Dear Members of the Michigan Tech Community:
Today marks an important milestone for our campus—we have moved to the third and final step of our Return to Campus Plan and transitioned to the Health and Safety Levels system. We entered today at Level Three, and anticipate sustaining that level through the start of classes on August 27.
The Health and Safety Levels system will allow campus activities to be modified in response to the risk factors present on campus and in the area. Thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility as we adjust to the protocols prescribed at each of the various levels.
Our goal with the MTU Flex plan and the Health and Safety Levels system is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus; provide accommodations for students, faculty, and staff in high-risk populations; and maintain the Michigan Tech experience to the best of our ability. Of course, those who need to work from home due to health concerns are encouraged to do so, using either a flexible work agreement with their supervisor or a COVID-19 High Risk Accommodation.
While it may seem like COVID-19 planning has been all-consuming, I am pleased to share a few other campus updates. The Tech Forward initiatives are entering their second year and making great progress. Vice President for Research Dave Reed unofficially reports that our faculty and researchers generated an additional seven percent of total external sponsored funding this past year, including an additional 15 percent of federal awards. Prospective student tours have resumed with appropriate safety protocols in place. Our four Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion finalists will visit campus at the end of August. And, 84 percent of faculty will have completed training to teach online by the end of the fall semester.
I look forward to welcoming you all back to campus in August, especially the 14 new faculty members joining our campus community. In the meantime, please mark your calendars to attend a virtual fall semester kickoff event, tentatively scheduled for the week of August 17. More details will be forthcoming.
Finally, as a campus, we would like to express our sorrow at the loss of our friend and colleague, Dr. Roger Kieckhafer. He was a tremendous scholar, teacher, and friend, and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Rick Koubek, President