Our Values During the Pandemic
In these challenging times, Middle Tennessee State University reaffirms its commitment to the values essential to our academic community and civic life. The True Blue Pledge and MTSU’s Community Standards are more relevant than ever: honesty and integrity, respect for diversity, engagement in the community, and commitment to nonviolence.
The University also affirms its commitment to maintaining quality in its academic programs and services, maximizing options for learning and working, and minimizing risks to the health of students, faculty, staff, and the public. As we return to campus, the life of the University may look, sound, and feel different than it was before the pandemic. What has not changed is our commitment to student success and the success of all other members of the MTSU community.
The Institution’s Commitment
To minimize risk to individuals and the public, the University will comply with local, state, and federal regulations and guidance from public health authorities. These measures may change, sometimes on short notice, as conditions change on and off our campus.
The University may adopt temporary policies and procedures to protect individual and public health, including but not limited to:
- Academic social distancing measures, such as limiting the number of on-ground course offerings, alternating days or weeks for students to attend on-ground/remote class sessions, and limiting access to academic spaces and buildings.
- Academic and public social distancing measures such as limited or restricted access to University facilities, assigned seating, and prescribed pathways in, out, and through University facilities and the campus.
- Protective measures such as face masks, temperature checks, enhanced cleaning of surfaces, rooms, and buildings, and temporary closures of rooms and buildings.
- Enhanced protective measures in campus residences, food service operations, and recreational spaces.
- Additional protective measures for at-risk individuals who must be on campus.
- Accommodations for remote instruction and work for at-risk individuals.
- Appropriate academic and experiential alternatives to on-ground or in-person instruction that meet learning outcomes for courses and degree programs and, to the extent possible, requirements mandated by outside agencies for licensure and certification.
- A temporary University class attendance policy.
University leaders will ensure that the institution maintains academic and operational continuity in service to its mission and vision for students and communities in our region, state, nation, and world. The University will:
- Maintain the integrity and quality of the institution and the degrees it awards.
- Maintain its commitment to intellectual and academic freedom and shared governance.
- Ensure the quality of teaching and learning in all formats.
- Ensure continuity of research, creative activity, professional and public service, and University partnerships.
- Provide virtual options and alternatives for academic, co-curricular, and/or extra-curricular activities.
- Continue to protect privacy and confidentiality, academic integrity, equity, and access.
- Use its resources prudently to ensure academic and operational continuity.
- Be transparent and inclusive in decision-making processes about academics, student life, and other University operations, including athletics, employment, and learning/living/working conditions.
- Continue to enforce rules and provide due process when dealing with unethical, disruptive, illegal, or dangerous behavior and other rules of conduct as specified in University policy and in handbooks for faculty, students, and University employees. Violation of any policy or rule may result in immediate removal from a class, building, event, or campus.
The University will provide support to faculty, students, and staff for adapting their teaching, learning, research, and service activities as needed to ensure academic and operational continuity. Such support will include but is not limited to:
- Timely communication with faculty, students, staff, and the public about potential changes to on-ground, remote, and online academic instruction, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, public events, and University operations.
- Enhanced and expanded technological resources, professional development, academic and student support services, disability access services, physical and mental health services, and campus safety and police services.
- Accommodations for remote teaching, learning, and working.
Our Individual Commitments
We expect that all members of the MTSU community:
- Will take personal responsibility for protecting their own health and the health of others.
- Will not come to campus or, if they live on campus, will self-isolate if they have symptoms of, have been exposed to, or have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Will inform designated MTSU staff if they have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19.
- Will inform the University if they are at-risk or need accommodations to avoid COVID-19 infection.
- Will comply with all University policy and procedures, including temporary rules and guidelines necessary to protect the health and well-being of individuals, their families, and the public.
- Will act with integrity, self-respect, and respect for others in all instructional environments.
- Will comply with University policy and procedures concerning academic and intellectual freedom, respect for diversity, and the free exchange of ideas.
- Will take responsibility for maintaining high-quality teaching in all instructional environments.
- Will take responsibility for learning in all instructional environments.
- Will take responsibility for providing high-quality service to students, faculty, staff, and the public in all work environments.
- Will respond respectfully when asked to comply with University rules, policies, and procedures, including those adopted to protect the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and the public
- Will not ask or expect others to violate University rules, policies, and procedures, including temporary measures to protect the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and the public.
- Will consult an appropriate University administrator about approved alternatives to on-ground academic, co-curricular, and/or extra-curricular activities if they do not wish or are not able to comply with temporary policies and procedures.
To persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic will require commitment, flexibility, patience, and kindness. The University is here for you and we are here for each other. Working together, we can and will find ways to promote health and well-being, share and create knowledge, and serve students, faculty, staff, and the public.