Return to Campus: Faculty/Student Flex

Editor's Note: Today we conclude our series on operations as the University has entered Step Three in our Return to Campus Plan. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Huntoon discusses the dynamics between faculty and students as we approach the fall semester start.

What process should a student follow to request to study remotely during the fall semester? 

Students who can make these requests fall into two categories: 1) Students who have preexisting medical conditions that put them at higher risk if they get COVID-19; and 2) Students who are facing unforeseen or extenuating circumstances and believe studying remotely is necessary. Students who fall into the first category should work with Student Disability Services to obtain permission to study remotely for fall semester. Students in the second category have been instructed to make their request through the COVID-19 Special Consideration Request Form. These requests are being reviewed by a committee that includes Michigan Tech faculty and staff members. Faculty teaching courses that include these remote-study students will be notified through the regular accommodation notification process. 

Remote-study students need to be aware that not every software program is available in every country. Students who plan to live outside the US during fall semester need to make sure that they will be able to access all of their course materials and complete all assignments.

In the near future, instructors will be given the opportunity to determine whether or not they are able to offer students in their particular courses the option to attend remotely. Instructors must be the ones to decide whether or not they want to offer a remote-learning experience to every student who is interested in that option while at the same time continuing to provide face-to-face instruction to the remainder of their students. Nevertheless, all instructors recognize that there may be one or more students in their classes who must study remotely during fall semester due to actual or suspected exposure to COVID-19, and are prepared to serve these students remotely as needed.

Will we be tracking how many classes are being taught remotely vs. in person?

Student Affairs Information Systems (SAIS) is working with the Registrar's and Dean of Students' Offices to produce a weekly report for campus leaders regarding the number of course sections taught in the various modalities (online, remote, face-to-face only, face-to-face with staggered in-person attendance). In addition, they are tracking the number of students who have opted for remote/online instruction only, the number of students who will have all classes face-to-face, and the number of students who will have some or all of their courses online/remote due to decisions made by the University as a whole or by individual instructors.

How will we tell students when they should come to campus and when they shouldn't?

Once instructors know which of their students will be studying remotely, they will be able to work with their department chairs, the Registrar’s Office, and the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning to determine whether or not they will need to implement a staggered attendance policy for their course. This will be necessary when the face-to-face enrollment exceeds the COVID-19 occupancy limits for the room assigned to the course. 

The Registrar's Office is currently in the midst of an ongoing iterative process to optimize the use of classrooms to provide face-to-face instruction to as many students as possible. For example, if face-to-face enrollment for a particular course falls, it may be possible to move that course to a smaller room so that the original room can be reassigned to a larger course. Students who are actively monitoring their schedules for fall may see changes to their schedules as the optimization process proceeds. The optimization process will be completed before the beginning of fall semester and at that time instructors will be able to accurately communicate to their students whether or not class attendance will need to be staggered. If staggered attendance for a course will be needed, the instructor will communicate information about when students should attend in person and remotely.

Faculty, Staff and Student Volunteers Needed for Move-in

The Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success is looking for faculty, staff and student volunteers for move-in Friday and Saturday Aug. 21/22.

The energy of campus elevates when we welcome our new students and their families to campus each year. This is the 13th year of the Move-In Volunteers initiative and once again, we invite faculty and staff to help welcome our new students to campus in August during move-in.

You can help our students and their families by moving a few crates, giving directions, or being that welcoming face. Volunteer shifts for faculty, staff, and students are available on both days.

This year, we ask our volunteers to take extra precautions to keep everyone safe, including symptom tracking, short training, and some additional steps for sanitizing and social distancing. COVID-19 related restrictions will make our volunteers more important than ever, as we are limiting the number of guest helpers in the move-in process and relying on trained volunteers to keep the process running smoothly.

We are also extending the check-in and move-in process to include 2 to 6 p.m. Friday afternoon (Aug. 21), and ask all students to check-in at an assigned time to help keep numbers evenly spread out through the expanded time.

Please register by Aug. 17 to volunteer. You will be asked when you would like to volunteer, whether you would like to be a move-in helper or greeter, your contact information, and your t-shirt size. You may volunteer for more than one shift.

In keeping with the University's sustainability efforts, we will have a similar Welcome Crew shirt design as past move-ins, so you may wear a previous year’s shirt if you already have one. Additional information about your move-in volunteer shift will be provided by email the week of Aug. 17.

If you have any questions please contact the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success or call 7-3558. Show your support as a dedicated and caring member of the Michigan Tech community by welcoming our newest members. Thank you in advance for your support of this initiative.

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Over the course of the last several months, we have seen numerous articles that emphasize the disproportionate burdens and obstacles facing women in academia as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Few articles however have offered ideas on how to mitigate these burdens. This week’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features an article from Nature in which several journal editors, funders, and academic leaders offer their advice on mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on women scientists.

Today’s article was shared by Andrew Storer, dean of the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and project lead on the ADVANCE initiative’s Advocates and Allies program.

If you have an article you think we should feature in the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup, please email it to

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog.

To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at or visit our website.

Houghton Ranked No. 3 US Hockey City

For the sixth year in a row, Houghton has been named a top 10 hockey city in America. The hometown of the Michigan Tech Huskies checked in at No. 3 this year. SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company headquartered in New York, released its sixth annual ranking Wednesday (July 29).

To find the best hockey towns in the country, SmartAsset looked at a total of nine metrics that fell into two general categories: fan intensity and quality of life. Fan intensity metrics include average game attendance as a percentage of stadium capacity, per-game attendance as a percentage of population and Google search traffic for "hockey" relative to "food." Meanwhile, the quality of life factors considered includes median household income, median monthly housing costs, violent crime rate, property crime rate and dining and entertainment establishments per 100,000 residents.

SmartAsset considered data for cities that have a team in either the National Hockey League (NHL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 men's hockey, the American Hockey League (AHL) or the ECHL.

Houghton was ranked No. 10 in 2019, No. 7 in 2018, No. 6 in 2017, No. 3 in 2016, and No. 5 in 2015.

SmartAsset's Evaluation of Houghton: Houghton, Michigan is the home of the Michigan Tech Huskies — the alma mater of John Scott, the legendary NHL tough guy who was famously voted as an All-Star Game captain in 2016 after a fan campaign. Houghton is in this study's top 10 for both fan intensity and quality of life. Average game attendance represents 38.63 percent of the town's population, which is fifth in this study. It also ranks third in the Google metric: People in the town search for hockey 89 percent as often as they search for food. Median monthly housing costs are $709, fifth-lowest in this study.

Football's LaJoie Named Preseason All American

Michigan Tech football's senior defensive lineman Nate LaJoie has been named a Preseason Second Team All-American by Lindy's Sports in its annual college football preview magazine.

LaJoie, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, was a 2019 Don Hansen First Team All-American and was honored on the All-GLIAC First Team and D2CCA All-Super Region 3 First Team. He led the GLIAC in total sacks with 8.5 and tied for second in the conference in total tackles for a loss (13.5). He helped the Huskies tie a school record with 30 sacks last season.

LaJoie combined for 54 total tackles and averaged 5.4 tackles per game in 2019. His tackles for loss resulted in 68 negative yards for opponents. LaJoie had a season-best nine tackles, 2.5 sacks, and four tackles for a loss at Saginaw Valley State (Sept. 21). He recovered a fumble at Davenport (Oct. 19).

LaJoie also received three team awards in 2019, including the Fred Baird Memorial Outstanding Defensive Player award, Defensive Lineman of the Year, and the Iron Man Award.

Job Postings

Job Posting for Friday, July 31, 2020

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources. For more information regarding staff positions, call 487-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Administrative Aide 7 (12 months/ 40 hours/ 1st Shift) #20110, Financial Services & Operations. UAW Posting 7/31/2020 - 8/6/2020. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. Apply online.


Custodian (12 months/ 40 hours/ 1st Shift) #20114, Facilities. AFSCME Posting 7/31/2020 - 8/6/2020. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. Apply online.


Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. Accommodations are available. If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment or an interview at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or


Board of Trustees Meeting

The Board of Trustees will meet Aug. 6 from 9-11 a.m. via Zoom webinar. There is no public access to the Board of Trustees Formal Session due to social distancing protocols.

A note for those attending: Due to the format of the Zoom webinar and to maintain a secure environment, non-Board members will not be able to use the microphone function, screen share, or view participants at the meeting aside from the individual currently speaking. The chat feature will be disabled.

Members of the public are invited to make public comments to the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Board of Trustees Bylaw 1.14. Those who wish to address items in the agenda and who have filed their intent with the Secretary of the Board as required by Bylaw 1.14, will be limited to five minutes. Those addressing general topics are limited to three minutes.

If you wish to provide public comments to the Board of Trustees, please submit your intent to Sarah Schulte, Secretary for the Board of Trustees, by July 30.


Nominate a Husky

The Graduate Student Government (GSG) will publish short portraits of MTU students on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This initiative is designed to highlight the diversity of our graduate student body not only in terms of the work and research that MTU graduate students do but also in terms of their personal stories, their path to Michigan Tech, their professional objectives, their motivations. Fill out this form to nominate someone that you think should have their portrait on our social media.

You also have the possibility to nominate yourself! Nominees will be asked to write a (very) short narrative about themselves as well as to share a photo with us. Feel free to reach out to with any questions.


No Parade of Nations—But We're Still Celebrating Multiculturalism

There’s not going to be a physical Parade of Nations this fall. Due to COVID-19, the popular parade and multicultural festival that followed it have been canceled, but Parade of Nations lives. Its sponsors are still making plans to celebrate the Keweenaw’s rich international heritage in safe and healthy ways.

This year’s theme is “One World, Our World.” A logo designed by Linnea Oja of Hancock won a competition to represent the theme.

Early in September, flags of the dozens of nations represented at Michigan Tech, Finlandia and throughout the Keweenaw will be displayed on streetlight poles in the cities of Houghton and Hancock. Their appearance will mark the kick-off of a Parade of Nations scavenger hunt that challenges teams of students, organizations and individuals to follow a trail of clues throughout the community.

Read the full story in yesterday's Tech Today.

New Funding

 Todd Ontl (CFRES) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $176,750 other sponsored activities co-op/joint agreement-cost from the USDA Forest Service.

The project is entitled, "Supporting Science-Management Partnerships for Climate Adaptation." Kristen Schmitt (CFRES) is Co-PI on this four-year project.

Today's Campus Events

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#q: Sculpture Under Quarantine

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Kites and Community! Outdoor Sculpture 2020

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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...