YPSILANTI -- Eastern Michigan University President James Smith today (Jan. 10, 2022) announced plans to extend the remote class schedule by an additional week, from Jan.17 through Jan. 23, with the regular class schedule to resume on Monday, Jan. 24. The University had previously announced that the first week of classes, Jan. 10 though Jan. 17, would take place remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing number of cases.
President Smith's lates update to the campus community is below:
To the Eastern Michigan University community:
I write with an update to my previous communication in which I shared that the winter semester will begin today with classes being delivered in an entirely remote format. All classes will be delivered in an entirely remote format for both this week and next week (the week of Monday, Jan. 17, 2022). The regular class schedule (which includes courses with an in-person format) will resume on Monday, Jan. 24.
Instructors should contact students with more specific information about attending class remotely during these first two weeks of the winter semester. Understanding that students typically balance several instructional settings, instructors are requested to share this information as soon as possible after planning these revisions.
There will be a small number of exceptions to allow in-person instruction next week (the week of Jan. 17), primarily within the School of Nursing and other schools in the College of Health and Human Services. Students will be notified individually of any exceptions as soon as possible and should check their email accounts for further direction.
We did not reach this decision lightly, and did so after carefully evaluating the conditions in our community, rapidly-evolving guidance from government health agencies, and feedback from the EMU Safe Steering Committee. Initial indications from our on-campus Testing Center, which reopened last Wednesday, Jan. 5, are that positivity rates for student and employee populations reflect the increasing case count that is occurring in Washtenaw County, in Michigan, and across the country.
We understand that the shift to fully remote classes for two weeks will impose a burden on both instructors and students. We believe, however, that this two-week modification is important to managing the dramatic increase in cases of COVID-19 occurring across the nation, the state, and our region. We are confident that this modification to the winter course schedule, combined with our effective EMU Safe protocols, will position us well to resume the regular course schedule on Monday, Jan. 24.
As a reminder, the EMU Safe protocols include mandatory face masks indoors, vaccine and testing requirements for most students and employees, daily health screening for all individuals who come to campus, and free COVID-19 testing at the on-campus testing center.
This two-week change impacts only the academic course schedule, and thus I want to close with an important thank you to the dedicated staff who perform critical infrastructure roles. This includes our colleagues who work in custodial services, maintenance, dining, police, and other areas.These hard-working individuals have never worked from home because of the nature of their work. They have come to work on a daily basis since March 2020 performing vital work without which this campus could not function. They deserve our continued recognition and gratitude.
James Smith, Ph.D.