UM looks ahead, but can't see what fall will look like, president tells professors

April 21, 2020, 7:24 PM

The University of Michigan is struggling with "profound" financial setbacks and no way to plan confidently for any activities, its president says.

Mark Schlissel: "It's a it's a multi-hundred-million-dollar shortfall." (Photos: UM)

Mark Schlissel delivered "difficult news" to 100 faculty leaders in a Zoom call Monday, The Michigan Daily reports. The stark reality is that coronavirus will be a threat until a vaccine is available some time in 2021, he told Senate Assembly members.

He’s hopeful there will be short-term immunity and medicines to help address the disease and decrease the lethality, but he does not foresee a vaccine for at least a year. ...

Schlissel said he anticipates a tiered return to work based on employees’ risk analyses as well as the ability for work to be conducted remotely. He added that he's worked with [Gov. Grtetchen] Whitmer to discuss restarting research on campus and mitigating risk in labs as part of the first tier to return to in-person work.

Flashback to April 2018 on campus.

As for letting students back on a campus that shut March 12, student reporter Rebecca Hirsh writes:

He hopes to have students return to campus for the fall semester with some public health controls for safety, such as limiting lecture sizes and possibly introducing a hybrid of online lecture learning with in-person discussions and office hours.

"I am hopeful, but I can say only hopeful, that we will be able to have an in-person fall semester," Schlissel said. ... He added that there are also plans for a completely remote semester if it is necessary. ... Schlissel said it is unclear when the decision on fall semester will be made

Addressing the revenue squeeze, the university leader said projected losses will amount to $400 million to $1 billion by the end of 2020.

"There's been a profound effect," Schlissel said in the Zoom meeting. "We don't know the magnitude of the effect with certainty. We don't know the permanence of the effect … but it's a multi-hundred-million-dollar shortfall between now and December that we're going to have to figure out how to mitigate."

A University of Michigan post March 11, the day everything there changed.

Read more:  The Michigan Daily

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