June 22, 2020
College of Pharmacy Building

Dear U-M Pharmacy community, 

I hope you and your families remain safe and healthy and that you have been able to enjoy some of the warmer weather.

I trust that you are as pleased as we are to hear President Mark S. Schlissel's announcement regarding a public health-informed in-residence semester this fall, which will consist of a mixture of in-person and remote classes structured to reflect our commitment to promoting public health while fulfilling our fundamental mission of transformative undergraduate, graduate and professional education.

Equipped with the very best guidance and ideas from our leading scholars, innovative students and expert staff, we will welcome students to Ann Arbor campus, classrooms and residence halls. Students will have the option of choosing whether to return to Ann Arbor for a hybrid learning experience or study from home in a fully remote mode.

The fall semester will look and feel very different due to the challenges of COVID-19, and will bring with it new protocols and strategies that are necessary to keep our community safe. Here at the College of Pharmacy, we will ask all of you to join in prudent health and safety actions that will embody our commitment to caring for one another.

The University's Maize and Blueprint website provides comprehensive information for faculty, staff and students about the implementation plan, guiding principles and status. It will be updated regularly as more details are finalized.

I want to stress, however, that major changes in conditions could mean a need to adjust parts of our plan. We will need to remain agile and ready to adapt as circumstances change.


  • Academic calendar adjustments for reductions in back-and-forth travel for students, and sufficient time between semesters for implementing any needed public health protocols before students return
  • Next semester we will be following all public health/safety restrictions as guided by central administration (masks/room capacity, physical barriers, work from home when feasible, etc)
  • We plan to offer a high quality Fall (and Winter) semester to all our students within the curriculum and in the co-curriculum.
  • We will provide an array of options for students that include in-person, remote and mixed instruction with our intent to offer more face-to-face curricular and co-curricular opportunities to those students who want them.
  • Dean Sweet has already met with all Fall course coordinators to work on opportunities for logical/practical face to face and remote teaching options.
  • Course times and assessments may be moved to accommodate student learning. There will be a strong emphasis on minimizing extra faculty teaching workload to the extent possible.
  • Dean Sweet emailed a list of best practices for remote teaching on Sunday to all faculty.  These came from our Leadership Scholars and are quite practical and straightforward.


Prevention & Care

  • Our collective safety requires we all do our part by practicing strong personal hygiene habits, wearing a face covering when appropriate, maintaining a physical distance of six (6) feet and staying home when sick.
  • Health and safety officials will continue extensive monitoring in real time and will continue as long as it is needed; allowing us to act promptly if conditions change.
  • U-M is finalizing plans and protocols for student, faculty and staff testing for infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as building capacity for additional contact tracing.
  • U-M is developing health screening tools to support self-monitoring and comply with any statewide executive orders that may be in effect
  • U-M is working to purchase more hand sanitizer, masks and other forms of personal protective equipment.


  • All who are able to work remotely will continue to do so through the end of the calendar year, unless required to report to campus for a work responsibility that must be done on site and that has been approved by COP leadership.  Pennie Rutan will be reaching out to administrative staff and supervisors to gather information related to specific administrative work that will and will not be able to be done remotely given the current plan to have students on campus.  Research staff should work with their supervisor and faculty should work with their chair to determine required in-person work.
  • We continue to be mindful of vulnerable members of our community, and will work with individuals to every extent possible to address their concerns, according to University guidance.
  • It is imperative for all of us to monitor any symptoms and stay home if we’re sick

Moving forward, we are confident in our ability to provide an innovative, in-person fall 2020 designed to meet the needs of our students and advance our mission.  Because of our shared responsibility to be safe and protect our community, we ask continued resilience and commitment to the health protecting guidelines.


Jim Dalton, PhD, Dean 
Bruce Mueller, PharmD, Senior Associate Dean