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
President, Montana State University