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President Davies addresses students and faculty during virtual Academic Senate meeting

Central Michigan University President Bob Davies speaks to city commissioners about CMU issues during the Nov. 25 Mount Pleasant City Commission meeting at City Hall.

Provost Mary Schutten and President Bob Davies addressed the Academic Senate on March 24 about the challenges and changes that the school has faced in the past few weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

It was Central Michigan University's first senate meeting since the state of Michigan has been issued a stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

President Davies acknowledged the difficult transition period that both students and faculty are going through during the epidemic, as well as some of the changes the university has made to stay open. 

“Our focus is very simple – keep Central Michigan University open and operational," he said. 

Davies presented a list of goals to maintain the university and deal with both long term and short term problems.

  • Slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus
  • Protect the CMU community healthy and safe both physically and mentally
  • Support the academic goals of CMU students
  • Support professors transition into online courses 
  • Make decisions based on facts, maintain leadership standards and values, and communicate as effectively as possible.

Davies addressed several changes including moving online classes to continue through the end of the semester, but also warns that it’s possible online classes will continue through all of the summer semester and even into the fall semester.

“I would encourage all of the faculty to be ready to go online for summer,” said Davies, “We may be in this same situation of all-online this fall.” 

Other changes made include

  • Postponing commencement  
  • Putting all revisioning plans on hiatus
  • Suspending all non-essential administration searches
  • Most offices and staff are now working remotely 
  • Allowing students to withdraw from classes or choose a credit/no credit option until May 20, one week after final grades are due on May 13.
  • Transitioning Student Opinion Surveys to an online format which will be sent out to students near the end of the semester

There are about 250 students still living on campus in residence halls which will remain open for the rest of the semester. Both those students living on campus as well as off campus have access to CMU’s food pantry which will be moving into the Real Food On Campus cafeteria in the Towers dorm building for the foreseeable future. 

Students living in the residential halls without full ride scholarships will receive an amount of compensation, the amount of which is still being decided, regardless of which day they move out of the residential hall.