Our approach to the winter semester
We start 2022 with great hopes for the coming year, but also with significant uncertainty. Vaccines, boosters, face coverings and other public health measures are working to reduce serious illness and hospitalizations, but too many in our country and around the world are still unvaccinated, and many people with underlying health conditions have heightened risks. The university’s decision to begin this semester in-person was made with great care and after long deliberation among academic leaders and public health experts. And we have strong evidence from last semester that our classrooms were not sources of transmission. One of the university’s reasons for starting this semester in person–in addition to evidence that our classrooms are safe, given our strong mitigation efforts–is a recognition of how important in-person engagement is for all of us: students, faculty, and staff alike.
The Ford School is a small, tight-knit community, dedicated to the public good. Our plans for the semester will be rooted in our values: community, integrity, respect, and transparency; service to the public good; inclusion, diversity, and equity. The health and safety of our community remains a top priority, and we will continue to follow, and in many ways exceed, public health guidelines, and continue to be attentive to the differential consequences of this pandemic on our staff, students, and faculty.
We know that there will be some students who are unable to participate in person because of health reasons or travel restrictions. Faculty and advisors have worked to ensure that those students can complete their core required courses over the course of the academic year and stay on track with their academic progress. This includes offering some remote participation options for core courses (such as discussion sections) and finding remote substitutions. We will also offer a small number of fully remote electives for the fall term.
We’ve done similar work for faculty, GSIs, and staff teams—taking care of folks for whom this pandemic has had differential consequences and building on the many innovations we’ve developed over the last year and a half for delivering on our mission.
We’re 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 may be challenging due to the evolving health situation. 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.
Our goals for the academic year are:
Health and safety
The safety and wellbeing of our people in our community are paramount. 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. Most Ford School courses are going to be held in person this fall, while some will be hybrid or fully remote. Several in-person core courses will include varying degrees of safe, in-person interaction, but will also be designed so that students can participate remotely if necessary for health reasons.
The supportive, dynamic work that typically happens outside of the classroom at the Ford School will continue online and in person. 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 speaker engagements will usually include opportunities for behind-the-scenes student and faculty participation in addition to the public talks.
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.
Weill Hall will be open, with a stackable set of public health protocols designed to reduce risks of virus transmission. This includes the University’s vaccination and face covering mandate, use of self-screening, social distancing where required, hand sanitizer, and hand washing, HVAC settings, and other measures. The computer lab will be open, and printing will continue to be distributed throughout the building (Hudak computer classroom, Towsley Reading Room, at the base of the Great Staircase).
Our overall plan for the upcoming year is to make sure all of our activities—including all courses—are available and done well with robust and safe in-person experiences and interactions as the public health situation allows. Public health factors may require shifts in our plans along the way. We’ll be transparent about our decision-making, and remain focused on our community.
Weill Hall building access
- Monday - Friday
- 7:30 am - 6:00 pm: Doors unlocked, open access
- 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm: Card access only, U-M community via MCard
- After 7:30pm: Ford School community only via MCard
- Saturday-Sunday: 24/7 Ford School community only via MCard
We ask that faculty, staff and students vacate the building by 12:00 midnight to facilitate cleaning and other health and safety measures.
On-campus health and safety requirements
To enter Weill Hall, complete the daily ResponsiBLUE screening, and get your green check mark. If you do not get a green check mark, please do not enter the building.
- ResponsiBLUE for faculty, staff, and students
- ResponsiBLUE for guests (visitors, contractors, vendors, guests)
Masks are currently required in classrooms during instructional time, on campus buses, and in all patient care areas. Masking remains strongly recommended, but is not required, elsewhere on campus as an effective mitigation strategy. All faculty, staff, and students are required to be vaccinated effective August 30, 2021 and boosted effective February 4, 2022. Related policies:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or issues.