Dear Bobcat parent and family members,
This special edition message is part of Montana State University’s ongoing effort
to provide timely information to the emerging concerns related to novel coronavirus
(COVID-19). Montana State University will be transitioning to on-line and remote course
delivery as of Monday, March 23, under the direction of the Montana Commissioner of Higher Education. The Spring semester 2020 is continuing. That said, the vast majority of our coursework
across the system will be delivered on-line and remotely. This means everything from
courses through a web portal, to assignments made via email, to even the
possibility of conference calls or skype-like sessions for smaller courses.
There will be exceptions -- courses that require equipment, clinical work, or software
that is only available on campus -- but we will move to remote delivery in every instance
possible. Faculty will work with their department heads, deans and chief academic
officers to determine allowable exceptions to remote delivery on a case-by-case basis.
During this time, your student must check their official university email account
frequently for communications from their instructors and campus administrations about
the move to remote delivery.
If your student currently lives in the residence halls and wishes to return back to
the residence halls after spring break, they will be allowed -- but not required --
to do so as normal. Residence and dining facilities as well as computer labs, the
health clinic and other student services will continue to operate normally, however,
students will be delivered their courses on-line and remotely. The university is keeping
the residence and dining facilities open understanding that for many students this
is one of their few options.
The exception to this is if a student travels to a Level 3, high-risk country as designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a recommended 14-day self-quarantine (scroll down on the linked CDC page for
a description of self-quarantine). In those cases, the university is strenuously urging
students traveling from such areas to not return to campus until they have completed their 14-day quarantine, and to please stay with friends and family for that period of time. The university has no facilities available to put students in 14-day quarantine. Staying with friends and family is the best place to receive support, should a student
We are getting many questions asking our advice about student travel within the United
States during spring break. As of this writing, there are no domestic travel restrictions
or quarantine requirements between states. The latest travel information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
It is impossible to predict what changes may take place between now and the end of
the spring break as a number of states are discussing tighter measures. We urge you
and your student to keep current with the news and the CDC’s website.
In the -- hopefully -- unlikely event your student becomes stuck in a state because
of a travel restriction (none are currently in place), or requires a 14-day self-quarantine,
the university will work with them so they can continue their course work. Please
see our March 10 “Protocols for student class absences” on our Archive of COVID-19 Communications page.
On a personal note I want to share a reflection as I complete week two as Acting Dean
of Students. I cannot overstate how impressed I am by the students, parents, faculty
and staff of our MSU community.
This is a challenging time in uncharted waters for all of us. The thoughtfulness and
respect with which people interact with one another, even as tensions and emotions
run high, can be point of pride for all of us.
Thank you for your role as an active member of our community. Together we will be
stronger as a result of these challenges. Thank you for the opportunity you have given
to engage with all of you in my expanded role.
Finally, as the remote learning situation evolves, we will communicate updates to
students via email and through our MSU COVID-19 webpage.
Registrar & Acting Dean of Students