ENGIN UPDATE: Returning to the office, vaccine supply

The College of Engineering’s weekly update aims to provide transparent and frequent information about how the College is operating, adapting and caring for its community. Updated information can always be found at the College’s COVID website. Questions and feedback can be submitted here.



Hopefully everyone recognized yesterday’s University wide well-being break. We all deserve a slight reprieve from the high stress of our current reality, especially our students. Please mark your calendar and plan for the March 23 well-being break for students. That week, we recommend: 

  • Cancel labs. This will dramatically reduce students’ stress and workloads, and it will preserve the integrity of course grading.
  • Postpone midterms and quizzes. This is a clear signal about our commitment to the goal of the break.



There is growing anticipation for a more normal Fall semester. One component of this is returning to campus for many staff who have been remote since last Spring. A recent University staff survey, reviewed during last week’s U-M President COVID briefing has informed long-term recommendations. This included an update from U-M Human Resources that indicated that employees currently working from home will continue to do so through at least mid-summer. 

As the College begins to plan for staff to return to campus on a more regular basis, a cross-college team has been created to take advantage of the lessons learned from the pandemic in how and where we do our work. This team has just begun its work and more will be shared as it becomes available.



In last week’s email update to the community from President Schlissel, the low supply of vaccines in Washtenaw County was addressed. With more vaccine supply shifting to health departments and retail pharmacies, Michigan Medicine was unable to open new first-dose appointments last week. The University is encouraging employees to register with one of those additional options, if available. They have also provided vaccine-related FAQs, addressing how to code time for vaccination and what timecode to use if absence from work is required due to side effects of the vaccine.

The University continues to update key vaccination numbers on our COVID-19 Data Dashboard.