The First Few Weeks of the Fall 2020 Term

Dear Colleagues, 

The initial weeks of the semester were a bit bumpy, but it appears that the College of Engineering is faring as well as possible. Both instructors and students are adapting to the challenges of a hybrid environment. Of course, we would like to hear from you. Please fill out this brief survey to let us know how your classes are going.

The remainder of this email contains several sections with updates on student concerns, classroom technologies and resources, and planning for the Winter 2021 term. Specifically:

  • Student Concerns Survey Results
  • Using the Classroom Zoom PC 
  • Printer Access
  • Library and Cafe Access
  • Internet Access for Students in China
  • Online Exam Townhall
  • Winter 2021 Course Planning and Scheduling (Deadline Oct. 5)
  • Funding for Converting Winter 2021 courses to Hybrid Teaching (Deadline Oct. 19)

Be safe and healthy,

Joanna Millunchick, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education

Mary-Ann Mycek, Associate Dean for Graduate & Professional Education 

Student Concerns Survey Results

The College sent all of our students, undergrad and grad, a survey to ask how things are going. Unfortunately, we only received N=114 responses, a summary of which is available. Despite the low number of responses, a few themes emerged. 

  • Students feel that the academics are about as good as can be expected given the circumstances.
  • Students are very concerned about staying motivated to do their work, interacting with their peers, and having a real college experience.
  • The vast majority of respondents have the technology they need to do their work. Those that reported tech needs were contacted. If you find your students needing additional tech support, please reach out to Olivia Gunther (

Using a Classroom Zoom PC

All of the College classrooms have been outfitted with a Zoom PC to provide live streaming. If you are teaching in a classroom and plan to stream your lecture, please use the Zoom PC as it is connected to the room microphones, camera and speakers. A video of how to use the PC is available and new instructions are posted on the monitors.

Printer access

We have received a number of questions from students and instructors on access to printers for students on campus. ITS has a website that lists printer locations around campus that students can use. Students need to be sure to check the “Open Now” box to see which locations are available. They can print using the MPrint application from their laptop or mobile device.

Library and Cafe Access

  • Duderstadt Center hours are:
    • Mon. – Fri. 8 am – 9 pm
    • Sat. – Sun. 10 am – 6 pm 
  • Contactless pickup is now available on north campus.
  • Study spaces in the Duderstadt Center are available both by appointment and drop-in. Usage of these spaces is currently at <15% of capacity, so please let your students know that there is ample space on North Campus for them.
  • Mujo Café is currently open for business, but that may change if traffic doesn’t increase. Hours are: 

Mon. – Fri. 9 am – 4 pm
Sat. – Sun. Closed 

Internet Access for students in China

In order to ensure consistent, higher bandwidth access to critical teaching and learning tools such as Canvas, Zoom, and other U-M tools, U-M students and faculty in China now have access to MLane. This new service is in addition to the regular access methods that are available to connect to U-M resources. More information about MLane, the tools and services it supports, and instructions for configuring devices can be found on the ITS website

Online Exam Townhall

There is still time to register for the Online Academic Integrity Committee Town Hall, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 10 – 11 am, to hear about the committee’s recommendations related to academic integrity in the new remote teaching context. Please register by Friday, Sept. 25. 

W21 Course Planning and Scheduling 

Planning for W21 is already underway. The upcoming Winter term will be similar to Fall 2020, with a mix of in-person, hybrid and distance classes as well as reduced room capacities for social distancing. 

The mode of instruction for every course (P, MC, DC) must be finalized by October 5, 2020. Just a reminder that you cannot have more than the COVID capacity or 50 people, whichever is smaller, in any given classroom. Dividing your course into In Person subsections is still encouraged.

Funding for Converting W21 courses to Hybrid Teaching

Faculty who need funding to convert their W21 courses to new formats may apply for funding (up to approximately $5000). Support will be prioritized for ENGR100 sections, capstone design courses, and lab courses. 

Funds can be used for a wide array of activities including hiring student temps to develop online modules as well as purchasing lab kits, equipment, or other supplies. Funding cannot be used for additional salary for faculty.

To apply for a grant, please prepare a 1 page proposal and submit via this link by October 19, 2020. The proposal should include a description of why funding is needed, expected impact and learning outcomes, and a simple budget which includes total costs, funds requested from the College, and any department or other support (not required). College of Engineering tenured / tenure-track faculty and lecturers are eligible to apply for this opportunity.