COVID-19 Update to Campus

April 24, 2020 (11:30 AM)

Today Governor Whitmer announced she is extending the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order until May 15. I know you are interested in plans to re-open campus when the stay is lifted. Initially I believe we will continue to work remotely and our buildings will remain closed. The length of time for this will depend on the spread of COVID-19 in the community where you work. During this period, if you need to come to campus to pick up and drop off materials, you may work with your supervisor to do so. While on campus practice social distancing if others are nearby, consider wearing a mask while you are doing so and take with you anything you might discard while you are in the office. Your health and safety are important, and I would also ask that you be considerate of others. Please, if you are feeling sick, have a cough or a fever, stay home, and do not come to campus.

For the last six weeks the COVID-19 Emergency Task Force, led by Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanine Ward-Roof, has been convening daily via conference call to address the many challenges faced by the University during this unprecedented time. I would like to thank Jeanine and the members of this task force – Jim Bachmeier, Lindsay Barber, Lincoln Gibbs, Mike Grandy, Gary Green, Gheretta Harris, Fredericka Hayes, Joy Pulsifer, Tara McCrackin, Michelle Rasmussen and Steve Reifert – for their collaboration and expertise in guiding us through this challenging time.

In addition, a larger group of faculty and staff from across the University were a part of evening briefings to ensure transparency and inclusion. This group consisted of Katie Axford, Jim Bachmeier, Charles Bacon, Lindsay Barber, Paul Blake, Bruce Borkovich, Sandy Britton, Steve Dorey, David Durkee, Mark Eichenberg, Sandy Gholston, Lincoln Gibbs, John Globoker, Mike Grandy, Gary Green, Amy Greene, Stephen Halko, Gheretta Harris, Fredericka Hayes, Mike Hughes, Leonard Johnson, Bhavani Koneru, Tara McCrackin, Jim McIntyre, Mike McKay, Laurie Millen, Jeremy Mishler, Lisa Ortiz, Shelly Pearcy, Ken Plas, Miles Postema, Joy Pulsifer, Michelle Rasmussen, Sara Rasmussen, Steve Reifert, Jeanine Ward-Roof, and Scott Rossen. Thank you for participating in these daily discussions.

We are currently developing plans to gradually re-open campus when it is safe to do so. Your health and safety are our highest priority and will continue to guide decisions as we navigate through the weeks ahead. Thank you for everything you are doing to stay safe, help our students succeed and move our University forward.

HLC Assurance Argument

In November 2019 the University’s Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee shared the initial draft of the University’s Assurance Argument. This is the comprehensive document that explains how we meet the five criteria for accreditation, assumed practices and federal compliance requirements.

With your review and feedback, the team has refined this document which now includes links to more than 800 evidence files demonstrating how we meet and exceed the requirements for reaffirmation of accreditation. You can view this revised Assurance Argument online in SharePoint. I encourage you to review this document and share your feedback to [email protected].

Thank you to the HLC Leadership Team, the Steering Committee and the many faculty and staff who have been engaged in the reaffirmation of accreditation process. If you have specific questions, I encourage you to reach out to a member of the HLC Leadership Team – Jeff Ek, Jennifer Hegenauer, Tara McCrackin or Mandy Seiferlein.

Virtual EIO Open House

On Wednesday Extended and International Operations hosted a virtual open house for prospective students on Zoom. This event drew a considerable amount of media coverage with stories on multiple news outlets, including WOOD-TV, 9 and 10 News and Lansing’s Fox 47. This helped attract nearly 170 students to the event who were able to learn about Ferris, our degrees and online/statewide locations, and Kendall College of Art and Design. Depending on their interests, students were put into breakout rooms to learn about financial aid and student life, and had one-on-one time with admissions staff. Many of these students were planning to visit campus and were pleased to have this virtual opportunity to connect and ask questions.

This was truly a collaborative event between EIO and Admissions. Thank you to EIO Dean Steve Reifert and the following for providing this virtual opportunity – Jennifer Amlotte, Catherine Belkowski, Kimberly Brandimore, Shari Chamberlain, Andrew Churchill, Debbra Curtiss, Amy Vos Dillinger, Sheryl Edstrom, Justin Faris, Kymberli Flanagan, Mallory Ford, Jocelyn Goheen, Omar Gonzalez, Amy Greene, Shana Hansma, Eric Hazen, Jennifer Hegenauer, Janelle Hemingway, Lori Jenema, Dionne Klemish, Ashlee Mishler, Kasey Ninke, Kara Peltier, Amanda Rummel, Dawn Schavey, Michelle Selimi, Jeffery Stewart, Lindsay Young and Hannah Weiters.

Just two weeks remain in this semester, one that has been like no other at Ferris State University. Thank you for your willingness to embrace change, to adapt, to make a difference and to help our students throughout. Please stay safe and healthy.

David L. Eisler, president