Eastern Michigan University president planning for reopening of campus in fall

Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. (Eastern Michigan University)

YPSILANTI – In a letter to the Eastern Michigan University community, president James Smith revealed that plans are in place to reopen campus in the fall for in person instruction and activities, safety permitting.

Smith said university officials are planning for several different scenarios since the future of COVID-19 in Michigan remains unknown.

“Our number one priority is the health, safety and well being of our students, faculty and staff,” wrote Smith. "This will be the guiding principle in every action we take. We are committed to providing students with the outstanding education they deserve, excellent service to our community, and a safe working environment for our employees.

“Many questions remain unanswered about the epidemiology and future pattern of the COVID19 virus. Therefore, our planning process will not make specific predictions about a single course of action. Instead, we will model different scenarios with varying timelines and contingencies.”

Read: Eastern Michigan University: Standardized tests now optional for fall 2020 applicants

He asked the campus community to “remain patient” as school officials aim to make the best decisions for the community moving forward.

A steering committee that was established as part of the school’s crisis response efforts will now shift to future planning. Smith will chair the group of staff and faculty from across campus with support from EMU’s chief financial officer and provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs.

Additionally, Smith said that a Public Health Work Group has been convened to “consult with relevant experts from the campus and community, and rely on applicable government guidance.”

Offering a safe student life environment whether it be housing, dining or recreation, fall instruction and managing campus events safely are top priorities in the planning process, Smith said.

Like what you’re reading? Sign up for our email newsletter here!