Our approach to the fall semester
The Ford School is a small, tight-knit community, dedicated to the public good, and we will manage the academic year in a way that is aligned with our values: community, integrity, respect, service, inclusion, diversity, and equity.
The year to come will not and cannot look like a typical year at the school. Even so, we remain fully committed to our mission: excellent teaching, research, service, and policy engagement. Our world is in desperate need of smart, ethical, service-driven leaders, and that makes our work at the Ford School as essential as ever before.
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Fall 2020 Weill Hall building hours
Our building hours will be limited in Fall 2020, to allow for cleaning and other health and safety measures.
- Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 10 pm
- Saturday closed
- Sunday - 12-6 pm key card access for faculty & staff; students by special request only
The building will be available via MCard Access only (open to members of the Ford School community and students enrolled in classes at Weill Hall).
Ford School faculty and staff: Full details about how to access the building are available on our Intranet.
Visitors and guests: We are unable to accommodate visitors and guests on campus, so that we can provide the safest learning experience for our students, faculty, and staff.
Our goals for the '20-'21 academic year
Updated August 2020
1. Health and safety
The safety and wellbeing of our people are paramount. No one will be asked to take risks they don’t feel are appropriate for their particular circumstances; we know that the pandemic has differential effects on members of our community. Each of us will be asked to do our best to ensure the health and safety of others.
The Ford School will deliver a first-rate policy education to our undergraduate and graduate students, in a safe, high-quality, flexible manner that is attuned to issues of equity. A team of faculty experts is working hard to inform our teaching plans for the fall, including online, in-person, and hybrid formats, with significant input from students and staff.
We'll offer a combination of approaches to Ford School teaching in the Fall, depending on the type and size of each course, and pedagogical choices. Many courses will provide safe in-person opportunities for small-group discussions, team projects, presentations, etc.
Every course at the Ford School, even those that can involve some safe in-person interactions, will be designed to ensure full access for all students, which means all courses will also be offered in a remote fashion. All students and faculty will be given the technical equipment, access, and support needed for excellence in teaching and learning.
The supportive, dynamic work that typically happens outside of the classroom at the Ford School will continue in an online format, and where safe and practicable, in person at Weill Hall as well. Our supportive environment includes our best-in-class Writing Center, for example, along with academic advising, Graduate Career Services, peer advising, internships, our leadership initiative, alumni engagement, and more.
We have a terrific lineup of speakers for our Policy Talks @ the Ford School series, as well; the talks will be delivered online for maximum access, but each speaker engagement will include opportunities for behind-the-scenes student and faculty participation in addition to the public talks.
We’re working on new ways to bring the whole school together online in creative ways to build and strengthen our community, and in-person in smaller groups. Our vibrant student organizations will be engaged and leading in a wide range of activities as well, including work on voting rights and other forms of activism, as well as opportunities for socializing online and in small groups. All of this will require social distancing and appropriate public health protocols.
4. Research and engagement
Our research and policy engagement work will also continue apace, including opportunities for students to conduct research, develop mentoring connections with faculty and policy leaders, engage in vital work in our communities, and more. Even this spring, our students and faculty leapt into action to serve our communities, through such initiatives as the COVID-19 Corps, and the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project. We anticipate even more active research projects and engagement this fall.
5. Our building
Weill Hall will be open, with a stackable set of public health protocols designed to reduce risks of virus transmission. This includes use of self-screening, face coverings, social distancing, hand sanitizer, and hand washing, as well as one-way stairwell usage, density controls in the building and in each room, HVAC settings, and other measures. The computer lab will be open under social distancing protocols, and we will be sure to set up procedures for printing and other essential services.