Coronavirus Campus Information and Updates

Updated May 20, 2020 (4:30 PM)

All face-to-face classes, lectures, labs and classroom activities have been suspended and are being replaced with remote learning delivery methods. All Summer 2020 courses will be delivered remotely. The University is preparing for in-person classes this fall.

Resources have been developed to keep the learning experience as consistent as possible, while also keeping students and faculty safe: ferris.edu/Academic-Continuity.

University Re-entry Planning

Message from the FSU Re-entry Committee (June 1, 2020)

Message from the FSU Re-entry Committee (May 20, 2020)

Led by Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanine Ward-Roof, our Re-entry Committee has representatives from every division and is working collaboratively to develop plans for a prudent and sustainable public re-engagement based on several key outcomes relative to the preparations and implementations necessary, including:

  • Create a comprehensive plan that guides when and how to safely re-open and/or deliver in-person campus operations and activities.
  • Ensure the plan is inclusive and supportive of the high-quality teaching and engagement opportunities while operating in a safe manner consistent with federal and state mandates and/or guidelines.
  • Promote the use of the plan across all the University to ensure consistent application of actionable items as appropriate within various divisions and units.

Preliminary planning is underway for a safe and gradual public re-engagement of University operations. Information on each phase of our plan is listed below. These plans are fluid and will continue to be influenced by local, state and federal guidance. Please check this site often as plans will continue to be updated.

 
  • Target Dates: May 20 – July 12

    Limited, essential services on campus.
  • Target Dates: July 13 – Aug. 23

    Gradual return of additional staff and faculty as directed by divisions/departments.

  • Target Dates: Aug. 24 – Dec. 21

    Full return to in-person campus operations.

  • Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the three-phase strategic re-engagement of University operations. These FAQs will be available soon as more information becomes available. If you have a specific question, please e-mail the FSU Re-entry Committee at [email protected].

Communications and Frequently Asked Questions

 
  • Coping With the Anxiety of COVID-19

    As we look for ways to cope with the anxiety surrounding COVID-19, it is important to know how to do so in a way that helps us keep perspective as this situation continues to develop. Here are some resources you may find helpful:

    Students may contact the Personal Counseling Center via e-mail at [email protected] or telephone (231) 591-5968. Additionally, Listening Ear is a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Hotline (989-772-2918) that provides immediate support, information and referrals for our students.

    All members of the University community may use TAO, a secure, private online library of interactive and engaging programs to help overcome anxiety, depression and other common mental health concerns. The University also partners with Encompass, an Employee Assistance Program, to provide private and confidential counseling services for all faculty and staff. Offices are in Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, and throughout the state. This service is provided at no expense to employees.

    If you are dealing with anxiety or fear issues, or know of someone who is, these resources are available for assistance.

    What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

    COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

    Since then, cases have been identified in multiple other countries including the US.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:

    • It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
    • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.

    What are the symptoms?

    Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Difficulty breathing

    Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it's unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.

    If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days you should:

    • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency department, call first and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Ferris students may call Birkam Health Center at (231) 591-2614.
    • Others should first call their health care provider or call the District Health Department #10 at (231) 592-0130.
    • Avoid contact with others.
    • Do not travel while sick. Please do not use public transportation or arrive unannounced at the Birkam Health Center. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

    What is the treatment?

    Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. (source: CDC)

    Is there a vaccine?

    Not at this time, although research that could lead to a vaccine is moving ahead quickly.

    Where are the cases of COVID-19?

    On March 10, state officials announced the first two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan. New cases continue to be identified in the United States, including Michigan. The CDC continues to indicate that the number of cases reported in the United States will increase, as testing capability is increased. Ferris is monitoring this information closely.

    CDC site for cases in the US: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.

    Michigan information from state health officials can be found at: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/.

    What is Social Distancing?

    Social distancing means:

    • Avoid public places where close contact with others might occur – this includes shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, workplaces, schools and classrooms.
    • Avoid public transportation (e.g., bus, subway, taxi, ride share).
    • Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.

    How do I prevent the Coronavirus?

    There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    Should I wear a face mask to protect myself?

    The CDC does not recommend that people without symptoms wear a mask. You may be asked to wear a mask when visiting a health care facility and some individuals may choose to wear a mask.

    How do I self-isolate and self-monitor?

    To self-isolate, you should:

    • Stay home. Do not go to work, school or public areas.
    • Separate yourself from other people in your home. Avoid visitors to your home.
    • Self-monitor for fever by checking temperature at least twice a day. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.
    • If you have symptoms, where a facemask when you are around other people.
    • When seeking medical care, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms before heading to the doctor's office or the emergency room.
    • Do not use public transport like buses or taxis.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and immediately throw the tissue in the trash and clean hands with sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.

    The CDC offers the following additional guidance on how to self-isolate: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

  • Message from the Provost's Office (April 22, 2020) - 2:00 PM: Second Announcement on Summer Course Delivery

    Archive - Coronavirus Campus Updates for Students, and Faculty/Staff

    In accordance with Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order announced on March 23, all Ferris State University facilities are currently closed to the public. All classes will be delivered remotely. University staff are primarily working remotely to continue operations.

    Faculty and staff should direct questions to their supervisors.

    This is a rapidly developing situation, and we will update employees as we have more information to share. If you have additional questions, you may contact Human Resources at [email protected].

    Tips for Working Remotely During COVID-19

    What resources are available to help me or others cope with COVID-19 anxiety?

    As we look for ways to cope with the anxiety surrounding COVID-19, it is important to know how to do so in a way that helps us keep perspective as this situation continues to develop. Here are some resources you may find helpful:

    All members of the University community may use TAO, a secure, private online library of interactive and engaging programs to help overcome anxiety, depression and other common mental health concerns. If you are dealing with anxiety or fear issues, or know of someone who is, these resources are available for assistance. The University also partners with Encompass, an Employee Assistance Program, to provide private and confidential counseling services for all faculty and staff. Offices are in Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, and throughout the state. This service is provided at no expense to employees.

    Ferris has decided to provide classroom instruction remotely, do I need to come to work?

    In accordance with Governor Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order announced on March 23, 2020, faculty are permitted to be on campus to facilitate distance learning activities. Language permitting this is included in materials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The materials state the following is allowable relative to the Governor's order:

    “Educators supporting public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing other essential functions, if operating under rules for social distancing.”

    In addition, a very limited number of people will need to attend to core areas of support like security, heat, information technology and telecommunications. If you are needed to come to work, your supervisor will contact you. Other employees will be on call and contacted if their services are needed on campus. The remainder of employees should stay at home and develop the capability to work effectively from there. Significant tools are available to help everyone stay connected. Office phones can be transferred to numbers off campus. Employees can communicate via e-mail, telephone, teleconference and video conferencing. If you need assistance using these tools, please contact your supervisor, IT Services at (231) 591-4822 or visit their list of COVID-19 Information Technology Planning FAQs.

    Should I self-isolate or self-monitor?

    The university is requiring anyone returning from areas with a CDC Travel Warnings (level 2 and 3) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html to report via the employee portal their locations and dates of travel and to self-isolate for 14 days from your last day in that area. You must self-monitor for the development of any symptoms and call your healthcare provider or use available virtual health monitoring tools right away if you develop symptoms. The self-isolation recommendation currently does not apply in general to travelers who only transit through an airport in one of these countries.

    Those returning from domestic travel in areas highly affected by COVID-19 must also report their travel via the employee portal and they are encouraged to self-monitor for the development of any symptoms and call their healthcare provider right away if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.

    How do I self-isolate?

    To self-isolate, you need to:

    • Stay home. Do not go to work, school or public areas.
    • Separate yourself from other people in your home. Avoid visitors to your home.
    • Self-monitor for fever by checking temperature at least twice a day. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.
    • If you have symptoms, wear a facemask when you are around other people.
    • When seeking medical care, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms before heading to the doctor’s office or the emergency room.
    • Do not use public transport like buses or taxis.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and immediately throw the tissue in the trash and clean hands with sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.

    The CDC offers the following additional guidance on how to self-isolate: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html.

    I am returning from domestic travel in an area highly affected by COVID-19, should I self-isolate or self-monitor?

    Those returning from domestic travel in areas highly affected by COVID-19 are encouraged to self-monitor for the development of any symptoms and contact your healthcare provider by phone if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms. 

    I am an employee who is self-isolating, who should I contact to make arrangements to miss work?

    Employees with questions about working arrangements during self-isolation must contact their supervisor and Human Resources via email at [email protected]. You will be provided additional information.

    I am practicing self-isolation, am I excused from work obligations?

    Yes. During this immediate period, we will suspend all sick leave reporting. If you need to self-isolate or stay home because you are sick, you need to do so without worrying if you will be paid. Please contact Human Resources at [email protected] if you have any questions.

    I have a personal medical situation that I believe may place me at a higher risk, what should I do?

    We advise that you contact your personal medical provider for guidance. If you are advised to not report to work, please contact Human Resources at [email protected] and follow your normal reporting processes for your work location for absences. Human Resources will contact you with further information.

    If I feel that I have symptoms outlined by the CDC, what should I do?

    Use the virtual visit options for a medical evaluation.

    Do not report to work.

    Follow your work location’s call-in procedures and email the confidential Human Resources email [email protected]. Human Resources will contact you with further information.

    Keep HR informed of your status.

    If my child’s school or day care closures extend beyond the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, may I bring my child to work?

    No, you may not bring your child to work. The goal of the school or day care closures is to increase social distancing.

    If my child’s school or day care closures extend beyond the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, can I stay home from work?

    If you have a child who is home because of the school closure and need to stay home, you may also do so without using vacation or sick leave. You and your supervisor are encouraged to find ways that enable you to work from home if that is possible.

    I have family and friends in affected areas, and I'm concerned about their well being. Who can I speak with about these feelings?

    Reports of the impact of COVID-19 around the world can be troubling, especially for members of the community who are from or have friends and family in affected areas.

    Resources and support are available at the Personal Counseling Center. Please call (231) 591-5968 to request an appointment with a licensed mental health provider.

    I have experienced or witnessed derogatory actions toward someone related to this outbreak. What should I do?

    The University opposes any actions that harass, discriminate, or otherwise create a hostile environment for students, faculty, and staff. Any member of the University community can make a report about an alleged bias related incident or hate crime by contacting the FSU Department of Public Safety or the FSU Office of Student Conduct. Or, if you are an employee and you believe that you have been the victim of a bias-incident, including discrimination, please report the incident to Human Resources at (231) 591-2150 or the Office of Equal Opportunity at (231) 591-2152.

  • Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life (May 18, 2020) - 3:30 PM Distribution of CARES Act Funding for Students

    Archive - Coronavirus Campus Updates for Students, and Faculty/Staff

    What resources are available to help me or others cope with COVID-19 anxiety?

    As we look for ways to cope with the anxiety surrounding COVID-19, it is important to know how to do so in a way that helps us keep perspective as this situation continues to develop. Here are some resources you may find helpful:

    Students may contact the Personal Counseling Center via e-mail at [email protected] or telephone (231) 591-5968. Additionally, Listening Ear is a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Hotline (989-772-2918) that provides immediate support, information and referrals for our students.

    All members of the University community may use TAO, a secure, private online library of interactive and engaging programs to help overcome anxiety, depression and other common mental health concerns. If you are dealing with anxiety or fear issues, or know of someone who is, these resources are available for assistance.

    Will the deadline to withdrawal from classes be extended?

    Yes, the deadline to withdraw from classes and receive a "W" grade has been extended to May 1. If you are considering a course withdrawal and want to discuss the implications and process of withdrawing from a course, please contact [email protected] and we will assist you.

    How do I contact my Dean's office?

    College of Arts and Sciences: 231-591-3660
    College of Business: 231-591-2420
    College of Education & Human Services: 231-591-3648
    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 contact info is located at https://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/statewide/locations.htm

    How do I return FLITE Library Materials or Rented Textbooks?

    For students who have FLITE materials checked out, you can retain texts past the return date without penalty. You will receive a communication about this soon, if you have not already.

    If you need to return rented textbooks to the Ferris State Bookstore, you can create a prepaid return shipping label at https://ferris.bncollege.com/shop/ferris/page/rental-book-return. You can print it as often as you like, but you can only use it once. If you are returning multiple rented textbooks, please put them in one box and use one shipping label.

    Will there be refunds for room and board?

    Housing and Dining are working on the details of a room and board refund for students who are not on-campus. This information will be made available as soon as all the details are worked out.

    I do not have internet access...is there a list of Wifi hotspots around the state?

    The eLearning Department is maintaining a list of wifi hot spots around the state that may make it easier for you to stay connected and access your remote courses. Please visit the following site for the latest list of hotspots:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KTXCl5TNrL_7BfMzx8RJmSDdsw3K8yDyMaXIQrH2-zw/edit#gid=0

    In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has an agreement which states that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot spots for increased accessibility to the internet. Visit https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-363033A1.pdf for more information.

    Is the FSU Student Food Pantry open?

    Yes, the FSU Student Food Pantry is open and ready to help you! Food pickup is available via scheduled appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 4-5 p.m. or by appointment. Stay updated by following the FSU Food Pantry on Facebook.

    Other open food pantries in Big Rapids include Angels of Action (200 S. Stewart/231-629-8140) and Project Starburst (120 S. State St./231-796-5342).

    Is the University closed?

    In accordance with Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order announced on March 23, all Ferris State University facilities are currently closed to the public. All classes will be delivered remotely. University staff are primarily working remotely to continue operations.

    This is a rapidly developing situation, and we will update you as we have more information to share. Please direct questions to Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life, at [email protected].

    Other Facility and Services Information:


    I am a student employee. Should I come back to campus for work?

    No. However, if you are an active student employee with a current assignment, you will be paid for what you would normally earn through March 27. Your supervisor should be reaching out to you to discuss potential remote work options.

    As the University looks for opportunities for student employees to continue working remotely, the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services in partnership with the Office of Student Employment are coordinating efforts to help match remote work opportunities with student employees who are available to work remotely. Please contact CLACS at [email protected] or Angela Roman at 231-591-2674.

    Are the certification tests (like CompTIA A+) and SATs still being administered as scheduled?

    As of this time, we have made the decision to suspend all testing in the Testing Center. Please continue to stay updated by checking our website.

    Does this include Traverse City or other satellite locations?

    Yes, the suspension of in-person classes includes Ferris State classes at all locations. All Ferris classes will be delivered remotely through at least June 1, 2020. If you are a student at a statewide location and have questions, please contact the Director of Student Services Jocelyn Goheen at (616) 643-5741 or [email protected].

    I am registered for an event or travel to take place with my RSO. Is this still going to take place?

    Following the expectations of the Governor and the guidance from the CDC at this time around social distancing, the CLACS office is marking your event as cancelled in Bulldog Connect.

    What You Will Need To Do:

    • Please work with your venues, vendors, entertainers, and members to cancel, postpone, or move your event to a virtual platform.
    • Communicate with your members virtually. Email, Bulldog Connect, Microsoft Teams.
    • Submit cancellation notices to any other event calendars you may have posted on; University Wide calendar, Social Media, internal calendars.

    What CLACS Will Do:

    • Mark your event as cancelled in Bulldog Connect.
    • Help you address contracting questions.
    • Direct you to campus contacts as needed.
    • Help answer your questions.

    CLACS staff are here and ready to assist you through this process. Please call (231) 591-2685 or e-mail [email protected].

    I have family and friends in affected areas, and I'm concerned about their well being. Who can I speak with about these feelings?

    Reports of the impact of COVID-19 around the world can be troubling, especially for members of the community who are from or have friends and family in affected areas.

    Resources and support are available at the Personal Counseling Center. Please call (231) 591-5968 to request an appointment with a licensed mental health provider.

    I have experienced or witnessed derogatory actions toward someone related to this outbreak. What should I do?

    The University opposes any actions that harass, discriminate, or otherwise create a hostile environment for students, faculty, and staff. Any member of the University community can make a report about an alleged bias related incident or hate crime by contacting the FSU Department of Public Safety or the FSU Office of Student Conduct. Or, if you are an employee and you believe that you have been the victim of a bias-incident, including discrimination, please report the incident to Human Resources at (231) 591-2150 or the Office of Equal Opportunity at (231) 591-2152.

  • COVID-19 Update to Campus (May 12, 2020) - 1:00 PM: University prepares for in-person classes this fall.

    To share as much information as possible about emerging information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our campus community, an update will be issued, as needed.

    Archive - Coronavirus Campus Updates for Students, and Faculty/Staff