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Dear Bobcat parent and family members,

I am back from my parental leave with an important message from President Cruzado to our campus community. First though, I want to share with you the underlying reason for my absence. I’m a proud papa of a new baby girl! Avonlee Ryann Caires came into the world February 29. She, her mama and older sister (Roark, 2 years old) are doing well as we all adjust to the new normal.

Though the new normal on our campus is still shifting, know that our commitment to the safety, well-being and the success of your student is unwavering. In subsequent emails, I’ll be sharing updates, additional resources and information as we work together through this crisis and finish the semester. 

—Matthew R. Caires, Dean of Students 

Dear MSU Community,

Another week of constant changes is about to close. I am sure that, with the COVID-19 emergency, many of you have experienced new levels of intensity and stress: A day's work feels like a week's worth of really hard work. Personally, this experience has afforded me with a new understanding about challenges that our ancestors faced and, thankfully, overcame. We are resilient and, together, we will face these challenges and come out stronger on the other side.

Yesterday, Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued a directive for Montanans to stay at home except for certain circumstances and for employees working in essential areas. The directive goes into effect one minute after midnight on Saturday, March 28, and will remain in place through Friday, April 10.

Under the Governor's directive, the university system remains an essential government function. As such, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff while also keeping essential functions of the university operational. Montana State University is open, and the critical functions of instruction, research and Extension continue.

For our employees, this means:

  •  Faculty members continue to be involved in online and remote teaching, essential research, outreach and scholarly work with the excellence that characterizes them.
  •  All employees who can telework without hampering essential operations of the university must do so. Please fill out a telework agreement with your supervisor and HR business partner.
  •  Employees performing essential university functions that require being on campus will be contacted by their supervisors in consultation with HR to make arrangements. We will strictly observe social distancing and best practices of cleaning and hygiene.
  •  Non-essential service employees who cannot work remotely are eligible to take leave, and Paid COVID-19 Leave may be available. Employees should contact Human Resources with specific questions. You can also email[email protected] with leave-related questions.

For our students:

  •  Please know we will continue to offer your courses online and remotely. Additionally, services that you rely on -- the Writing Center, the Math Learning Center, the MSU Library, the Health Center, Counseling & Psychological Services, the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success and many more -- are still open and available to assist you either by phone or email. Reach out to us!
  •  Because we are here to help you succeed, on Monday we will be sending a survey to students via email. We want to hear how you are doing, and what challenges you are facing. We need your feedback, so please watch for the survey Monday from "MSU Surveys" and fill it out.

As always, in addition to these emails we will be posting all the university's communications on the MSU COVID-19 page, which contains a wide range of resources.

These are difficult times my dear Bobcats. I know many of you are worried about your friends, your families and your futures. My heart is with you. I think about you all every moment of every day. May you, and those you love, be safe. We will walk together through this.


Waded Cruzado
President, Montana State University

Bobcat Parent & Family Program
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717 | [email protected] | 406-994-7359