Summer Plans

By: Rick Koubek, President

Dear Members of the Michigan Tech Community:

Today officially marks the end of the spring term at Michigan Tech. Tomorrow, we would have celebrated the success of 1,066 graduates at our Spring Commencement ceremony. Had things been normal, Mike Pulick, former president of Grainger International, a Michigan Tech electrical engineering alumnus, and former Blue Key president, would have served as our keynote speaker. Instead, we are redirecting our energies in creative ways as we adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic—including the launch of an online 2020 commencement celebration web page on May 23. 

We’ve also made the decision to move summer Track B sessions online and cancel Michigan Tech’s pre-college programs and athletic camps for the summer. These decisions were necessary based on the continued “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order and to allow our academic and facility teams time to prepare for a safe, in-person, on-time start to the fall semester under the new operating guidelines imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.Some of you may be wondering how our physical campus may be different when we return. To start, we know we must adhere to social distancing protocols. This may translate into: 

  • Reducing class sizes and modifying our classrooms and course offerings.
  • Shifting our dining services to include more options like takeout, grab-and-go, and meal delivery throughout campus.
  • Creating more spaces for smaller collaborations and fewer opportunities for large group gatherings. 
  • Cultivating a culture of health and safety by making COVID-19 testing available, vigorously monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms among our residence hall populations and larger campus community, and responding proactively if there is evidence of the virus on campus. This includes contact tracing and immediately isolating suspected cases.  

The current plan is to gradually resume face-to-face operations over the next three months in accordance with the state’s guidance and in compliance with best practices. We will have more to share about these plans next week. But, even the best-laid plans are sometimes thwarted by the unlikeliest events. So, despite diligent and comprehensive planning, the number of variables involved requires us to couch all of our plans as tentative at this time. 

With that said, the leadership team has analyzed the impact of reducing operations and services on campus, which will continue throughout the summer. This unfortunate reality requires us to align our workforce needs with the current level of campus operations. Next week, approximately 119 employees will be notified of a temporary reduction in work hours or be placed on temporary leave without pay due to a lack of work. Those affected will continue to receive University health care benefits, retain any paid time off accrued, and qualify for unemployment and the relief package being offered by the federal government. Employees are also encouraged to apply for financial support through the Husky Emergency Assistance Fund, either online or calling 906-487-1567. Let me reiterate that these personnel actions are temporary and made through no fault of those affected. In most cases, employees will return to full-time status once we resume normal operations. It’s important to note that this decision is independent of the significant budget shortfall that must be addressed at the May Board of Trustees meeting. COVID-19 has altered our course, but not our destination. We will continue to provide the very best hands-on, high-quality educational and research experience that we are known for. I am grateful for your dedication and determination to make that so.

Sincerely, Rick Koubek

Face Coverings Required in Enclosed Public Spaces

By Brian Cadwell, Director and Chief of Police, Public Safety and Police Services

Under Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s extended “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, all persons are required to wear face coverings when entering enclosed public spaces, including campus buildings and workspaces, where social distancing cannot be maintained. 

Michigan Tech strongly encourages employees to provide their own personal face coverings in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance: 

  • Fabric face masks should be made of new, tight-weave cotton fabric (e.g., quilting cotton, denim, duck cloth, canvas, or twill).
  • Employees must wear their face mask at all times indoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Face masks should be worn over the mouth and nose and should not be worn dangling around the neck or on the chin or forehead.
  • Employees should not touch or adjust their face mask. If they do, they must immediately wash their hands per CDC guidelines.
  • After removing their face mask, employees must immediately wash their hands per CDC guidelines.
  • Fabric face masks should be laundered in hot water daily.
  • When not in use, fabric face masks should be stored in a clean, closed paper bag or other breathable container.

Fabric face masks are not considered personal protective equipment (PPE) and should not be used when entering a room or area where known or suspected COVID-19 cases are present.

Michigan Tech will supply face coverings for employees who choose not to utilize their own face coverings. Employees who have current job duties on campus who need a face covering may pick one up between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday at the Transportation Services Window on the first floor of the Administration Building. Please park in Lot 11 and enter through the east doors. Walking traffic will be one way, exiting through the north doors.  If you require a face covering but are unable to pick one up during these hours, please contact Brian Cadwell at  

Stay safe,

Financial Planning in the Wake of COVID-19

By: Rick Koubek, President

Members of the Michigan Tech Community:

The gravity of the situation in which higher education institutions find themselves, including Michigan Tech, is difficult at best. Yet, in spite of these trying times, our campus community has banded together to help each other and even those afar through innovation, creativity, and kindness.

Thank you.

Today, I would like to outline the framework and planning horizon the leadership team is working from to address the fiscal deficit caused by COVID-19. Currently, we are assuming an enrollment decline for both the summer and fall terms, a correlating decline in auxiliary services revenue, and a modest reduction in state funding. Based on these assumptions, we have estimated a budget shortfall of approximately $18 million—but it could be as high as $38 million depending on additional fluctuations in enrollment, how the state’s higher education funding formula unfolds during the legislative session, and whether Michigan Tech returns to face-to-face instruction to start the fall semester.

In early April, we enacted cost controls to address the current fiscal year deficit. These included a hiring, spending, and wage freeze, among additional measures. Thanks to your efforts, we have minimized the fiscal year 2020 shortfall. However, we must now turn our attention to the projected deficit for fiscal year 2021.

Effective immediately, I will take a 15 percent pay reduction and the vice presidents will take a 7 percent pay reduction, at least through December 31, 2020. This is in addition to a number of other cost-saving options under consideration, which will be reviewed and prioritized by the President’s Budget Advisory Committee. All of our decisions will be guided by the following principles:

  1. Protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our campus community to the best of our ability;
  2. Supporting and continuing high-quality educational and research activities at Michigan Tech; and
  3. Respecting all health and safety requirements issued by the state of Michigan and modifying our operations in compliance with these guidelines.

Over the next few weeks, we will solidify our decisions in preparation for the May Board of Trustees meeting, where we must present a balanced fiscal year 2021 budget to the Board for approval. Actions necessary to achieve a balanced budget with a projected shortfall of $18 million may include reductions to operating budgets and workforce needs, and/or temporary pay cuts. In full disclosure, we must acknowledge that additional cuts to services and programs may be necessary over the course of the year due to additional, unforeseen factors or if we experience greater declines in enrollment or state funding over and above what we are currently projecting.

I will continue to provide regular updates regarding the status of campus operations and the fiscal implications related to COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks. I remain optimistic about Michigan Tech’s long-term future. We are positioned well financially, our reputation is strong, and I am confident in our ability to discover creative solutions, even in the face of adversity.

Take care and stay safe.


Rick Koubek

Students Changing Departure Plans

We hope this email finds you healthy and being safe. We continue to monitor this fast-changing situation and have updated our procedures for various departure plans to give you more flexibility to choose what is in the best interest of your health and safety.

If you need to change your departure plan, you must email Note that in all scenarios that you must follow the strict move out social distancing guidance given to you and allow no more than two individuals who are not residents to assist you with your move. Overnight visitors are prohibited. Below are listed various scenarios that may apply to you.  

If you are actively living at home/another residence and have not been staying in your currently assigned room:

  • If you’re not actively living on campus, you can email and extend the date of picking up your personal belongings to May 16. We will update you should this date change as a result of new guidance.
  • If you completed the Departure Plan form by the March 27 deadline indicating you would be out by April 12 but wish to change to a later departure date, you will still receive the housing credit as long as you are not actively residing on campus. This assumes only your property is here.

If you are actively living here on campus, planned to stay, but now wish to relocate to another residence and will no longer be using services:

  • If you need to stop actively living here on campus on or before April 12, you can email and request to change your departure plans.
  • You must cease using your residence hall room/dining plan and actively live somewhere else by April 12. Only your property can remain after this date.
  • You can continue to leave your property here up until May 16. We will update you should this date change as a result of new guidance.
  • If you do not use our residential services and live away from campus until your departure date, you may request the $1,100 housing credit when you notify us of your change in plans.

If you are planning to continue to reside in the residence halls through May 2, 2020:

  • If your plans have changed and you need to stay living in the halls through May 2, 2020, you need to email to request that change. 
  • You will not be eligible for a housing credit because you will continue to use services.
  • If you are actively present in the halls, you will need to move out by May 2, 2020. 
  • You will need to follow the checkout guidelines as previously given to you.
  • You are required to continue following the social distancing guidance given in previous emails as you continue to live on campus.

Please note that summer Track A classes will be held exclusively online and summer housing will not be available during the Track A period. Make sure to plan accordingly.

If you need assistance or if your plans do not not fit into the three scenarios above, please contact us at We are happy to assist you. Please continue to practice healthy social distancing and be safe!

We have included the checkout process below for your convenience.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Express Check-Out Process

  1. Bring your key and Husky Card to campus so you can properly checkout and avoid charges.
  2. Come to your residence hall front desk (open 10am-4pm daily) to pick up  the Express Check-Out Form and blue Key Return Envelope. You may need to pick up the forms the day before you intend to leave.
    1. If you are unable to get the check-out paperwork from the desk, you can arrange to have the paperwork slid under your door by filling out the following form.  Please complete the form no later than 48 hours before you intend to depart.  
    2. If you need additional assistance and are unable to contact an RA or the desk, please call DUTY phone at (906) 487-3889. 
  3. Please read the entirety of each document carefully as they contain important check-out information.  
  4. Remove all belongings from your room.
    1. If you have a bike in storage, you have been contacted by the advisor of your building’s hall association on retrieval and storage options.  
    2. Clean your room thoroughly and return the furniture to its original configuration.
  5. Self-report any damages that you are taking responsibility for on your Express Check-Out Form.
  6. Provide a mail forwarding address in Banweb, and check your mailbox before leaving.
    1. Change your address with online accounts, banks, credit cards, and magazines and notify your family and friends that you have moved.
  7. Complete the Express Check-Out Form and the front of the blue Key Return Envelope.  If your form is not already attached to the envelope, please do so and drop both off at the front desk of your residence hall.  If the desk is closed, please place your paperwork in the misaddressed mail slot.

While moving out, please:

  • Get assistance from no more than two individuals that are not in the same residential housing facility as you.
  • Do not allow anyone with a temperature of 100.4F or higher, cough, trouble breathing, or other symptoms of illness to assist you.
  • Maintain at least six feet of social distance at all times unless carrying a heavy object.
  • Do not use common areas.  We have closed common areas due to guidance from the state of Michigan requesting that all people maintain six feet of distance from each other and a need to protect residents staying with us from potentially being exposed to COVID-19.
  • Park in the following lots if you have a pass for Lots 21 or 23:
    • DHH – Lot 10E
    • McNair – Lot 10E
    • Hillside – Lot 4
    • Wads – Lot 17 Upper
    • If you do not have a parking pass or are traveling with someone who does not have a parking pass, you can park in Lot 10 overnight with no penalties.


By participating in the express check-out process, you waive your right to challenge any charges caused by damages in your room.  Each form has a space for you to claim any damage you have caused to the room. Roommates who may have damages are encouraged to contact each other and determine who will take responsibility for the damages.  If no one is specified as the responsible party, all roommates will split the damage charges evenly. Please contact your RA or REC if you would prefer to schedule a full check-out.

COVID-19 Campus Update

By: Rick Koubek, President

Dear Members of the Michigan Tech Community:

COVID-19 has certainly changed our campus in an unprecedented way, at an unprecedented pace. And, while I believe our combined efforts are helping to “flatten the curve,” we must continue to remain vigilant in protecting ourselves, our health care providers, and those most vulnerable in our community from the effects of this virus—even if it means taking extraordinary precautions.

Below are a few updates for our students and employees in this regard.

For students:

For faculty and staff:

While it’s still too early to tell how or when this crisis will end, Michigan Tech is a community of problem solvers. To that end, we have a number of committed faculty, researchers, students, and staff using their talents to help our community, state, and nation navigate the impacts of this virus. It is that indelible spirit that gives me complete confidence for the future of Michigan Tech.

With that said, the University is planning for fiscal impacts resulting from the COVID-19 crisis and will begin implementing a series of temporary budget controls to balance revenues and expenditures. Initial guidelines will be sent from the CFO’s office to departments in the near future.

During this challenging time, we are listening closely to our students, faculty, and staff to better inform our decisions and ensure our planning efforts respect the values we hold as a campus community. We will also continue to provide regular updates on the University’s operations in addition to any new developments related to COVID-19. Until then, I ask that you continue to do your part to help protect your own health and the well-being of our community.

Thanks for all that you do.

Rick Koubek

Email to Students: Resources and Support

By Bonnie Gorman, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Huskies—

We’re in a tough situation. I just finished watching some news reports featuring physicians and ER doctors from around the country. Several mentioned their concerns that young people are not taking this virus seriously. This is serious—more than 6,000 people have died in Italy, and New York is now the epicenter of the pandemic.

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced Executive Order 2020-21, “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” requiring the people of the state of Michigan to stay at home. This order went into effect today and will continue until at least April 13. The goal is to reduce the spread of the virus both in the state and across the nation. Your help is needed in adhering to this request and Michigan Tech will do all we can to assist you. Below are some guidelines, changes, and resources for your information. 

What Executive Order 2020-21 Means for Students

Students living in the residence halls are allowed to remain and a separate communication was sent yesterday providing specific instructions. If you live off campus, please be aware that the governor’s order allows you to travel in order to return to your permanent place of residence. Returning home may be worth some serious consideration—especially now, since students are no longer able to access any University classroom, laboratory, shop, computer lab, or other facility. 

If you do decide to stay, you should not be gathering in groups of more than 10 people. In addition, it is recommended that you maintain at least six feet of distance between each other. This applies to those of you working on group projects, participating in social and/or religious gatherings, and just hanging out. 

Academic Support

Even while you are studying remotely, campus services are still available. Academic advisors, Learning Centers, Career Services, Counseling Services, the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success, and my office are all available for virtual appointments and are happy to help. In addition, you can look here for some strategies to stay on track.

Remember, your conduct in an online classroom should be the same as your behavior in a physical, face-to-face classroom or lab. Here are a few netiquette tips

If you need internet access, here are some resources available. 

Give yourself some time to get adjusted to this new environment, and keep in mind that the date to withdraw from a class has been extended to Friday of the 14th week, April 24. 

Emergency Resources and the Husky Food Pantry

During this time of uncertainty, we realize unexpected needs may be higher than normal. Emergency resources (food, utilities, car rentals, and more) are available from a variety of sources, including generous Tech alumni and friends. If you need some help, submit the brief application. 

Since the Husky Food Pantry is located in Fisher (now closed), food packages have been made and delivered to Public Safety and Police Services. This service is ongoing; stop there if you need food (it’s like going to the grocery store and that’s permitted under the order). 

In addition, here’s a very useful guide written for students who are disrupted by COVID-19. 

Mental Health Resources

Your mental health is as important as your physical health and you need to take care of both. Find a few friends you can connect to regularly. Take a break and read a good book. If you need to talk with someone about your concerns, you can reach out to Counseling Services at 906-487-2538. Virtual appointments are available.

If you are in a crisis, text “START” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. To reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Shuttle Service

The Husky Campus and Daniell Heights shuttle services have been suspended until at least April 13. The Wednesday through Saturday Shopping Shuttle will continue to operate using social distancing protocol—that means no more than 10 passengers are allowed on the shuttle at any time. Please plan ahead for your shopping needs, keeping in mind that there will not be Shopping Shuttle service on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.

The City Commuter Shuttle operated by Houghton will be suspended beginning Wednesday, March 25, until at least April 13. The City of Houghton will continue to provide on-demand service: call 906-482-6092 to request a ride. The cost within Houghton is $3 each way. The cost to Hancock is $4 each way.

Huskies, if we all do our part, we’ll get through this. Let’s continue to stick together to support one another and our community.  

Take Care, 

P.S. Keep an eye on the Michigan Tech COVID-19 website for updated information.

Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order and Campus Operations

By: Jackie Huntoon, Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs

As you may already be aware, at a press conference today Governor Whitmer announced Executive Order 2020-21, “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” requiring the people of the state of Michigan to stay at home. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 24 and will continue until at least April 13. The University’s COVID-19 Stay at Home Protocol specifies what this means on campus.

Why a Stay at Home Order is Necessary:

The executive order was issued to suppress the rate of spread of COVID-19 in an attempt to prevent the state’s health care system from being overwhelmed. COVID-19 is easily spread from person to person and the number of cases continues to grow rapidly in Michigan.

Working together to slow the spread of the disease will allow the production of critical test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment. We need the supply to catch up with the demand to avoid needless deaths and protect the lives of health care workers.

Leaders in places already hit hard by the virus are consistent in their assertions that others should not wait until the crisis is at hand before taking action.

We are fortunate that no cases have been confirmed in our area so far — but we can’t expect that to last. Our best chance of keeping the number of cases at a manageable level is to follow the executive order and stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. We all need to ask ourselves before making any trip out of the house whether or not the trip warrants putting our own or others’ health at risk. We are all going to need food and medicine, but most of our regular trips to town or campus can and must wait.

At this point we need to assume we have the disease, and it is our job to make sure we don’t give it to anyone else. The best way to do that is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

What this Means for Faculty and Staff:

This means stay at home unless you absolutely must go out.

To comply with the executive order, only essential personnel with written permission to enter a University building will be allowed access. University leaders (vice presidents, dean, chairs, directors, and others) are working now to determine who will be given permission to enter based on health and safety considerations, a need to access equipment used for remote instruction, or involvement with research that requires ongoing human support and attention. No one else will be allowed to enter any University facility (however, students will still be able to access their residence halls).

Letters to those who have been granted access based on recommendation from their chair, dean, or supervisor will receive written documentation of their right to enter from a vice president. Letters from vice presidents will be issued beginning the evening of March 23, 2020. Individuals’ access will be explicitly limited to specific buildings and rooms.

Building access will be restricted starting at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020. After that deadline, special exception requests for access will need to be approved by a vice president. A process for requesting access is being developed and information will be released soon. Special exception requests will only be approved if allowable under the executive order, and access will only be granted for a limited amount of time (for example, one hour).

What this Means for Students:

Students living in the residence halls or in the Houghton area will be allowed to remain. However, students will no longer be able to access any University classroom, laboratory, shop, computer lab, or other facility. After 12:01 a.m. on March 24, University facilities will be open only to serve essential functions.

Updates and Other Information:

As we all continue to navigate the COVID-19 challenge, many questions will emerge. Please continue to submit your questions to Questions will be answered individually when possible, and Michigan Tech’s COVID-19 website addresses FAQs. You can also refer to Research FAQs, Grad School FAQs, HR FAQs, and Facilities FAQs.

We are all in an extremely challenging situation and I am impressed by the fortitude, resourcefulness, and optimism exhibited by people across Michigan Tech and throughout our local community. We should all be proud of ourselves. I am honored to be a member of the Huskies family.

Jackie Huntoon
Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs

Stay at Home Order for MTU Residents

By Matthew Weekley, Director of Housing Auxiliary Operations and Residence Education

Dear Michigan Tech Residence Hall students,

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through fast-moving developments with the State’s response to COVID-19. Earlier this morning, Governor Whitmer issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order for the people of Michigan.

The Governor’s order allows students to travel to return to a home or place of residence from outside this state or to return to your home within the state of Michigan. You are strongly encouraged to return to your permanent residence, assuming you are permitted to do so based on your home country’s guidelines, have what you’ll need to continue with classes, and will be safe and healthy there.

Consistent with the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, the University will now put in place the following measures to limit the spread of COVID-19:

Residence hall students are permitted to move out of the residence halls to another place of residence.

The executive order permits individuals to move to another home or place of residence. Residents planning to move off campus must follow these guidelines:

  • Each student cannot be assisted by more than two individuals who are not in the same residential housing facility as the student.
  • The individuals assisting with move-out may not have a temperature of 100.4F or higher, cough, trouble breathing, or otherwise feel ill.
  • The individuals assisting with move-out must adhere to social distancing at all times, except while jointly carrying a heavy object.

All residence hall students residing in Wadsworth, McNair, Douglass Houghton, and Hillside MUST COMPLETE the Residence Hall Spring 2020 Departure Plan Form that was originally sent to you on Wednesday, March 18.

All residence hall students must complete the Departure Plan form as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, March 27, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST. You can select any of the departure dates available; however, to be eligible for the $1,100 residence hall credit, you must depart on or before April 12, 2020. If you have extenuating circumstances, please contact and we can assist you. Students who choose to depart the residence halls should follow these guidelines to checkout properly.

Residents are prohibited from visiting other buildings and from having visitors

  • Residents who choose to stay on campus are not permitted to visit residence halls other than their own.
  • All non-Michigan Tech visitors/guests are prohibited from visiting resident students through the duration of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order (excluding the exception for those helping to move, mentioned above). 
  • Residents may not have guests that exceed the number of students currently assigned to a room (example: If there are two assigned beds in a room, only two individuals can be in the room at the same time).

Dining restrictions and front desk operations

  • The Campus Cafe will be closed.
  • Dining operations will continue in each building for the time being.
  • Front desk operations will begin limiting their hours of operation for mail/package pickup.  Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Front desks will also no longer be checking out equipment, with the exception of vacuums.

Practice social distancing and hygiene techniques

Resident students are required to continue practicing social distancing. Here are some important tips:

  • It’s critically important students follow CDC guidelines to maintain proper hygiene (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds). Fully detailed guidance can be found here.
  • Avoid congregating in social gatherings of 10 or more and in public venues.
  • When socializing, attempt to keep a distance of about six feet from the nearest person.
  • Properly dispose of personal trash such as tissues and disposable dining utensils that come into contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth and rubbing your eyes.
  • Refrain from personal contact to help stop the possible transmission of the virus and other illnesses.

Make sure to continuously check Michigan Tech’s COVID-19 website for updates

This continues to be a very fluid situation for the entire world, and you are encouraged to utilize Michigan Tech’s COVID-19 website for updates and guidance on new developments.


Matthew Weekley
Director of Housing Auxiliary Operations and Residence Education

Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order and Campus Operations

By Rick Koubek, President (

Dear Members of the Michigan Tech Community:

In compliance with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21, “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” Michigan Technological University’s campus will significantly limit services and operations, effective at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020, for a minimum of three weeks while the order is in place. During this time, the University will continue offering remote learning for its students. Employees who are able to do so should work from home, if they are not already. Only those employees identified under Michigan Tech’s COVID-19 Stay at Home Protocol (20-6) will be allowed on campus to maintain basic operations. Access to buildings will be restricted. I ask each of you to review the University’s COVID-19 Stay at Home Protocol (20-6).

As the University complies with the governor’s executive order, we remain committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all of our students. Those who remain in the residence halls will receive additional information from Residential Life on food service, support, and how the governor’s order affects them.

I want to take a moment to thank you in advance for respecting Governor Whitmer’s executive order to stay home and stay safe. Your commitment not only helps to protect the health of our community, but also the integrity of our local health care system. Please continue to visit for the latest information and updates.

Stay safe and take care,
Rick Koubek