Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Academics

Does the cap for online credits toward the degree still apply?
No. None of the credits earned in Winter 2020 (and presumably Spring/Summer 2020) will count toward the limit on how many credits can be earned via online courses. (Updated 3/26/2020)

How does the Alternate Grading Policy for undergrads affect me?
See Grading FAQ

Food and Housing

What should I take into consideration when deciding whether or not to move home?
See the University’s COVID-19 - Students page. (Updated 3/25/2020)

If I decide not to return home, is there someone I should tell?
Student Life will follow up with you, and work with you to make sure your needs are met. They ask that you complete this survey to help them help you. (Updated 3/25/2020)

If I decide not to go home, what are my options for food?
See: Michigan Dining. (Updated 3/25/2020)

How often will surfaces in College of Engineering buildings be cleaned?
The university is taking extra precautions to clean high-touch surfaces on campus, including dining areas, classrooms, healthcare facilities and recreational facilities. If you have questions regarding additional cleaning that may be needed for suspect or confirmed COVID-19 cases, contact the Facilities Service Center at 734-647-2059. (Updated 3/25/2020)

Can I get a refund on my university housing costs if I leave campus?
You may be eligible for a $1,200 refund to your student account. Student Life sent an email with details; the University's COVID-19 site has information too. 
(Updated 3/25/2020)

Will blue busses continue to operate? Is it safe to use public transportation?
Logistics, Transportation and Parking is operating on a modified schedule; you’ll need to use the rear doors to get on and off the bus. (Updated 3/25/2020)

Employment &  General Operations

How will HR documents that require signatures or sensitive data (such as for new hires) be managed if we go fully remote?
You should work closely with College of Engineering HR on a case-by-case basis for immediate hires. Future dated hires can be addressed in the recovery phase. (Updated 3/25/2020)

How will we continue to pay our pool employees?
COVID-19 pay has been established to help; we’re waiting for guidance from the federal government. This will need to be addressed in the recovery phase. We recommend leaving the staff on the current research project until we know more. (Updated 3/24/2020)

How will I-9 forms be completed?
Currently all I9's are being completed at the Shared Services Center. Should that change, we will forward information from Central HR as to how to manage all HR activities including I9's. (Updated 3/24/2020)

Can I stop mail delivery?
Yes. U-M Mail Services can hold campus mail until the University returns to normal operations. The U.S Postal Service has requested that U-M units complete this form to stop delivery of their USPS mail. Please note that it may be necessary to create a USPS account if your unit doesn’t already have one. (Updated 3/20/2020)

Will faulty and staff be reimbursed for service expenses (ie. expanded Internet service) associated with working and/or teaching remotely?
We don’t know yet, but we will address this in our COVID-19 Recovery planning. There is now a new program code, COVID, within M-Pathways for tracking expenses. Also be aware that some service providers are relaxing limits on things like mobile data.(Updated 3/19/2020)

Does the University’s recommendation to work remotely if at all possible also apply to staff?
Yes. The University and college both strongly advise that all work activities be moved to remote work. A formal telecommuting agreement is not necessarily required; find more information on the University Human Resources site(Updated 3/19/2020)

Can we park wherever we want while operations are disrupted?
For the most up to date information about parking visit Logistics, Transportation & Parking(Updated 3/19/2020)

How does COVID-19 pay work and who’s eligible?
Check the University Human Resources website, the COVID-19 policy chart, or ask your supervisor for guidance. (Updated 3/19/2020)

What do we do about shipments that are en route or scheduled to be delivered to University buildings?
Make every effort to cancel them. No equipment purchased from a grant or purchase order can be delivered to a non-University address. For purchases of supplies needed to do your work remotely using a Pcard, talk to your supervisors. (Updated 3/19/2020)

Health & Safety

If a person who is in a building is diagnosed with COVID-19, what will happen to the staff working in that building?
We’re working on how to respond to this type of situation, with guidance from the University. Check the University’s COVID-19 site for the latest information. (Updated 3/19/2020)

I’m stressed about the COVID-19. What resources are available?
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available for students. The CDC makes recommendations on managing stress during COVID-19 on its website. And this U-M health blog offers ideas on what you can do to help your community.

What should I do if I'm sick?
Follow CDC Guidelines. If you are a student and you suspect you may have COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider or University Health Services (734-764-8320) to consult with someone about your symptoms and determine next steps for your care. It is recommended that you first call ahead and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed. If you have a life-threatening emergency, please dial 911.


Research Operations

Can my research group have access to my on-campus lab to maintain equipment and/or experiments?
The College will allow minimal access to approved critical laboratories so that critical research activities, including the maintenance of animals, unique reagents, and essential equipment and materials, can proceed. (Updated 3/20/2020)

Do I need College of Engineering permission to conduct these on-campus lab maintenance activities?
Yes! We need to know who will be on campus maintaining experimental labs, which labs may have occupants, and how often persons will be in the laboratories. We also need to ensure that these maintenance activities are supported and conducted safely, especially since there will be many fewer persons on campus to assist in the event of an emergency. (Updated 3/20/2020)

How do I get permission to conduct on-campus lab maintenance activities?
Fill out the following form at https://forms.gle/TrykTv51Zc6nfHAC9
The College will then review your request and your proposed plan. If we agree that your activities are necessary, safely planned, and have minimized the amount of on-campus activity needed to maintain your equipment and/or experiments, we will grant permission for these activities. We will require at least two persons be present when they are conducting reduced lab operations on campus. (Updated 3/20/2020)

I am doing critical research related to COVID-19, can my on campus lab activities continue?
The U-M Office of Research (UMOR) has set up a process to evaluate and grant permission for critical on-campus research activities, as described in https://research.umich.edu/covid-19. If you would like to seek permission to continue your COVID-19 related laboratory activities, please fill out the form at https://forms.gle/TrykTv51Zc6nfHAC9
Be sure to describe your COVID-19 related work and why it is critical that on campus activity should continue. The College will work with UMOR to evaluate your request. (Updated 3/20/2020)

My research is not conducted in an experimental lab. Is the College simply “strongly encouraging” remote research operations for my group or is it “mandating” that we move to off campus operations?
We are strongly advising that all research activities that can take place off campus be conducted off campus. Those who request to continue non-experimental research activities on campus must seek permission to do so from the College using the forms above, but approvals will be given only to the most exceptional cases. (Updated 3/20/2020)

How do we ensure compliance, since most of us will not be in the building?
We will need to primarily rely on the honesty and professionalism of our UM community. These actions are being taken to control the spread of COVID-19, and they have not been taken lightly by UM. (Updated 3/20/2020)

Are students, faculty, and staff allowed to be in the building if they have after hours building access? Can faculty, staff, or PhD students still periodically access their office space if they need to get something?
Yes. Since the buildings will be primarily empty, for your safety, please partner with another person when you come in to pick up your items. But, we stress that all research activities that can take place off campus should be conducted off campus unless given explicit permission by the College. The safety of individuals working under isolated conditions is a significant concern. Anyone who feels it would be unsafe for them to be in College of Engineering buildings at this time must be allowed to work in a location off-site where they do feel safe. (Updated 3/20/2020)

This move to off-campus research may slow down or temporarily halt my research program. What should I do first to help my students and post docs?
This is a stressful time for everyone, and the situation continues to evolve. Our students and post docs may feel particularly ill at ease with the uncertain state of their research programs.
We encourage doctoral students, post docs, and faculty advisors to communicate openly about their expectations and to come to mutual agreement about how research projects will be conducted moving forward as they proceed off campus. It is expected that faculty will work with their students and post docs to accommodate their individual situations. (Updated 3/20/2020)

My research is very important to my group, my sponsors, and especially to me. Given its critical nature, can I quietly continue to perform experimental work in my lab?
No! The College will only allow minimal access to laboratories so that activities can be performed that preserve critical experiments and equipment, and maintain safety. Lab groups should be ramping down ongoing experiments as expeditiously as possible. (Updated 3/20/2020)

How long will the ramp-down be? When will we know if we can come back to the lab?
Good questions. The safety of our students, post-docs, staff, and faculty are our primary concern. We will be working closely with UM leadership to monitor the situation with COVID-19, and we will message the research community as we learn more about the evolving situation. (Updated 3/20/2020)

Teaching & Learning

Who pays for additional equipment faculty need in order to teach remotely?
The department is expected to pick up the additional costs of equipment to assist with online teaching. Please track these expenses with the program code, COVID, within M-Pathways. (Updated 3/19/2020)

Can I come into my office or classroom if I have bad Internet connectivity, and cannot readily work remotely to record and/or deliver lectures?
Everyone is strongly encouraged not to work in College buildings, however, Mcard access is currently available to authorized employees, and there is no permission required to enter one's office. We recognize that individuals may have legitimate reasons to be in a building, but also expect them to exercise judgment to minimize their presence. (Updated 3/23/2020)

What is the recommended option for conducting exams online?
See: Exams, Quizzes & Polls

How can I use a tablet as a replacement for a whiteboard when teaching remotely?
See: Nexus How-to Video: Writing Tablets to Replace Whiteboards

Which College of Engineering classrooms have whiteboard recording available?
See: CAEN Knowledge Base - whiteboard recording

How do I make sure what I write on the whiteboard in a classroom is included in my lecture recording?
See: CAEN Knowledge Base - whiteboard recording

How can I share the document camera output in a College classroom via BlueJeans?
See: CAEN Knowledge Base - document camera output

We have received requests from faculty for equipment to assist them with online teaching (cameras, tablets, tripods, etc.) Who is supposed to pay for these? Is the department picking up the costs? The College?
It is the College's expectation that department's would be picking up the additional costs of equipment to assist their faculty with online teaching.


Telecommuting & Remote Work

What should I do before I begin working remotely?
See: Telecommuting Resources

Due to travel restrictions, an external speaker is no longer able to attend my seminar/conference. How can they present remotely?
BlueJeans is an easy-to-use, cloud-based conferencing service at the University that offers audio, video, and screen sharing. It is open to all U-M faculty and staff, and when necessary the connection information for a BlueJeans meeting can be shared with external users.

General

Where can I find the latest University of Michigan information and resources on COVID-19?

I have questions about the U-M response to COVID-19. Who can I talk to?The University has activated its emergency call center to assist those with COVID-19 questions specifically related to U-M responses. It will be available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 877-763-3040.

Where else can I get comprehensive information on COVID-19?
The CDC has a comprehensive website with regularly updated COVID-19 information. It includes information about managing stress during COVID-19, how to protect yourself from COVID-19, and what to do if you're sick.

How many cases are there in Washtenaw County? Where can I find out what's happening locally?