On Monday, Aug. 21—the first day of classes—a total solar eclipse will take place. This exciting opportunity is the first total solar eclipse in Missouri since 1869, and Columbia’s next total eclipse lies several hundred years in the future. For many viewers, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Our faculty and staff have dedicated many hours and worked tirelessly to plan educational opportunities for our campus community to engage and to learn more about the significance of the event. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to be flexible in class and office activities to allow those who are so inclined to experience the eclipse.

Eclipse effects will begin at approximately 12 p.m. and end by 3 p.m.

Things to consider

  • Large crowds are expected in Columbia for this event. Those commuting to campus may wish to consider carpooling or allowing extra time due to traffic.
  • While Parking & Transportation Services will do their best to monitor proper use of campus parking lots, with extra crowds additional time for parking may be needed.
  • For those who eating lunch downtown, be aware of extra crowds and allow more time.
  • For those traveling away from the main campus, Bradford Research Center and South Farm Research Center are both available for viewing.
  • Of course, everyone should wear eclipse safety glasses! And bring water – the day will likely be a hot one!

For faculty, department chairs and directors

Classes ending before 12 p.m. and beginning after 3 p.m. should not be cancelled.

From 12-3 p.m., faculty might choose to:

  • cancel class;
  • view the eclipse with students as part of class;
  • otherwise accommodate interested viewers—adjusting attendance policy for one day only;
  • or hold class as scheduled.

Whichever route is chosen, it is crucial that faculty members communicate plans to students prior to the opening day of classes. Please include whether they will be able to view the eclipse and any relevant attendance implications or make up activities that will be expected.

In addition to communicating to students, please communicate plans with department chairs. If a class is canceled, regulations as dictated by schools, colleges or departments should be followed.

Department chairs and directors are asked to be a point of communication for the eclipse within their units. Chairs and directors should also get in touch with new or recently assigned faculty who may not be aware of this information.