President's Message to MSU-WP Faculty and Staff (March 19)

The following message was sent from the president to faculty and staff on March 19, 2020.

Important information for Missouri State-West Plains faculty and staff

Missouri State University is committed to the health and well-being of our staff and faculty. Our employees have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of our students in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. It is also important that each of our employees take precautions to ensure their own health.

Stay home if you’re sick

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that you stay home if you’re ill.  Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you experience these symptoms while you’re at work:

  • You should immediately notify your supervisor so you can be separated from other employees and excused from work.
  • You should also contact Magers Health and Wellness at (417) 837-3777 for a telephone consultation, or contact your health care provider by phone to be evaluated and advised regarding the best way to obtain medical assistance.

Additional information about COVID-19, its symptoms, and university protocols you must follow if you test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive can be found on the COVID-19 FAQs webpage.

The university is taking actions to help

The university has taken several actions to encourage employees to facilitate social distancing and to stay home when they are ill.

Work from home options are available

The university is in the process of moving most employees to partial or total work-from-home arrangements for the remainder of the semester. Contact your supervisor if you believe you should be considered for a work-from-home arrangement.

University implements Emergency Paid Leave Policy

This policy is effective immediately and will be in effect through May 15, 2020. This time period may be extended if needed as determined by the university.

The Emergency Paid Leave Policy provides full-time benefits-eligible employees with up to two weeks (10 days) of paid time off in addition to earned paid vacation and sick leave.

I encourage you to read the Emergency Paid Leave Policy so you know how this policy applies and works.

Using your accumulated leave

During this time, employees may use any accumulated leave benefits – sick or vacation – as needed. You do not have to schedule your vacation days in advance. You can use these benefits interchangeably.

For example: If you are staying home with children because school is canceled, you can use sick leave.

We will keep you updated

The needs of our employees are changing quickly. To adapt, the Board of Governors on Wednesday granted me temporary authority to institute measures that will allow us to respond quickly to the evolving local and national situation.

We have an extraordinary responsibility to lead during tremendous uncertainty. We are all responsible for the safety of our students and employees. Your proactive steps are necessary to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.

Thank you.

Clif Smart
Missouri State University