At a May 11 virtual town hall meeting, a team from Michigan Technological University presented a three-step plan for a return to on-campus operations and a safe, on-time, in-person start to the fall semester.
Leading the conversation were:
- President Richard Koubek
- Sarah Schulte, general counsel and secretary to the Board of Trustees
- John Lehman, vice president for University relations and enrollment
- Brian Cadwell, director and chief of the public safety and police services department
- Joel Isaacson, a director of the University’s incident command team and the senior associate athletic director
The three-step plan will be implemented, as permitted under state mandates and health and safety protocols, by the MTU Flex Task Force. Schulte serves as chair and Isaacson as project manager. The plan is designed to maximize the potential for returning to face-to-face instruction in the fall, with appropriate safety, health and social distancing protocols in place.
Step 1 introduces limited campus operations to test systems designed to safeguard the campus community and protect those most vulnerable. In this step, the University expects a limited return of employees to campus, with remote work remaining mandatory for most employees. Step 1 is expected to take place as soon as the state "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order is lifted, with a tentative date range from about May 28 through June 22. These and all dates in the plan are subject to change, based on how the state and federal COVID-19 mitigation efforts continue to develop.
Step 2 allows additional employees to return to campus. The library and some retail services are expected to slowly reopen as well. Remote work will still be encouraged where and when effective, with particular focus on protecting vulnerable populations. Step 2 is expected to take place from about June 22 through August 16.
Step 3 is expected to begin on approximately August 17. In this step, campus will resume near-normal operations under social distancing protocols prescribed by the state. Remote work will still be encouraged for vulnerable populations.
“I have great confidence in the faculty, staff and students of Michigan Tech to get through this challenging time,” said Koubek. "But, we must all do our part to ensure the return to campus is responsible, safe and in accordance with state guidelines."