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March 16, 2020

SVSU coronavirus update, message from Provost to faculty

Covid-19 Virus

Dear members of the faculty,

We continue to take steps to ensure campus safety and instructional continuity in the midst of larger societal disruptions. We will continue to provide regular updates to all members of the campus community. 

This morning, Governor Whitmer signed an executive order closing many public venues as of 3:00 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020 through March 30, 2020. Most relevant to us are the closing of libraries, museums, fitness centers and dining facilities. SVSU will be in full compliance with this executive order.

  • Zahnow Library and the Gerstacker Learning Commons are closed but will continue to provide library and tutoring services remotely and online.
  • The Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum is now closed.
  • The Fitness Center is closed.
  • Dining Services are closed except for take-out service.
    • Starbucks, Panda Express, and Subway will only be available through online ordering for pick-up through the Grub Hub app.
    • The Marketplace at Doan will move to a paper form ordering system for take-out options.

Over the weekend, the CDC recommended that gatherings of more than 50 people be canceled for the next 8 weeks. We will, therefore, extend our online/remote instruction through the end of the semester. I know that some of you are concerned about secure testing, and we are obtaining a license to Respondus, a commercial product that integrates with Canvas and will help to ensure academic integrity. This tool will be available very soon and tutorials will be provided.

As you continue to develop your online/remote courses, the Center for Academic Innovation and IT will remain available to assist you. Look for further communications regarding resources, training and consultation.

As always, we are very concerned about student success and retention. Given the challenges of this semester, we all need to be very intentional about facilitating student success. We have extended the withdrawal period to the end of the semester and are exploring options such as allowing students to elect Pass/Fail grading. However, their success will be greatly enhanced if they feel engaged and supported in their classes. Please do whatever you can to assist them.

You should have received a memo from President Bachand, announcing that we are moving to a work-from-home model. Anyone who can work from home is encouraged to do so. IT has laptops and other devices available for check-out. You will still have access to your office spaces, and if you need to use any of the classroom technology (e.g., document cameras) as you develop your online content, please let us know ( 

Once again, I send my sincere appreciation for your collaboration in facing these extraordinary circumstances. We are dealing with daunting challenges, but with all of us working together to stay healthy, ensure instructional continuity, and support each other and our students, I am confident that we will be successful. 

With deep gratitude,


Deborah Huntley, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs