Return to Campus

July 27, 2020

Greetings from the College of Sciences and Arts at Michigan Tech!

It is a beautiful summer day in Houghton, and an exciting day on campus as we enter the third and final step of our “Return to Campus” plan, more than four months after most of us hastily vacated our offices due to COVID.  Campus buildings are open and unlocked, most faculty and staff can return to their offices and labs, and campus tours have resumed. Of course, reminders of the ongoing pandemic are everywhere: daily symptom checking, mandatory face masks, reduced capacity in classrooms, and continued meetings over Zoom!

Our faculty and staff are busy preparing to safely welcome students back to campus. Classroom capacities have been reduced, many large lectures have moved online, and laboratory classes are being adjusted to maintain our signature hands-on learning style while keeping every safe. Our faculty and graduate students managed to, starting from scratch, get a COVID testing lab set up and certified. The lab, which offers drive-thru testing on campus, hopes to process 500 tests per day this Fall, and will play a key role in helping us reopen safely. You can read the latest details on all our plans here: https://www.mtu.edu/flex/

Despite the pandemic, this past year was a record-setting one for faculty researchers in Sciences and Arts. New external research funding totaled $10.6 million in 2019-20, a new record and up from $6.7 the previous year, and increase of 58%!

Meanwhile our incoming CSA class is only five students below last fall and the second largest in the last five years. With the wonderful variety of interesting majors we offer and the dedicated recruiting efforts of our faculty and advisors, this is not surprising.

Critical to everything we do are our alumni and friend donors. All your donations to our departments, scholarships, and the general fund are vitally important to our success. They will play an even bigger role over the next year when we expect decreased state support and possible enrollment declines in the Fall. Thank you so much for supporting Michigan Tech!

For those interested in supporting our students, many of whom have lost income and had additional expenses due to coronavirus related shutdowns, please consider giving to the Husky Emergency Assistance Fund:

https://www.mtu.edu/giving/heaf/

We also have a separate fund set up for our graduate students, many of whom could not travel home, or lost summer work opportunities. You can find that here:

https://www.mtu.edu/givenow/?desig=3345-Emergency-Fund&code=GRAD

If you are ever back in town I hope you will stop by, say hello, and share with me your MTU story. Please do not hesitate to email me any time at djhemmer@mtu.edu to share your MTU experience or offer suggestions.


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