Some Michigan Universities May Stay On-line Until Next Year
This year has presented many uncertainties in so many areas of our lives. From entertainment, sporting events, weddings and graduations, many are left wondering exactly what the plan will be. One area hit the hardest with questions of the future has been education, both our younger students and college students.
University of Michigan and Michigan State have had most classes online for the fall semester, but now there’s word that the presidents of those universities feel students won’t return to normal in person classrooms until next year.
President of University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University have all commented that they believe normalcy will not return to their campuses until fall of 2021. Although it has not been formally announced they do not find students returning to in person education any time during this academic year.
"The truth of the matter is that this is going to be with us for a while," said Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson, who spoke with the MSU President Samuel Stanley and U-M President Mark Schlissel during a Lansing Economic Club panel last week. "I anticipate that the winter semester will be basically the same as it is this semester."
For Spartans, most classes have been in the on-line format since March when things first shut down. According to U-M President Mark Schlissel, U of M Ann Arbor is seeing about 20% of their classes being held in-person.
Right now it is a wait and see situation for the universities. MSU is watching to see if their high numbers go down after a high spike the beginning of the semester. MSU President Stanley said, "If there are not cases of transmission in a classroom where people are wearing masks, where they are socially distanced ... that gives me much more confidence that we can teach safely in that environment and I think you might see more campuses come back".
University of Michigan President Schissel said the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will dictate when students can return for in-person classes, but he's not overly optimistic. He told the Lansing State Journal, "What I'm most nervous about is that we'll have one or several vaccines, but we'll botch the delivery. Our country has not demonstrated great capacity for organized, nationwide action and that's what it's going to take to deliver a vaccine to 300 million people."