Michigan Engineering News

A group of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program members hang out on the Eda U. Gerstacker Grove on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 27, 2020.

Reigniting the on-campus experience

Dean Gallimore shares a message with the community along with resources and tips for the semester ahead.

Team Michigan Engineering,

Can you feel it? A sense of anticipation as we look to the next few weeks ahead. The start of every semester feels this way, as the quiet summer environment turns into a bustling community. But this time it’s amplified with an excitement for seeing old friends or forging new relationships, and having fresh—and safe—experiences in the labs, classrooms, workplaces and community spaces on campus. 

This video captures many of the voices of our community, and what we’re all looking forward to:

As we come together again to live and learn through this pandemic, anticipation may also bring a sense of trepidation for some about what the semester may hold. There are many potential challenges, such as understanding and remembering all the new protocols, and keeping an eye out for when conditions might change. Or evaluating the risk of various scenarios, and making personal decisions about how to engage in a way that is responsible for our collective health and well-being. Even navigating difficult conversations about actions we can take to ensure equity and comfort for all.

We take none of this lightly. And yet we know that, together, we are better. As individuals and as a community, we must come together to achieve our mission of excellence in education, research and outreach in order to serve the common good. We must live our values of collegiality, transparency, trustworthiness, innovation and, of course, equity. Let’s show our true engineering grit and remain adaptable, resilient and proactive in tackling challenges head on.

There is a lot to remember as we come back to campus, and our leadership team is going to be sending you additional messages this week with a rundown of things most pertinent to you right now. As we have seen throughout this pandemic, conditions can change unexpectedly. But what  you can expect is that, if things change, we will send you clear updates, find ways to stay connected, and continue to thrive. I encourage you to read the materials sent from the University and College to know what is happening and what your responsibilities are as a member of this community. 

I also encourage you to show compassion, flexibility, and respect for everyone in Michigan Engineering. Whether they are your classmate or coworker, professor or student, every single individual is worthy of your time and patience. Please be kind to each other, but also don’t forget what it’s like to be a part of an on-campus experience—and have a little fun. 

Looking forward to seeing you all,

Dean Gallimore, Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering


Updated: 8/18


Effective August 11, a face covering is required for anyone in a campus building or on campus transit, regardless of vaccination status. The change applies across the entire University, including buildings on all three campuses and other University-occupied properties. Read the policy.


U-M requires COVID-19 vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff, including those working or learning remotely. These steps must be completed by August 30:

  • If you have received all doses of a COVID-19 vaccine series but have not yet reported your information, please do so here
  • If you have received a first dose of the vaccine, report that here. You will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a mask indoors on campus until you have completed all doses and are considered fully vaccinated (two weeks post final dose).
  • If you would like to request a medical or religious exemption, the process for doing so can be found here. You will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing and continue to mask while on campus.


Is still required for everyone. All members of our campus community who enter campus buildings and facilities are required to use ResponsiBLUE daily to check themselves for COVID-19 symptoms by answering a brief set of questions. The tool offers advice on where to seek care if you are not well and provides visibility and insights into the state of public health at U-M.


Social distancing

Physical distancing and density reduction practices are no longer required, however those who are not fully vaccinated are “recommended to continue to distance 6 ft from each other”. See the EHS COVID-19 Guidelines for Campus Buildings for specifics.

Building access

eginning August 23:

  • CoE buildings: Unlocked from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with access until midnight to all valid U-M MCards. From midnight to 7 a.m. and 24 hrs per day on Saturdays and Sundays, access is restricted to CoE faculty, staff and students. 
  • NCRC: Public access, staffed by guards, is available at the lobbies of Bldgs 28 and 32. All other doors will be locked and require card access. NCRC building access information can be found here
  • CAEN labs: Open and accessible aligned with the CoE building schedule.
  • Duderstadt Building: Open 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, Noon – 6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sundays. Please check the Duderstadt website for changes.

Pierpont Commons: Open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays, and closed Sundays. Please check the Pierpont website for changes.

Parking passes

Parking options for faculty and staff have been adjusted to reflect more telecommuting work. Some recommendations:

  • For those parking on-campus 3 or more days per week: A monthly permit (AVI) may be the most cost effective, with Orange, Yellow, and Blue available. These can be purchased at the parking services office or online. As an estimate for the annual Blue permit, employee cost would equal $15.32/week for 50 weeks.
  • For those parking on-campus 2 or fewer days per week:Pre-paid daily parking options are now available with no maximum usage limit. For those wanting to park in a Blue lot parking ($5.50 per day):
    • A “Light Blue” AVI is available for gated lots and structures. Users can add parks onto their account through an online portal once they have their permit.
    • Scratch off permits are available for non-gated lots. These are purchased in packs of 10 ($55.00) and have to be purchased through the parking office directly.

Other transportation options: Campus supports a number of alternative transportation options. The campus Blue busses are operating at near regular capacity. In addition The Ride (AAATA) is no cost with a valid M-Card and will be returning to their full schedule on August 29, 2021. Both of these options require riders to wear a mask.

Metrics and mitigation strategies

The University continues to utilize Campus Response Metrics and Mitigation Strategies to determine COVID-19 policies. You can track COVID cases and vaccination rates at U-M through the U-M COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing will continue to be conducted at the University, in close connection with local public health officials. Contact tracers identify, monitor and support the close contacts who have been exposed to, and possibly infected with, the virus.

Mental health resources

Now more than ever, it is critical to care for your emotional and mental well-being. 

For students: Resources are available through the Michigan Engineering C.A.R.E. Center, Dean of Students Office or Counseling and Psychological Services

Financial resources for students

Students who are registered for Fall 2021 may apply for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund emergency grants through the Office of Financial Aid

The Maize and Blue Cupboard will resume mobile food distribution on North Campus in the Fall semester, offered every other Wednesday beginning Wednesday, September 29, between 2-4 p.m. at the NW 10 parking lot along Hubbard. Recipients must sign up for a time slot in advance.

Using remote/hybrid tools

Faculty are encouraged to use remote instruction techniques in situations that improve the quality of the pedagogy and enhance the experience for the student. For example:

  • Remote platforms for office hours and outside of class time meetings
  • Recording in-person lectures and making them available to students, while making attendance expectations and policies clear in the syllabus
  • Using remote platforms to reutilize scheduled class time for more engaging in-person activities, for example by assigning high-quality, pre-recorded lectures from previous terms as homework. Naturally, the balance of “home” vs. “class” work needs to also shift in line with COE policies  for the assignment of credit hours.
  • Offering online exams and/or quizzes using online assessment tools such as PraireLearn, MiQuizMaker, or refer to the College report on alternatives

If you would like more targeted help for your specific course, here are some choices:

  • Attend the 2021 Canvas virtual summit on August 19, Noon-5pm with multiple sessions on using Canvas, Speegrader, Piazza and more. Register here.
  • Attend CRLT-Engin workshop Back to Class:  Enduring Lessons from Remote Teaching on August 23 from 10:30-Noon.
  • Join a “Teaching in the Age of COVID” Community of Practice to exchange ideas, resources, and best practices associated with applying lessons learned about remote teaching to our new context. 
  • Schedule a One-on-One Consultation with CRLT-Engin for in-depth planning and discussions on teaching strategies for specific types of courses 
  • Schedule an Individualized Nexus Instructional Consultation for both production and instructional design support, online quality standards, alternate assessment strategies, and pedagogical approaches to support the planning and delivery of your course
  • Request the use of a Nexus facility for recording course content with the help of experienced media assistance. Nexus supports a variety of remote lecture tools linked to Canvas, including Panopto, Kaltura, Zoom, and Camtasia. 

Media Contact

Zach Robertson

Marketing Communications Strategist

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