Past Campus Updates

Current Campus Updates are available at

Video updates

August 3, 2020
Racer Safe and Healthy Q&A: Academics, Dining, Housing, Racer Card & University bookstore

July 15, 2020
Racer Safe and Healthy Student/Family Forum

Email updates

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June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff:

First, I would like to extend my continued thanks and gratitude to each of you for your assistance and guidance regarding our Racer Restart Plan. Careful, thoughtful and proactive steps are being taken each day by many individuals as we continue to move forward with our restart process for the fall semester.

Please see below for several updates.

  • A COVID-19 Return to Work Employee Survey was emailed to faculty and staff on June 15. Please take time to complete this brief survey, which is an employee assessment in order to facilitate the return to work process. The deadline to provide your responses is 4 p.m. on June 22, 2020.
  • Departmental PPE. Procurement Services is in the process of making bulk purchases of PPE materials and supplies including face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, gloves and other items. Departments should not make purchases of these or similar items independently. Each department should begin to consider their needs, if they have not done so already.
  • Facilities Management – office and instructional space needs. As we slowly phase back, some departments will have a need to rearrange furniture and obtain partitions or plexiglass guards. Work requests for these purposes should be routed through your department head. Any customer requests for these items submitted through AiM will be placed on hold until the Racer Restart subcommittees and Facilities Management have a prioritized plan to address the needs of the entire campus.
  • Return to Work plans for departments and units are being compiled currently by department heads and submitted to Vice Presidents and the President’s Office for review.
  • Campus buildings remain locked and closed to the general public through July 31. At this time, the Susan E. Bauernfeind Wellness Center plans to re-open to faculty, staff and students beginning August 1, but will remain closed to the general public until further notice.
  • Finally, please be sure to familiarize yourself with our official Racer Restart web page, This website will continue to be a very important resource for not only our campus community, but our greater community with our Racer Restart Plan, University updates, helpful tips and much more. Our twelve Racer Safe and Healthy guidelines in particular will guide us in the weeks and months ahead, and include basic practices we can all continue to follow and utilize, such as checking your temperature daily, practicing social distancing and downloading the Apple COVID-19 app, or a similar app, for daily use – among other guidelines.

 In addition to the above updates, know that continued progress is being made daily, ranging from preparing and beautifying campus to facilitating fall course registrations for returning and incoming new students.

As a reminder, we have three phases for the restart of campus operations:  June 1 (planning and preparation), July 6 (implementation) and August 1 (new normal).

Thank you for your continued support, patience, flexibility and positivity as we move forward through the Racer Restart process.

Bob Jackson, Ed.D.

May 18, 2020


May 18, 2020 

Dear Campus Community:

First, I want to thank everyone who is assisting with our Racer Restart plans...we appreciate your help, support and guidance since this effort will take everyone working together in order to accomplish the necessary objectives.  We have a major undertaking ahead of us during the next several weeks and I am grateful for everyone's hard work and dedication as we move forward.

As you know, we are beginning the process of reopening parts of our Commonwealth as directed by Governor Andy Beshear.  Also, this week, we will send our abbreviated Racer Restart Plan to the Council on Postsecondary Education for Governor Beshear's review.

We will begin Phase I of our restart process on June 1, 2020, as we prepare to restart campus for our Fall Semester.  This will be a very gradual process during the next several weeks.  This does not mean everyone is returning to campus on June 1, 2020.  What it does mean is that we will begin the slow and intentional process of restarting our campus in preparation for the Fall 2020 Semester with several changes and tweaks to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, students and the greater community.  In short, Phase I is primarily a period of planning and preparation, with a few employees returning to campus, as needed.  Your immediate supervisor, with your Vice President/President's Office approval, will direct the process of your return to campus as it relates to the needs of your office/department/college or school.  

In addition, many of you will continue to work remotely through the summer and, most likely, into the fall.  We will be very thoughtful in this Racer Restart process as we gradually return to a new normal environment through July 31, 2020, and beyond.  We have three phases for the restart of operations:  June 1 (planning and preparation), July 6 (implementation) and August 1 (new normal).  We will keep you updated regarding what these phases may mean for your work schedule.

Per the Governor's guidelines, for those working on campus, we will practice social distancing, wear masks and ensure adherence to other health and safety guidelines, including our Racer Restart Plan.  We will supply masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, among other items, for everyone returning to work on campus.  We will continue to have meetings remotely using ZOOM or another tool.  Again, campus is closed to the general public through July 31 and, at this time, there will be no approved University travel and little/no overtime during this period.  Also, we will only hire needed student and temporary workers through July 31 and as approved by your Vice President/President's Office.  

Initially, I anticipate very few people coming back to campus during the first couple of weeks of June – but, there will be some.  In late June and early July, we will ask a few more staff members to return.  By the end of July, in accordance with guidance from the Governor, we will have others return to campus as we prepare for the Fall 2020 Semester.  Again, many individuals will continue to work remotely as directed by your supervisor, with Vice President/President's Office approval.

There are three groups of individuals to be considered as we go through this process:

  1. On-campus.  Those who cannot work remotely, and many are on campus working safely now, who must be on-site in order to perform their job duties.  Your supervisor, with approval from your Vice President/President’s Office, will determine this process.
  2. Remote Work.  Those who can effectively work remotely, as approved by your supervisor and Vice President/President's Office.
  3. High-Risk.  This group of individuals have underlying health conditions, among other issues, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Please see guidance here:

Finally, again, it is important to note the following:

  1. If you are sick, or have a temperature, do not come to work if scheduled, and call MSU Health Services at 270-809-3809 or 270-759-9200.
  2. Employees who are currently working remotely will continue to do so until you are contacted to return by your supervisor.

Finally, during the coming days, we will continue to work through our plans for Phase I and beyond, getting campus ready for all required changes, determining details for our restart, working on plans for our Fall 2020 academic calendar and, importantly, to ensure that we continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for everyone.  

We will continue to keep you posted regarding any future changes and additional information.  This process is very fluid and dates and details may change.

Thanks again, Bob

April 27, 2020

April 27, 2020 

We have been reviewing Fall 2020 restart plans for the past few weeks.  Today, I am appointing a Fall 2020 Racer Restart Committee which will be co-chaired by our three Vice Presidents:  Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tim Todd, Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services Jackie Dudley and Vice President for Student Affairs Don Robertson. Jordan Smith, Director of Governmental and Institutional Relations, will serve this Committee and the associated Subcommittees as the senior administrator who will assist in the coordination and draft the comprehensive restart plan for this summer and fall, including a phased approach for the campus reopening over the summer months.  The Subcommittees will work collaboratively, under the guidance of the three co-chairs.  Subcommittee memberships will be announced during the next few days.

We are working toward a traditional Fall Semester while making necessary adjustments for a new normal.  We will finalize a broad set of imperatives – guiding principles – very soon in order to assist our work. 

There will be seven Subcommittees and members will be appointed by the co-chairs to address specific areas of the University and will operate utilizing a shared-governance approach. 

  1. Academic Affairs and Faculty Support – Provost and Vice President Tim Todd, Chair
  2. Student Affairs, Enrollment Management and Campus Life – Vice President Don Robertson, Chair
  3. Administrative Operations and Staff Support – Vice President Jackie Dudley, Chair
  4. Housing, Dining and Auxiliary Operations – Executive Director of Auxiliary Services David Looney, Chair
  5. Facilities Management – Director of Facilities Management Jason Youngblood, Chair
  6. Athletics – Director of Athletics Kevin Saal, Chair
  7. Development, Alumni and Branding, Marketing and Communication – Executive Director of Marketing and Communication Shawn Touney, Executive Director of Development Tina Bernot and Director of Alumni Relations Carrie McGinnis, Co-chairs

Importantly, we will begin the process of our fall 2020 restart immediately taking into consideration the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and broader community with every decision – this will be our primary guiding principle.

At this time, my preliminary thoughts related to our restart, coupled with guidance from state and federal authorities, include a phased process beginning June 1, 2020, and continuing through the beginning of the Fall Semester.  While none of us know exactly what fall 2020 will look like at this time, we will make certain we are prepared for all potential options.

Dr. Bob Jackson