Eastern Michigan University intends to be open and providing classes to undergraduate and graduate students this fall. Our plans are guided by a singular focus: ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff.

Due to the great uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the government and public health directives currently in place and those that may be forthcoming, the University is modeling and preparing for several possible operating scenarios for the fall semester in order to be prepared, and safe.

A rigorous and systematic process has been established to guide this effort, with expert work teams that will meet through the spring and summer to assess and consider the best options for operations this fall, again with the highest priority focused on the health and safety of our campus community.

Our actions will be guided by a team of health, safety and academic professionals who have been enlisted by University President James Smith to provide leadership, direction and best practices regarding our campus activities this fall. Leading the Public Health Work Group is the University’s Dean of the College of Health and Human Services, Dr. Murali Nair.

The team includes:

    • Dr. Beverly Mihalko*

      An epidemiologist and Associate Professor of Health Services

    • Dr. Michael Williams

      Director of the School of Nursing

    • Dr. Sherry Bumpus

      Director of Nursing Operations

    • Dr. Andrea Gossett Zakrajsek

      Professor of Occupational Therapy

  • Ellen Gold*

    Dean of Students

  • Dieter Otto*

    Director of Custodial Services & Grounds, who is leading the University’s campus-wide cleaning and disinfecting effort

  • Elizabeth Radzilowski

    University Human Resources

  • Dr. Karen Saules

    Director of the Community Behavioral Clinic & Professor of Psychology

*denotes involvement in University’s COVID-19 response team since March 2020

Initial Planning

Our initial planning, which is subject to change as noted earlier due to the evolving guidance and directives surrounding COVID-19 and recommendations from our public health work group, includes the following:


  • It is our intention that in-person classes will take place on Eastern’s campus.
  • An increased number of classes may be offered in a hybrid or hi-flex format -- partially in-person and partially online.
  • More classes may be offered fully online.
  • Large lecture rooms, large conference spaces and ballrooms may be utilized for smaller classes to provide greater distancing.

Social Distancing

  • The University is taking steps to reduce the number of people on campus on any given day to increase physical distancing and limit physical interaction.
  • Six-foot distancing signage and floor markings are under consideration to help ensure physical space requirements are followed.



EMU Dining is preparing options for its operations this fall and will follow recommendations from the University’s public health work group, as well as public health directives and government guidance that are in place. Operational options under consideration include:

  • Elimination of self-service food stations in favor of dining employees preparing and plating meals;
  • Reorganization of dining areas to promote social distancing; and,
  • Limiting all meal options to take-away only with no dining room option.