Editor's note: In a letter to the M State community on Monday, Dec. 21, M State president Carrie Brimhall shares information on changes for the spring semester. Through January, students will largely follow the learning plans started after Thanksgiving.

In the letter, Brimhall states:

With the continued high rates of transmission of COVID-19 in all four of our counties as well as across the entire state, the system office has made the decision that all Minnesota State colleges and universities will start spring semester under the “deep orange” Scenario 4 outlined in the most recent Governor’s Executive Order 20-99 and remain in that scenario through the end of January 2021. What this means for M State is:

Academics:
  • All instruction will continue in the same delivery modality as we have been in since returning from the Thanksgiving break until February 8, 2021, or until conditions improve. All courses that can be taught online will continue in that modality.
  • Classes that cannot be taught online must:
  • The current academic schedule will be adjusted where necessary to ensure we are complying with the Governor’s Executive Order and system office requirements.
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Student support services:
  • All student services and academic support will continue to be delivered in the same format/schedule we have been in since November 30. If conditions improve, we may go back to pre-Thanksgiving levels on February 1. We will continue to communicate as we receive additional guidance.
  • The libraries and conference rooms will remain open for studying and internet access but studying needs to be limited to two students only.
Gyms, weight room and fitness center:
  • The gym, weight room, locker room and Fitness Center will remain closed for general use.
  • Courses scheduled in those spaces will be allowed.
Residence halls/dining services (Fergus Falls):
  • Residence halls will be closed over the semester break but will open in January, date pending athletics decisions.
  • The dining hall will be closed over semester break and will reopen the beginning of spring semester.
On-campus staff rotation:
  • The campuses will remain in the same employee schedule/rotation as we are in at the present time.
Building hours and entrances:
  • The buildings will be closing daily at 5 p.m. starting December 21 and will continue closing at 5 p.m. through January 31.
  • During that time there will only be one main entrance open for Detroit Lakes, Moorhead and Wadena, and two entrances open for Fergus Falls (to allow access for students in the residence halls).
  • On January 11, with the start of spring term, we will return to having additional entrances open for student-only access.
  • Faculty and staff will continue to be allowed to enter any entrance where they have key access.
  • No third-party facility contracts will be allowed, other than our year-round tenants.

The tentative plan to return to campus in Scenario 3 after January will be to begin bringing more staff back starting February 1, 2021, with additional classes allowed on campus beginning February 8, 2021.

As we have stated throughout fall semester, this information is based on what we know today and could change between now and early January. We will keep you updated as best we can to any information that we receive that would change our spring start plans.

Thank you for your continued patience and partnership.

Stay well.