COVID-19 Information

Latest Developments


Week 2 - Stay at Home, Stay Safe - Tuesday 3:33 pm, March 31, 2020

NMU Faculty and Staff,

There is not a lot so far in Week 2 of Michigan’s “stay home, stay safe” executive order that drastically changes our work environment from Week 1 of the order, but below are a couple of items being worked on.

President Trump extended the federal social distancing guidelines to April 30 during his press conference on Sunday (March 29). Michigan’s executive order potential end date is April 13, but I think it is realistic to plan for that to be moved back as well given the projected timeline state medical officials have given for Michigan to get through the peak of the spread. For now, let’s hope we can return to our traditional work environment before May, but create plans that enable us to work remotely into the start of May, possibly longer. We will need everyone to remain flexible as this timeline might change several times.

An extended remote work environment for campus affects several things that are now being worked on, including the following:

  • Determining that it is wise at this point to announce that there will be no on-campus, in-person instruction for classes or labs for the first summer session. While a good portion of Northern’s summer course offerings are taught in a distance learning format, there are still a number that were scheduled to be taught face-to-face. We have not cancelled in-person courses for session II, but expect students and faculty to be ready to go in a distance learning format if the situation calls for that.
  • We are in discussion about what is our best option for first-year and transfer student orientations should we not be able to hold the sessions scheduled for campus in May, June and early July. No decision has yet been made, but we’re trying to determine when a decision must be made.
  • We have said that students can take until the end of the semester (May 3) to return to campus to collect their belongings from their residence halls and on-campus apartments. We are going to build a plan to extend that date as it looks likely we might need it in the face of what is happening statewide and nationally.
  • Now that we’ve had a week with most employees out of campus facilities and primarily only “critical to infrastructure operations” staff on site, we are continually assessing our staffing needs to see what, if any, modifications could or should be made. We encourage employees to continue to work with their supervisors to ensure everyone remains safe while continuing to support the operations critical to our mission.

On Monday (March 30), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two supplemental bills that will provide more funding to combat the COVID-19 crisis, including funding for additional medical supplies. That’s good news. The not so good news is Northern’s career-tech and engineering facility renovation project (Jacobetti Complex) was among the $80 million reprioritized to support this COVID-19 mitigation. This is a setback, but a necessary one in the face of the crisis. To everyone who worked so hard to get the project’s funding to the Governor’s desk for signing, thank you for your efforts. They are not wasted. When the crisis has passed, work on this project will resume.

Yesterday an email was sent to you about the new Wildcat 2020 Student Relief Fund, which was created to help provide immediate and impactful support to our students under financial distress related to the COVID-19 situation. There have been several heartbreaking pleas from our students who have lost their jobs and must still pay their rent and utility bills; some from students who have lost their jobs and are parents; a student who is hundreds of miles from home whose car needs a repair in order to make that trip; and others. If you have the means, please consider contributing to the fund.

Finally, while I have not been made aware of anyone in the NMU campus community who is dealing with family members, loved ones or friends who are desperately ill at this time or who have passed away, based on the numbers coming out of Detroit and around the country, I have to assume that someone in our community is in this situation.  If you are, our collective thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. 

Let’s keep the communication lines open so we, as a community, can help each other in whatever ways are possible.

Stay safe, 

Fritz Erickson
MU President 


Executive Order Reminder - Wednesday 11:21 am, March 25, 2020

NMU Students, Faculty and Staff,

The Michigan Attorney General has asked all law enforcement agencies to assist in reminding people that they must comply with the Governor’s “Stay in Place, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO), that was announced Monday (March 24).

The EO requires individuals to remain at their home as much as possible and only to go out for essential work and activities.  No private or public gatherings outside of the family home are permitted. Citizens are allowed to go outside but must practice social distancing of six feet or more between individuals, and not gather in groups.  No crowds of any size are permitted outside the family home.

Failure to comply with the Governor’s “Stay in Place, Stay Safe” executive order could result in a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each violation.

Students, please note that yesterday there were several instances of law enforcement officers giving warnings to those gathering at Little Presque Isle, Presque Isle Park, and other outdoor destinations.  We do not want you to incur a $500 fine.

Also, it should be noted that the Governor’s executive order offers an exemption for university students who still wish to travel home.

Local Law Enforcement agencies are assisting with the Executive Order, for those on campus, please contact the NMU Police Department at 906-227-2151.

Thank you for your cooperation.  Please don’t hesitate to call with any questions you may have.

Michael J. Bath
Chief of Police
 


Student Communication  - Tuesday 5:00 pm, March 24, 2020

NMU Students,

Governor Whitmer’s announcement of an executive “Stay at home, stay safe” order yesterday is adding another layer of complexity to the COVID-19 situation, but it is an important action to try to slow down the spread of this highly infectious novel coronavirus. Thus, Northern will do what we have to do on campus to modify operations so that we are complying with the order. Many other states are also under “stay at home” orders.

Of course, changes bring questions. I know students have quite a few of them. I’m going to try answer some of the most popular ones that have come into the NMUPres@nmu.edu account. Please use the Frequently Asked Questions section of the COVID-19 website in the days ahead as that is where we will post new information. 

I did delay sending this communication to students until today (Tuesday, March 24) so that I could include some new information that has become available. The NMU Board of Trustees was able to meet today and approved an $820 credit, plus carryover of any remaining Dining Dollars to next semester, to students who check out of their residence hall rooms before 5 p.m. Friday, April 3. Students can also forego the credit and opt to remain on campus through the remainder of the semester, which ends May 2. We hope by providing multiple options for residence hall students, we are meeting the needs of on-campus students. More details are listed below. 

Throughout the rest of the semester, keep communicating with your faculty and your on-campus employment supervisors. NMU faculty and staff are committed and determined to help you successfully complete this crazy, historic, unprecedented semester. While I know it’s not the learning experience you signed up for last November, this coronavirus outbreak is certainly a learning experience as you navigate daily changes, participate as global citizen in a worldwide event, stretch your creativity and innovation in resolving issues and problems, and establish your personal priorities. 

I have confidence that you and Northern will come through this pandemic stronger and wiser. Please continue to practice social distancing and proper hygiene practices. Stay safe and well. Here are the top questions of today.

Fritz Erickson
MU President

 

COVID-19 in the UP?
On Tuesday afternoon (March 24), the Marquette County Public Health Department announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Marquette County, an individual who had traveled domestically and has since been self-isolated. There is also a presumptive case of an individual tested in Chippewa County on the eastern end of the U.P.  As we’ve been saying for the past week, we had to assume it had reached our area and we have been advising that we all act as if we have the virus, doing everything we can to protect those around from getting it. 

What does a “stay at home, stay safe” order mean?
A “stay at home” or “shelter in place” order is a temporary requirement to “suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.” More simply put, citizens are to remain in their place of residence to the maximum extent possible unless they need to leave for essential activities and work. 

This means many people will work at home, many businesses will close, and in-person gatherings and meetings are suspended. There are exceptions to business closures, such as grocery stores, banks, gas stations, health care offices, and such – places that sustain and protect life. 

The “stay at home” order does not include going outside for outdoor activities as long as individuals are practicing social distancing and keeping six feet apart. But the intent of the order is for people to limit their travel from their place of residence for the next three weeks (through April 13). The full executive order: Executive Order 2020-21

Is the University closing?
Northern remains open, although most of our non-residence hall facilities will be closed for the next three weeks. NMU faculty and staff will be mostly working from home.  Students can email or call NMU offices or units for assistance and services during normal business hours and the NMU Police Department 24 hours per day. You can find departmental email and phone numbers on departmental websites or the NMU online phone directory.

OPEN:

  • All residence halls and apartment buildings
  • Northern Lights Dining (carry out)
  • Wildcat Den (carry out)
  • Temaki and Tea (drive-thru only)
  • NMU Health Center
  • NMU Police Department
  • Service Building-Central Services (mail, warehouse)
  • Hedgcock - Open by Appointment: Dean of Students, Housing and Residence Life. 

All other buildings are closed. However, card swipe access to closed facilities will be granted to students whose jobs require them to gain entrance to a specific facility. Requests must come through supervisors.  This includes students working in NMU’s animal, plant and other research laboratories.

Consult the COVID-19 website (nmu.edu/covid) for changes to building closures hours of operation.

Will the residence halls and apartments be closing at some point? Are meals still being served?
The residence halls and apartments are open and dining services are being provided. It is Northern’s intent to keep the halls, apartments and dining services operational until the end of the semester. We know that for many of you, your NMU residence is your only home.  The dining and food facilities that remain open with carry-out and/or drive-thru options including Northern Lights and CatTrax, Wildcat Den and Temaki and Tea. Closed are Starbucks, Fieras, Sundries and Melted.

Should I/can I go home?
Can you still travel to go home? Yes, the Governor’s executive order grants an exemption for individuals who need to travel to return to their home. If you decide to travel, please take every precaution possible.  Practice social distancing when you make stops, watch what you touch, wash your hands repeatedly and use hand sanitizer when you can’t.  Should you go home? You have to make the decision that is best for you and your family. You have housing and dining options if you want to stay or need to stay.

What should I do if I want to leave, but I can’t move my stuff right now?
If you choose to leave but can’t take your belongings with you at this time, that’s fine. Just turn in your key at the front desk. Your things will be cared for until you can return to pick them up at a later point. 

Can my family come into the halls/apartments to help me move?
External doors to NMU’s residence halls and apartment buildings are locked to prevent non-residents to help keep the facilities as safe as possible for the residents.  Visitors and guests are restricted to those assisting with the move-out of heavy and bulky items only. Please be sure any family member entering the hall/apartment, be is someone who is not coughing or sneezing, has a fever, or feels ill in any way.

I left. When should I return for my stuff?
If you have already returned home, please stay there until restrictions have been lifted. Your belongings are fine. They will be waiting for you when the COVID-19 situation has improved and it is safe for you to travel. Hang onto your key – no need to mail it back – and bring it with you when you return to pick up your belongings.

Am I going to get a refund?
The NMU Board of Trustees met Tuesday, March 24, and approved an $820 credit, plus a carryover of any remaining Dining Dollars to next semester, to students who check out of their residence hall rooms before 5 p.m. Friday, April 3. Students can also forego the credit and opt to remain on campus through the remainder of the semester, which ends May 2. Students who qualify for the credit will be able to choose whether to apply that credit toward Fall 2020 on-campus room and board costs or to their student account, less any outstanding balances. We will make every attempt to honor a student’s preferred choice, but in some cases, federal financial aid regulations may require us to offer an alternative plan. Also, students who have received institutional financial aid may have an offset to their credit based on the aid they have received. A communication will be sent Thursday, March 26, to all students with a residence hall contract, containing links to an online form and instructions for indicating their plans related to leaving campus or staying in place.

I’m getting really depressed. Can someone help me?
Yes, there are people to help. We know these constant changes are very stressful for students. While Counseling and Consultation Services cannot meet with students in-person during this time, phone consultation services are still be offered. Students can call CCS at 227-2980 during normal business hours (M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.). CCS has also put an extensive list of coping techniques on its website to help students address the extra stress. 

With the university closing buildings, can I still work my student job?
Unfortunately, the Governor’s executive order will affect some on-campus student employees, but not all. You need to speak directly with your supervisor about your employment. Continuation of on-campus employment right now really depends on where you work. If positions open up due to students leaving campus, we are asking NMU supervisors to post their student work needs on the Career Service Handshake (nmu.edu/careerservices).  

I’ve lost my off-campus job. Are there any resources to help me?
We know many of our students are in this tough position. For immediate food and hygiene items, Northern is allowing the NMU Food Pantry on the first floor of Gries Hall (behind the Beaumier Center) to remain open during its normal hours of 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. All of the items are free of charge. The state has relaxed some of its eligibility requirements for unemployment and underemployment benefits, so we encourage students who lost off-campus jobs to consider filing to see if they are eligible. The Healthy Michigan Plan offers health insurance options for Michigan residents; check eligibility here.

Is the Friday shopping shuttle still operating? 
Yes. The shuttle will continue to operate. Bus trips will be limited 10 or fewer riders at a time so that proper social distancing can be done.  But the buses will make as many trips as necessary to accommodate shoppers. The shuttle pickup location is in Lot 9, between Hunt and Meyland Halls, off Wright Street. The first bus will leave at 3 p.m. See the complete schedule with drop-off points at the shuttle website.

Is the bookstore closing? What do we do about book rentals?
The Barnes and Noble-NMU bookstore will be closed March 24 through April 12. It will be offering limited online order processing during that time. For students with book rentals who are not returning to campus at any point before the end of the semester, the store has created a Rental Return page on its website where students can print out a UPS label to ship the books back, free of charge. Books must be shipped by the due date (currently May 2) and the label must be printed on or before the due date.

Is there any help for those of us struggling with the distance learning format?
Yes, the All-Campus Tutoring Center has designated some student tutors as available to help their peers transition to the distance learning format. To request help, email act@nmu.edu.  A tutor will get back to you and set up a ZOOM meeting, if needed. Also, there are a number of classes that already have tutors assigned to the specific EduCat course pages. Go to the ACT home page to see for which courses. Your faculty or ACAC adviser may also have resources and advice on how adjust to the distance learning format. The NMU Global Campus shares this handout and this video that our online-only students use to help them with the remote learning format.

Is academic advising and fall course registration canceled?
No, academic advising continues, although some faculty may have paused the last two weeks during the conversion process to distance learning. If you have not met with your faculty or ACAC adviser yet, please email them to set up time to connect via phone or Zoom. Registration for summer (no assigned times) and fall courses (assigned registration start times) is underway.  

I still need to print for my class. Where can I do that?
Keep in mind that the state is under a “stay in place” executive order that allows only essential travel, so please limit your trips to campus for printing only to what is absolutely necessary. Printers have been relocated to the Services Building room 132 and will be available from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To find room 132, enter the Services Building at the entrance nearest to the NMU Police Department, go through the internal double doors and turn to the left. Room 132 is on the right.

Where do I go if my computer needs repair? How do I return library books? Give to the NMU Food Pantry?
The NMU Police Department and the Services Building are serving as a drop off for several areas on campus during this period when buildings are closed.  Between the hours if 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can drop off a computer for Micro Repair, an NMU Olson Library item for return or donations to NMU Food Pantry.  The Services Building is located on Sugarloaf Avenue (between Wright Street and Hawley Street).
 


Campus Update - Monday 12:47 pm, March 23, 2020

NMU Students, Faculty and Staff,

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced today an executive “Stay at home, stay safe” order, effective at 12:01 Tuesday (March 24) through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 13. 

The governor makes clear the executive order is “necessary to direct residents to remain at home or in their place of residence to the maximum extent feasible.”  The full executive order is available at Executive Order 2020-21.

What does this mean for Northern?  First, take a deep breath and stay calm. As a university, we can do this.

NMU employees who can work remotely should work with their supervisors as they prepare to begin working from home tomorrow (Tuesday, March 24). Employees whose position does not allow them to work remotely will be hearing directly from their supervisors about potential redeployment. Division leaders will be working with direct reports and supervisors to confirm departmental staffing plans.

Residence halls and apartments, as well as Dining Services, remain open to the students. Housing staff will be sharing more detailed information about any changes the “stay at home” order brings about.  Those students who decide to depart immediately due to the executive order, should turn in their room key at the front desk. The executive order will affect some student employees, but not others, so students are advised to speak directly with their supervisors about their intent to stay or leave.

As of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday (March 24), Northern facilities will be closed with the following exceptions: 

  • Health Center and Services Building-Central Services (mail, warehouse), both with limited hours that will be posted;
  • Ripley Heating Plant and NMU Police Department, both 24 hours per day;
  • NMU animal, plant and other research laboratories will begin operating under the same procedures used during university breaks;
  • Hedgcock will have access by appointment with office numbers posted on websites and facility entrances; 
  • all other NMU offices will be available via phone and email during regular business hours. 

Supervisors will be providing card swipe access authorization to the NMU Police Department for special access situations, as needed. Deans will manage these requests for faculty who need access to specific on-campus classrooms to teach their distance learning courses.

There are a million other questions and details to cover, and we’ll get to those starting later today and tomorrow. Students will receive a detailed email that addresses student-only issues later this afternoon. Employees will get information by division, department and employee group, as it becomes available. For now, communicate with your direct supervisor on mission-critical items. Supervisors won’t have answers to every question yet; we’ll be getting them the information as quickly as we can.

I know this level of mitigation can be overwhelming to consider. I am confident that the NMU community can handle these changes with the same level of determination and care we’ve exhibited to get through the past few weeks.  Everyone’s health and wellness remain the No. 1 concern.

More information coming soon…

Fritz Erickson
NMU President 
 


Campus Update - Wednesday 7:00 pm, March 18, 2020

NMU Students, Faculty and Staff,

We continue to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Upper Peninsula.  However, in light of the projected COVID-19 timelines Northern Michigan University has been provided by local, state and federal health agencies, the University has moved up its decision date from March 30 to take the following actions: 

ONLINE CLASSES: Northern will continue remote instruction from now through the end of the semester, including final exam week.  Summer course registration is underway; already scheduled summer online classes will be held as scheduled.  A decision about the format of summer courses and labs scheduled for campus will be made in April.

ON CAMPUS HOUSING: NMU residence halls and apartments remain open and students are welcome to remain on campus. The University has every intention to keep NMU housing options open throughout the semester.

  • Students who choose to leave their NMU residence hall or apartment and don’t plan on returning during the remainder of the semester must leave their key with their residence hall front desk. 

  • Students currently not here can choose to delay returning to campus for the purpose of vacating their rooms.  May 3 is the semester checkout deadline. 

  • The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, keeping our primary focus on matters that keep the campus operational and safe. Other residence hall and dining service issues, including adjustments, will be considered at a later date.

MAY COMMENCEMENT: The commencement ceremony scheduled for May 2 has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a future date that will be announced when details are finalized. 

STUDY LOUNGE: NMU’s 24-hour study lounge is being moved from Harden Hall to Jamrich Hall and hours will be 7:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, effective immediately (March 18). Saturday and Sunday hours will be noon to 10 p.m.  Jamrich Hall provides more room for social distancing.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT: The University remains open with normal business hours. This means on-campus student employees who remain at NMU or in Marquette can continue to work at their jobs. Students should discuss their employment possibilities during this COVID-19 period with their supervisor. Career Services (nmu.edu/careerservices) is coordinating redeployment student employment needs.   

CALL FIRST: The University is asking students and parents who need to contact NMU faculty and staff call or email first before visiting campus offices to see if the questions and issues can be resolved without 
face-to-face interaction.

Our hope is that moving our re-evaluation point about decisions regarding the remainder of the semester from March 30 to now gives students and their families more information upon which to make decisions that are in their best interest. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we continue to operate during this unprecedented historic situation.

Fritz Erickson
NMU President
 


Campus Update - Tuesday 5:00 pm, March 17, 2020

NMU Students, Faculty and Staff:

Thank you to all for your collective patience and cooperation as Northern Michigan University navigates the COVID-19 situation. Overall, everyone is transitioning reasonably well considering the complexities we’ve had to work through. Your help, whatever it has been to help NMU in our forward progress, is greatly appreciated. 

Today (Tuesday, March 17), we are making an additional change. In light of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order yesterday (March 16) and the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, Northern Michigan University has decided to suspend all in-person, on-campus gatherings of 10 or more persons, including lab classes, meetings, and events. This is effective immediately. 

Faculty are asked to communicate directly with their students about the changes this directive has on any classes they are teaching on campus. 

As a university, we are very fortunate to have the level of technology and technology skills that we do. Let’s use our technology to its fullest capability now as a way to help decrease the potential spread of COVID-19. As of the writing of this message, there is still no confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus or in the Upper Peninsula, but it is in our best interest to have transitioned to a point where we feel we can continue to keep the campus as safe as possible in preparation for possible deteriorating conditions. 

Fritz Erickson
NMU President
 


Campus Update - Monday 4:30 pm, March 16, 2020

  • Olson Library and the Archives spaces are closed until further notice. The Library and Archives will continue to provide virtual and online services.
  • The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center is closed until further notice.
     

Campus Update - Monday 1:00 pm, March 16, 2020

NMU’s Online class transition began today. Offices continue to be open and functioning. Housing and food services is operational with modifications. Campus leadership made the following decisions today.

  • Northern Lights Dining and Wildcat Den are open and serving carry out only. Temaki & Tea is call in (227-6633) and drive through only.
  • The campus sports complex, the PEIF Recreation areas and Fit Zone closed until future notice. Bike, ski and snowshoe checkout continues from the Fit Zone area.
  • Campus recruitment visits have been postponed.
  • Events that bring people from the outside campus should be canceled.
  • All university sponsored travel off campus, no matter the mode, is canceled until further notice. Exceptions will be made by division leaders.
  • NMU is making all efforts to remain open through the end of the academic semester through remote access. Essential services will be maintained on campus.
  • Course withdrawal and drop for students has been extended to April 3.
     

Many Lab Classes Go Online – Friday, 5:00 pm, March 13, 2020

NMU Students,

Thank for your patience during this fast-changing COVID-19 situation.  I have an update that I wanted to share with you as it may impact some of your decision-making.

Due to the dedication of the Northern faculty, the vast majority of our lab classes have now been converted to a distance learning format. This is an amazing accomplishment that two days ago I was reluctant to say was possible.  There are still a few specialty areas that need to be taught face-to-face, but they are very few. 

Faculty members have been asked to email their students in the next day or two with the following information:

  • Lab classes: What format will the lab class will be starting Monday – distance/online or in person
  • Lecture and lab classes:  Will the class be synchronous (at the same time as) the on-campus version or asynchronous (available anytime)

Again, our faculty have been fantastic in meeting the challenge the COVID-19 coronavirus has forced upon us. I know there may be some minor technology glitches early next week and I ask you to be patient as we work through those as quickly as we can. I know some of you are not thrilled with the distance learning option, but it is the best way for Northern to have students complete courses while giving students multiple options regarding your health and welfare.  That is our goal.  Collectively, we are accomplishing it.

Northern is creating a Frequently Asked Questions section for NMU’s coronavirus website, which should be posted shortly.  If you have additional questions, you will probably find the answers there. If not, feel free to send them to NMUPres@nmu.edu.  I will keep you informed as other decisions are made or the situation changes.

Fritz Erickson
NMU President
 


Addressing K-12 and related childcare closures – Friday, 2:45 pm, March 13, 2020

NMU Faculty and Staff,

Last night’s (March 12) announcement by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to close all K-12 schools throughout the state has obviously challenged many working parents across Michigan, and certainly here on campus, regarding care for their children. This action by the state impacts all of us at Northern as we pull together to ensure that members of our NMU community have their immediate needs met. Thus, the plan below.

We understand that the K-12 and related childcare closures may impact a number of our employees who do not have viable longer-term daycare options. Employees in this situation should work with their department heads to determine whether alternative work arrangements can be managed (e.g. modifying work hours, telecommuting, etc.).  Creativity to keep employees working in some capacity is encouraged.

If there are no options for alternative work arrangements, employees will not be required to use annual leave time to cover the K-12 closure through April 5. However, employees will be required to use any remaining personal leave days and dependent care leave days. The definition of dependent care leave is being expanded to include caring for dependents impacted by the K-12 closure for this unique situation. Once these banks are depleted, any remaining time will be paid as regular paid time through April 5.

Please note that due to health and safety reasons, our standard practice remains not to allow children to attend work with their parents.

We have also received a number of questions regarding telecommuting options for other employees on campus. We are currently developing plans that will ensure that our technologies will support a large number of employees working remotely. However, at this time, the university remains open, and it is important we maintain the on -campus operations needed to meet the on-going needs of the NMU community. We understand we are dealing with a fluid situation and may need to make a different decision in the future. We have a general plan for the university to do that. We are now starting to meet with department heads to more specifically address the possibility of how work can be managed remotely as it relates to each unit, as well as how we will support the essential on-campus services that will still be required.  I appreciate your input to your department heads as we continue to work through these scenarios.

Being creative and caring in how we meet the needs of our employees – today for the K-12 working parents – while still keeping the university open and operational meets Governor Whitmer’s request that Michigan colleges and universities do everything they can to keep their faculty and staff employed during this challenging period. That is one of our top priorities.

If we all pull together, flex our innovative thinking, and stay focused on keeping everyone healthy and safe, we can do this. I thank you for taking on whatever role you have to as an NMU employee to help the University as a whole successfully navigate the COVID-19 coronavirus situation.

I know there are questions. Please watch our coronavirus website for a Frequently Asked Questions section, which we hope to have posted later today or by Monday, as well as updates from me and others.

And, please, I can’t stress this enough – PLEASE stay home when you are sick. 

Fritz Erickson
NMU President
 


COVID-19 Update – Friday, 9:20 am, March 13, 2020

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Northern Michigan University is suspending most non-university access to the NMU Sports Complex until March 30. The NMU Sports Complex includes the Superior Dome, Physical Education and Instructional Facility (PEIF) and Berry Events Center.

Effective immediately (Friday, March 13):

  • Only NMU students, faculty and staff with proper identification and PEIF members will be allowed to use the facilities during this period.
  • No day pass memberships will be sold.
  • Entrance to the complex will be only select doors that will be monitored with ID check in.
  • This action will be reevaluated on March 30 for possible extension or return to regularly scheduled hours and activities on April 3.
  • Walking program at the Superior Dome for community members is suspended.

According to NMU President Fritz Erickson, this decision supports Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s guidelines for Michigan’s 15 public universities to reduce large group gatherings where possible and to increase frequency of cleaning high traffic public areas as a measure to stop of the coronavirus. The restricted access also enables Northern’s custodial staff to clean the complex to the levels recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the pandemic.

“Many universities have completely closed their recreation facilities because they are such challenging areas to keep clean, but after considerable discussion on the matter, we concluded we could safely keep the buildings available to our primary users if we decreased nearly all non-university activities. We may have to completely close the Complex at a point in the future, but for now it’s open for university use.”

Fritz Erickson
NMU President
 


COVID-19 Update – Thursday, 1:52 pm, March 12, 2020

Dear Students --

We have received a few questions about the status of on-campus student jobs while we are changing most of our face-to-face courses to distance learning.

All university offices and facilities will remain open so you will be able to work if you would like. Some student workers may be moved to other work areas if necessary to cover for other students who have left campus. If you decide to leave campus for any period of time, your job will be waiting for you upon your return. Be sure to notify your supervisor of your plans.

Chris Greer
Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students
 


COVID-19 Update – Wednesday, 6:30 pm, March 11, 2020

NMU Students, Faculty and Staff:

After consultation with state and university officials, the following decisions have been made with the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff in mind during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • All classes, labs, events and campus-wide meetings are canceled Thursday, March 12 and Friday March 13. Campus will remain open.
  • Face-to-face classes will resume in an online/distance delivery format beginning Monday, March 16 and continue through April 3. A decision concerning the rest of the semester and final exams will be made by March 30. Faculty will provide information before the first class meeting next week to let students know how course delivery will be handled.
  • Lab classes will continue meeting in-person with exceptions determined by the academic department and the respective dean.
  • Residence halls, student food services and recreation areas will remain open with some functional changes that will be determined in the next few days. The goal is to meet the needs of students while taking necessary precautions.
  • All large events in March and April of 150 or more attendees will be canceled or adjusted. Other campus events are subject to cancelation.
  • Wildcat Weekend, NMU’s major spring student recruiting event scheduled for Saturday, March 14 has been canceled.
  • In short, the university remains open with most classes being held online. The myriad of follow-up questions will be addressed as soon as possible. University leaders across campus will be asked to make decisions and adjust as needed as we serve our students as best we can, with special attention for our graduating seniors meeting their graduation requirements.

Fritz Erickson
NMU President
 


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