Michigan Engineering Research Team:
The past several months have been a trying time for our research endeavors, and I know many of you are eager to get back into your laboratories.
This weekend, President Schlissel and Vice President for Research Cunningham announced the beginning of the University’s research re-engagement. This allows for the resumption of limited on-campus research activity that is compliant with state regulations.
I want to stress, though, that for most of you this will not change your current activities. Many of you will continue to conduct your research remotely, including all computational research.
This re-engagement, which includes non-COVID19 related bench research, will be done so in a very limited, restricted fashion – much more imposing than we are used to. It will also be conducted in waves, with only six schools, colleges and institutes on the Ann Arbor campus with 1-2 buildings each participating in this pilot wave. In Engineering, this wave will include the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building and the George Granger Brown Building, and will be limited to one 8-hour shift daily to minimize complexity.
This will likely come as a disappointment to many of you, but it is of critical importance that we get this right. Our ability to show the University and the State of Michigan that we can conduct research in a responsible and safe manner will determine the future success and additional opening of activities across campus.
To that end, I urge you to review the re-engagement information on the Office of Research website. There, you will also find information about the subsequent planned phases and numerous health and safety restrictions that must be followed. A new section of the College’s COVID website outlines how this phase aligns with the College’s overall return to on-campus operations planning.
Additionally, after May 20, our buildings will be more restricted. Everyone who comes onto campus must now follow new guidelines and safety protocols. Staff, students or faculty members who are not included in each wave will not be allowed into College buildings without express prior approval and documentation. Those who have already been approved for COVID19 research or access for safety or mission-critical activities may continue to have access, but they will have to follow additional guidelines and protocols. A description of the process we will use for those seeking temporary permission to enter campus buildings will be forthcoming.
I realize this is a new and very different mode of operations for the University and College, but we must all do our part to follow these protocols for the betterment of the entire research and educational endeavor. I am certain we will be successful in this.
All the very best,