COVID Safe Policies

COVID-19 has changed how we live and work. Central to our public service mission is to collectively work together to ensure your health and safety. This FAQ document serves as a guidepost in our preparation for Fall 2020. If there is an unanswered question, contact Dr. Sara Rinfret, Department Chair. Our commitment is to remain kind, flexible, and adaptable during these unprecedented times.


a. Start date: August 19, 2020
b. End date: November 25, 2020
a. August 19, 2020
a. January 11, 2021

a. All DPAP regularly scheduled online classes will remain the same and not impacted.
b. Fall 2020, all DPAP face-to-face classes will be offered in a blended/hybrid model. Here is a list of sample options your professor(s) may adopt:
i. Option A: Professor posts all of their lectures on your course Moodle page and then you meet in-person or via Zoom during your designated class time.
ii. Option B: Professor posts all course materials on your course Moodle page and you meet in smaller groups periodically throughout the semester (in-person or Zoom) during your designated class time.
iii. Option C: A MWF class could meet in-person MW and online on F or M in-person and WF online/Zoom.
iv. Option D: A professor provides course content on Moodle and you meet occasionally on Zoom or in-person during the semester for your designated class time.

We believe the blended approach provides flexibility and safety in a time of uncertainty. Your course syllabus will clearly lay out your professor’s approach with an iteration of one of the above. Please mark your calendar for your designated class meeting time/day(s) found in Cyberbear.

c. Other departments/programs across campus may use one of the following approaches for Fall 2020:
i. Remote (meet for class via Zoom during a set time/day)
ii. Face-to-face (only meet in-person)

a. No. Our department already offers courses during Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions. However, if there are outside electives you want to consider to supplement your core MPA coursework, contact Dr. Sara Rinfret to discuss.
a. Yes. Your professor will make sure the space is clean before each class, using approved disinfectant.
a. Yes. Students are required to wear facemasks on UM’s campus, which includes NPAD/PUAD/Law graduate and undergraduate in-person classes Fall 2020 per MUS policy and Missoula County mask order.
a. All DPAP faculty will wear a facemask to teach in-person classes, which follow federal, state, local, MUS, and CDC guidance.
a. A facemask is required in all campus-wide and public buildings/businesses in Missoula, Montana. Follow signage across campus to ensure your nose and mouth are covered.
a. No.
a. Yes. Follow signage in our hallway.
b. If you arrive early, we ask that you wait outside in the law school atrium until your designated meeting time.
a. Each professor will have a limited supply of disposable facemasks on hand if you misplace or forget.
b. The University of Montana is providing each student and faculty member with a health and safety kit (e.g. facemasks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, instructions).
a. Stay home until you feel better.
b. Maintain guidance by your county health department -- this may include staying home and in quarantine if you or a family member/friend is exposed to COVID-19 (check with contract tracing guidance).
c. Stay home if you have been in contact with someone exposed to COVID-19 (maintain guidance provided by county health department).
a. Your class will move to online for a given timeframe, if necessary.

a. Your professor will provide options for you to receive missing material (e.g. providing slides or recording of lecture). Make sure to notify your professor in advance. We realize this may occur periodically throughout the semester.

b. If your illness persists, you will set up an appointment with the Department Chair to come up with a plan of action to successfully complete the semester.

a. Your professor will stay home and communicate how coursework will be delivered via Moodle. If it is a long-term illness, course materials will be covered by another professor in our department.
a. Contact Department Chair, Dr. Sara Rinfret to discuss alternatives.
b. Accommodation requests from Disability Services are due July 31, 2020. Department Chairs/professors are notified. If something changes, work with UM disability services.
a. No. Employees and organizations are shifting to remote options and safe in-person opportunities. Review our careers page to view opportunities or meet with our internship advisor, Dr. Adam Brewer.
a. Wear a mask.
b. Be kind, empathetic, and understanding of others.
c. Remember your decisions impact your classmates, professors, and their families. Review this list of 37 Routine Activities' COVID-19 risk levels.
a. Each professor in our Department will successfully shift to fully online from the blended model. The blended model provides a smoother transition if this is necessary. We are nationally recognized for our ability to teach online, in-person, and via robot. The quality of your education will not be impacted.
b. Online courses will continue as planned.
a. The School of Law uses a card swipe system to enter the building, accessible using your Griz Card. Your 790 has been entered into our system.
b. In preparation, make sure to obtain a UM Griz Card.
c. If you forget your Griz Card, call Campus Safety to let you into the building. We recommend adding “Campus Safety” to your telephone contacts.
a. Fall 2020 events will be remote or in-person; invitations sent in advance via email.
b. Annual Scholarship Brunch and Celebrating Students event to be held Spring 2021.
a. November 6, 2020 (email to Dr. Rinfret)
b. When can I schedule my exit interview (email to be sent in September)
All department (grad/undergrad) level coursework/programming/billing questions, contact Dr. Sara Rinfret (; 406-243-4702. Undergraduate nonprofit minor advising (Dr. Anna Margaret Goldman,

University Coronavirus Resources

Student on laptop

The University has compiled all University-wide coronavirus-related updates, communications and other information on the UM Coronavirus Updates website.

UM has also created a Coronavirus Hotline at 406-243-INFO(4636), available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday to speak with UM employees about your questions.

UM is closely tracking the COVID-19 case trends in both Missoula and across Montana. You can track Montana’s cases here.