Category: Academic Experience

COVID-19 Campus Guidelines Remain in Place

by MTU Flex Task Force

This past Friday, Governor Whitmer moved Region 8 (the Upper Peninsula) back to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan and the Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling that effectively invalidated the governor’s COVID-19-related executive orders after April 30. Since then, the MTU Flex Task Force has received questions as to how these developments (in addition to the emergency order issued yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services) might affect the status of COVD-19 protocols on campus. In short, these changes will not alter the Health and Safety Level on campus or impact educational operations.


Michigan Tech to Shift to Health and Safety Level Four

by Rick Koubek, President

Thanks to the collective work of our employees and students, detected cases of COVID-19 in our student population continue to decline. But, as we work to satisfy our mission as an educational institution, we remain mindful of our commitment to the community. 

The Copper Country has seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Given the seriousness of the situation, Michigan Tech will transition to Health and Safety Level Four for a period of two weeks (through October 11) effective Monday, September 28. This transition is a targeted effort to mitigate further spread among our community at large by temporarily reducing the density of people on campus.


Thank you and Welcome

by Rick Koubek, President

Dear Members of the Michigan Tech Community, Welcome back! 

Throughout the summer, the faculty and staff at Michigan Tech have worked hard to implement many of the known measures that slow the spread of COVID-19. Because of your efforts, we are able to welcome students to campus next week. Some of these include: 


MTU Flex Employee Guidebook Available

by University Marketing and Communications

As the Michigan Tech Community adapts to changing work environments and expectations as a result of COVID-19, we face new challenges each new day. But as we have shown thus far through creativity and perseverance, it is possible to create a healthy and safe environment for our campus community.

As we welcome new students and welcome back those returning to campus, take a moment to review the MTU Flex Employee Guidebook. The guidebook provides important health and safety information along with updated campus operations and protocols.

However, it is important to remember to continue to visit the MTU Flex website often. Here you’ll find the latest information related to COVID-19, the current campus Health and Safety Level, and other campus news. The Flex website is continually updated and should be considered your most reliable source for up-to-date information.

While much about this pandemic is beyond our control, one thing we can count on is each other. Thanks for doing your part to help keep our campus community safe.


New Fall Academic Course: COVID-19 Impact & Response (UN 3990)

by Steven Elmer and Kelly Kamm, Health Research Institute

A new Fall course — UN 3990 “COVID-19 Impact & Response” is being offered through the Health Research Institute on campus.

Given the effects of the global pandemic, we encourage all undergraduate and graduate students to consider the course:

  • Course: UN 3990-2 COVID-19 Impact & Response
  • Credits: One credit
  • CRN: 85111
  • Semester: Fall 2020
  • Time: Taught remotely and online
  • Format: Seminar-based
  • Pre-reqs: Open to all students
  • Description: This course will provide a variety of perspectives on what is currently known about COVID-19 and its impact on health and society

Each week through a Town Hall style format faculty, public health officials, clinicians and other experts in our community will discuss topics including: the role of public health to protect community health, etiology of disease, virus spread globally and locally, mechanisms to interrupt and halt transmission, health disparities, impact of disease on physical and mental health, strategies for adapting to lifestyle change, and economic considerations.

This course will also highlight the current response efforts in the Western Upper Peninsula, including Michigan Tech’s involvement through the COVID-19 testing laboratory.

The course goal is to increase awareness about COVID-19 and encourage everyone to do their part to help during the pandemic. For information contact Kelly Kamm or Steve Elmer.


Return to Campus: Faculty/Student Flex

by University Marketing and Communications

Editor’s Note: Today we conclude our series on operations as the University has entered Step Three in our Return to Campus Plan. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Huntoon discusses the dynamics between faculty and students as we approach the fall semester start.

What process should a student follow to request to study remotely during the fall semester? 

Students who can make these requests fall into two categories: 1) Students who have preexisting medical conditions that put them at higher risk if they get COVID-19; and 2) Students who are facing unforeseen or extenuating circumstances and believe studying remotely is necessary. Students who fall into the first category should work with Student Disability Services to obtain permission to study remotely for fall semester. Students in the second category have been instructed to make their request through the COVID-19 Special Consideration Request Form. These requests are being reviewed by a committee that includes Michigan Tech faculty and staff members. Faculty teaching courses that include these remote-study students will be notified through the regular accommodation notification process. 


Face Shields for Instructional Use

by Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

To help ensure the safety of our classroom environments, Michigan Tech is producing a face shield specifically designed for instructors to use while teaching face-to-face in a classroom. The shield permits visibility of the instructor’s full face, both for in-person students and those who may be joining via video conference, and is sufficiently comfortable to be worn for more than an hour. 

David Holden and John Schneiderhan from the Van Pelt and Opie Library and many others have worked tirelessly over the summer months to develop the “teaching shield.” Their work began with a successful open-source model for medical personnel — the same model the University modified to produce a face shield for frontline COVID-19 responders. 


Generosity in Michigan Tech Student Community

by University Marketing and Communications

In a student-led effort, some Michigan Tech students have elected to donate the money they received from the CARES Act to the Husky Emergency Assistance Fund to help fellow students in need.

In order to help alleviate the financial impact COVID-19 has had on students, Michigan Tech has distributed $1.5 million from its CARES Act relief funds via a $350 grant to all eligible students.