Nov. 11 Letter to the Families of Mizzou Ed Students

Dear College of Education Parents and Family Members,

In my role as Acting Dean of the College of Education, I wanted to reach out to you regarding the recent events on the University of Missouri campus. In particular, I wanted to talk to you about the safety and well-being of your children. You have entrusted us with your most precious assets and we take that responsibility very seriously.

As a mother of three children, I know that safety is your utmost importance. First, I want to provide you with some campus-level information. We are grateful to the University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD), who work tirelessly to keep campus safe. The university announced that MUPD will increase their presence for the time being. Further, they have provided instructions to students for contacting them if they experience any potential threatening behavior. There was a confirmed anonymous threat posted on the evening of November 10th on the social media site YikYak. The individual who posted that threat is a student at Missouri University of Science & Technology and was arrested today (November 11th) in Rolla, MO. Another student was arrested today at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO.

The MU Alert system provides real-time alerts when there are potential threats on campus, and if we believe that our students are in any type of danger we will cancel classes and take other steps to ensure their safety. In this age of social media it is easy for false rumors to get started and spread, and we regularly monitor reputable sources for credible information. It is important to note that all of the demonstrations that have taken place on the University of Missouri campus have been peaceful, and we are aware of no incidents of physical violence on campus associated with the protests.

I also want you to know that in the College of Education is taking additional proactive steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our students as well as to provide additional support. We know that some of our students are uncomfortable coming to campus, and we are working with individual faculty on alternative strategies for delivering course content to those students.

We have over 100 faculty and professional staff in the college who have volunteered to walk with students on campus who have fears about their well-being and deliver supplies to their homes if they have concerns with leaving their homes. We are communicating with students on a regular basis via email, Twitter, and Facebook. For example, see Faculty and staff have been talking with students on the phone to provide support. Counselors are also available for students who want to talk about recent events. I met with students today and visited classrooms to talk with students. I have invited students to contact me directly with any concerns that they have. Many of our faculty, administrators, and professional staff have done the same.

Resources include:

MU News Bureau:
MU Police Department: 573-882-7201
MU Counseling Center: 573-882-5501

This has been a difficult time for all of our students, and we are committed to ensuring that they feel safe and supported as we deal with these issues as a university community. We will also continue to ensure that your children receive the education they deserve.

If you have additional questions or want more information, please contact the college at 573-882-8524 or stop by the Dean’s Office in 118 Hill Hall to talk to us in person. We all appreciate your continued support.


Kathryn Chval
Acting Dean
University of Missouri
College of Education