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.
TOWN HALL FOR FACULTY & STAFF ANNOUNCED
Dean Alec Gallimore will hold a virtual town hall on Friday, July 24, from 9:00 – 10:30 am for faculty and staff to share and discuss results from recent surveys regarding in-person workplace concerns. This will include COVID-19 pandemic updates from special guest Sharon L.R. Kardia, School of Public Health Associate Dean for Education and Millicent W. Higgins Collegiate Professor of Epidemiology. Deans Kardia and Gallimore will discuss public health protocols regarding a return to on-campus operations and will answer questions raised by faculty and staff. RSVP to this link by Monday, July 20.
HOMELAND SECURITY POLICY AFFECTS INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a preliminary announcement about online study eligibility for international students for the fall 2020 semester. The University of Michigan has issued a statement expressing strong disagreement with this temporary policy, as has the College of Engineering.
At this time, updates related to the University’s understanding of this policy can be found via the International Center. Their initial assessment, shared with Michigan Engineering international students yesterday, concludes that:
- Many current Michigan Engineering international students will be able to maintain their F-1 status because of the recent decision to use in-person, remote, and hybrid classes during the Fall 2020 term. The announced policy allows for a mixture of online/remote and in-person courses for international students studying on the Ann Arbor campus.
- Students outside the country who are not in F-1 status should be able to take U-M classes online.
- The new guidance does not directly impact those on full-time, post-completion OPT.
- International students must depart the U.S. (or transfer schools) if their enrolling institution changes its operational stance mid-semester and transitions to online instruction only. This should not apply to the University of Michigan unless we transition to online only instruction at some point prior to November 30th, the date when remote instruction is scheduled to begin for everyone. The only scenario in which such a switch would be made is if we have severe COVID occurrence in our community and it is deemed absolutely necessary.
STAFF STILL NEEDED TO VOLUNTEER AS DOOR GREETERS
There is an ongoing, urgent need for staff to volunteer as door entry greeters to allow for safe check-in of College students, faculty and staff into buildings to conduct their work. Shifts are 4 to 6 hours, and staff who volunteer to greet on weekdays, Monday-Friday, receive their normal pay and benefits. Greeters will ask individuals about their health attestation and take the individual’s temperature using a thermal scan thermometer. They will be provided with the necessary PPE to ensure their safety and well-being, as well as all necessary materials to operate the greeter station. To sign up for a shift, please contact Michael Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTINUED RESTRICTED BUILDING ACCESS
College buildings remain restricted to any individuals not approved for mission-critical activities or research. All individuals with approval must complete their COVID safety training in My Linc and follow all protocols, which include swiping into buildings with their Mcard. It is essential for us to maintain access to buildings, with each individual swiping into them. Please do not hold open doors or bring others into the building with you. Greeters from departments, divisions and units are assigned at various buildings entry points.
ACCESS TO COE FACILITIES FOR FALL 2020 COURSE PREPARATION
Instructors wishing to request access to departmental teaching facilities and/or faculty offices to prepare for Fall 2020 courses may do so by filling out this form. Additionally, the College has 9 lecture recording studios available for instructors wishing to pre-record online content for Fall 2020 classes this summer, which can be requested for use by filling out this form.
ONLINE INTERACTIVE MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCE
During these times, it’s even more crucial for us to actively check in on our emotional wellbeing and use tools to manage the stressors and challenges we are facing. The College, in collaboration with the University, launched an online platform for mental health support services in May through Silvercloud. Available to all faculty, staff, and students, Silvercloud is confidential and offers programs for anxiety, depression, stress, resilience, or insomnia at no cost. Sign up anonymously at https://umich.silvercloudhealth.com/signup.