Vol. 24 No. 34 - June 22, 2020

Features

  • Truman to Resume In-person Instruction for Fall Semester

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    Based on current data and guidelines from the CDC, Truman State University plans to resume in-person instruction when the fall semester begins Aug. 17.

    Details on specific steps will continue to be emailed to campus and posted to the Fall 2020 website as they become available. Due to the ever-changing circumstances relating to COVID-19, the University is trying to maintain as much flexibility as possible and will make any necessary adjustments as needed.

    In an effort to limit exposure to and spread of COVID-19, the University will follow the advice of the CDC, specifically its recommendations in regard to higher education. This includes social distancing measures and strict sanitation protocols. The CDC also recommends the use of cloth face coverings among students, faculty and staff as feasible, and essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.

    While this is a return to campus, it is not yet a full return to previous norms. In addition to social distancing and increased sanitation protocols, the University is adjusting the fall semester calendar. The start and end dates will remain unchanged, and a full academic semester will be observed; however, in-person instruction will conclude Nov. 24, the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. This is an attempt to limit students’ exposure to the virus due to holiday-related travel and is in line with what many other schools around the country are doing this semester. Along with Faculty Senate, Staff Council and Student Government, the University Board of Governors were consulted in reference to the calendar at their June meeting and concurred with the decision.

    In order to provide students with courses of appropriate duration for the credit hours awarded, the University will forgo the traditional breaks observed during the fall semester. This includes Labor Day, Midterm Break and the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving Break. Strategies are being developed to provide alternative ways to experience breaks as the traditional days off will not occur. All instructional hours will be completed before Thanksgiving Break. Any final course requirements will be conducted remotely in the following two weeks. Courses already scheduled for entirely online delivery will be unaffected.

    To meet CDC guidelines for higher education institutions, courses will be offered in face-to-face, hybrid or fully online formats. Students should expect to have a mixture of course formats in their schedules. The format of each fall course will be available by July 15. Students who have questions about their fall schedules should contact the Center for Academic Excellence at 660.785.7403 or advise@truman.edu.

    Campus buildings will remain locked until at least July 24. For the time being, employees should remain in their current status. Those who are working from home should continue to do so. As employees are recalled to campus, they will be supplied with specific instructions regarding steps to take to promote the health and well-being of the entire campus community.

    Department heads will outline the return process for their individual units in the weeks prior to the start of classes and will address any possible changes to office protocol that will be needed to meet CDC guidelines for higher education. Specific guidelines will also be posted to the Fall 2020 website when they are finalized.

    Employees who fall into a high-risk category for COVID-19 as defined by the CDC site may request an accommodation with regard to returning to campus. Appropriate medical documentation should be presented by July 1. Accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Employees who have child care issues this fall may be eligible for Emergency FMLA through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. A request form can be found here and should be submitted to Human Resources with supporting documentation. Questions about accommodations or Emergency FMLA may be submitted to Human Resources at hrstaff@truman.edu.

    The Labor Day holiday will be moved to Tuesday, Dec. 22. An energy-efficiency day will be utilized for Monday, Dec. 21, resulting in the University being closed for the entire week.
  • Town Hall to Explore Racial Injustice and Inequity

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    The Truman Virtual Town Hall regarding racial injustice and inequity President Thomas mentioned in her email to students, faculty and staff, will take place at 6 p.m. June 24.

    The purpose of the town hall is to take stock of where we are currently as a University and gain a shared understanding of what we must address to accomplish institutional change. This understanding will permit us to determine the meaningful, sustained, accountable ways Truman can be the change we wish to see.

    Panel members scheduled to participate include: Brad Turnbull, interim director of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion; Jason McDonald, assistant professor of history; Theo Dean, head coach for women’s basketball; two students selected by Student Government; and Bertha Thomas, Truman’s newly hired diversity and inclusion consultant.

    The town hall will be limited to 750 participants. As it is designed to examine the current state of affairs at the University, registration is only available for current students — including spring graduates — as well as faculty and staff. Participants should be aware the town hall will be recorded.

    Registration can be completed here. Upon registration participants will be emailed a link needed to join the town hall.
  • Consultant to Assist University with Diversity and Inclusion

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    Truman has hired a consultant as part of its continuing efforts to help the University gain a shared understanding of its role in addressing racial injustice and inequity.

    Bertha Thomas, former assistant dean for multicultural affairs and the Scholastic Enhancement Experience Program at Truman, will serve as a diversity and inclusion consultant.

    “A goal of my life has been to play a part to bring forth the dreams, talents and promise of incredible students, especially those from first-generation and underrepresented groups,” Thomas said. “I’m energized by the thought of partnering with Truman students, alumni, faculty and staff as we seek to develop impactful short-term strategies and long-term goals to bring about greater diversity, inclusion and equity.”

    Among her responsibilities, Thomas will work with Truman departments, faculty and staff to address student concerns and inclusion efforts. She will also serve on the search committee for the hiring of the director for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Additionally, Thomas plans to bring together a small group of alumni of color, faculty, staff and students for a series of virtual and in-person conversations regarding institutional change.

    In a career dedicated to student success, Thomas spent 22 years at Truman. She served as the University’s first McNair Program coordinator starting in 1992 and later spent 15 years as the assistant dean for multicultural affairs and the SEE Program. Since her retirement in 2014, Thomas has remained civically active, serving as a member and secretary of the A.T. Still University Board of Trustees and the vice president of the United Way of Northeast Missouri Board. A longstanding member of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Commission, she founded the Kirksville Martin Luther King Jr. Citywide Committee raising funds for local non-profits committed to promoting equality. Thomas has spoken on diversity topics to students in several organizations, as well as to local law enforcement officers about the implications of the events in Ferguson, Mo.

    While her duties will officially begin June 29, Thomas will participate in Truman’s Racial Injustice and Inequity Town Hall at 6 p.m. June 24.
  • New Student Rep Named to BOG

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    Abigail Smeltzer of Sedalia, Mo., has been appointed as the student representative to the University Board of Governors.

    A junior communication major with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in history, Smeltzer has leadership positions with Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Delta Zeta International Sorority.

    Smeltzer was appointed to the board in June 2020 for a term ending Jan. 1, 2022. She succeeds Tiffany Middlemas.

Announcements

  • Center for Diversity and Inclusion to Host Presentation June 26

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    The Center for Diversity and Inclusion will host a virtual presentation from 2-4 p.m. June 26 about the foundations of social justice, with a special emphasis on racial justice. This presentation will:

        Cover basic terms and concepts
        Discuss the dynamics of privilege and oppression
        Include smaller breakout discussions
        Examine identities and how they interact with the world
        Provide some action items to becoming an active advocate for social justice

    Participants are encouraged to show up with open ears and an open mind, ready to dive into the open waters of critical self-examination and systemic analysis. To register, visit diversity.truman.edu/signup.
  • Career Center Offers Virtual Office Hours

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  • Study Abroad Suspended for Fall Semester

    Due to continuing State Department and CDC travel warnings, along with uncertainties regarding the feasibility and safety of international travel during the ongoing pandemic, Truman has decided to cancel all study abroad programs for the fall 2020 semester. Students interested in studying abroad in the spring 2021 semester or after should contact the Center for International Education Abroad for assistance in making these arrangements.
  • Pickler Memorial Library Summer Services

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    Although the building remains closed, library staff are available by phone, chat, email or Zoom consultations. Service hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and the library website is always available at library.truman.edu.
     
    Requesting Library Materials for Front Door Pick-up:
    For people in Kirksville, items can be requested using the library catalog, and staff will have them ready for pick up by 10 a.m. the following business day. Details can be found on the library’s COVID-19 Response page, along with other library information.
     
    Quick Contacts:
    Circulation Department
    660.785.4533

    Reserves
    Contact Lena Reardon at 660.785.4533 or lreardon@truman.edu.

    Special Collections and Museums
    660.785.4537 or speccoll@truman.edu
     
    More Questions?
    Call 660.785.4051
  • Retirement Card Shower: Rearick and Lockhart

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    The staff of Pickler Memorial Library will say goodbye on June 30 to their longtime colleagues Daisy Rearick and Carol Lockhart. In lieu of a retirement reception, everyone is invited to participate in a card shower for these dedicated librarians.
     
    All cards should be mailed to:
    Pickler Memorial Library
    Truman State University
    100 East Normal Ave
    Kirksville, MO 63501
  • Retirement Reception: Sue Limestall

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  • New Process for Faculty and Staff Position and Compensation Notification

    Starting with the new fiscal year, July 1, faculty and staff who have previously received annual contracts or salary letters will no longer receive these paper documents. Instead, to optimize efficiency and reduce costs, faculty and staff will receive a position and compensation notification letter in July. Information in the letter will soon be added to the Payroll tab within the Employee section of TruView. Once this information is added, as all position and compensation information will be easily accessible through TruView, employees will no longer receive a paper document unless there is a change in their employment status. A notice will be sent to campus once the information is added to the Payroll tab.
  • Next Issue

    The next issue of the Truman Today will be available July 6.

Notables

  • Notables

    Charles Boughton, instructor in business administration, and Katherine Jackson, professor of business administration, recently had an article published in the first volume of a two-volume special edition of Managerial Finance. The special editions are dedicated to exploration of the state of and best practices for student-managed investment programs. Their article, “Variation in the structure and administration of student-managed investment funds” can be found in Managerial Finance, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 481-488 and online here.

    Truman was ranked No. 5 on the list of the Best Affordable U.S. Colleges & Universities for Students from Outside the USA according to College Factual. There are a total of 1,209 colleges and universities included in this ranking of high-quality and low-cost schools for students from outside the U.S. The complete list can be found at collegefactual.com/rankings/international-value/overall.

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Scholarship Opportunities

  • Purdy Emerging Leaders Scholarship

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    The Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation will offer the Purdy Emerging Leaders Scholarship, named in honor of Allan Walker Purdy.

    Purdy was born in 1914 on a farm near Macon and was the first in his family to attend a four-year college. He worked in the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture before becoming the campus’s first director of scholarships and student financial aid.

    The scholarship is designed to provide merit-based scholarships to emerging leaders who are outstanding students and who have a need for additional resources for higher education. The scholarship amount can vary based on an applicant’s circumstances. The general range will be $1,000-$5,000 based on expected family contribution (EFC), unmet need and other factors.

    Applicants must be a Missouri resident, typically a 2.5 or higher cumulative GPA, a U.S. Citizen, attending a Missouri public four-year university or the State Technical College of Missouri, and be a sophomore, junior or senior in college. Deadline to apply is June 30, 2020. Applications should be submitted online through Scholarship Central at moslf.org. To access more information about this scholarship, click here, or contact the Financial Aid Office at 660.785.4130.