SUBJECT: Update: Important Return to Campus Faculty Information

Dear Faculty Colleagues;

I hope the start of your semester has been going well. As many of you have seen, the campus has come alive with students returning to in-person classes. I have heard from many of you that your students are excited and happy to be back on campus. Thank you for being so welcoming and doing everything that you can to ensure our students are successfully working to complete their academic journey. I know you all will continue to provide the most engaging and academically rigorous learning environment!

As Chancellor Grasso shared on Friday, our campus has gone to great lengths to ensure that faculty, staff, and students are returning to campus in the safest manner possible. Our safety efforts have included a COVID-19 vaccination mandate with screening stations at all classroom buildings to ensure anyone who enters is in compliance with our policies. On top of that we continue to require the wearing of face coverings in all campus buildings. As always, campus leadership continues to follow the advice of our leading national and U-M health experts.

I encourage you to bookmark and review the Return to Campus for Faculty webpage which has a number of policies and information related to classroom teaching, research support, student resources, and more. My office will keep the webpage updated.

Finally, I want to highlight a few items that have been raised during the first week of classes that I believe are important to share with you.

Building Access for Faculty

Through at least September, all classroom buildings are locked with one entry point in order to ensure individuals wishing to enter are properly screened. Faculty wishing to access their office outside of scheduled building hours or on the weekends can do so by following the Campus Access process.

Do Not Provide Students with an Online Option for In-Person Courses

In an effort to support our students, some of our faculty colleagues are letting them take their in-person courses via zoom and/or online. While this is very generous, we need to limit this practice to no more than a two-week period. Students are now asking if they can take the in-person class online: we are using the schedule to determine whether students are complying with our vaccine mandate. Therefore, if the student is enrolled in in-person courses they are not exempted in the system even if they are not coming to campus for that class. In-person and hybrid courses cannot be converted to online courses for a few students on an ad-hoc basis.

Mask Mandate

As you know, the university face covering policy requires that face coverings be worn inside all campus buildings regardless of vaccination status. If you see students not wearing their mask in class, kindly remind them of this policy. It is important that we help our students remain compliant to ensure the safety of our classrooms and campus.

Students Adding and Changing Courses

We have students adding and changing courses during the first two weeks. This is typical at this point of the semester but you may see a bit more shifting of courses as a result of our return to campus policies. As always, please make room for new students who add your course during this period.

September 17th Vaccine Compliance Deadline for Students

The number of students who are taking at least one in-person course and are vaccinated and in compliance with the mandate, continues to rise exponentially each day. As of today we are at 84% with more vaccine verifications still being processed in the ResponsiBlue pipeline. On Friday, a whole host of faculty, staff, Associate Deans, and Directors joined forces for a call campaign led by the Dean of Students Amy Finley and targeted to those remaining students who are not yet in compliance. In addition, advisors continue to work with students to move to online courses and attestations if they cannot meet the September 17th deadline. Every effort is underway to keep students enrolled provided they are moving toward vaccination but the September 17th deadline is a firm one. Any student who is not in compliance by the end of business on Friday will be processed for an Academic Drop by the Registrar’s office and eligible for a tuition refund. This process will require some additional work from the Registrar and Financial Aid offices so faculty may not see the withdrawal on their rosters until the week of September 27th. I would appreciate it if you could message your students (on CANVAS or in person) to make sure that they are in compliance with the vaccination mandate. Please check your rosters closely as it is bound to change in the next few weeks once students are adding or are being administratively dropped.

It has been great to see some of you and our students back on our beautiful campus. We have taken a huge step forward as a community and I’m confident we will continue to provide students with an excellent education as we progress through the pandemic.

Thank you again for all you do! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Gabriella Scarlatta
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Office of the Provost

1080 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5030