University of Michigan president ‘cautiously optimistic’ for fall reopening

Dr. Mark Schlissel. (Credit: George Cushingberry)
Dr. Mark Schlissel. (Credit: George Cushingberry)

ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan’s president Mark Schlissel said he is “cautiously optimistic” that in-person instruction will resume at all three campuses in the fall.

In a letter addressed to members of the U-M community, Schlissel wrote on Tuesday that planning efforts for the fall semester have already begun.

“I remain cautiously optimistic that we will be able to deliver a public health-informed fall semester on our three campuses, with as much in-person instruction as possible,” wrote Schlissel. “Until we have more information, we won’t know how this will look.”

The Office of the Provost has launched a series of committees to focus on academic planning for Ann Arbor’s campus, including classes.

With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order extended through May 15, Schlissel said it is too early to tell when changes will start taking place. With thousands of employees working from home, Schlissel said those who work for U-M will come back gradually, starting with those whose job is something that cannot be done from home like experimental laboratory and studio-based research.

“Nearly all work at the university will be very different in the months to come,” wrote Schlissel. “Reopening of our campuses will happen gradually as health and safety conditions allow. None of the data and guidance we’ve seen so far suggest that we’ll be able to fully resume activities overnight when the Stay Home, Stay Safe order expires.”

To read his full letter, click here.

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