COVID-19 Update to Campus: Dec. 7, 2020

To the Eastern Michigan University community:

This afternoon, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) extended by 12 days the epidemic order that restricts indoor social gatherings and other group activities. I am sharing this information with you as part of our ongoing efforts to keep you updated on developments that impact our classes and operations.

Today’s order takes effect on Wednesday, Dec. 9. It provides for a continuation of our current operating plan through Dec. 20 that we announced on Nov. 15. The majority of courses will remain fully remote through the end of the semester in compliance with today’s MDHHS order. Only those exceptions that were granted following the Nov. 15 announcement are permitted to continue but no other in person instruction can return this semester. We regret that total case numbers and health care system capacity necessitate this modification to our fall semester plans.

Consistent with current orders by the MDHHS and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employees will continue to work remotely, unless their work cannot feasibly be completed remotely and they have been notified as such by their supervisor.

Reminder: Modifications to the winter semester schedule

In October we announced that we would delay the start of winter semester classes to Wednesday, Jan. 13, in order to reduce the number of people returning directly from the break with possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus. In addition to this important step, the University is adding another important layer to the winter semester safety effort. 

When winter semester courses begin on Jan. 13, courses will be held in fully online/remote formats through Sunday, Jan. 24. Beginning Monday, Jan. 25, a limited number of those classes will transition to in-person formats as indicated on course schedules.  

The Provost conferred with Faculty Senate and other campus constituencies in making this recommendation to me for approval. I greatly appreciate the ongoing adjustments among our students, faculty and staff to accommodate these changes in what remains a very fluid and ever changing situation due to the pandemic. We understand that it places an additional planning burden on everyone and we value the efforts of our University community to keep the campus as safe as possible. The overall course delivery model for winter will be similar to the current semester in which approximately 10 percent of all courses are in-person. 

Winter semester registration now open

Registration for winter semester is now open to all students. Students are encouraged to register as soon as possible for their winter classes to ensure they get the classes they want. Please visit the winter registration appointments page to start or complete the registration process. Advisers are available to assist students in determining their classes and meeting program requirements. Information about how to contact an adviser and other details are available on the winter registration site.

Looking ahead
We will continue to closely monitor ongoing developments in response to COVID-19 and provide updates to you as warranted. Continue to monitor your email and the University’s COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness website for ongoing updates.

Thank you for doing all you can to keep yourself, and those around you, safe.

James Smith, Ph.D.