Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney A. McPhee gave the campus community a pre-Halloween treat by calling for a campuswide day off Friday, Oct. 30, to give students, faculty and staff a breather as we all try to adapt to the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Below is his note to campus:
October 28, 2020: President McPhee declares a campus day off Friday
To the University community,
We are balancing so many additional challenges and pressures as a result of this pandemic and I deeply appreciate all that you do and have done to keep yourself and others safe – and allow us to keep the campus open.
While I cannot wave a magic wand and make all of our COVID-19 concerns suddenly disappear, here is something I can do: I am declaring Friday, Oct. 30, as a day off for all of us – students, faculty and staff (except, of course, for those in jobs deemed necessary for the safety and operation of the campus).
Think of Friday like those rare occasions when inclement winter weather prompts me to cancel classes and close most offices because of safety concerns. In this case, I’m declaring a day off because we want you to depressurize a bit or perhaps catch up with school work or other tasks. As such, I’m asking the faculty to reset any Friday deadlines for assignments or requirements for students. For staff, please work to recalibrate any work due Friday, but also consult with your supervisor on whether your job or a specific task requires you to remain on duty that day to ensure baseline operations. Human Resources will notify the campus regarding the process of time reporting.
Any previously approved events or special activities set for Friday may proceed at the discretion of the organizer.
I realize that taking Friday off will be inconvenient and difficult for some classes and staff operations, just like when we take snow days. Thank you all for your patience and indulgence in my decision to give our community a day to recharge our batteries and get ready for the final days of the Fall semester.
Stay safe, don’t forget to wear your masks and enjoy Friday and the weekend.
Sidney A. McPhee