The following message was sent on March 19, 2020, to faculty, staff and students regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
To the University Community:
At the University of Montana Western, we are working with state and local government, the MUS, and health officials to do our part to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, to avoid overwhelming healthcare providers, and to protect everyone’s health.
We are continuing with our preparations to begin remote course delivery on Monday, March 23.
We have received additional guidance from the Commissioner of Higher Education in a memo that was distributed last night (https://mus.edu/coronavirus/message_3-18-2020.html) and wanted to share the following key points with you:
All MUS campuses should, per the Commissioner’s memo, effective immediately:
1. Ask all students currently away on spring break travel that they do not return to campus and urge students currently on campus to consider an alternative living arrangement.
- Campuses can work with students in exceptional circumstances or;
- Those needing to retrieve essential medication from their residence halls.
- For all other students, campuses will ensure that course work can continue remotely and that students can retrieve other items from their dormitory rooms when conditions allow.
- Email communications were sent to Montana Western students with specific instructions yesterday on the check-out process from our residence halls if they are currently residing there, or if they have not returned from extended spring yet, to pursue alternate living arrangements. Students with no housing alternatives are able to stay living on campus, if necessary. Students currently in the residence halls are asked to check out no later than 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020. For questions and assistance, please call 406-683-7565.
2. Focus on the most essential services only.
- Campuses will continue to serve the students that remain on campus.
- For those students remaining on campus, however, services will be limited to those deemed strictly essential to promote a safer environment for both the remaining students and employees.
- There will be little or no programming or events for students, dining services will be consolidated and limited to Grab and Go models, and on-campus resources/services may reduce hours or close.
- Campuses may ask students to change residences in order to further consolidate services. Students staying on campus will be expected to remain on campus and not bring guests from off-campus.
MUS Statement on Refunds
Due to the dynamic and complex nature of this rare and extraordinary situation, the Montana University System will postpone consideration of potential refunds until after the COVID-19 emergency has been addressed. At this time, there is no certainty whether it will take weeks or months to manage this emergency.
The University of Montana Western, based on guidance from the Montana University System, will be announcing plans for our Spring Commencement Ceremony at a later date. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
We are grateful for the commitment, skill, and caring of our entire team of faculty and staff as they work day and night to address this crisis and for everyone’s patience, understanding, flexibility, and support.
For more information:
Please visit our health advisories webpage for the latest updates, COVID-19 FAQ and more: https://www.umwestern.edu/section/health-advisories/
For questions from students or their families call: 406-683-7900
For questions from employees call: 406-683-7031
For questions from faculty call: 406-683-7115
Wishing you well,
Chancellor Beth Weatherby and the entire team at the University of Montana Western