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MSU President Clif Smart Gives Update On Plans For Summer, Fall

Chloe O'Neill

Missouri State University is planning what the next several months will look like as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

President Clif Smart told alumni in a Zoom meeting this week that, while all summer classes will be online, the orientation sessions for new students will begin July 6.  Some sessions will be online while others will be in person with precautions in place.

Some scenarios that could play out this fall include offering more classes online or in a hybrid format, with some online and some in person; adopting social distancing practices in classrooms, residence halls and other places where students gather on campus; moving smaller classes to larger classrooms to allow for social distancing and having one class meet in two rooms using Zoom.  Faculty are asked to have contingency plans in place to deliver their classes virtually, and they’re currently being trained in how to teach online.

University officials are designing a new housing strategy for fall, he said.  Move in this fall will probably take place over the span of a week rather than three days.  And the university is planning to open Kentwood Hall as a place for students who are in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.

And, Smart said, they likely won’t have a convocation for new students this year like they usually do.  There also likely won’t be a Play Fair or a Bear Bash to welcome students back to campus.  They’ll have small group activities instead. 

Smart is hopeful there will be a fall football season—the first at MSU for new coach, Bobby Petrino—but he’s not sure yet.  He said they should have a good idea of what will happen by July 15.