‘U’ creates committees to determine future of fall semester

Friday, May 1, 2020 - 7:32pm

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In an email sent to faculty, staff and students on Friday afternoon, Susan Collins, the University of Michigan’s interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, shared the University’s current plan for the fall semester. Echoing University President Mark Schlissel’s sentiments sent earlier this week, Collins said the University remains optimistic for an in-person fall term.

“We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to deliver a fall term with as much in-person instruction as possible,” Collins wrote. “We will be working differently in the months to come but our commitment to excellence has not changed. As we plan for the fall, we are guided by two principles: the safety and health of our community, and our long-standing commitments to academic excellence, equity and inclusion.”

According to the email, the University will implement a coordinating committee and six topic-focused committees to work on specific guidelines and principles for the fall term. These committees will offer recommendations for decisions to be made on a broader level. 

The six committees will be based on different areas of academic concern, including instructional planning; large and foundational courses; performance, studio and lab courses; space and collections that support the academic mission; curricular support, extra and co-curricular activities and engaged learning; and graduate and professional students.

Collins said the committees will be composed of faculty and staff who can weigh in on relevant University policies and resources. The issues discussed in these committees will be used for future guidelines in the upcoming fall semester. 

“Their work, along with the vital work being done by faculty and staff in the schools and colleges, will be critical to our decisions about how we will offer a Michigan education to all our students in the fall term,” Collins wrote.

Collins noted the committees will be meeting over the next few weeks and she said she hopes to see progress. She said the University community will be updated as new information unfolds.

“I look forward to the ways we can work together - creatively, flexibly and responsibly - to bring the excitement of a Michigan education to all our students,” Collins wrote.

Daily Staff Reporter Delaney Dahlstrom can be reached at delaneyn@umich.edu.