Summer Updates

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

Return to Campus: Cleaning COVID-19 Exposure Areas

Editor's Note: This article is part of a series detailing several aspects of campus operations as the University enters Step Three in our Return to Campus Plan.

Today (July 27), Michigan Tech completed our Return to Campus Plan and transitioned to the Health and Safety Levels that will guide our behavior from the fall semester forward. In this article, Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, associate vice president for administration, and Scott Wendt, manager of health and safety for Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), discuss specifics of the University's plan for cleaning this fall.

Q: How will an area where a COVID-19 exposure is reported be cleaned?

TC-K: If a cleanup is needed, we will be working under the guidance of EHS, who will give direction on the cleanup. In preparation for this, we have the necessary sanitizing products and personal protective equipment (PPE) in-house and are talking through our staffing plans.

SW: Facilities staff are being trained in proper products, PPE, and techniques for any cleanup they may be involved with. The protocol is very similar to the cleanup process they are familiar with for MRSA or norovirus. If a cleanup will be performed by departmental staff, they will do so under the guidance of EHS or the Research Integrity Office (RIO).

Q: Will the cleanup be handled in-house or by a commercial vendor?

TC-K: Determining who will clean a space will be handled on a case-by-case basis based on the type of space (student room, research lab, departmental office space), what type of surfaces need to be sanitized, and the availability of in-house resources to do the work. It could be facilities staff, departmental or research staff, or a commercial vendor.

SW: We are currently in the process of identifying and vetting commercial vendor(s) who may be available to do this work and are familiar with the proper Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and University COVID-19 protocols and guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting.

Q: Generally speaking, how long will it take before the area is reopened following exposure?

TC-K: The lead time needed to reopen any spaces requiring cleaning after an exposure will vary. The size and type of space, and what surfaces need to be cleaned will influence the amount of time necessary to clean.

SW: Ideally, we’d like the space to ventilate, unoccupied, for 24 hours prior to any cleanup efforts. In cases where this is not possible, we will make an immediate cleanup our highest priority.

Husky Bites Tonight

Join College of Engineering Dean Janet Callahan for Husky Bites, a 20-minute interactive Zoom webinar followed by Q&A.

Join us at 6 p.m. today (July 27), as Steve Kampe (MSE) presents "There's Materials Science and Engineering in My Golf Bag!"

Everything has to be made out of something. The question is out of what—and how do we make it?

This family-friendly event is BYOC (Bring Your Own Curiosity). All are welcome. It’s not too late to register. Get the full scoop (and check out the videos of past sessions, or "bites") at


Trash Disposal and Recycling Responsibilities Continue

Taking your own trash and recycling to the designated area in your building will continue during the fall semester for all individual employees and departments. 

Your help makes it possible for our custodial staff to continue their intensified efforts to clean and sanitize public spaces including high-frequency touchpoints.

We appreciate your help keeping campus clean and safe.

New Funding

Richelle Winkler (SS/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $8,075 research and development grant from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The project is titled, "Generating and Archiving County-Level Migration Data for Health Research and Planning." This is a one-year project.

Today's Campus Events

To have your event automatically appear, please submit them to the University Events Calendar.

Huskies New Employee Orientation

This event has a video call. Join: +1 575-459-0149 PIN: 234932260#


Master's Defense: Marjan Monfarednasab

Civil Engineering Co-advisors: Alex Mayer and Veronica Webster Preparation of a One-Dimensional, Steady-State, Coupled Groundwater-Surface Water Model and Database for the...


PhD Defense: Pratik Umesh Joshi

Chemical Engineering Advisor: Caryn Heldt Virus Purification Framework and Enhancement in Aqueous Two-Phase Systems Attend Virtually:...


Master's Defense: Erin VanDusen

Materials Science and Engineering Advisor: Paul Sanders The Effects of Carbon Equivalent, Return Ratio, Mold Preparation, Riser Feed, and Casting Temperature on the...


Hey, There's Materials Science in Your Golf Bag!

Husky Bites presents Special Guest Steve Kampe Professor and Chair Department of Materials Science and Engineering Franklin St. John Chair Michigan Technological...


#q: Sculpture Under Quarantine

#q: sculpture under quarantine is an online gallery created by students in Advanced Sculpture Studio. Students in this class developed works of art while social distancing in...


APS Virtual Poster Showcase

The Association for Psychological Science will be hosting a Virtual Poster Showcase from June 1, 2020 to September 1, 2020. Participants will be able to view the latest...


Kites and Community! Outdoor Sculpture 2020

Kites & Community Outdoor Sculpture students spent last week making kites and holding a community (physically-distanced) picnic. Faculty member Lisa Gordillo designed this...


Outside – apart – together

Online Sculpture Walk Outside – apart – together, the Outdoor Sculpture class’s online sculpture exhibit, opens today. The exhibit is an online sculpture walk, and it...