement. The university residence halls and dining facilities will be open for students who need to return to or remain on campus. Students may remain at home until in person classes resume.
MSU is suspending all university-sponsored events and gatherings, including events sponsored by any registered student organization. This decision is based on current best practices regarding social distancing as a prevention strategy for disease transmission.
This action is in keeping with guidance received from the Mississippi Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning. With no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the university community, MSU will remain open March 16-22 for faculty and staff.
All Mississippi public universities will extend Spring Break an additional week, which will allow faculty members time to prepare to take all classes online or other alternative means of instruction as part of a coordinated response approved by the State College Board. Classes will resume the following week, on Monday, March 23, and will be taught online and via other alternative instructional methods.
MSU will continue to monitor this situation in the coming days. Students, faculty, staff and their families should monitor the msstate.edu website, MSU social media accounts and their email for updated information.
“The situation remains fluid and university plans are subject to change in response to new information and recommendations received,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. “We continue to work with the Governor’s Task Force on Coronavirus and the Mississippi Department of Health as we develop our plans for the coming weeks and months. Our goal is to mitigate the risks posed by the coronavirus while maintaining the quality and integrity of the instructional programs.”
In addition to coronavirus updates, resources for faculty and staff to teach and take courses online are available at https://www.msstate.edu/coronavirus. Questions can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.