Copy
View this email in your browser
Dear Campus Community,
 
Well, we’ve made it to just over two weeks of working from home and taking classes online. This has certainly been an adjustment for everyone and I’m proud of you for hanging in there and doing your best. That’s all we can ask for. It’s strange walking through the empty halls of McMullen and I look forward to when everyone returns to campus.
 
We’ve sent out a few pieces of communications this week and I want to provide you with a summary, along with my weekly Check-in with the Chancellor video. Additionally, I’m including resources for faculty and staff, in hopes that you will take advantage of all the resources the Montana University System and our community offers, to help you get through these trying times, should you need assistance.
 
Yesterday, I sent communications to our students, providing them with words of encouragement and a list of resources we offer them to help them get through these difficult times.
 
Earlier today, a campus communication was sent out updating everyone on our Strategic Program Alignment (SPA) process. We feel strongly that now more than ever, the SPA process needs to move forward in order to secure a place for MSU Billings in our new reality.
 
Also earlier today, we announced the postponement of our spring 2020 commencement. I know this is a big disappointment to us all. It was a difficult decision to make but necessary, especially during our current circumstances. Our new 2020 commencement date is December 19, 2020 and it will take place on our university campus. More details will be forthcoming.
 
I received a few questions this week and I’ve answered them in the Check-in with the Chancellor video link here. As a reminder, submit your questions no later than Thursdays at 1 p.m. to chancellor@msubillings.edu for inclusion in Friday’s Q&A video. Please know that if you have questions or need to reach out to me, you can do so at any time.
 
Below and attached are available resources I hope you will take advantage of if needed. Some of the attached resources are for our students, but wanted you to have them in case you know students who can benefit from them.

These are trying times for us all. Please know there is no shame in reaching out for help of any kind. Utilizing resources and leaning on friends and loved ones is what will help us get through this. I hope you can enjoy this weekend and get outside and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air.
Human Resources

COVID-19 Leave Guidance

COVID-19 Benefit Coverage

Retirement Concerns

Employee Assistance Program Information


Ergonomics

Adjust your work area at home to allow good ergonomics.  Read this document for basic ergonomic considerations. For more detailsvisit the Safety & Risk Management page on the Montana State University website.

Community Financial Resources

Human Resource Development Community Action Agency
Montana Unemployment Insurance
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Billings Food Bank: Call 406-259-2856 or email foodbank@billingsfoodbank.com
Billings Family Services: Call 406-259-2269 or visit billingsfamilyservice.org
211: 211 can be accessed by phone or computer. A toll-free call to 211 connects you to a community resource specialist in your area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services that can improve—and save—lives.
 
Governor Bullock’s Directive Temporarily Stops Evictions, Foreclosures, and Cancellations of Utilities
Governor Bullock has ordered a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, late fees, and utility shutoffs during the “stay at home” order that ends April 10, 2020 (it may be extended).

Additional Resources

Library

The Library has a plethora of online resources available virtually for the university community from on and off campus 24-7-365. Call 406-657-1662 or email library@msubillings.edu for more information.

Teleworking

View the Telework Toolkit created by the IT department.

Moving to online instruction

Checkout these resources to help you move to online teaching


Internet Access for those without
  • FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
  • Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time
  • Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
  • AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
  • Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
  • Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
  • T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).

Be well,
Office of the Chancellor
McMullen Hall, Room 207
406.657.2300