Month: April 2020

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 bjcadwel@mtu.edu.  

Stay safe,
Brian


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.

Sincerely,

Rick Koubek
President


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 housing@mtu.edu. 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 housing@mtu.edu 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 housing@mtu.edu 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 housing@mtu.edu 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 housing@mtu.edu. 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.

Damages

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
President