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Message to Students

September 01, 2021

Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life

Good afternoon Bulldogs!

An excited and heartfelt welcome to everyone on the midpoint of our first week of the new academic year!

I hope you are starting the semester strong with 2-3 academic goals in mind and that you are getting involved on campus. There are over 45 events and activities created to welcome you and help you get to know Ferris and your peers.


Tomorrow marks a very special tradition at Ferris – Founders’ Day! We look forward to celebrating with you at the many events planned in celebration of our Founders, Woodbridge and Helen Gillespie Ferris, and their contributions to who we are and what we value at Ferris. All events are free and open to all.

#VaxUp and Cash In!

We have awarded ten $1,000 cash prizes so far!

Each day, two student names are picked at random from the list of students who have documented their fully vaccinated status in the Symptom Checker. Weekly drawings will continue for additional prizes including free housing and a meal plan ($5,000 value), three free academic credits, an Apple MacBook, a PlayStation 5, an Apple Watch, Apple Air pods, gift cards, and a Faculty/Staff parking pass.

Vaccines Available

Free COVID-19 vaccinations are available at Birkam Health Center. If you have not been vaccinated and would like to be, please contact Birkam Health Center to set up an appointment at (231) 591-2614, Option 2 or you can visit for area vaccination sites across the state.

University Health and Safety Expectations

All students at the University are expected to:

  • Wear a face covering inside all campus buildings except when actively eating or drinking and/or when inside your own residence hall room with only your room/suitemates
  • If living on-campus, complete a COVID-19 test at move-in
  • Engage in good hygiene practices, including frequent and thorough hand washing · Complete the daily symptom checker when coming to a campus location and/or when working for Ferris, regardless of work location
  • Report COVID-19 signs/symptoms in the symptom checker
  • Stay home when you are sick, and/or have tested positive for COVID-19 · Report any positive test result. Doing so will alert the University’s COVID-19 RN Case Manager who will work with you to ensure you are supported during isolation, and help you connect with your faculty so you stay on track academically. · Cooperate with contact tracing, quarantining and self-isolating
  • Students at Statewide locations must follow the mask guidance provided by their respective community college
  • Wear a face covering in healthcare settings where patients may be present

Need A Face Covering?

Free Ferris-branded masks are available at the University Center in the Center for Student Involvement (first floor/formerly known as “CLACS”) and at the Information Desk on the second floor. Statewide students can pick up a face covering at their respective regional sites. Kendall College of Art & Design students can pick up a face covering at the Student Services Office on the 7th floor.

COVID-19 Testing

Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is currently available for students at the Pharmacy Care Clinic on Wednesdays from 12 to 2 p.m. or at the Birkam Health Center Monday through Friday by appointment. Please call x2614, Option 2, if you would like to schedule an appointment. Symptomatic testing is also available at Birkam Health Center for students. This mitigation strategy, combined with wastewater surveillance on campus and in the City of Big Rapids, has been highly successful in monitoring and controlling the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in our community. Both of these testing components will continue throughout the fall.

Positive COVID-19 test results are reported on our COVID-19 dashboard daily. When a student reports symptoms of COVID-19 and/or a positive COVID-19 result, our COVID-19 RN Case Manager contacts that student to ensure that they have all the support available to them while in isolation, to test for COVID, and to understand how to reach out to their faculty.

I was just informed that I need to isolate (or quarantine), what do I do about my classes?

If you are feeling well enough, please continue to participate in your fully online courses. If you do not have access to a computer while in isolation/quarantine, please email [email protected] for assistance. If you have any in-person classes and/or you are not feeling well enough to participate in your classes remotely, please contact your faculty by email to discuss options to participate remotely from isolation/quarantine and/or arrangements to make-up your work.

Here is a sample email you may wish to use:

Dear Professor [name]

I am currently enrolled in [class]. Unfortunately, I have been directed to quarantine or isolate until at least [enter date]. Please know that I am committed to doing everything I can do in order to stay current with my coursework during this period.

With that in mind, I would deeply appreciate your help in working with me to make a plan that will allow me to participate remotely from isolation/quarantine and/or to make-up any face-to-face class time and work I will miss.

I look forward to hearing back from you soon and can be reached by either a response to this email, or by phone at [enter number].


I was just directed to isolate or quarantine, do I need to change to a fully remote schedule?

No. Please reach out to your faculty (see sample email above) to make arrangements to participate remotely and/or to make-up the in-person class time and work that you will miss while in isolation/quarantine.

After contacting your faculty, if you need additional assistance with accommodations contact your advisor, your academic program, and/or the Office of Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services at [email protected] Students may also request formal accommodations through Educational Counseling & Disabilities Services by completing this form: COVID Accommodations Request Form. KCAD students, please contact your faculty advisor, the Dean of Academic Affairs, and/or Counseling and Disability Services at [email protected]

COVID-19 Relief Funds

The University has received additional federal relief funds to provide emergency assistance grants to students heading into Fall 2021. Following federal guidelines, the University has prioritized the awarding of these grants based on financial need. However, any student enrolled at least half time (6 credits or more) in a degree program and who is not a high school student concurrently or dual enrolled, IS ELIGIBLE.

Learn more about these funds and how to apply

Live Ferris Forward!

Find your niche this semester that helps you feel at home at Ferris, connected, and a lifelong Bulldog. And if you don’t know where to start, seek me out and I will help you.

It is important that you begin participating in your classes from the start. If you receive federal financial aid, the University must verify that you are participating for you to be eligible for aid. Thus if you are not participating now or in the future your aid may be delayed, reduced, or cancelled. Please reach out to us if you have questions or concerns regarding your participation.

Please continue to check your email for additional communication from the Dean of Student Life (DOSL) in the weeks ahead as well as the daily digest of events, activities, and announcement; Bulldog News. Take good care. Get vaccinated if you are not already, wear a face covering, and let’s keep going safely #FerrisForwardTogether.


Please direct them to the appropriate contact.

  • Academics – contact your advisor or dean's office:
    • College of Arts, Sciences and Education: 231-591-3660
    • College of Business: 231-591-2420
    • College of Engineering Technology: 231-591-2890
    • College of Health Professions: 231-591-2270
    • College of Pharmacy: 231-591-2254
    • College of Optometry: 231-591-3706
    • Retention & Student Success: 231-591-2360
    • Kendall College of Art and Design: 616-259-1203
    • Statewide location email and contact info
    • If you are unable to reach your advisor, please contact your College (numbers above) or [email protected]
  • Housing & Dining – [email protected]
  • Student Bill
  • Financial Aid – [email protected]
  • Reasonable Accommodations – Educational Counseling & Disabilities Services, [email protected], or [email protected] for students at Kendall College of Art & Design.

All my best,

Joy N. Pulsifer
Dean of Student Life