Email to Staff and Faculty: Additional Resources and Support for Michigan Tech Employees

By Rick Koubek, President

Dear Faculty and Staff: 

As we come to terms with the rapid and significant disruptions to both our work and personal lives as a result of the COVID-19 disease, we continue to explore options to support the health and safety of our campus, maintain continuity of our operations, and protect the job security of our employees. To these ends, we are announcing additional employee benefits to help offset negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Additional benefits are outlined below with more details following.

  • Full-time employees will receive 80 hours of COVID-19 pandemic leave to be used in case of quarantine, isolation, or family care needs related to COVID-19 exposure, illness, or other related scenarios. Part-time employees will receive  prorated leave based on their appointment.
  • The newly created Husky WorkerReady program will assure those impacted by temporary shutdowns and slowdowns across units can continue their employment by working in areas of need.
  • Enhanced remote work protocol.  
  • Access to employee counseling and mental health services. 
  • Paid leave for trained and/or registered emergency responder volunteers.
  • Establishment of the Husky Emergency Assistance Fund.

COVID-19 Pandemic Leave

Effective immediately, the University will offer up to 80 hours of paid leave to employees for personal use if they are affected by the virus. This leave may be used in case of quarantine, isolation, or family care needs related to COVID-19 exposure, illness, or related scenarios. Please click here for more details. The COVID-19 pandemic leave will be prorated for part-time employees. This is a bank of paid time off for use only during the current pandemic and will expire June 30, 2020.  

Husky WorkerReady Program

The University will work to reassign employees whose job hours have been reduced or eliminated by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis through the new Husky WorkerReady program.  The University’s new shared talent pool program will attempt to match the employee’s talents with current University needs. Impacted employees are encouraged to enroll by clicking here.   Departments or supervisors with labor needs or individuals with questions should email or call Madeline Mercado Voelker in Human Resources at 906-487-3681. This program is in effect through May 2, 2020, unless extended.

Remote Work Protocol

We understand that each employee’s personal situation may have evolved over the past few days. Therefore, we’ve instituted a more lenient remote work protocol. At this time, if you can work from home, you are encouraged to do so. If you need to continue working on campus, consult with your supervisor and follow appropriate social distancing protocol (no more than 10 people in a space and at least six feet between people at all times). Please visit the COVID-19 website for information on working remotely and to learn more about sick, vacation, and COVID-19 pandemic leave. This protocol is in effect until further notice.

Mental Health Counseling

As a reminder, eligible faculty and staff, and their spouses and dependents, have access to up to eight free counseling sessions per person from Northstar EAP. These sessions can help manage issues that may be impacting your personal and work life. Northstar EAP’s areas of expertise include stress, depression, family and marital issues, work relationships, alcohol and substance abuse, and grief. Confidentiality is maintained in accordance with privacy laws and professional ethical standards. The University will not be notified when services are requested or used. To set up an appointment, call 906-225-3145 or schedule online at

Volunteer Service

To support your participation as a community volunteer, regular full- and part-time employees who are trained and registered as emergency responders with the Red Cross or other similar organizations may be granted up to five days paid leave for emergency response services rendered between now and June 30, 2020. Please email or call Human Resources at 906-487-2800 to learn more about this benefit. 

Husky Emergency Assistance Fund

The Husky Emergency Assistance Fund has been established to help members of our campus community who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This fund will help those in need to stay in school and provide financial relief for others. Some of you may be asking how you can help. For more information, please visit the Husky Emergency Assistance Fund page or click here to give now. In the near future, the University will provide instructions on how employees and students can apply for assistance.

We appreciate all you are doing to help Michigan Tech and our local community during this time. On behalf of the entire community, thank you. 

Rick Koubek