“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dear students, colleagues and friends,
The Thanksgiving holiday, and this season of the year, have long been a special time to pause to
give thanks for the people and moments in our lives that make them truly special. This year, as we
continue to navigate this global pandemic, this practice of gratitude is more than simply a display
of holiday spirit — it can be a way to practice good self-care.
Over the past few decades, there have been a number of studies in the positive psychology field
related to the practice of thankfulness and expressions of gratitude. As it turns out, there
are many benefits to the act of giving thanks that can impact everything from the quality of
your sleep to your overall physical health.
Yet, as we continue to face new challenges daily due to this pandemic, it may be hard at times to
identify reasons to feel grateful. When the stress of shifting how we teach, learn and work combines
with concerns for friends and loved ones, it is often hard to find moments to celebrate.
Around this time each year, I challenge my family to identify and recognize the people and things
that inspire their gratitude. This year, I ask you, too, to find your reason to feel
Over the long holiday weekend, spend a few moments in thoughtful reflection about the people who
supported you this year and about the wins you have had — even the small ones, like choosing to put
in a little extra effort on an assignment or task and feeling good about the outcome. Think about
the moments you have had with the people you care about, in person or virtually, that kept you
And then I encourage you to write them down. I regularly send handwritten thank-you
notes to people on campus who have assisted or supported me. I hope this gesture makes the recipient
feel good, and it also is enjoyable and fulfilling for me; it is a “task” I genuinely look forward
to completing. Send a thank-you note or even an email to someone who inspired you, or start a
gratitude journal and write down some of the people and things you feel thankful for in 2020. Count
your blessings. Put your positivity and gratitude out into the world, and brighten the day for the
people around you.
I will share an example from my own experience during the pandemic. When we had to shift to
remote-only operations in spring, I was able to have dinner with my family every night for a month —
something we have never been able to do in my daughter’s life. We played board games, I told “bad
Dad jokes,” and, most importantly, we spent serious quality time together. Those are memories I will
cherish forever. Although it feels strange to say it, I am grateful that this pandemic gave us the
opportunity to slow down and spend time together.
I hope that this holiday season you are able to step away from the frustrations and challenges of
school and work, and spend time engaged with people and activities that fill your soul. Find moments
that inspire gratitude, and share them with others, whether virtually or in person.
Be well, take care, and Happy Thanksgiving.
Dear students, colleagues and friends,
In lieu of an email this week, I would like to share a few thoughts with you in a more personal
format. Please click below for an end-of-semester video message.
Bob Davies, CMU President
The new three-week
epidemic order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services likely raised many
questions for you about how we will end our semester here at Central Michigan University.
First, know that CMU remains open and ready to help you successfully complete this
semester. You remain our top priority, and we are taking steps to ensure you have
access to everything you need to finish strong.
Next, understand that these new orders will change a few aspects of our operations that may
affect your final days of class and your final exams.
We have developed a Frequently Asked
Questions page to clarify some of the changes coming in the days ahead — please review it
carefully. In addition, your instructors will reach out to you in the next few days to share
updates about how you will complete final classes, projects and exams.
The new orders take effect Wednesday morning and continue into December, but they do not affect
our plans for spring. We still anticipate welcoming our main campus students back in
This has been a year of disruptions and forced adjustments, and yet you have persevered and made it
to the last few days of classes and exams. I know you can make it through to the end. Remember to
ask for help when you need it — we are all here to support you.
Be well, finish strong and Fire Up Chips!
Bob Davies, president
Dear students, colleagues and friends,
In a press conference this evening, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services responded to
the increasing threat of COVID-19 in our state by issuing a three-week emergency epidemic order,
which takes effect Wednesday, Nov. 18.
These statewide efforts to slow the spread of the virus include higher education institutions and
shift nearly all instruction to remote-only starting on Wednesday and continuing for the
rest of the semester. This order also will likely affect our on-campus staffing and
And so, as we enter our last full week of the fall semester, we now must adjust again.
Students: Rest assured, this will not affect our support for you as you finish your
semester. We may de-densify campus, as we did in March, but will ensure you have access to the tools
and resources you need to succeed. This will not change.
Faculty and staff: University leadership, in partnership with our Emergency
Management Team, will discuss details of this order at length over the next couple of days and
develop answers to questions we all have.
We will communicate with our entire campus community again soon as we know more about our path
In the meantime, please continue to do your part by wearing a mask and social distancing when you
must be amongst others. As a university, we remain prepared to adjust for this new order and the
myriad ways COVID-19 will continue to impact our operations for students, faculty and staff in
I am proud of the way that we, as a community, have navigated challenges together throughout this
year. This shift to remote learning is based on the widespread increase in cases throughout the
state and is not a reflection on our efforts here at CMU. In many ways, through your dedication to
protect our community, we set the standard for other universities. Together, we adhered to our
mission of being student-centered and committed to our academic and civic goals.
Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, for Central Michigan University.
Dear students, colleagues and friends,
Exams begin next week, and there is still time to finish the semester strong.
Students: You can do this! Study hard, take advantage of your instructors’
office hours and make sure to get plenty of rest ahead of finals. I look forward to hearing your
Midnight Screams next week!
Faculty and staff: We have worked hard to come so far together, and we all are
looking forward to the winter break to recharge our batteries. Use these last few weeks to finalize
projects and to plan ahead for a successful spring.
Our home football game against Western Michigan is next week, and although we cannot gather in
Kelly/Shorts Stadium to cheer them on, I hope many of you plan to watch the game on ESPN2. More than
711,000 viewers tuned in for our last home game, and I believe we can top that figure as we beat the
Remember to be safe while cheering on our CMU Chippewas — avoid crowded locations
and watch parties. If you are around others, wear a mask and maintain social distance. Celebrate
safely so we can finish strong together.
As the semester comes to a close, many students are preparing to return home for the winter break and
some faculty and staff may be planning to travel to visit friends or family over the Thanksgiving
holiday. No one wants to be responsible for infecting others, so please remain vigilant
about wearing masks, practicing social distance and limiting interactions with others.
Most states are reporting surges in positive cases, and, here at CMU, we recorded 61 positive cases
this week linked to small off-campus gatherings. Although the active cases represent only 0.33% of
our campus population, we must redouble our efforts to stay healthy and safe ahead of the holidays.
It is vital to take steps now to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before leaving campus and
prior to returning.
Please review — and follow — these
recommendations. They are simple steps we can all take to protect ourselves and others. And,
testing is available on campus through Nov. 19 and will begin again Jan. 4. To help slow the
spread of COVID-19, please consider getting tested prior to leaving campus or our community, and
also as you return to campus for the spring semester.
We have been able to remain open, operational and on campus because of the hard work and diligence of
our students, faculty and staff. Thank you for all you have done to keep our
community safe; now, let us continue our efforts in the year ahead.
The lessons we have learned during the fall semester will guide our approach to spring. Preparations
are underway, and we will soon release a new “Fired Up for Spring” website to help every
member of our university community plan ahead. Many of the tools and technologies that made it
possible for us to remain in-person and on campus this year will be back again next year.
Remember that our first week of classes (Jan. 11-15) will be held online before we celebrate MLK Day
on Jan. 18 and begin in-person classes Jan. 19. I am already looking forward to welcoming our
students back and feeling their energy and excitement on campus.
We’ve had a remarkable year together. Let’s Fire Up to finish strong and prepare for
another successful year in 2021!
There are only 13 class days and exam days between now and the end of the semester, and there is
still time to finish 2020 on a positive note. Let these final weeks inspire you to work hard and
pursue your goals with renewed vigor.
We also must focus on protecting ourselves and others. Several states are reporting thousands of new
COVID-19 cases each day, and Michigan has seen a recent rapid increase in cases statewide. Health
officials are concerned, including those in our area. And while the number of positive cases
at CMU continue to be manageable, we must remain vigilant about our safety precautions.
The majority of our students, faculty and staff are doing all the right things: wearing masks,
practicing social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and more. However, the virus is pervasive
and remains a threat to our community. Accepting the social responsibility to protect
yourself and others is critical.
Use the health screening app every day you are on campus, take advantage of on-campus COVID-19 testing,
which is available through the end of the semester, and sign
up to be a surveillance testing volunteer. Wear a mask when you are around others, and avoid
Our commitment to health and safety extends beyond the boundaries of our campus. We are responsible
not only for our classmates and colleagues, but also for the people in our community. When you wear
a mask, avoid gatherings with people outside of your household and practice social distancing, it
prevents the spread of the virus at CMU, in Mount Pleasant, in our county and beyond.
We are three days out from Election Day, and there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the
outcome of the presidential race. Votes are still being counted and, as of this afternoon, neither
candidate has reached the 270 electoral votes needed to claim victory. I know this continued
uncertainty is difficult, so I encourage you to practice good self-care, demonstrate respect and
compassion for others, and focus on the things you can control, such as your academic and
professional goals and the health and safety of our community.
Let us continue to be leaders in rigor, relevance and excellence in all we do. Finish strong, take
care and, as always, Fire Up, Chips!
Many states, including Michigan, continue to see an increase in new COVID-19 cases, and we are
carefully monitoring the virus on our campus and in our community. To date this week, we have had 24
new positive cases at CMU, with a seven-day average of 5.7 new cases per day, and we hope to see the
numbers continue to decline in the weeks ahead.
Fall is usually a season of gatherings, and we all are reimagining how we will
celebrate holidays this year. This Halloween weekend, please be safe. The
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued recommendations
for enjoying the evening safely along with a reminder that indoor gatherings remain limited
to 10 people or fewer. If you choose to go out, please wear a mask, maintain social distance from
others and avoid large crowds and crowded areas.
Many of us are looking forward to the first CMU home football game next week, and our
student-athletes and Marching Chips are excited to return to Kelly/Shorts Stadium to do what they
love. I am grateful to our local partners, campus health and medical teams, and coaches, faculty and
staff for adopting the safety protocols that are allowing our students to return to the activities
they love: playing and performing.
To adhere to rules established by the Mid-American Conference and to protect the safety of our
community, there will be no fans allowed in the stands and no tailgating activities
this year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still cheer on our team. I hope you will tune
in to ESPN to watch the game from the comfort of home, perhaps with your roommates or family
members, wearing your favorite maroon and gold attire. This is an incredible opportunity for our
student-athletes and will shine a bright spotlight on CMU.
We also are just a few days away from this year’s election. If you have not done so already, I
hope you’ll make a plan now to
vote. Please join me in thanking the members of Central Votes and Student Government
Association for their hard work to make civic engagement more accessible for students this year.
This has been a challenging year, and the lead-up to this election has often been marked with
tension and division. Emotions are running high. Now is the time to put our core values into
action. Listen with compassion, speak respectfully, and embrace diverse
opinions and ideas. We are a stronger community because we are inclusive of people with varying
points of view, and we owe it to ourselves — and to each other — to practice kindness
and engage in conversations civilly.
I am proud of our community and all we have accomplished together thus far. It gives me hope for
another successful semester beginning in January. Even a global pandemic cannot dampen our Fired-Up
spirit or diminish our culture of caring. Please, continue to lift each other up, and make time to
practice self-care, too.
As you've seen in the news, the number of COVID-19 cases in our state and around the country is
rising significantly. Despite that, we have 15 positive cases reported this week, with a seven-day
average of three new cases per day, which continues the downward trend we were hoping to see.
Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our campus healthy and safe — I am proud to
say these efforts are making a difference.
As numbers rise outside of our campus community, however, our dedication to wearing a mask, social
distancing and avoiding large gatherings is more important now than ever. We have just over four
weeks until the end of our semester, and we all have a role to play to ensure we can maintain
in-person instruction until that time.
Switching gears, we talk often about the culture here at CMU, and how we all have a role to play in
making our university a great place to live, work and learn. As part of our ongoing efforts to
nurture an inclusive environment, we are launching
a set of online trainings centered on diversity, equity, inclusion and more. Next week, you
will receive an email from me through the EverFi system with additional details, and I hope you will
make the training a top priority.
I hope you also will prioritize your civic duty to vote. Tuesday, Nov. 3 is the last day to cast
your ballot in this year's election, and there is still time to register. Our Central Votes Coalition has been working
hard to ensure every student, faculty and staff member, and community partner has the information
they need to learn about the issues, get registered and make a plan to participate. Be sure you are
heard this year and in every future election — make a plan to vote.
As we wrap up another week, I continue to hear that members of our campus community are struggling.
As I've said more than once, it is normal to feel overwhelmed or uncertain, and there are many
resources available for students, faculty and staff. If you need help or someone to talk to, please
Counseling Center or Employee
Assistance Program. Thank you for continuing to support each other and reach out for help if
you need it.
We are a strong community and are all in this together.
Dear students and colleagues,
As we enter the final months of 2020, we?d like to offer a few resources that may help you finish
the fall semester strong and plan ahead for a successful spring. Please read on for information
Several students have expressed uncertainty concerning their academic performance and how the
additional challenges of this socially distanced and masked-up semester may impact their grades in
some courses. In light of these concerns, CMU is offering the following options for this semester:
If you have any questions about these options, please contact your academic advisor. If you are not
sure who your academic advisor is, please call 989-774-7506 or click
here to make an advising appointment.
As we mentioned in our update about
the spring schedule, we will replace our typical spring break week with a series of spring
wellness days in 2021. I appreciate the input we received from students, faculty and staff in making
this decision, and I believe it offers us great opportunities for rest and respite without taking on
additional risks associated with travel and large gatherings.
The spring wellness days, which also include replacements for the traditional Gentle Thursday and
Friday before exams, will be held:
These dates are intended to provide time away from homework, class activities and meetings and other
stressors, so students and faculty can enjoy a much-needed and well-deserved break.
This has been a very challenging year, yet it still can be a successful one. Students, stay engaged
in your classes, participate fully ? ask questions and join the discussion. Take advantage of your
instructor?s office hours. We are here to help you finish strong. If you need help, please ask for
it ? let us know how we can help you achieve your academic goals.
Best wishes and stay well,
Mary C. Schutten
Executive Vice President and Provost
Over the past week, we have seen new spikes in positive cases of COVID-19 here in Michigan, around
the country and across the globe. Last week, CMU’s weekly reported cases
increased to 54. Because of ongoing testing and contact
tracing, we were able to quickly identify the source of these new cases and contain them. The number
of new cases this week dropped to 24, and we hope the downward trend will continue.
Any new positive case is cause for concern, and now is the time to redouble our efforts to protect ourselves
and others. Throughout the semester, you all have done an outstanding job of practicing
social distancing, wearing face masks and avoiding large gatherings. Please keep up the good work!
Remember to use the daily health
screening app every day before you come to campus. This simple step helps our
CMU Health team closely monitor trends in the virus and respond immediately to new cases, limiting
the spread within our campus and community.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are concerned you may have been exposed to someone who has the
virus, please call 989-774-1317 or email email@example.com to schedule a testing
We also are continuing surveillance
testing on campus and still need volunteers to participate. Learn more about our
surveillance testing program and sign up to be a volunteer on the Fired Up for Fall website.
Being socially distant can sometimes feel isolating and lonely. Take advantage of opportunities to
reconnect with your peers and friends this month. Here are some ideas:
And, as always, if you need help or just someone to talk to, please contact CMU’s
Counseling Center or Employee
We have passed the midpoint of the semester, and we can finish the year strong.
Students, stay engaged in your classes. If you learn best in a classroom setting and have the
option to attend classes face to face, take advantage of that time to see your faculty and
classmates in person. If you’re attending classes online, participate fully — ask questions and join
the discussion. Take advantage of your instructor’s office hours.
Faculty and staff, continue to lift each other up and support our students. Make time to
visit with your colleagues, virtually or in person, to check in. Take a walk through our beautiful
campus to recharge your batteries, and invite someone to walk with you.
We can find moments of joy everywhere — seek them out, create them and share them with others. Stay
Fired Up and Masked Up, and we will get through this together.
Last week’s ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court regarding the Governor’s executive orders is
raising many questions about health and safety practices in our local community and here on our
At CMU, we will continue to require the use of masks, and we will enforce social distancing and
limits on gatherings.
Throughout the pandemic, our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been guided by our local
and state leaders, including our health department, as well as by our own medical experts and
Emergency Management Team. Each week, we review national best practices and research, we discuss
recent trends and news, and we make decisions based upon the unique needs of our university
As I mentioned in my campus update Friday, we are seeing relatively few new positive cases within
our campus community. This success is the result of the ongoing efforts of our students, faculty and
staff to protect themselves and others; because you are wearing masks, practicing social distancing
and taking precautions, we are a healthier and safer community today.
Since March, we have made the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community
members our top priorities. And, so far, the steps we have taken together have been successful.
Therefore, we will continue to adhere to the practices and
protocols that have been working well for Central Michigan University. We will wear masks,
practice social distancing and adhere to local orders regarding events and social gatherings. We are
a community, and we share a responsibility for the health and safety of our friends, neighbors and
Please continue to do your part to protect yourself and others. For information about CMU’s health
and safety policies, please visit the Fired Up for Fall website.
Fire Up and Mask Up, Chips!
Dear students, faculty and staff,
Yesterday, I sent an important announcement to the members of the Class of 2020
about fall commencement. As state and local ordinances continue to prevent large gatherings,
we are unable to host an in-person commencement ceremony this fall as we had previously hoped.
However, earning a CMU degree is an achievement worthy of celebration, and so we will
recognize graduates in a special virtual ceremony in November.
I look forward to sharing additional details about the virtual ceremony with you in the weeks ahead.
This is not intended to replace the important traditions associated with a CMU commencement
ceremony, and we continue to plan for a special in-person event for the Class of 2020 when it is
once again safe to gather.
Earlier this week, we announced our
schedule for the upcoming spring semester. Like so many things this year, it will be a
little different from previous years, with our first week held via remote instruction and with
spring wellness days in lieu of spring break. I realize this new schedule will require us all to
adjust our expectations and plans, yet I believe these changes will enable us to prevent further
spread of the virus. We must continue to do all we can to keep our community as healthy and safe as
Your commitment to protecting yourself and others has enabled us to remain together on campus this
semester. Because you consistently wear masks, practice social distancing and take precautions to
stay safe, we have seen only 11 new positive cases in our
campus community this week. This is an outstanding success, and it is due entirely to your
efforts. Thank you for all you continue to do.
If you have not done so already, I hope you also will become a
surveillance testing volunteer. Surveillance testing helps us monitor virus trends on our
campus and more quickly respond to changes. It is easy to sign up for a surveillance test, and the
test swab takes only about one minute to complete.
Getting a flu shot is another important step you can take to protect your health this season. The
cooler months ahead are prime influenza season, and we are offering two ways to get
your flu shot this year. In addition to appointments with CMU Health, you also may attend a
free pop-up flu shot clinic between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 4, and Monday, Oct. 5, in
the Bovee University Center.
I appreciate everything you are doing to help our entire community enjoy a safe, healthy and
successful semester. Have a great weekend, and, as always, Fire Up Chips!
Bob Davies, president
Dear students, faculty and staff,
We are coming to the end of the fourth week of this unusual fall semester, and I am grateful for the
efforts you have made to help us reach this point successfully. Our Emergency Management team
continues to monitor the virus closely, and meets regularly to discuss developments and trends,
adapting as needed to keep our campus and community as safe and healthy as possible.
Many colleges and universities throughout Michigan have now resumed on-campus instruction and
activities, and we are regularly sharing best practices and lessons learned with their leadership
teams. As I’ve often said, there is no playbook for operating a university through a pandemic, and
we are all watching and learning from one another.
Care on campus
CMU now offers COVID-19 on-campus testing for students, faculty and staff. If you wish to be tested,
please visit the COVID-19 testing
webpage for information about making an appointment. Remember, if you are experiencing
symptoms of COVID-19, please contact CMU Health by calling 989-774-6599 before visiting the
We are entering flu season, and as part of our ongoing efforts to keep our community healthy, we
will offer free flu shots for our campus and community members later this month or in early October.
We will have additional details on dates, times and location to share with you next week.
Update on positive cases
To date, CMU has had 196 confirmed positive
cases among our students, faculty and staff since June 15. Of these cases, 27 are currently
active. This also means 169 individuals have recovered and were cleared to return to classes and the
workplace. If you know who these recovered individuals are, I hope you will treat them with the same
kindness you offer others as they reenter our community. Receiving a positive test result for
COVID-19 does not mean a person should be judged, shamed or shunned for being exposed to the virus.
After all, we are a community that cares, and we treat everyone with compassion and respect.
Any one of us could, at some point, receive a call from a contact tracer, and it is
vital that we feel safe and comfortable answering their questions honestly and
thoroughly. Contact tracing is one of the most important steps we can take to
slow the spread of the virus in our community. If you are contacted, please do your part to keep our
community safe: Answer questions to the best of your ability and follow all the instructions you
We are about a quarter of the way through this semester, and I am proud of the efforts you have made
to make this a successful fall at CMU. Keep up the great work! Thank you for wearing masks,
practicing social distancing and taking precautions to keep yourself and others safe.
Bob Davies, President
Like many of you, we are excited to be back on campus for another academic year at Central Michigan
University. COVID-19 has changed nearly everything about the way we live and learn on campus, and we
appreciate the sacrifices you are making to enable us to have a successful fall semester.
Thank you for all you are doing to keep our community safe. Thank you for wearing your
masks, maintaining safe distance from others and doing your part to protect yourself and others.
Today, we, as CMU’s president and student body president, are writing to ask you to keep it up
during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
Holidays are usually a time to gather with family and friends. However, throughout the pandemic,
we’ve seen large gatherings — and even smaller gatherings held without safety precautions — lead to
new surges in cases of COVID-19. In the last few months alone, celebrations for Memorial Day and the
Fourth of July weekends were linked with spikes in new positive cases across the country.
We’ve worked too hard to stop now. We have the power to slow the spread of this virus on CMU’s
campus, in the Mount Pleasant community and among our family and friends. Each of us can do our part
This hasn’t been easy, and we know it’s disappointing to have another holiday disrupted by COVID-19,
but there are signs of hope. Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s
leading expert on infectious diseases, said Labor Day weekend could give the country a “running
start” to contain the virus this fall. We, too, remain optimistic.
We are a resilient community, and we will get through this together. It’s up to us to keep
ourselves and our community safe. Please, celebrate Labor Day safely.
Fire Up and Mask Up,
Bob Davies, CMU President
Katie Prebelich, SGA President
We’ve reached the end of our second week of classes, and I want to express my gratitude to all of
you who have truly embraced the spirit of “We Do Community.” You have been wearing masks, practicing
social distancing and taking other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Thank you very much for all you are doing.
To date, we are aware of approximately 100 positive cases among our campus community of nearly
18,000 students, faculty and staff since our return to campus. While any increase in cases may seem
alarming, this figure represents less than one percent of our university population, and the
majority of these cases remain linked to the three off-campus houses I mentioned earlier in the
In this message, I want to share some important information on the following, which I hope will
alleviate concerns you may have:
We are working closely with our partners at the Central Michigan District Health Department to
report new cases of COVID-19 within our university community. You may have noticed that the numbers
CMU reports on the
confirmed cases website are different from the numbers shared by the health department. I
want to explain why this sometimes occurs.
Each day, the health department releases cases they believe are associated with our return to the
Mount Pleasant area. CMU staff review the list and determine if the individuals named are current
students or employees. Often, the health department’s list includes cases that are not current
CMU students, faculty or staff; we do not include those cases in our count as they are not
actively present on our campus.
Our Emergency Management Team is working diligently to ensure we’re reporting positive cases within
our university community in a timely manner. In partnership with the health department, we have
identified a process to expedite reporting and identify positive cases connected with CMU.
Beginning Tuesday, Sept.1, we will update our new cases page daily instead of weekly.
Beginning next week, we will offer on-campus COVID-19 testing. We have selected a lower-level room
in Foust Hall to conduct testing, well-ventilated and separated from other offices. We will
prioritize testing for individuals who are symptomatic or who have been identified as close contacts
for a COVID-positive person. For information about testing, please visit the COVID-19 testing
Contact tracing is one of the most critical steps in limiting the spread of COVID-19. I am extremely
proud of the work being done by CMU health professions students, faculty and staff to assist the
Central Michigan District Health Department in this effort.
Remember: If you are called by a contact tracer, please answer as honestly and completely as
possible, and follow their instructions regarding testing, isolation or quarantine.
I have been asked several times what would trigger CMU to shift to remote-only instruction. Our goal
is to continue in-person instruction for as long as we feel we are able to manage and mitigate risk
related to COVID-19. If we feel we are no longer able to do so, we will shift.
Together with our Emergency Management Team, I am reviewing several data points daily, including:
At this point, we are not seeing community spread from existing cases. The data seems to uphold our
decision to continue to offer in-person instruction. We will continue to monitor this virus closely
and to work alongside our partners in the health department and local government to make decisions
about our operations. Health and safety will remain our top priorities.
Residential students who are enrolled in all-online courses or who have arranged with their
faculty to participate in their HyFlex classes remotely and wish to return home may end
their housing contract at any time during the fall semester without paying the $500 contract
cancellation fee. Students are responsible for paying a prorated daily amount, covering meals, FLEX
dollars and housing costs, for the time they have lived on campus. Students who live in a residence
hall or university apartment may contact their residence director/residence hall director to
schedule a checkout time.
These are stressful times, and I am cognizant of the physical, mental and emotional toll this
pandemic has taken on every member of our community. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please don’t
hesitate to ask for help. Students can contact the CMU
Counseling Center, and faculty and staff can connect with resources through the Employee
Assistance Program. It’s vital to make time to take care of yourself and your families.
This is also a time to treat others with extra patience and grace. Reach out to your friends and
colleagues to offer a listening ear and a virtual hug when they need your support. We are a
community that lifts each other up, and I am thankful every day for the kindnesses I see happening
everywhere across our campus.
I will continue to provide frequent updates as we move forward together. Thank you again for all you
are doing for CMU and for each other.
Bob Davies, president
In response to a sharp increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases within our student
population, the Central Michigan District Health Department issued a public
health emergency order restricting outdoor social gatherings.
Effective immediately, no more than 25 people may gather at outdoor events in the Mount
Pleasant area — specifically within Union Township and the city of Mount Pleasant. Indoor gatherings
remain limited to 10 people or fewer per the existing
Michigan Executive Order.
Local law enforcement, including the CMU Police Department, and CMU will be monitoring student
gatherings, and violations of these limits may result in a misdemeanor charge, fine and even
suspension from CMU.
We know that increases in positive COVID-19 cases follow large parties, and no one wants to become
infected or be responsible for infecting others. Please be safe. Avoid large gatherings, wear a
mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands. We all share the responsibility to keep
ourselves and our community safe.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Students, faculty and staff —
As you know, Central Michigan University has been planning for its return to campus for several
months. Part of this planning has involved preparing for an inevitable increase in positive cases
of COVID-19, and we have processes in place to address these new cases.
Since our students began to arrive last week, CMU has seen a substantial increase in its COVID-19
positivity rate among students. Over the past seven days, we have had 54 new COVID-19 cases in our
campus community. Particularly concerning are pockets of positive cases and symptomatic
individuals living off-campus — two in Greek-affiliated houses and one in an additional
large house north of campus.
We quickly identified and instructed these individuals to isolate or quarantine. We are working
closely with the Central Michigan District Health Department on contact tracing, which is a critical
step in mitigating further spread of the virus. Individuals who are identified as close contacts are
being directed to quarantine and are receiving daily monitoring calls from both the Michigan system
for contact tracing and CMU’s team of contact tracers.
Fortunately, most students who tested positive have demonstrated only mild symptoms. As a reminder,
CMU tracks the number of positive COVID-19 cases within our campus community and updates the
information on our Fired
Up for Fall site every Monday.
We met this morning with our partners from the city of Mount Pleasant, Isabella County, Union
Township and the CMDHD to discuss this increase in numbers and our approach to managing the safety
of our community. We will continue to communicate and work closely with these partners as we move
In response to these new cases, we have strongly increased our safety messaging to students and are
taking steps to proactively prevent further spread, including:
As we strive to prevent further spread of the virus, I again ask everyone to avoid large
parties and gatherings. As I recommended previously, please limit all indoor
gatherings to fewer than 10 individuals and outdoor gatherings to no more than 15-20.
I am aware of the videos circulating on social media that show me engaging with students at
off-campus parties, which may have given the impression that I condoned those gatherings. That was
certainly not my intent. That weekend, I rode along with officers from the CMU Police Department and
visited a number of gatherings to remind students to wear masks, practice social distancing and to
celebrate responsibly. I wanted to reiterate that message as often and in as many settings as
Along our route, I was invited to throw a few bags of cornhole, and I spent a few minutes engaging
with those students and reminding them to be safe. In retrospect, I see that my participation in the
game — regardless of my intent — sent mixed messages about the importance of avoiding large
gatherings, and I apologize for the confusion and concerns my actions caused. As a leader and
lifelong learner, I will occasionally make mistakes; when I do, I endeavor to learn from them. As
our students have asked of me, I will “do better.”
Remaining on campus this fall relies on every member of our community accepting the responsibility
to protect ourselves and others. The activities we engage in — both on and off our campus — have
repercussions for everyone who lives, learns and works at CMU and in our local community.
Here’s how you can do your part:
If you have been directed to quarantine, please monitor your symptoms carefully, and do not return
to campus until you have completed the quarantine and are cleared by your contact tracer.
While we cannot eradicate every instance of COVID-19, together we can slow the spread
of the virus in our community. Please, do your part to keep yourself and others safe.
Bob Davies, president
Being on campus this semester carries new responsibilities for us all. The majority of students are
taking these responsibilities seriously; however, a small minority of students are jeopardizing
their own health and safety, and that of others, with their actions off campus.
Attending large parties and ignoring safety guidelines increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission
for everyone who lives, learns and works on our campus and in our community. We will not
allow the actions of a few individuals to jeopardize others, and we will immediately fine, or
even suspend, individuals who host or attend large gatherings.
Without fail, at other institutions nationwide, large weekend parties have resulted in an increase
in positive COVID-19 diagnoses — and in some, the shutdown of their entire campuses. The actions
of a few selfish students have ruined an entire year for thousands of their peers. The same
will happen here at CMU if students continue to engage in this type of reckless, irresponsible
CMU’s Fired Up for Fall plan, which is based on
guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, outlines our expectations and
rules. You all know the right things to do: Limit the size of your get-togethers, wear a mask and
practice social distancing. It is impossible to ask you not to socialize, yet I must ask you again
to do so responsibly. You are adults, and we expect you to take responsibility for your
actions. Remember: What you do matters.
Your choices carry repercussions for everyone at CMU, and we expect more from our students. Please,
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Earlier this week, UNC Chapel Hill was forced to shift to remote-only instruction only two weeks
after moving students onto campus and beginning classes. Just yesterday, Michigan State University
announced plans to hold classes remotely instead of in-person. These decisions by other institutions
raise a pointed question: Will Central Michigan University be next?
I remain hopeful that we can have a successful fall semester here at CMU. To do so, we must
all accept our shared responsibility for keeping our community safe and healthy — and this
means embracing best practices for health and safety both on and off campus.
Students: I know you want to, and will, spend time with your friends — humans are social
creatures and we thrive on feeling connected to others. However, this is not the year to hold large
parties. It is the year for smaller, socially distant get-togethers with close friends. When you
gather with friends, do so responsibly: Wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash your
hands often and limit the size of the group to no more than 10 people inside and perhaps 15-20
outside if you can socially distance and wear masks. I promise you: It is possible to
have fun and be safe at the same time.
For our faculty and staff: Just as we ask our students to practice safe behaviors, we, too,
must be willing to embrace them in our lives outside the workplace. We must be vigilant in our
personal lives as well as in our professional roles.
COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus, and it is inevitable that we will see additional cases on our
campus in the weeks ahead. If we wish to limit the number of cases, our actions must be intentional.
If we want to prevent an outbreak and avoid a shift to remote operations, we must share the
responsibility of protecting ourselves and others.
Please, join me in making this a safe, healthy and successful semester at CMU.
Bob Davies, CMU President
In just a few short days, we’ll begin a new academic year at Central Michigan University — one like
no previous year in our more than 125-year history. COVID-19 continues to pose unique challenges,
and CMU — like all organizations — is reacting daily to new developments and adapting to fluid
I know you have questions about what this fall semester will be like at CMU— it’s completely
understandable to feel a little anxious and uncertain. To address some of your concerns, I’d like to
share a few thoughts on what to expect when classes resume next week related to:
To protect the health and safety of our campus community, CMU is following best practices from the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of COVID-19. This means
everyone will be required to wear a mask or face covering and practice social distancing.
You’ll find hand sanitizing stations in every building, as well as signs reminding you to wash your
hands and practice other safe behaviors. We are committed to doing everything we can as a university
to protect your health and safety, and we also rely on you to take appropriate measures to prevent
the spread of the virus. Please be sure to review the health and safety
protocols outlined on the Fired Up for Fall website.
The Mid-American Conference recently announced a postponement of all fall sports with hopes of moving
them to the spring. This news was disappointing for me and many members of our community, yet I
remain optimistic we will be able to cheer on our student-athletes later this academic year. You can
read more about the MAC’s decision in
my recent blog post.
The residence halls will
feel less crowded this year. To allow for social distancing and to decrease density in each
building, we have limited the number of students living in each building. In addition, some students
attending all their classes remotely have chosen to live at home this semester. Residential restaurants and other dining
facilities on campus have been reconfigured to allow for social distancing, including less
capacity and reduced seating in some areas. You’ll find many options for great meals on campus.
We continue to follow state orders to limit indoor and outdoor
gatherings, which means many campus events and activities are moving to virtual formats.
Some registered student organizations also may
limit attendance at meetings or host them virtually. I am impressed by the creativity and innovation
our students show in finding ways to connect and build community in spite of social distancing. You
will still feel the energy and excitement of life at Central as you walk through our campus, despite
the many changes.
To give students and faculty as many choices as possible this semester, CMU will offer classes in
several formats, including online only, HyFlex, hybrid and face to face. You can learn more about
each type of class by visiting the Fired Up for Fall student
information page. No matter how you attend class, you will learn from faculty who are
experts in their fields and who are excited to support you on your educational journey. Be sure to
connect with them early and often, and take advantage of their office hours.
As I said previously, this semester will be unlike any other. You will face new challenges, and you
will have to learn, live and work differently. I know it won’t be easy, but I know you are up to the
task. I believe in you.
As you approach this semester, set high goals for yourself. Don’t settle for just getting by — commit
to excellence and work hard to achieve it. Go out of your way to meet new people, whether in person
or virtually, and learn to see the world from their perspective. Be open to new ideas and
experiences. Ask for help. The pandemic has raised many new challenges and caused significant mental
and emotional stress. When you need someone to talk to, or you find yourself struggling, please
reach out. You can find a number of resources, including information about CMU’s
Counseling Center, on the Find Help
Finally, embrace our core
values: integrity, respect, compassion, inclusiveness, social responsibility, excellence and
innovation. Let them be your guide in everything you do each and every day.
I know 2020 hasn’t been an easy year, and there are challenges still ahead. Yet, in spite of all the
difficulties you have faced so far, you’ve stayed on the path to earn your college degree. You’ve
worked hard and stayed strong, and I am extremely proud of you. I’m excited to see you this fall,
and I look forward to getting — and staying — Fired Up for a great academic year.
Bob Davies, president
We are fired up to see many of you on campus next week!
As I mentioned in my email last week, each day you plan to be on campus, or before you leave your
apartment or residence hall room, you must first complete a mandatory
self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms.
Yes, every day. Don’t worry, it’s easy — you can do it right from your smartphone or tablet.
This is critical to keeping our campus healthy this fall.
DOWNLOAD THE CMICH HEALTHSCREEN
Log into the app to answer a few short questions. The app will show you a green check mark if you are
approved to leave your residence hall room or apartment, or to come to campus.
If you do not have a smartphone or cannot run the Healthscreen app, you must complete the
self-screening through a web browser at cmich.edu/healthscreen or by calling 989-774-1044.
We look forward to welcoming you to campus as we all do our part to make the coming weeks and months
as positive, healthy and low-risk as possible.
As you prepare to return to campus, please review CMU’s required health and safety protocols on the
Fired Up for Fall
website. Remember to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands and avoid
large gatherings and parties. If we all take responsibility for our health and well-being, we can
help slow the spread of COVID-19 and enjoy a successful semester.
Fire Up Chips!
Tony Voisin, associate vice president, Student Affairs
We look forward to welcoming you to Central Michigan University next week. As always, your safety
and well-being remain our top priority, and we understand that the COVID-19 virus raises many
questions and concerns about living on campus this fall.
Just as there is risk of spreading the virus each time we visit the grocery store, stop for gas or
visit with friends, there also is a risk associated with coming to CMU’s campus. We are reaching out
today to share housing options for the fall semester so you and your family can make an informed
choice. We want you to feel as safe and comfortable as possible so you can enjoy a successful fall
If you are registered for all online classes, instruction does not require you to attend in person,
and you have no on-campus obligations, you may cancel your housing contract without penalty.
To cancel your housing contract and live at home (your permanent address) without penalty, send
an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday,
Aug. 11, 2020. You do not need to fill out a residency exemption form, but you must
reference that you are canceling your contract due to COVID-19. Students who cancel after Aug. 11
will be responsible for a $500 contract cancellation fee.
Most academic, need-based, merit and other scholarships will not be impacted by a decision to live
at home. However, students who receive any form of housing grant will lose those awards if they are
not living on campus.
If you have questions about your scholarships and eligibility, please contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial
Aid at 989-774-3674.
We have been working hard to prepare for your arrival. We are ready. Living on campus is an integral
part of the learning experience; however, we recognize that COVID-19 will impact the traditional
housing experience. If you decide to live on campus, we will be here to support your transition and
your learning journey.
Like all other institutions, CMU cannot make operational guarantees during this pandemic. Our full
intent is to keep the university open with face-to-face classes and to keep our residence halls and
In fact, we did not close any of our housing facilities last spring as we continued to house
students who chose to remain on campus. President Bob Davies has been clear that the university will
remain open throughout this school year as well. CMU is doing everything it can to continue to serve
our students in the face of significant disruption brought on by this pandemic. However, we also
realize that this is a very fluid situation, and things can change beyond our control.
In terms of refunds or credits for housing and meals: If CMU is ordered by the governor or the
Health Department to have students leave the residence halls, CMU will make financial decisions at
that time. In the event of such a closure, we intend to be fair and equitable.
As we have consistently demonstrated throughout this challenging time, the health and safety of our
community remains our highest priority. Every decision we make is guided by this principle.
At this time, CMU is not requiring students to quarantine upon arrival. However, we encourage
students arriving from hot-spot locations to be vigilant about wearing a mask, social distancing,
handwashing and avoiding crowds. We also recommend that students limit their contact with others in
the days before arriving on campus, if possible.
Students who are returning from international travel or coming to CMU from another country
Students returning from international travel who plan to live on campus will be expected to reside
in quarantine spaces provided by the Office of Residence Life until the 14-day period has expired.
Please contact the Office of Residence Life at 989-774-3111 for information about on-campus
quarantine housing prior to your arrival.
Together, the Central Michigan University community is facing the challenges of the COVID-19
pandemic, advancing our educational mission while protecting health and safety. Now we aim to start
strong for the fall 2020 semester. For vital information about health and safety protocols, please
visit the Fired Up for Fall
Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Office of Residence Life with questions or concerns by
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Greetings from Central Michigan University!
As we prepare to welcome you back to campus this fall, I’d like to ask for your help in making the
2020-21 academic year the best ever at CMU.
During your time on campus, you’ve likely seen and heard this phrase often: At CMU, we Take
Care of ourselves and others. Take Care means we look out for one another. We
offer kindness and support. We reach out proactively to help. We treat everyone around us, including
ourselves, with compassion and respect.
As we continue to adapt to the challenges of COVID-19, the phrase Take Care is more important
than ever. Nationwide, the virus continues to spread and there is still no vaccine or cure. This
means that every time we interact with others, we run the risk of spreading infection, even when we
feel healthy. Fortunately, there are simple steps we can all take to protect ourselves and others —
and we are adopting these practices at CMU.
When you come to campus, you will be expected to:
Remember, these practices aren’t only to protect yourself — they are meant to protect others as well.
We are all in this together, and the health and safety of our entire community depends on
everyone being responsible, compassionate and caring.
As some of you know, I am not only the university president, I also am the parent of a current CMU
student. I’d like to put on my “dad hat” for a moment and put this very bluntly: Students must take
responsibility for protecting their own health and the health of their peers. CMU has put many
safety measures in place, but if you, our students, do not accept ownership of your safety and
well-being, those measures won’t be effective. Our goal — your goal – is to be on campus this fall.
I have heard from hundreds of students that they will do anything to remain on campus
with their friends — and that means they must take responsibility for making that
happen. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. Avoid large gatherings. If
you have symptoms, tell someone and we will help you. If you are called by a contact tracer, answer
honestly and completely.
If we all take responsibility for our behavior — if we are all committed to keeping our
community safe — the likelihood of a successful on-campus semester increases substantially. OK, dad
speech over, putting back on my presidential fedora.
Compassion and responsibility are part of CMU’s core values, and I reflect on them often. I ask you
to become familiar with them, too. They are: integrity, respect, compassion, inclusiveness,
social responsibility, excellence and innovation. We will discuss them regularly
Today, I want to focus on the word “inclusiveness.” At CMU, we define inclusion as: full
participation for all in every activity and venue of CMU. It means that every
student, faculty and staff member, graduate, guest and visitor feel they can be part of the great
things happening on our campus, and they will feel welcome to do so. We cannot achieve
excellence if some members of our community do not feel equally seen, heard, represented, included,
respected and valued.
Each of us has a role to play in making others feel welcome and valued, and it begins with treating
everyone with compassion and respect. Remember the words you likely learned in kindergarten: Treat
others as you wish to be treated. Be kind. Be respectful.
Every day at CMU, you meet people whose lives, experiences, beliefs and perspectives are very
different than your own. You may feel challenged by the things they say and do, just as they may
feel challenged by you. I ask that you embrace the experience of being uncomfortable
and open your mind to new points of view. You don’t have to agree, but I ask that you listen, ask
respectful questions, seek understanding and act with compassion.
These aren’t just suggestions for making the most of life at Central Michigan University, they are
tools and skills that will prepare you to live and work in our increasingly global society. The
world is more diverse and connected than ever, and your experiences at Central will help you succeed
in life beyond graduation.
I am fired up to see you again this fall. Until then, be well, take care and, as always, Fire Up
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases