UM announces plans for return to campus for fall semester

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Crain’s Detroit Business

The University of Michigan will launch its fall semester Aug. 31 with a blend of in-person and remote classes, an adjusted academic calendar, and an emphasis on the use of face coverings, social distancing and other public health measures.

UM said its decisions are being guided by public health experts and guidance from the UM community.

In the meantime, all staff and faculty who can work from home will continue to do so as the university continues to gradually and carefully resume various on-campus activities, it said in a Monday morning news release.

“We now have the opportunity to begin a new journey together, equipped with the very best guidance and ideas from our leading scholars, innovative students, and expert staff,” President Mark Schlissel said in the release.

Among the changes for the fall semester:

  • An adjusted academic calendar, with on-campus classes ending at Thanksgiving to minimize student travel home and back to campus. Winter semester will start later in January. Both the fall and winter breaks will be eliminated.
  • A combination of in-person, remote, and hybrid classes. In general, small classes will continue to meet in person, but larger lecture classes will be delivered remotely. Class formats will be determined by individual schools, colleges, and academic units.
  • Although not all courses will be available in every format, most students will be able to choose whether to return to Ann Arbor for a hybrid learning experience or study from home in a fully remote mode.
  • Residence halls and dining facilities will be open and Michigan Housing will reserve some units to serve as quarantine housing as needed. Density in dining halls will be reduced and more boxed meals will be offered.
  • The university will purchase more hand sanitizer, masks, and other forms of personal protective equipment to keep the university community safe.
  • UM will emphasize the critical importance of all students, faculty, and staff getting a seasonal flu shot, staying home when sick, and closely monitoring any symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses.

This article was published in Crain’s Detroit Business.

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