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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Campus Community: click here for COVID-19 news and updates.


May 20, 2020 Campus Newsletter

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Maverick Return to Learn

Minnesota State University, Mankato will be preparing for the fall 2020 semester through a planning initiative called “Maverick Return to Learn.”

The initiative provides a planning framework for three scenarios and multi-phase planning timelines based on information received on system advisory dates of July 1 and July 31. Fall semester is scheduled to begin Aug. 24.

“Maverick Return to Learn” values include:

  • Keep our students, faculty, and staff healthy and safe
  • Assure students can maintain progress toward educational goals
  • Maintain the financial sustainability of the university
  • Pursue the strategic directions and priorities of the university
  • Advance toward achieving Equity 2030 goals

Committees and teams that will be formed as part of the planning structure include the Return to Learn Decision Committee (RLDC), the Return to Learn Advisory Committee (RLAC), Return to Learn Action Teams (RLATs) and the Pandemic Operations and Tactics Team.

Return to Learn Action Teams will focus on the following areas:

  • Student Learning: Academic/Curriculum/Course Offering Strategy
  • Student Life: Campus Life Strategy
  • Employee: Return to Workplace Strategy
  • Financial Strategy
  • Communications/Marketing/Enrollment/Advancement Strategy
  • Partnership/Cont. Ed. and Cust. Training/Comprehensive Workforce Solutions Strategy

The Pandemic Operations and Tactics Team will address:

  • Cleaning and Sanitizing
  • Social Distancing
  • Signage
  • Health Screening and Infection Control Protocols
  • Communications and Training

A PDF of a “Maverick Return to Learn” power point presentation is [PDF] available here (37 MiB).

COVID-19 Information

Minnesota State Mankato has launched a Web page intended to provide the latest information on COVID-19 to all members of the campus community.

The page includes FAQs, messages from campus and system office leaders, a link to submit questions and much more.

EVENT CANCELLATIONS: To limit the spread of COVID-19, most events and gatherings on campus have been cancelled, postponed or changed to an alternative format.

A complete list of submitted cancellations or postponed events is available here. To be added to the list, please submit your cancellation or postponement to

For information on scheduled events not listed as a cancellation, please contact individual departments. Some events have been moved online or may be moved online.

Coming Soon: Virtual Campus Town Halls

In an effort to maintain communication across campus and discuss topics of interest, a series of virtual campus town hall meetings will be held via Zoom over the coming weeks. These meetings will provide opportunities for key campus constituent groups to ask questions of University President Richard Davenport and other cabinet members.

More than 250 attendees participated in the first faculty-staff virtual town hall meeting, which was held May 13.

The format of these sessions will be a hybrid, with pre-selected administrators responding to a variety of questions from faculty and staff that have been received prior to the event (20 minutes), along with questions that are received during the event via the chat function (30 minutes). Questions may be submitted up to 24 hours in advance of the event via

Faculty and staff are invited to join any or all of the sessions for faculty and staff. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, June 10, 12 - 1 p.m. (Register here for June 10. Webinar ID: 930-3583-8554)
  • Wednesday, July 15, 12 - 1 p.m. (Register here for July 15. Webinar ID: 967-0751-8790)

There will be separate virtual town hall meetings scheduled for the University’s undergraduate students and also for the University’s graduate students.

Celebrating 2020 Graduates

Minnesota State Mankato celebrated its 2020 spring semester student graduations by sending graduates “commencement-in-a-box” packages, personalized URL videos and creating a special website that launched May 9 at 6 a.m.

The three traditional commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 9 were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minnesota State Mankato awarded more than 2,300 degrees at the end of spring semester. Included were more than 1,800 undergraduate degrees and more than 400 graduate degrees and specialist certifications.

The “commencement-in-a-box” packages that were shipped to graduates included a diploma cover, two commencement programs, two small branded gifts for the graduates and a personalized note from Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport inviting them to December’s commencement ceremonies.

The special graduation website includes videos from Davenport and pre-recorded commencement speeches from graduating seniors representing each of the University’s six colleges. The website includes the names of each graduate and a graduation photo gallery where photos will be shared that graduates, faculty and staff tag with #MavGrad2020.

All students graduating this spring were also emailed a uniquely designed personalized URL video on May 9.

IT Solutions Updates

IT Solutions announced that Zoom has released a new update to increase the security of online interactions. The update includes special encryption and new security features. The update will become a requirement for all Zoom users after May 30. Learn more.

IT Solutions also announced that multi-factor authentication for Office 365 is coming soon. Multi-factor authentication is a tool that enhances securityon Microsoft Office 365 accounts, making it harder for cybercriminals to access confidential data. The optional ability to opt in to this tool for Office 365 will be available this summer. Learn more.

Student News

Rebecca Falkiner and Briana Sieve, students in the Athletic Training program (Department of Human Performance), were recently awarded scholarships from the Minnesota Athletic Trainers Association. Falkiner received a Twin Cities Orthopedics Professional Level Scholarship, and Sieve received an Allina Health – Sports & Orthopaedics Specialists Professional Level Scholarship.

Sara Dziuk, who received an MBA from Minnesota State Mankato, has been named president & CEO of Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest by the organization’s board of directors, effective July 1

Faculty/Staff News

Jonathan D. Gallop, a faculty member in the College of Business who teaches business law, published his second book, titled “A.S.P.I.R.E. to Ethics: An Analytical Approach to Solving Ethical Dilemmas.”

Gregory T. Wilkins, associate director of the Centennial Student Union & Student Activities, was selected for a virtual, group exhibition with the Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy. The exhibition, “Contaminated,” will feature his piece, “Presidential Thoughts,” and will be displayed beginning May 7 at this link. In addition, Wilkins is one of 30 Minnesota artists selected to submit a design for the summer run of Hennepin Theatre Trust’s “Art Connects Us” billboard initiative. His art concept will be showcased on electronic billboards across the Twin Cities.

Department News

The Career Development Center has added a “Career Resources During a Pandemic” page to its website.

Library Services announced that while the Memorial Library building may be closed, its online resources are open and available to anyone with a Minnesota State Mankato Star ID and password. Last year Mavericks downloaded over a million book chapters and journal articles at no charge to themselves. Those looking for assistance are invited to contact a specialist in the library. Library liaisons can help from identifying materials for use in classes to creating online tutorials and workshops to assist students navigating and using library resources effectively.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Minnesota State University, Mankato recently published some information and tips.

For the latest news on Maverick Athletics, visit

Online TODAY Magazine

Visit the online TODAY magazine at for alumni news and stories about the people who help make this University great.

The mission of TODAY is to entertain, to inform and to connect the reader to the campus. The print TODAY is mailed to 95,000 alumni and friends.

TODAY welcomes story ideas supporting this mission. Contact Joe Tougas at 507-389-1369 or to share ideas.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to the Media Relations Office at The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year (except during scheduled break weeks) and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Wednesday, June 17. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (June 20).

You should also submit your event to the University’s official Campus Events Calendar by sending an email to Shirley Piepho at