Missouri Southern State University logo
Missouri Southern lantern Missouri Southern State University wordmark

Missouri Southern to re-open on Monday, May 11, 2020

Following the guidelines set by the City of Joplin and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, campus will open for business to staff, students, and visitors on Monday, May 11, 2020. This includes Admissions, Financial Aid, Campus Recreation, Spiva Library and the Lion Cub Academy.

  • Staff are to return to work as scheduled on Monday, May 11, 2020, utilizing summer hours – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
  • Student employees are eligible to return to work on Monday, May 11, 2020, pending approval of the appropriate vice president. The last date of pay for student workers who are not working will be May 8, 2020. 
  • Staff who are hesitant to return to work because they believe they fall in to one of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) exemptions should contact both their supervisor and Evan Jewsbury, director of human resources, and submit a MSSU COVID-19 FMLA Request Formwith corresponding documentation to HR as soon as possible.
  • Following the Governor’s orders, staff and visitors should practice social distancing and are reminded to wash their hands frequently and utilize hand sanitizer stations.
  • Facemasks are not mandatory. Faculty and staff who wish to wear one should provide their own. If faculty and staff do not have access to a face mask, they should contact a Staff Senate representative for information on how to receive a complimentary face mask.
  • Custodial staff are present on campus this week to thoroughly clean buildings in preparation for staff’s return on Monday.

We continue to partner with regional and national health officials and emergency management organizations to respond to evolving circumstances as they become available. The City of Joplin’s response and recovery plan can be found here. For additional information, please visit Missouri Southern’s COVID-19 resource page – www.mssu.edu/COVID-19 and also refer to HR’s Return to Work FAQ’s here and see attached.

Missouri Southern announces modified operations

Missouri Southern State University has modified its operations to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and the community due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We continue to partner with regional and national health officials and emergency management organizations to respond to evolving circumstances.

President’s Council is striving to provide the information you need to keep learning, teaching and working.

On March 23, Missouri Southern issued the following updates:

Closures and postponements

  • Campus buildings closed effective today, March 23, through May 11. Faculty and staff will work from home until that date or further notice.
  • All employees – full-time, part-time and adjunct – will be paid normal wages during this time period.
  • All campus buildings will be locked (except the computer lab in the Anderson Criminal Justice Center, which will remain open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday); however, faculty and staff who need to access materials in their office or labs are allowed to do so at their discretion.

Classes and academics

  • Online classes have been extended through the end of the semester, including finals. No face-to-face instruction will take place for the remainder of semester.
  • To ensure every student has access to WIFI and computers, a computer lab in Criminal Justice will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Residence Halls

  • All students living in campus student housing are required to check out by Friday, March 27.
  • Students who do not have access to alternate housing may request to stay by contacting Residence Life staff at residencelife@mssu.edu.
  • Refunds for housing will be pro-rated from the day of check out.

Business operations and support

  • Faculty and staff should work from home through May 11. No one should work on campus unless specifically notified by a President’s Council member.
  • As of today, March 23, only the following staff are authorized to work on campus: UPD, mechanical maintenance, IT staff, residence hall staff, testing staff, custodial staff for CJ only, campus operator, grounds, Lion Cub Academy (for deep cleaning only), and a staff to monitor the computer lab in CJ.
  • Additional compensation will be provided for employees required to work on campus during closure.
  • Staff should leave an outgoing voice message on their desk phone informing callers the buildings are closed and asking callers to email for faster service. Also add, “For immediate service, call 417-625-9300.” The main number will be staffed by an operator.
  • Student workers will be paid based on their normal weekly hours through the end of the semester.
  • There will be no mail service while campus is closed. President’s Cabinet members will be given access to time-sensitive mail for action.
  • If staff working from home don’t have a work or personal laptop, home computer, and/or Internet access, a limited number of laptops and hotspots are available through IT. This request must be made by the appropriate President’s Cabinet member.

Health Services

  • ACTS will continue to provide mental health counseling and student advising through an online platform. For advising questions email acts@mssu.edu and for counseling appointments please email counselingservices@mssu.edu.
  • The Willcoxon Health Center will be open through Friday, March 27. After that, health center staff will be available through an online platform. Contact 417-625-9323 for additional information.

For additional information, please visit Missouri Southern’s recently established COVID-19 resource page – www.mssu.edu/COVID-19.

​Official Statement

(Data-heavy website. Load time may be longer than expected.)

To our Lion family –

As you are aware, we recently formed a campus task force to monitor the coronavirus and remain in communication with our faculty, staff, students and constituents. To our knowledge, as of today no member of our campus community has tested positive for COVID-19.

Out of an abundance of caution – and to prioritize the health of our campus and community – effective on Saturday, March 14, 2020, all classes will be moved to a distance learning/online format through the end of April. It is our priority to ensure that our students’ educational requirements continue to be met.

All members of our faculty should prepare to transfer their individual course content to Blackboard for our students to continue pace toward successful completion of their classes. Faculty, staff and essential student workers (e.g. Lion Cub Academy) will continue to report to work as regularly scheduled during this period. This approach will help to limit in-person exposure and comply with best practices on social distancing following spring break.

For our students, watch for a message from your instructors with further information about your courses. Existing online courses will continue as normal. For students with limited Internet access, the computer labs in the Anderson Criminal Justice Center will remain open for student use from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For those who live in the residence halls and wish to return home, you are encouraged to do so. Food service will be made available to those who choose to remain in the residence halls.

To further enhance the safety of our campus community, the following additional actions are being taken:

Campus will be closed to outside visitors effective immediately and continuing through the month of April. All events involving external constituents will be canceled.

•  Beimdiek Recreation Center and Spiva Library will be closed through the end of April. The rec center is effective immediately while the library will close 6 p.m. Sunday, March 15.

The MIAA has issued an indefinite suspension of all institutional practice and competition activities in any MIAA sport until further notice.

The Lion Cub Academy will remain open until the situation requires it to close, so that parents can continue to work.

No business or university sponsored travel for faculty, staff and students will be allowed through the end of April. Every attempt should be made to recoup any deposits, registration fees or other expenses due to previously scheduled university travel.

If you are currently returning from a business trip to an affected area as identified by University of Washington HGIS Lab or will be traveling to an affected area over spring break, you must self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return.

Faculty and staff members who either themselves have a compromised medical condition or live with individuals who do should consult with their supervisor so accommodations can be made.

• Aggressive cleaning of all campus buildings will be a priority between now and April 30.

We encourage individuals to practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of six feet from others in order to limit the spread of the virus.

No individual exceptions to these actions will be made through the month of April. If you are a student and require further clarification, please consult with the appropriate faculty member or Student Affairs. Campus employees with questions can contact individual supervisors or Human Resources.

This is a unique challenge to our campus and others nationwide. Please be mindful of your own physical wellbeing, and that of those around you. By working together, we will successfully navigate this unprecedented event.

We will continue to provide updates to campus via our recently established webpage – www.mssu.edu/COVID-19.


Alan Marble, Ph.D.
Missouri Southern State University


Current Health Considerations


Missouri Southern State University continues to actively monitor the evolving situation regarding the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide.

We encourage members of the MSSU community to take precautions against the virus, stay aware of the latest information regarding its spread and follow recommendations regarding travel to infected areas.

A task force has been formed on campus and will provide updates as they become available. Please continue to monitor your campus email, social media channels and our website for the latest information.

In addition, the following resources are available to help prepare or respond to coronavirus:

  • The Centers for Disease Control: guidelines regarding the disease.
  • The World Health Organization: frequently asked questions and tips for international travel.
  • The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University: real-time map tracking the location of confirmed cases of the virus.
  • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has established a 24-hour hotline for any questions related to the coronavirus – 877.435.8411. The hotline is operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


The most important thing for you to do now is follow the CDC’s everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionMissouri Department of Health and Senior Services

State of Missouri Fact Sheets