Class Cancelations and New COVID Measures

Colleagues –

Today, the University announced new measures based on public health principles and the latest information and assessments for our community.

All classes are canceled tomorrow and Friday. Classes will resume Monday (March 16) delivered remotely in alternative formats – and not meeting in person – through April 21, the last day of classes this semester.

Most other University operations will remain unchanged, with three exceptions:

  • All U-M events and events organized by others on our campuses that would convene 100 people or more are canceled from Thursday, March 12, until at least April 21.
  • All U-M international travel is suspended until at least April 21, with rare exceptions requiring approval. Domestic travel for University business is strongly discouraged.
  • All U-M education abroad programs will be altered or suspended.

Please be assured that our primary concern in the College is the health and safety of our students, postdocs, staff and faculty. We are committed to ensuring a safe and healthy environment for everyone.  Beginning immediately, all faculty members must work to adjust classes to a remote format to bring this semester’s activities to a successful conclusion. This will require flexibility and empathy, core tenets of inclusive teaching.

I urge you to utilize the College’s online teaching resource, and take the following actions right away:

  • Identify the steps you need to take to finish your courses exclusively online this semester.
  • Determine how you will fairly assign course grades for this term if you or any of your students are unable to complete the semester.
  • Assess how you will help graduate students who are scheduled to complete their programs this term, this spring, or this summer.
  • Review your course schedule and syllabus, and adjust to more realistic goals when necessary. Be ready to handle requests for extensions or accommodations equitably.
  • Communicate with your students as soon as possible, and make a consistent communication plan moving forward. This template has been created to help you with your initial communications. Consider creating a Google form to capture information about which students plan not to attend your class.
  • When selecting tools for online teaching and learning activities, choose options that are already familiar to both you and your students, and only begin using new tools when absolutely necessary. See tools on this webpage for options and tips for teaching online.

Additionally, please continue to follow health, wellness and prevention guidelines provided by the University, updated regularly with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization. If you believe you are sick, for your benefit and the health of your colleagues, I urge you to stay home. If you have traveled recently in a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Notice, self-isolate for 14 days and get medical attention immediately for any possible symptoms.

Additionally, you may be concerned about the following:

  1. Staff: All staff should continue normal routines to the extent possible. However, with the support of their supervisors, some staff may begin working from home where possible.
  2. Research: Until further notice, research labs and graduate students should strive to continue normal operations with appropriate precautions for health and safety.
  3. Events: All events over 100 people will be canceled, and others may be canceled as individual planners deem appropriate.

Further communication will follow as circumstances and plans evolve. Please share any questions, concerns or ideas by clicking here. Please check the University’s Key Issues page for the latest information.

If it appears COVID-19 will prevent normal operations this fall, we will plan accordingly and will need you to consider additional contingencies. 

I realize that this challenging and evolving situation creates stresses for everyone in our community. I appreciate your concern for students, staff and colleagues, even as you navigate the impact to yourselves. Your example matters. Thank you for your collegiality and collaboration and your continuing demonstration of all of our values.

Take care,