Husky Emergency Assistance Fund Announced

One of Michigan Tech’s main priorities is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. The Husky Emergency Assistance Fund has been established to help members of our campus community who are experiencing financial hardship, especially during the current COVID-19 crisis.

Those who are eligible to apply are current students, faculty and staff who have incurred COVID-19 or other emergency-related expenses or losses and can demonstrate need. The amount of this financial assistance is determined and approved by a cross-functional committee.

Although the amount granted typically does not exceed $500, during the outbreak of COVID-19, other amounts may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Apply here

Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: The Making of Vaccines

New purification methods may streamline the vaccine manufacturing process and make scaling up production easier.

A vaccine for COVID-19 is still being developed — but when it is available, it will be manufactured in a standard three-step process. First, virus molecules for the vaccine are grown in cell cultures inside bioreactors. Second, the virus molecules are extracted from the cell cultures through a process called purification. Third, the vaccine is stabilized for shipping and storage. Researchers at Michigan Technological University are creating new processes to improve the purification step — which often accounts for 50% to 70% of a vaccine’s manufacturing costs.

Caryn Heldt, director of the Michigan Tech Health Research Institute and the James and Lorna Mack Chair in Bioengineering, has studied ways to purify viruses without using ultracentrifugation for more than 15 years — and her methods could be just as effective, faster and more efficient.

Read the full story on Unscripted.

Tenure and Promotion Procedures Related to COVID-19

Given the impact of COVID-19 on research, teaching, and service, the Provost’s office wants to clarify the "exceptional extension" provision of the pre-tenure probationary period (see section 5.1.2 of Appendix I of the Faculty Handbook). 

The last sentence of section 5.1.2 states: "An individual's tenure probationary period at Michigan Technological University may be extended by only one year, regardless of the combination of circumstances." 

The Provost’s Office and Academic Human Resources interpret this sentence to mean that extensions can be granted for one year at a time. In accordance with Section 5.1.1 of Appendix I (which describes extensions related to the birth or adoption of a child), a maximum of two years of extensions of any type are allowed. 

As stated in Appendix I, requests for extensions should be made within a reasonable period of time following the period of exceptional circumstances, and in no case after November 15 of the final year of the tenure probationary period.  

The circumstances we are currently facing are certainly disrupting many research projects and presenting new challenges related to instruction. Everyone should be aware that a request for an exceptional extension of the probationary period as a result of this disruption is justified. Tenure clocks will not be automatically extended for all faculty to respect the wishes of pre-tenure faculty who do not want an extension. Extensions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the Committee on Academic Tenure, Promotion and Reappointment (CATPR) will consult on disputes. 

The COVID-19 situation will constitute an exceptional circumstance for all tenure-track faculty with a mandatory tenure decision during or subsequent to the 2020-2021 academic year. Making use of the current policy gives all pre-tenure faculty the opportunity to decide what is best for them based on their circumstances. 

Faculty who seek extensions for start-up account expenditures can also request extensions using the regular process. The Vice President for Research has indicated that the current circumstances will be taken into full account when considering any request for an extension. 

University Senate to Meet Via Zoom

The next meeting of the University Senate, Meeting #637, will be held via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 8).

You can access the meeting link here.

New Funding

Caryn Heldt (ChE/HRI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $201,163 research and development grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The project is entitled, "Dense Phase Electrolytes to Thermally Stabilize Viral Vaccines." This is a potential two-year project totaling $428,620.

Reminders

Tuition Reduction Incentive Program (TRIP) Summer 2020

The TRIP form for the Summer 2020 Academic Semester is now on line.

The Summer TRIP application and guidelines can be found on the Human Resources website.

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Online Lean Training Course Wednesday

"Lean Project Leadership: Creating and Managing Sustainable Change," is a new four-hour course that will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday (April 8).

This course will be held online. In this workshop, we'll explore the need for managing change, describe a framework to support change in your organization, and practice strategies and tools for implementing change.

You'll leave the workshop with a better understanding of; the five plans needed for effective change management, Gantt charts, RACI charts, and visual management.

This training is part of a series of workshops on project leadership using Lean principles. To see course descriptions and register for this and other Lean courses, click here.

Once registered, we'll add you to a calendar event for the course. These courses are free for Tech employees and students. Community participants can register here through our online store. If you have any questions, email the Office of Continuous Improvement or call 7-3123.

In the News

Ebenezer Tumban (BioSci) was interviewed for the story "Michigan Tech Virologist, Vaccinologist talks COVID-19," on WJMN TV3.

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Claire Danielson, coordinator of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) was quoted in the story "COVID-19 testing: Why you haven’t been given a COVID-19 test yet," in the Daily Mining Gazette.

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Michigan Tech alumnus Huaguang Wang was featured in the Central New York Business Journal.

Today's Campus Events

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Husky Spirit Week

We want you to get creative and have fun with us! We’re making the week of April 5th, Husky Spirit Week. We want you to dress up like the theme and share your kooky, crazy,...

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Discussion on Communicating Science and Engineering Research

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar Facilitated by Dr. David Watkins, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech Science and engineering...

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Aviation Club Bi-Weekly Meeting

If you are interested in joining or want to know more about what we do feel free to stop by at one of our bi-weekly meetings.

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Environmental Graphiti Online Exhibit

The Art of Climate Change Alisa Singer The work of Chicago-based artist Alisa Singer, Environmental Graphiti is a series of digital paintings created to enhance public...