COVID-19 Coronavirus Campus Communications

Wash Your Hands!

One of the most effective measures for stopping any infectious disease is frequent and thorough hand washing. Please join the effort and wash your hands a lot! The Centers for Disease Control has an entire webpage on the science behind hand washing. Check it out! There’s more to it than you think.


COVID-19 Coronavirus

Student Communications



Good afternoon, campus. Today, the Montana University System lifted the mask mandate for all MUS campuses effective immediately. We appreciate all you have done to get us to this point. We encourage you to get vaccinated and to help keep our campus and community safe. Thanks again for your support of this over the course of the past year.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine.



Dear campus community,

As of April 1, all Butte-Silver Bow residents ages 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Registration opens up at 3 PM this afternoon. To register, visit or call 406-497-6401 or 406-497-5008. Get registered and roll your sleeve up Orediggers!

Thanks and have a nice weekend.



Dear students, staff, and faculty,

On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department will lift the community's mask mandate along with all other restrictions. This will not change our mask protocols or others on the Montana Tech campus. The university will continue to follow the MUS Healthy Task Force's guidance, which requires masks to be worn indoors, until we receive any alternative guidance from the Montana Board of Regents.  Additionally, we strongly encourage your continued commitment to helping keep yourselves and others safe and healthy throughout the Butte Silver Bow community.

With less than five weeks left in the semester, we all must continue to mask up and finish the semester strong and healthy. Until then, let's all follow the steps in our OrediggerRx plan.

We appreciate your continued commitment to keeping our campus and community safe.



Dear students, staff and faculty,

Thanks to all of you, we have continued to have remarkable success managing the Covid-19 pandemic. Your behavior and the OrediggerRx protocols we have in place have made this a reality. We want to be clear that wearing a face covering on the Montana Tech campus and in our community remains required under Montana University System guidelines as well as the Butte Silver Bow Board of Health Covid-19 emergency rule adopted on December 22, 2020.

Research released this week from the CDC shows that any mask is good, but wearing a tight-fitting surgical mask or a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask is important, particularly as virus variants become more of a reality in our country. The research indicates that wearing a mask can reduce virus transmission by up to 96.5 percent.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to keeping Montana Tech and our community healthy.



Greetings Orediggers,

Welcome home and Happy New Year! It feels great to have you back on campus.

As the first university in the Montana University System to be back, we have the opportunity to be the first to rapid test our students for COVID-19 during the first week of school. Testing began today for all on-campus residents. We are now launching into phase two and are asking ALL STUDENTS to get tested if you traveled outside of Montana over the break. Additionally, we strongly encourage you to get tested if you spent time during the break in an area with a high incidence of COVID-19 or if you put yourself in a vulnerable situation to be exposed to the virus.

The test used will be a BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen test. The non-invasive test is administered by the individual and easy-to-use. Testing will be done on-campus and results provided within 15-30 minutes. Please begin the process for your test by completing the following survey.  Rapid testing is one more way for us to mitigate the COVID-19 virus and take responsibility for the health of our campus.

Additionally, as the semester starts, we are asking you to limit your social circle and interaction with others during the first few weeks of the semester. With the anticipated increase in the spread of the virus, we must take every precaution and continue to limit our personal bubble, mask up, physically distance from others, and follow proper hygiene practices. 

If you have questions or concerns, please email

Thanks again for being here and good luck this semester.



Greetings Orediggers,

I hope you have had a good holiday break and spent time with those you love. I know it’s been challenging to do so, given the pandemic.

We’re looking forward to having you back on campus in the days ahead. The introduction of the vaccine and the new quarantine recommendations from the CDC provide good news for us. While both offer optimism and hope, we need to continue to be vigilant in all we do to keep our campus and community healthy. Additionally, I think we all know that the OrediggerRx plan we followed in the fall worked quite well in helping prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We plan to stay the course but at a heightened level.

As I shared in my email last week, we are hopeful that you have limited your activity over the break and stayed within a very close bubble of family or friends. This week in particular, we ask that you limit your involvement with others outside of your household, pay close attention to how you feel, get tested if you feel ill, and remain in place if you test positive.

When you return, we ask you to recommit to the OrediggerRx pledge on Moodle. If you are new to campus, please take the course and accept the pledge. Those new to campus or who did not commit in the fall will receive a t-shirt. For those who recommit, the first 200 people will receive a great Montana Tech hydration bottle. The steps outlined in the pledge are a gentle reminder of what we must do to keep campus, others, and our community safe and healthy. The OrediggerRx website is also a good resource and has updated information for almost any question you may have.

Classes begin next Monday, January 4, and with the spring you can expect the following to remain in place:

  • Masks will be required in all indoor spaces
  • Physical distancing will remain in place
  • Classes have been de-densified
  • Increased cleaning protocols will continue
  • Testing and contact tracing will continue through OrediggerRx  (please email if you feel ill or have questions)

Beyond these basics, it is essential that we continue to closely monitor how we are feeling, wash our hands more frequently, limit our social activities, avoid doing anything in large groups, and quite simply, be a good member of our campus and community. The good news is there is hope but we have to remain vigilant to limit the spread of this virus. Dr. Fauci recently shared that most with no underlying conditions will likely be vaccinated by the end of March or first of April. Until then, physical distancing and masking up remain crucial.

One final note, we have a limited number of new masks available at the SUB Information Desk. They are black with a grey pick and hammer. Feel free to stop by anytime and grab one.

Thanks and safe travels. We’re excited to have you back.



Greetings Orediggers,

Happy Winter Solstice! The holidays are upon us and I am hopeful you are enjoying a well-deserved break. This time of year has always been one of my favorites as we come together to celebrate the holidays and look forward to new beginnings in the New Year. Sadly, this year will be different for all of us as we make a conscious effort to adjust our lifestyle a bit to ensure that those we love and cherish will still be around to celebrate these times in the future.

As you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza or any of the other holidays this time of year, I encourage you to do so in a way that reminds us of the goodness of humanity and the importance of caring for one another. While the pandemic has caused incredible anxiety, economic impact and loss of life, we have also witnessed silver linings demonstrating incredible compassion, empathy and resilience. Traditionally many holidays are focused on the giving of gifts; however, I remain convinced that the most important gift is the gift of self.

As we celebrate the holidays, I think it’s important we celebrate our accomplishments as well. This fall Montana Tech experienced what may be our highest retention rate ever at 81%. We welcomed our first class of cross-country athletes who were ranked in the top twenty in the NAIA and our men’s golf team won the Frontier Conference Championship. In addition, Montana Tech:

  • Received full accreditation for our civil and mechanical engineering degrees
  • Precision machining students produced parts for NASA and the international space station
  • Hosted our first “Make a Difference Day”
  • Was named the best small college in Montana
  • Received the ranking for top college in Montana for highest paid graduates
  • And the #1 university in Montana for graduates with the lowest debt

These are all things to be celebrated and proud of. On another note, I want to let you know that planning for spring semester continues. As previously shared, our spring semester will be similar to the fall with face-to-face instruction. We did fairly well to navigate the virus last semester, and I remain confident if we all take the necessary steps that we will be able to do it again. The CDC predicts that COVID-19 numbers will spike in early 2021. It will be imperative that we follow the protocols we put in place in the fall, but at a heightened level. We also strongly encourage you to limit your social circles and enjoy time with only your immediate family/friends from today until you return to campus. I know this is hard, but we all have to be committed to this in order to keep the campus and our community healthy upon your return.

I hope you will find downtime over the break to reflect on you experiences at Tech as well as those you have cherished throughout your life. For all of us, having access to education is in many ways a gift. And what makes this a gift are the rich relationships we have, those with whom we are connected, the sights and sounds along the way, and the experiences we share as Orediggers. Speaking of sights, if you have clear skies later this today, I hope you’ll get outside and check out the Christmas Star. Last time this happened was 1226 and the next time won’t be until 2080.

Thanks again for all you bring to Montana Tech, enjoy the holidays, please stay safe and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year. Cheers!



Good evening Orediggers,

I wanted to check in before the holiday break and extend my best wishes to you. I hope you are looking forward to finals being done, if they aren’t already. From the looks of campus these past two days, many of you have already finished up.

As you know, this semester has been anything but normal for all of us. Dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, elections, unrest in many parts of the country, and the angst of uncertainty is exhausting. For a number of you, this was your first election. I remember the first time I voted and how excited I was to have the opportunity to have a say in the future of our country. That said, whether this was your first, second (or even fourth) election, exercising your right probably pleased some of you and caused disappointment for others. Regardless of how we might feel, it is our responsibility to make our community and the world in which we live a better place. As former President Obama stated, “This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We’re Americans first. We all want what’s best for our country…”

As a nation built upon democracy, we are called on to heed this advice every day as we learn to value and appreciate individual thoughts and opinions that may be different than our own. And to do so with an openness and understanding that is respectful, inclusive, and supportive of those around us. This is Montana Tech; we are our own family and our own community; and mutual respect is one of the values we collectively uphold.

For those of you graduating this semester, I know your remaining days at Tech are bittersweet and for those of you who just joined us this fall, your first dive into finals is probably bittersweet—hopefully less bitter and more sweet. No matter where you are in your journey at Montana Tech, I hope you’ll find time to reflect on your experience and all of those who support you in this endeavor. With everything you’ve had on your plate this semester, this support is more important than ever.

Covid-19 has been a challenge for all of us since March and unfortunately is exploding throughout much of the nation, including here in Montana. I am incredibly grateful we were able to navigate it quite successfully this fall and be on campus for face to face instruction. Our plans for spring are similar to fall, however, we are all going to have to have patience and understanding as we navigate the pandemic in the months ahead. We remain committed to face to face instruction next semester as the experiential, hands-on piece is critical, but stand ready to adjust if circumstances warrant doing so.

My request this fall was for you to come to campus with the mindset of Montana Tech as your second home. I hope you found it to be this way. As you make plans for the holidays, I request you hunker down with your immediate family and limit your social activity to this small circle. As you are probably aware, the CDC recommends you don’t travel at all. I know for most of you this is not a reality. However, it is critically important that you pay attention and follow the recommended protocols wherever you may be. Upon your arrival home or wherever you may be traveling to, you are encouraged to consider the following:

  • Limit your interactions to those in your immediate household
  • Wear a mask outside of your home and in all public settings, including in the car with others
  • Maintain physical distancing at all times
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Pay close attention to how you are feeling
  • Limit holiday guests to no more than 10 people total
  • Know who’s vulnerable and avoid visiting them in person
  • Share Thanksgiving or other occasions virtually with extended family/friends
  • Get outside! Fresh air and exercise are a must

The holidays are going to be a lot different this year but would you rather miss one holiday or have an empty spot at the table at every future holiday? I know you are smart and it’s incumbent on all of us that we do the right thing. It’s important for your own family, and it’s important for your Montana Tech family.

For those of you remaining in Butte over Thanksgiving as a result of being in isolation or quarantine, we care about you and are concerned that you will be missing Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Some of our faculty and staff are putting together Thanksgiving dinner for you to enjoy. Since you are in isolation or quarantine, we will deliver the meal to you in the afternoon.  You should have received an email from OrediggerRx this afternoon, if not feel free to email me. 

Finally, please stay tuned and check your email regularly over the break. We look forward to having you back on campus in January and will keep you apprised of any information you need to know through email.

As you make plans to be with family or friends, either near or far, I wish you nothing but the absolute best. I realize this has been a hard semester but with our continued vigilance and vaccines in the near future, I know we can get through this. It’s important that we take time to stay physically, mentally, and spiritually balanced and not let the urgent overtake the important in life. Take care of yourself first and the rest will follow. I am honored to be part of the Montana Tech family. Congratulations to our fall graduates, good luck on finals, and my best wishes for a restful, restorative holiday break.



Good morning Orediggers,

In less than two weeks, we will wrap up the fall semester. It certainly feels good to be in the home stretch. While we started the semester with a good deal of uncertainty and angst about where we might end up, I think we have done reasonably well to make face to face instruction and the campus experience a reality. It hasn’t been perfect, but we are almost there. I think we will reflect back positively on making this happen. Together we made it, thank you.

I suspect that you are growing tired of my emails, but I have one last request of you. As you prepare to return home for the holiday break with your family and friends, I ask that you compress your social circle and limit your interactions to those in your bubble or close friends’ group until the end of the semester. If you have seen any news lately, you know that COVID19 numbers in our community, including cases on-campus and much of Montana are moving in the wrong direction. From October 31-November 6, Butte-Silver Bow sustained 190 positive cases, the highest weekly count to date. The county is now seeing, on average, 29 new cases per day. Yesterday there were 120 new cases in Butte.  Almost one in five people tested in Butte-Silver Bow are positive for the virus, and 14 individuals have died. It is incumbent upon all of us to take every step possible to mitigate the virus to finish the semester in-person and return home healthy for the break.

Now is the time to mask up at all times, hunker down as much as you can and get tested if you show any symptoms. I highly encourage you to email to get tested if you are symptomatic before leaving for the break.

Now is also the time to get registered for spring if you haven’t done so. If you have not registered for Spring semester please reach out to your advisor before the end of the term.

Good luck with everything these next few weeks. You’ve made it this far, and I have the utmost confidence in your strong finish as we conclude the semester.



Good morning Orediggers,

As we wrap up spirit week and our 8th week of classes, I hope you are well and enjoying the fall semester. I know these are strange times and I genuinely value your commitment to make it all work. I also appreciate your continued commitment to mask up, physically distance, and follow the recommended guidelines.

A number of you have inquired about our plans for a fall commencement ceremony. As I think you may know, we were hopeful we would be able to invite the spring 2020 graduates back for Homecoming as well as a fall commencement. Unfortunately, COVID19 continues to be in our way of hosting any large events. As a result, the recommendation from the Office of the Commissioner for Higher Education and the Butte Silver Bow Health Department is to postpone our fall graduation until spring 2021. This is obviously not something any of us are excited about, but it makes the most sense given the pandemic doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. We’re tentatively planning to host a commencement celebration for all spring/summer/fall 2020 graduates and spring 2021 on Saturday, April 24. Please stay tuned.

Additionally, all MUS institutions have received a directive from Commissioner Christian that all campuses continue to plan for an in-person instructional approach for the spring semester and to, streamline the calendar to minimize the time from beginning to end. Our first day for spring semester classes is Monday, January 4, which is an earlier start than most Montana universities. To streamline our semester, we will no longer have a regular spring break week, but will continue to have Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, and the spring mini-break on Friday,April 2. With a compressed semester, regular coursework will conclude on Friday, April 15 with final exams held the following week. I know this may not be exactly what you wanted, but I remain hopeful that you will continue to understand as we do what we can to keep you here while mitigating as much risk to our health as possible. You can review the full calendar here.

One last reminder, if you haven’t completed the census yet or registered to vote, I encourage you to do both ASAP. Both are important responsibilities we have as citizens and are your opportunity to have a voice as well as be counted. You can complete the census here and register to vote here.

Thanks and enjoy the weekend ahead. I hope to see you at Saturday’s cornhole tournament!



Dear Graduating Class,

Greetings from all of us here at Montana Tech! We are extremely proud of all you have accomplished as you are coming upon Fall graduation. We are impressed with your understanding and resilience through this pandemic and during your years on the hill in Butte, Montana.

Your grit and drive to persevere through this difficult time is to be commended. As the number of COVID-19 cases in our community continue to rise, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel our fall 2020 recognition ceremony. We want to make sure our students, faculty and staff can finish this semester healthy and safe. We hope to hold a ceremony in the spring of 2021. When we know more details, we will share them with you.

Please keep checking your Montana Tech email for any updates regarding future ceremonies.  We also encourage you to check Montana Tech’s Commencement page for up-to-date information. 

Virginia “Ginnie”  Lamere


Dear campus community,

As I know you are aware, our goal since the pandemic arrived on our campus in early March, has been and will continue to be to protect our campus and community’s health and safety. Along with this comes the responsibility of protecting the privacy of our students, faculty and staff while also being as transparent as possible.

For some time, the university along with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and Butte-Silver Bow were in discussions on the best way to provide COVID-19 information to the public. Yesterday’s announcement by Governor Bullock to release statewide K-12 and higher education institutions put the process in place. State-wide reporting will note the school, # of positive students, total # of cases associated with the school, and cases reported in past 14 days. The report will be updated weekly on Wednesdays. Additionally, we are working with the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department to share information about total cases as well as active and recovered cases associated with Montana Tech.

Currently, Montana Tech is the only non-flagship university in the MUS conducting testing on campus. We have been told our protocols for testing are the most comprehensive within the MUS. Testing of all close contacts and symptomatic faculty, staff, and students began on Monday, August 31 and continues almost daily.

To date we have had 34 cases on campus since testing began. Of these 34, nearly one-third of them are no longer active. For those living on campus, we have designated space used for quarantine and isolation away from the student population.

Of the cases we’ve seen at Montana Tech, we have found that cases are not a result of grossly inappropriate or irresponsible behavior (being out at bars, large house parties, etc.). Most can be attributed to communal spaces, living situations and simply being with their friends/peers. Of the new cases in our campus community, most are within clusters. We greatly appreciate our students, faculty, and staff’s responsible approach to systematic testing and symptom reporting.

We will continue to work closely with our partners, the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department, SCL Health, the State of Montana, and OCHE to prevent and mitigate the virus's spread.  We need everyone to continue to mask up at all times, physically distance, and practice good hygiene. Remember it doesn’t end when we leave campus, it’s a 24-7 virus and doesn’t take nights, weekends or holidays off.

This will continue to be a fluid and evolving situation, while we may not get everything exactly right, we’re prepared to adjust where we need to do so.



Dear faculty, staff, and students,

I wanted to reach out and let you know we hear you and genuinely appreciate your feedback with respect to the reporting of our COVID-19 numbers on campus. We have been and continue to work with MUS officials and the local Health Department to release this information within the confines of FERPA and HIPPA regulations and allowable reporting compliance.

Governor Steve Bullock announced today that the Department of Public Health & Human Services would issue a weekly dashboard each Wednesday afternoon with details on the number of COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools and university campuses. Our understanding is this information will be broken out by campus.

Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to working towards providing further information.



Dear Campus Community

I am writing to you with an urgent message. With the increase of COVID-19 cases in Butte-Silver Bow and on our campus, it is incumbent upon us to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus. We MUST follow Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s face-covering directive, which Montana Tech, along with our local Health Department and the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, are mandating. 

Positive cases on campus have been linked directly to off-campus gatherings where face masks are not worn. As of right now and because face masks are worn in the classroom, no COVID-19 cases can be traced back to classroom instruction. The problem is we are not following the rules when we leave campus. We need to do better; we MUST do better. When we are off-campus, our behaviors are putting us at risk of transitioning back to online learning; not what any of us want. Our plan for a healthy fall requires that we all wear a face mask at all times indoors, which even means off campus when gathering with others. I cannot stress this enough—if we want the fall semester to continue with face-to-face instruction, we all need to step up our game. We are currently managing the situation; however, we could get to an unmanageable point if we don’t all do our part. Positive cases are occurring from gathering in groups, in communal spaces, and due to community spread. We must pay greater attention to the directives that have been provided.

According to CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, “We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Montana Tech doesn’t have COVID, people do. The only way to stop the spread of the virus is to mask up. Everyone has been provided a mask or two from the university. Wear them even off campus! If you get the virus or are identified as a close contact and are placed in isolation or quarantine, the number of days you will be out is 14 and possibly more – the timeline could vary. Believe me, I’ve been there and it’s not fun.

With four weeks into the semester, we have all had enough time to familiarize ourselves with wearing a face mask and the expectation is that you do so. If you are non-compliant with the directive, you will be subject to university sanctions ranging from a disciplinary warning to suspension. Teachable moments such as warnings have occurred, but we are beyond that now. Compliance is required. If you see something, report it here.

We understand there is interest in knowing Montana Tech’s specific COVID-19 information. The Butte-Silver Bow Health Department tracks and reports official data in total by gender and age for Butte-Silver Bow. As of right now, data is not broken down specifically for Montana Tech. The health department has the most accurate and comprehensive information backed by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Currently, there are 39 active cases in Butte-Silver Bow.

This is an extremely fluid situation, but we will get through this together with common sense, consideration, and respect for others. Our actions today will determine our future tomorrow.  

Thanks and enjoy the weekend ahead.



Good morning Orediggers,

I wanted to check-in and send you a note before the Labor Day weekend. As we round out week three, I want to thank you for your commitment and dedication to being on campus for face-to-face, in-person education. As we go forward, we all need to remain vigilant in our behaviors and actions, continue to use common sense, pay attention to the advice provided, and follow the OrediggerRx pledge. By doing this, I remain confident we will remain face-to-face through the end of the fall semester.

On Tuesday, September 8, you will notice we have adjusted some classrooms on campus. Last week we completed the library auditorium renovations and freed up additional larger spaces. As a result, next week we will shift some larger classes to bigger rooms. Doing this affords us the opportunity to increase our distancing and is one more step in our OrediggerRx plan to maintain a safe and healthy campus. I appreciate your flexibility as well as that of our faculty.

As we celebrate the American worker's contributions and achievements this Labor Day, I encourage you to continue to take the necessary precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19.  I know this is a long holiday weekend, and people frequently use it to celebrate the end of summer. However, this is not a normal year and I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to continue to be smart in all you do. I hope you will remain in Butte, avoid large gatherings, get caught up on your homework, or simply enjoy the outdoors.

Finally, I want to remind you that we are providing symptomatic testing Monday-Friday on campus by appointment only. If you aren’t feeling well or something seems out of the ordinary, including runny nose, sore throat, fatigue or shortness of breath, fever, body aches, or loss of taste/smell it is crucial that you email and stay home. It’s important that you take care of yourself, our Montana Tech family, and the local community. Mask up, keep your distance, wash your hands, and be smart. And if you happen to be wondering about the different levels of risk, I have inserted an infographic below from the CDC that may be helpful in your choices. 

Let's do this, Orediggers. We have a little over 11 weeks to go.

Please continue to be safe, play smart and enjoy the holiday weekend,



Good afternoon Orediggers,

Tomorrow begins the start of a new academic year at Montana Technological University. The energy on campus has been tremendous over the past few weeks and will be amplified having you here. On the 11th of September we celebrate the university’s founding and our 120th year. Montana Tech has come a long way during this time, and we look forward to continuing this success.

As we face a global pandemic, this year will undoubtedly feel different. However, with everyone’s commitment to our Oredigger Pledge, to protect yourself, protect others, and our community by following the guidelines that have been provided, I remain confident we can mitigate the impact and spread of COVID-19. Knowing that you and your fellow Orediggers strongly desire an in person fall, we have worked to construct an environment that focuses on the health and safety of our campus community while protecting the most vulnerable. We want to be here as much as you do, but this will only work if we are all on board. If you haven’t done so, please take the pledge by logging onto your MyMTech account and complete the pledge. Doing so not only affirms your commitment but provides you the opportunity for some new Tech gear. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a challenge and inconvenience, but can contradict our opportunity to build community on campus. As a result, many  large events, lectures, and traditions we hold dear will be put on hold this fall. That said, we look forward to taking this opportunity to try some new things and build a robust calendar of programming and activities. We intend to provide smaller group events and activities throughout the semester, many of which will be outdoors. We will provide more detail in the weeks ahead.

As you return to campus, it is imperative that you physically distance, which means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice proper physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about two arms’ lengths away) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

We want to see you masking up. The evidence has become increasingly clear that of all that can be done to stop the spread of the virus, masks are the most effective. Just a reminder, face coverings are required in all indoor spaces when with others, both on campus and in our community. Let’s own and embrace this and, show others how Orediggers are doing their part to #MaskUp! Snap a photo as you explore campus and the surrounding areas and tag Montana Tech.

We’re also recommending traffic flow patterns while walking on campus. You’ll notice directional stickers in many areas on the sidewalks. It’s pretty simple, we’re asking you to always walk on the right side of the path – similar to being in an airport!

This is also a time where more than ever we need you to take care of yourself. Pay attention to your health and surroundings and watch out for your classmates. If you feel ill, have questions or concerns, we want to hear from you, please reach out at It is vital during this time that we all take care of each other.

It is also critically important that we take care of our Butte community. You can do your part by neither hosting or attending large group gatherings, wearing your mask in public, keeping your distance and being respectful of others. I’d be lying if I didn’t share the community is watching and our behavior this fall will determine our ability to remain in person. If there was ever a time to be a responsible citizen, the time is now.

To help keep you healthy, we will  distribute wellness kits in the courtyard on the north campus on Monday, August 17th from 8am-noon and Tuesday, August 18thfrom 8am-noon.  We will be at Highlands on Monday, August 17th from noon-2pm. Your wellness kit includes two cloth masks, hand sanitizer, breath mints and a thermometer. We have also placed digital temperature scanners in all residence halls and a variety of other buildings.

Recently, the Frontier Conference decided to postpone our fall football and volleyball seasons until spring. This is disappointing for all of us as we know there is nothing quite like game day at Montana Tech. After exhausting all avenues and options to ensure the health and safety of our athletes, campus and our community there wasn’t another choice. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the understanding and support of our players and coaches. They embrace this decision and realize that our first priority will always be getting an education.

While we won’t have football or volleyball, I do hope you’ll get out and enjoy our surroundings. There are so many great outdoor activities close to campus for you to explore. Hike or play disc golf around the Big Butte Open Space, walk or bike along the BA&P Hill Trail, explore Uptown Butte’s various restaurants and shops, and check out the Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 9-1. If you say there is nothing to do in Butte it’s because you aren’t looking very hard. There are lots of adventures to be had in and around Butte, I hope you’ll get out and find them! Visit the following websites:

This is a time for us to embrace Butte pride, our Montana Tech Family and our community. As I shared in July, we want you to remain close to campus and in the community for the duration of the semester.  Skeptics have said that reopening colleges is unrealistic and that students won’t pay attention to recommendations, lets prove them wrong. We are Orediggers, we’re doers, and we want to be here, together we can do this. The Butte community and Orediggers across the nation believe in all of you. Now let’s step up and show everyone how a university can have in-person education this fall.

We’re all incredibly glad to be back. There’s nothing better than fall on a college campus. This year will be different, I’m confident we can reinvent what better looks like.

With gratitude, optimism, and all the best wishes,



Greetings Orediggers!

I hope you are staying well, enjoying the summer, and looking forward to being back on campus in a few weeks. We are looking forward to having you back; it’s been way too long!

We are preparing for your return to campus in August and taking the necessary steps to keep our communities healthy and safe going forward. Oredigger Rx is the name of our COVID-19 plan and our prescription for a healthy campus. We will all need to take ownership as well as the necessary precautions to make this happen. Yesterday, the Montana University System Healthy Fall Task Force recommended a mask requirement for all campuses. Montana Tech is in full support of this recommendation and will follow the policy recommendations of the commissioner’s office and state and local health authorities.

As chancellor, I will be asking you to remain close to our campus and within the community for the duration of the semester. We want you to come with the mindset that Montana Tech is your second home and we are family. Much like the time you have spent hunkered down with your family since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, we want you to come to Tech and spend the semester here with us. We want to keep all of us healthy, and we know that limiting trips and travel outside the area is one way to do this.

We are going to ask every member of the Montana Tech family to commit to Oredigger Rx by taking the Oredigger Pledge. The pledge is our commitment to protect ourselves, our families, those around us, and our community. We are a community of determined doers in pursuit of education, opportunity, and a successful future. As we face the COVID-19 challenge head-on, we will come together, in true Oredigger fashion and protect the health and safety of every member of our campus and community. We all will:

  1. Wear a cloth or facemask at all times when indoors.
  2. Wash our hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. 
  3. Maintain physical distancing between others.
  4. Cover our cough and sneeze.
  5. Avoid touching our eyes, nose, and mouth.
  6. Stay away from class if you are sick and get medical care if necessary. If you have to miss class due to illness, we will have a streaming option available.
  7. Participate in testing and contact tracing.
  8. Keep our clothing, belongings and personal space clean.
  9. Embrace a culture of safety and accountability.

Additionally, we will provide testing for the  COVID-19 virus for those who would like to be tested. Originally, our intent was to test everyone as they came back to campus, however, late last week the Centers for Disease Control came out with a statement and recommends campuses do not test all students, faculty and staff as they return to campus. For those who wish to be tested, testing will be provided on-campus through a mobile clinic during orientation week as well as the first week of classes.

Together we know we can minimize the risk for our campus. As planning continues, you will notice additional hand sanitizer stations, health and safety posters, directional signage, protective shields, and a lot more. We will have mobile temperature scanners in eight different locations on campus and will provide all students with an Oredigger Rx wellness kit. Campus Facilities has increased the frequency of our cleaning and disinfecting across campus. We are asking everyone to assist in keeping classrooms, labs, and departmental offices sanitized and clean.

I hope you are looking forward to being on campus as much as we are looking forward to having you here. If you have not registered for classes yet, I encourage you to do so soon. This will help us to know where to add additional sections. Additionally, if you do not have your housing for fall yet, first -year students need to sign up as soon as you can. Returning students may also want to consider the opportunities for on-campus living. The convenience of living on-campus, coupled with the new Student Success Center, and an enhanced dining experience is unparalleled. You can contact housing here.

While no one knows for sure what lies ahead, I can assure you that Montana Tech is ready for you to join us in August. We will continue to update you as our planning progresses, and will do the best we can with the information and resources we have available. It’s time our Montana Tech family is back together and we can’t wait!

Enjoy the incredible days ahead, stay safe, and continue to show your Oredigger pride.


Les P. Cook, Ed.D.



Dear Montana Tech Orediggers,

Ten days ago, Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian requested that all campuses within the Montana University System shift their academic calendar to allow for the completion of fall semester by Wednesday November 25. I wanted to let you know Montana Tech will follow this recommendation and start the fall semester one week earlier than planned. Most Montana University System campuses, as well as many others throughout the country, will return to campus sooner than initially expected to help reduce the risk of infection by the COVID-19 virus. The first day of classes for the fall semester at Montana Tech will be Monday, August 17. This change to the academic calendar will allow the fall semester to conclude before Thanksgiving at 5:00 PM on Tuesday November 24.

This decision involved consultation and feedback from faculty and staff and results from a survey to all students. We realize the change in the fall schedule will require significant adjustments, accommodations, and potential hardship for everyone, but the nature of the pandemic requires us all to go above and beyond and do what is best for our students and the university.

As you are aware, we are committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community, and are working towards re-establishing some normalcy on campus. We pride ourselves on providing hands-on, experiential learning, and we know you are eager to resume your education in-person and on-campus.

There are many things to work out before we bring students safely back to campus for the fall semester. Our COVID-19 planning team continues to work on processes and mitigation plans, hygiene measures, and protocols for a healthy and safe return to campus. This is a coordinated effort and will continue to involve local and state public health officials who are assisting us developing our plans as well as identifying effective protocols for testing and screening when we resume full face-to-face instruction in the fall. 

We know this change will raise a number of questions for you around exam schedules, move-in, orientation, fall commencement, registration and financial aid. We are working through these pieces and will communicate new information over the summer as it becomes available, but you can rest assured all on-campus services will be ready for the first day of classes on August 17. (This change will not affect students who have financial aid.)

Please keep these important dates in mind as you plan for the fall:

  • Monday, August 17, 2020 – First day of fall semester classes
  • Thursday, November 19, 2020 – Final exams commence
  • Tuesday, November 24, 2020 – Last day of final exams
  • TBD – Fall semester commencement

This academic calendar adjustment is for the fall semester only. We anticipate returning to the planned 16-week schedule in the spring with the first day of classes held on Monday, January 4, 2021.

We understand this change in the fall schedule comes with personal challenges for some of you. I know some of you are concerned about ending your internship early, losing an extra week of pay at your summer job, dealing with housing or childcare issues. Unfortunately as daunting as all of this can be, we have to do what we think is best for all of Montana Tech and our students. We will continue to ask for flexibility in planning from everyone as we move forward.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to work through this together. We look forward to having you back on campus and continuing to deliver an exceptional in-person educational experience.

Stay healthy and safe, and as always, please reach out if I can assist you.


Les P. Cook, Ed.D.



Greetings Orediggers,

Week two of online education is almost in the books, if online can be in the books 😊. I do hope your classes are going well and you are finding a routine.

I’d like to let you know that given the unusual circumstances of this semester and the challenge of moving 100% online caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and in support of you being able to adapt to a new system of course delivery, Montana Tech will implement an alternative grading mechanism effective for the spring 2020 semester.  This alternate grade option is in addition to the normal letter grade process. The Complete Credit/Credit/No Credit grading mechanism will be available for all courses taken for undergraduate credit. Once grades are available if  you feel that a course(s) grade negatively impacts your GPA, you can elect to transition one or more select courses to the alternative which offers a three-tiered system (parallel in function but no associated grade point). You will have 7 days to decide if you would like to choose the Complete Credit/Credit/No Credit option. Grades taken through this alternate option will not impact your GPA. I have attached the policy or you can find out more information here under the heading Alternate Grades.

I know many of you have been wondering if our commencement ceremony and Techxpo will take place this year. We received notification from the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education this week that all Montana Universities will not hold in-person commencement ceremonies this spring. As I’ve stated before, this is not really something any of us want, but something in the best interests of all. While we won’t have an in-person ceremony this May, we understand the importance of celebrating this milestone in the lives of our Orediggers. The university launched its Phoenix Recovery Committee to reinvent campus events for both prospective and current students. The commencement ceremony is a significant project the team is focusing on. The group is comprised of individuals from a diverse cross-section of campus departments, focused on finding creative and effective solutions under the current circumstances while embracing the opportunities to move Montana Tech forward. All graduating seniors will receive a survey shortly asking for your input. Please complete the survey so we know what you’d like to see happen.

Our 2020 Techxpo event has also moved an online format. For those of you who are interested in sharing your creative research and innovative projects through Techxpo, you will be able to upload your posters to Digital Commons on or about April 16. All of you who were participating in Techxpo should have received an email already about these changes.

As we look ahead to the summer we have taken the conservative and most realistic approach and will be continuing online with our summer courses. There may be a few that require fieldwork, in those instances some accommodation will possibly be made so these courses can continue.

For all of us, we cherish this time of year as we look forward to awards gatherings, a bike ride on Big Butte, breaking out the barbecue, MDays, the end of winter and the beginning of spring and wrapping up another chapter in the book of life.  Spending the bulk of my career in student affairs, I can say suspending the events and things you all look forward to has been hard. We miss you being here but social distancing does not mean social isolation.  I hope you are in regular contact with your fellow Orediggers, faculty, advisors, mentors and others that keep you grounded. The value of association and need for human connection has never been more important.

Finally, as you all are aware, when the Orediggers are victorious our beloved “M” changes to “V” signifying a victory. Beginning tonight the M will flash “V” as a gentle reminder to believe in the strength of our community and better days ahead.

I hope you have a restful weekend, and please abide by Governor Bullock’s stay-at-home order.

Take care and please stay healthy,



The Health Clinic is closed. Call 406-496-4243 to determine if you need to be seen the same day, stay home, or schedule an appointment.

Micaul McClafferty, PA-C, and Kirk Bigley, PA-C, will see Tech students at SCL Health Medical Group, at 435 S. Crystal St. Suite #300 from 11AM - 1PM. Call 406-496-4243 to determine if you need to be seen. If they determine you need to be seen by a provider, you will walk into the Regional Medical Arts Pavilion (RMAP), connected to the hospital, and staff will direct you where to go. The visit with the provider and point-of-care testing will be of no cost to you. The cost is included in your tuition fee if you are currently enrolled in at least 7 credits on the North campus, or if you have paid the health clinic fee. You must bring your Digger Card. If appropriate, virtual video visits will be conducted if they deem it not necessary to be evaluated in person.

The Health Clinic is temporarily closed for patient visits. The nurse will take phone calls during regularly scheduled hours, from 10 AM - 2 PM, and make recommendations on whether you need to be seen the same day, stay home, or schedule an appointment. You must call 406-496-4243 before coming to the clinic.

Micaul McClafferty, PA-C, and Kirk Bigley, PA-C, will see Tech students at SCL Health Medical Group, at 435 S. Crystal St. Ste #300 from 11AM - 1PM. If the campus nurse recommends you see a provider, you will walk into the Regional Medical Arts Pavilion (RMAP), connected to the hospital, and staff will direct you where to go. The visit with the provider and point-of-care testing will be of no cost to you. The cost is included in your tuition fee if you are currently enrolled in at least 7 credits on the North campus, or if you have paid the health clinic fee. You must bring your Digger Card. If appropriate, virtual video visits will be conducted if they deem it not necessary to be evaluated in person.

Good morning students, faculty and staff,

This morning all of us are embarking on a new day and one that will likely be somewhat of an adventure as we move to 100% online delivery. Who would have known two weeks ago this would be the case as everyone returns for the final weeks of our semester?

To all of you, I want to say thanks. These are unnerving times and your continued patience, flexibility and willingness to do whatever we need to do to make it work has been extraordinary. As we kick into online mode, we know things aren’t going to be perfect and it’s important we all remember this. Additionally, we must remember  that we are all Orediggers, we’re resilient, we can be agile and forgiving and most importantly, we care about one another.

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, another member of the Butte-Silver Bow community has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. The reality is there will be more cases in the immediate future and I can’t emphasize enough how much we need your help. Your health and well-being continue to be the utmost importance. Please remember the following:

  • If you traveled internationally over spring break, Governor Bullock has asked that you self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return.
  • If you aren’t feeling well or believe you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (runny nose, fever, cough, etc.) please stay home and contact your health provider.
  • If you think you may have been exposed to someone with Covid-19, please closely monitor your health and pay attention to any changes in how you’re feeling.
  • ALL of us, regardless of our situation need to practice social distancing as well as continued good hygiene. You can rest assure that those of us on campus will be practicing this by using Zoom or other technologies to avoid in-person interaction.

As a reminder for those of you remaining on campus that need computer lab access, the following labs are available for your use:

  • xELC 315 (with dual monitors)
  • Main 205
  • MG 102 (with dual monitors)
  • MUS 101 (12 machines with dual monitors)
  • NRB 228
  • CBB 001

We will monitor usage over the next week or so and quite possibly take more of these off-line once we know which labs are utilized most.

To minimize traffic and assist our facilities team, the following buildings are closed for the remainder of the semester: The Mill, Engineering Hall, Natural Resources Research Center, Library, and HPER. 

The days ahead are bound to be interesting, but I know we will persevere. While the present is undoubtedly troubling, I think there is much to learn and be gained from this experience. Spend a half hour watching the news or some time on social media and you will undoubtedly see all of the good that is already occurring.

Today is a new day for Montana Tech and in so many ways one that I know may be tough. Not having students in our classrooms, the dining hall or satisfying your curiosity in a research lab feels strange for all of us, but let’s use this opportunity to embrace technology like its never been embraced before. Let’s also use this time to embrace our friends and loved ones, the outdoors, a good book, a new hobby or the space to simply reflect.

Thank you and welcome back. I look forward to the success we will create together.



 Good morning Orediggers, 

I hope you have had a nice spring break and are settling in with the idea that we will all be online as we return on Monday. I know it’s not what any of us had planned for and I know there will be questions along the way, but please be assured our entire team is here to help you through this process. Let’s all take this one day at a time. 

I want to thank all of you who completed the survey that was emailed out yesterday. We have close to 600 responses, and they continue to grow by the hour. The results are helping us understand your needs and how we can do things better for the remainder of the semester. We are sharing your comments with faculty and others across campus. Please complete the survey if you have not done so. Your feedback is helping us plan as we move to 100% online delivery. Thanks also for the positive feedback, it’s energizing after a very long week.

A few updates today for you: 

  1. Last night, the Commissioner of Higher Education, Clay Christian, authorized campuses to begin the process of providing prorated refunds, to the extent possible, for room and board to those students not returning to campus. Refunds will be issued for the period from March 23rd through the end of the Spring term. If you are an on-campus resident, you will be asked to complete a cancellation form. Housing and residence life will provide these details. If you are not returning but leaving your belongings in your room until a later date, that’s perfectly fine, we will still provide you a refund as long as you let us know your intentions.
  2. Our operations page has the most current information about the Academic Center for Excellence, Counseling Services, and Disability Services. Please visit the page for more information. 
  3. Dining Services will be limited for the remainder of the semester. They will operate a C-store providing grab 'n go, and take-out service from the grill in the SUB Dining area only from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm. Residence Hall students will be delivered pre-packaged breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  4. In the interests of everyone and to minimize social interaction, much of campus will be closed. While not ideal, it’s something we have to do. Departments and spaces that will be closed include:
      1. The Bookstore and HPER will remain closed.
      2. The Library will also be closed; however, they can help if you need something. Contact information for Library personnel is listed on our operations page on our website. 
      3. We have also closed a number of the computer labs across campus. Labs that will remain open include the following:
        • BB 001
        • ELC 315 (with dual monitors)
        • Main 205
        • MG 102 (with dual monitors)
        • MUS 101 (12 machines with dual monitors)
        • NRB 228. 
      4. We have also closed a few low traffic buildings for the time being. These include the Mill, Engineering Hall, Natural Resources Research Center, Library, and HPER. 

    As you prepare for a new delivery of your education or a return to Montana Tech, we want you to know that your health and safety is of the utmost importance to us. We care about you and want to make this a smooth and successful semester finish. Please complete the survey you were emailed, reach out if you need anything at all via email, or send us a comment or question on our online form

    Your continued patience, understanding and resilience is genuinely appreciated. This surely isn’t the way I had planned to conclude my first year as your chancellor and I know it’s not what you anticipated a week or so ago when you left for spring break. Unfortunately, it’s our current reality and staying positive and flexible will help all of us in the days/weeks ahead.

    As you enjoy these last two days of spring break, I encourage you to enjoy the outdoors, rest, be kind, and help others. Next week will be a new adventure, let’s Roll Diggs! 

    With gratitude and appreciation,



Good afternoon Students,

I know you are probably getting tired of hearing from me, but I wanted to check in to make sure you are doing okay. I know you have a lot of information coming at you, but the most important thing right now is your health and well-being. 

As I shared yesterday, we strongly recommend you stay home or return to your permanent residence if you can and return to Butte to retrieve your belongings at a later date. The unknowns with COVID-19 remain unsettling, this is an emerging public health situation unlike anything previously witnessed. As such, we believe being home is the best place for you as you complete your coursework.

If you currently live on campus, you need to know that all services are likely to become more limited in the days ahead. I’m sorry, I know these decisions are hard, but asking you to continue your education remotely we feel is in your best interest. If you are an on-campus resident, please check your email for regular communications about the halls. 

In the next days and weeks, you are going to receive a lot of messages from Montana Tech about what is happening on campus, with your classes, etc. and I would like to ask that you please pay attention to this communication. Some of these messages will change as situations change. This is not how we typically communicate with you, but these are also not normal times. This afternoon you will receive a short survey from us. I strongly encourage you to complete it. We care about you and want to make sure that you have what you need as we move 100% to online courses in addition to staying healthy. This survey will provide us information to ensure you are supported and your needs are being met.

We know some of you have concerns about internet access at your home residence. Charter is offering free access to Spectrum Broadband and Wi-Fi for 60 days for college student households. To enroll and for more information, please call 1-844-488-8395.

It is also important for you to know that Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued a travel advisory today. He is advising Montana citizens who have traveled internationally to self-quarantine for 14 days and to contact their local health department.

I thank you again for your patience and understanding. We are all Orediggers and together, we can make a difference. Be kind, keep a positive attitude, social distance, and help others out.

My thoughts continue to be with you all.


Dear Montana Tech Students,

Greetings. I hope you are enjoying the break so far and finding some time for R&R. I know it may be challenging given the environment we are currently in. I want you to know your health and safety is at the top of my mind. I’m sure it is on yours as well. I encourage you to continue to practice regular prevention measures—cover your cough, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home if you are sick.

As you may have heard our Provost, Steve Gammon tested positive for the COVID-19 virus as has the Commissioner of Higher Education, Clay Christian. We do not want you to panic and want you to know that we are working closely with the Health Department and monitoring the situation daily. While both tested positive and were at our Board of Regents Meeting in Dillon over ten days ago, it is clear that neither were symptomatic at the time of the board meeting. By the current CDC recommendations, no one at the Board of Regents meeting would be considered a contact, and no one would need to be quarantined. However, this is a very dynamic situation, and we are learning more and more about this virus every day. Therefore, under the abundance of caution, a number of us on campus will be in self-quarantine through March 20. This seems like the smart thing to do in this situation.

I want to assure you that we are doing all we can to be prepared to move all of our classes/labs to an online format or other modality upon your return. Our faculty and staff are working hard to make certain we can offer you the best experience possible when you get back to campus. That said, this is new space for some and we will all need to be patient as well as flexible. You’re Orediggers and I’m confident you can do this. Please watch your email for updates. 

Over the break, most Montana Tech departments will continue to be open, however, there may be some services that are closed or have scaled back hours. For those of you staying with us during spring break, our residence halls are open, and staff will be available for necessary support.

Below are a few other important updates for you:

  • Dining services will offer grill-only service during the break. 
  • The coffee shop in the Mill Building is open. Service in the SSC is closed until further notice.     
  • During spring break, access to the HPER will be suspended. The exercise facilities, locker rooms, and pool will not be open.
  • The Bookstore will be closed during the break, however, online services are available if you need access.
  • The museum will be closed for the immediate future.
  • All campus-sponsored and non-campus sponsored events are suspended until further notice.
  • Tutoring service is not offered during spring break. More details to come about tutoring and perhaps, some expanded online services after the break.
  • Your mental health is very important to us. These are challenging times and we realize that all of us are feeling some anxiousness and stress. PLEASE reach out if you need help or simply someone to talk to. Counseling Services will continue to be available with social distancing measures in place.
  • Many of you likely have jobs on campus, if so, I’d urge you to contact your supervisor about your work schedule. We have asked them to be flexible and understanding of the situation at hand.

We will continue to update you via email and our website. That said, I want you to have fun and enjoy your time away so we will try to keep it to a minimum, but please check your email at least daily.

Also, the Butte community is doing everything it can to keep its citizens safe. Please see this article from the Montana Standard regarding closures around town. 

We are so thankful you are a Montana Tech Oredigger and I assure you we are doing all we can to make sure the only thing that will change when you return is the way you go to class/labs. Please stay safe, take precautions, and have confidence, we will get through this together.

My best wishes,


Good morning Orediggers,

I hope you are well and enjoying your time away. While I know some of you may be enjoying spring break in exotic locations, I’m certain that no one is oblivious to the impact COVID-19 is having on all of us. As this is a rapidly changing situation and we learn more about this virus, we need to prepare for a range of possibilities.

While the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, the decision has been made to convert to 100% online delivery of courses, labs, and clinicals beginning Monday, March 23rd. I realize this is a major change in the way we normally work, but I have confidence our faculty are up to this task.

We recognize that it is challenging for many faculty as well our students to make the transition from face-to-face to remote instruction under the best of circumstances. The fact that we are trying to do this all at once, in less than a week, has made this an incredible challenge for the entire University.

 We know that you may be concerned about the impact that this disruption and transition to remote learning might have on your academic progress. This is foremost in our minds, and faculty will provide flexibility and alternatives as needed to students. I know everyone will do their best to meet this challenge and I want to thank you in advance for understanding.

In addition to the 100% online format, the decision has been made to accelerate the semester with an end date of April 24, 2020. As the number of cases increases around the country and in Montana, health experts expect substantial growth in the number of people infected. While much remains to be learned, there are clear indicators it is less virulent for those younger than 40, however, we remain concerned about our faculty and staff as well as members of your extended families. This decision was not made lightly and we know it won’t be easy, but we all feel it is the right decision to be made given the circumstances in front of us.

Finally, we would like to encourage you to stay home or return to your permanent residence if you can and return to campus to retrieve your belongings at the conclusion of the semester. We realize that home for you may be here in Butte, elsewhere in Montana, the US, or abroad. Wherever home may be, we feel it is in the best interests of all of our Montana Tech family 

to promote adequate social distancing by staying put. We care a great deal about all members of our Montana Tech family which include you and your family. The only way we can promote safe living, learning, and working spaces for all of us is by limiting our interaction and streamlining all we do. For those of you currently living on campus, the campus will remain open and residential and dining operations will continue, although services may become more limited. This is not how we anticipated your return from spring break, however, we feel it is in your best interest at this time.

The above measures will undoubtedly raise numerous questions, and we will follow up with additional communications in the days ahead. Please pay attention to your email as we will be asking you to complete a survey to let us know of your intentions.

I am well aware none of this is the information you want to hear. You can trust that I’d much rather prefer you all come back rejuvenated and ready for MDays, Techxpo and all of the things that make Montana Tech what it is. Unfortunately, this is out of our control. We will do our best and I ask that you do similarly. We have to prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and be optimistic that we can all work through this together. We are Orediggers and I’m certain we can. Thanks for trusting in us and please know we care and will do all we can to assist you as we move forward.

With gratitude,


Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I wanted to touch base and provide you the latest update on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation. The health of our campus and community is our most important priority. With spring break upon us, it is important the following is shared in a timely manner.

This morning we received direction from the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Higher Education to move forward with the following as soon as possible:

  1. Effective March 23 all campuses, in every instance possible are to transition all in-class instruction online or other teaching modalities that do not require in-class presence. Montana Tech will move towards this where we are able to do so but there are some classes/labs due to the nature of instruction and delivery can only be facilitated in person. Please stay tuned, additional information about classes after spring break will be forthcoming.
  2. Campus will remain open and operational during this time for students. This includes the residence halls, computer labs, library, etc. All employees will continue to report to work as normal unless instructed otherwise.
  3. We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of this virus by following guidelines for social distancing and will likely postpone any large events for the near future. We will keep you posted as we receive additional information providing clarification on these events.

We have a coronavirus planning team continuing to monitor this situation and I assure you that we will do all we can to continue operations as smoothly as we can with as little disruption as possible. While the uncertainty behind all of this is certainly cause for concern, I’m hopeful we can remain calm and respectful as we consider the safety and health of our entire community.

All members of our community are reminded if you have any symptoms, please do not come to work or class if you are ill. If you have symptoms like fever, cough, difficulty breathing or simply do not feel well, please contact your health care provider or our campus health center at (406) 496-4243. The clinic is open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm daily Monday-Friday.

As everyone is aware, this is a continually evolving situation. Your patience, support and understanding is genuinely appreciated as we deal with these challenges in the weeks ahead. It is important that we take care of ourselves but also each other as we navigate the path forward. We will continue to keep you updated via email as well as the websiteas we receive additional information and adapt our plans.

Thank you and please watch your email for additional updates.



Les P. Cook, Ed.D.


Montana Technological University