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Latest on Covid-19 and campus operations

COO Larry Sampler shares Listening Session feedback, announcements and employee-engagement opportunities.

By Larry Sampler, chief operating officer

January 28, 2021

Larry SamplerDear Roadrunners,

As we end the second week of our spring semester, it’s good to see life slowly returning to the Auraria Campus. I am very proud of our efforts to offer safe on-campus learning opportunities and safe working environments for faculty and staff. Those efforts will now be informed by the valuable feedback that my fellow University leaders and I received during our recent future-focused Listening Sessions.

Thank you to the several hundred Roadrunners who tuned in to one of these three inclusive sessions and to the many of you who actively joined the conversation. I appreciate all of your comments, questions and ideas regarding how we move from our current state to safe, equitable and sustainable post-Covid-19 operations. Your feedback and concerns about important topics such as the future of online and in-person classes, budgeting, the Covid-19 vaccination plan, workload, mental health and more were incredibly helpful. Fellow campus leaders and I will integrate these items into future planning and will keep the Metropolitan State University of Denver community involved and informed throughout this inclusive process.

You can also share your future-focused ideas directly via the Safe Return Survey.

Health and safety tips for Roadrunners visiting campus

When MSU Denver moved quickly to remote operations last March, many employees hastily packed up the items that were most important to their jobs: laptops, files, notebooks, computer screens. The less important items, such as that candy dish or granola-bar stash, were often forgotten. While many offices and areas sat vacant, some furry friends (or fiends) have enjoyed our absence and our forgotten snacks.

If you are returning to campus this semester, the Facilities Team requests your assistance in helping address and prevent pest activity. Facilities staff can attempt to trap mice and prevent them from coming into buildings; however, mice in particular won’t have any interest in humane bait if there are food and water sources elsewhere in the building. 

Employees who have returned to campus can help Facilities staff by doing the following:

  • Remove all food items from the building at the end of the day or store it in a sealed Tupperware-type container, not a plastic bag. This includes anything that may be individually wrapped (granola bars, candy, nuts, etc.).
  • Place all food in a sealed container inside your office drawers or refrigerators – do not leave anything in plastic wrap or baggies overnight.
  • Wipe down your desk after you eat to remove crumbs. If you drop crumbs on the floor, please submit a work order for MSU buildings or AHEC buildings, and the custodial crew will perform an extra cleaning as early as it can.
  • Place any food waste in one trash container, tie the bag at the end of the day and place it in a clearly identifiable location for custodians to pick up overnight (by sealing the bag, you are limiting the time that pests could find food between the time you leave and the time the custodians clean overnight).
  • If you have plants in your office, please try to prevent water from sitting in the base overnight, as this can be a water source for pests. Better yet, please bring the plants home so pests don’t nest or store food in the soil.

If you do see mice, please submit a work-order request for MSU Buildings or AHEC buildings.

Remember that if you are on campus, you must continue to complete a daily health assessment and follow the University’s Health Protocols.

Universitywide Engagement, Leader and Self-Identification Survey

Finally, I once again encourage employees to complete the Universitywide Engagement, Leader and Self-Identification Survey, which is open through Friday. To participate, please check your email for a message from President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., containing a secure survey link. This survey is confidential but critically important in helping the University learn what is working, what needs attention and how we as leaders can improve the employee experience for all faculty and staff members in pursuit of student success.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about our Safe Return to Campus, please reach out through this form or via email at


Larry Sampler

Vice president for Administration, Finance and Facilities and chief operating officer

Topics: Administration, Health, Safety

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