Coronavirus campus updates

August 4, 2020 - Update concerning WSU's financial position

Dear campus community,

In late April, I shared information about the financial state of the university, including actions we were implementing immediately and potential budget scenarios we were in the process of analyzing. That was still early in the pandemic, and there were many unknowns and variables that were difficult to predict. Since that time, the Finance Subcommittee of the overall Restart Committee has been meeting regularly to assess the impact of the pandemic on our financial condition, and to help plan for our future, in coordination with the regular Budget Planning Council that reviews budget proposals annually. We have received many inquiries about our situation, as people are understandably concerned about the university's financial health and its impact on both our collective mission and our individual livelihoods.

As I shared in April and subsequently, Wayne State is in better financial condition than many other universities. Nonetheless, we face significant financial challenges that must be addressed. While we know more now than we did in April, there remain variables that we cannot predict, and university compensation decisions for all employees need to be finalized. Based on current information, we have developed a working budget that includes temporary and permanent budget reduction measures, and — depending on our compensation decisions — both a preferred and a contingency solution.

A schedule that organizes these potential budget solutions (PDF) is available, but I wish to highlight the salient points in the schedule and hopefully provide answers to many of the questions we have received.

  • Pay freeze: In April, we announced a temporary suspension of 2020 merit increases for non-represented employees above a certain salary level. Our hope was that we could revisit this over the summer and perhaps reinstate merit increases for all non-represented employees. Unfortunately, we will not be able to do so, and we will maintain the suspension of merit increases through FY 2021.
  • Represented employee compensation: Compensation decisions for represented employees will be determined as part of the collective bargaining process. Our hope is that all employees will understand the urgency of our situation and agree to join together to address our short-term challenges.
  • Pay reductions: Deans and members of the cabinet will continue salary reductions of 5%, and I will continue a 10% salary reduction. Additionally, I have waived provisions in my contract that stipulate a 3% annual salary increase and consideration of a $25,000 bonus.
  • Targeted budget reductions: We have asked each of the schools and colleges, in consultation with faculty and each of the administrative divisions, to prepare budget cut scenarios of 5% and 10%. These plans were analyzed in detail and, along with input from the Budget Planning Council and the Finance Subcommittee, we developed two alternative budget solutions:
    • Preferred solution (includes salary freeze for all employees): Administrative division reduction of 7%; school/college reduction of 5%.
    • Contingency solution (includes salary increases for represented employees only): Administrative division reduction of 10%; school/college reduction of 10%.
  • Furloughs: Similar to our earlier action on merit increases, we will be instituting temporary furloughs for non-represented employees that will be in place for FY 2021. We define "furlough" as a percentage reduction in work hours, and a corresponding reduction in salary. These furloughs will likely be implemented on a sliding scale. We will discuss potential participation in furloughs by represented employees through the bargaining process. While the term "furlough" is not used in our collective bargaining agreements, it is similar to a temporary, short-term layoff. We are using that term to distinguish between short-term actions and longer-term layoffs.
  • Reduction of retirement contribution: Currently, Wayne State matches employee retirement contributions made by eligible employees on a 2:1 basis, up to a maximum of 10%. We realize that the university match to retirement contributions at Wayne State is generous and very much appreciated, but our financial situation requires that we reduce the match — once again, on a temporary basis — in calendar year 2021. The amount of this reduction will be determined as other variables become clearer.
  • Layoffs: As I have expressed in several communications, we have thought of layoffs as a last resort; however, both our preferred budget solution and our contingency budget solution include layoffs, though at very different levels. Ultimately, the degree to which we will need to implement layoffs will be determined by our ability to lower compensation of all employees through pay freezes and furloughs.
  • Retirement incentives: We have had inquiries about whether we intend to offer incentives for retirement. We are currently analyzing options and hope to share information on this very soon.

While this is difficult news, I am committed to keeping you informed of all of our activities related to our COVID-19 response and the campus restart. None of these scenarios are easy, but we have tried to develop an approach that will allow us to continue our mission while mitigating the personal challenges that are inevitable in a cost-cutting environment. While we are closer to finalizing the budget, there are variables yet to be determined — the biggest unknown being the state funding of higher education next fiscal year. Fortunately, despite the pandemic, our current outlook for enrollment is positive, and we have incorporated the latest figures into our budget planning. If we come together as a campus community and share this burden, we may help further mitigate our financial difficulties and even grow stronger as a university.

Thank you, again, for your commitment and resilience in this challenging time. I remain optimistic in our ability to weather this storm and set a strong foundation for a brighter future.


M. Roy Wilson

M. Roy Wilson

July 28, 2020 - Update on new guidelines for international students

Dear Colleagues,

The latest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidelines stipulate that first time/new international students must enroll in at least one hybrid or in-person class in order to be eligible to enter the U.S. in the fall 2020 term.

Although we expect very few new international students will be able to obtain a visa and travel to campus in time for the fall term in light of the current travel and health restrictions, we still would like to give those who can the opportunity to do so.  Our planned mix of hybrid and face-to-face courses and the fact that most programs have at least an in-person course that students can take will allow us to support the majority of our new international students. 

Students who are not able to attend classes in-person have the choice of starting their classes online while remaining outside of the U.S. or reapplying for admission for winter 2021. We have updated the FAQ on our website and are providing all students with their options and necessary instructions. 

I appreciate your patience while we make these adjustments, and for your continued support of our international students. We will be sharing more information as it becomes available. You can always contact us with questions by emailing


Ahmad M. Ezzeddine, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President
Educational Outreach and International Programs

July 20, 2020 - A message from the Public Health Restart Committee

Dear colleagues,

As we approach the start of the 2020-21 academic year, we wanted to call attention to an important aspect of our restart — supporting the health and safety of ourselves, others and, ultimately, the entire campus community. To that end, we want to remind you of two essential new processes that are now in place. 

The first of these is the Warrior Safe training. These training modules provide a succinct overview of the current state of the science regarding COVID-19, including its symptoms and transmission. The training includes important public health and social strategies to reduce transmission and an overview of the new strategies required on campus to enhance health and safety. These measures include the use of face coverings in all public spaces on campus, properly caring for face coverings, strategies for social distancing and other useful information. These modules must be completed before faculty, staff and students will be allowed to return to campus. Please take the time to complete the modules. If you supervise others, please ask them to forward their "Warrior Safe" badge to you before they come to campus.  

The second new resource is the Campus Daily Screener, which must be completed every day, beginning 48 hours before your return to campus and continuing each day that you wish to be on campus. Even if you are planning a brief visit to gather items from your office, you are required to complete the screener. This symptom-tracking tool is essential to assess whether individuals need further follow-up or testing (conducted by the Campus Health Center), and the aggregate data will allow for an ongoing assessment of the health of the campus, which is essential to planning a safe and science-based return. Again, if you supervise others, please remind them of their responsibility to complete the Campus Daily Screener.

These new processes can be completed quickly and will go a long way toward promoting the safety of our campus community as we move forward. Being Warrior Safe is our shared responsibility. As always, we encourage you to frequently visit the WSU coronavirus webpage for current updates and useful information.

Thank you.

July 15, 2020 - Announcing the return-to-campus plan

Dear Warrior community,  

With the fall semester quickly approaching, we know you have many questions about returning to campus. In particular, our current and prospective students are wondering what this fall will be like. While this message is primarily addressed to students, I thought it would be helpful for everyone in our campus community to receive it.

Our nine restart subcommittees have worked diligently over the last few months to develop a plan that allows us to continue serving our academic mission while prioritizing the health and safety of all Wayne State Warriors. I have received regular updates from the restart subcommittees and have been pleased with the progress. Today, I would like to share information with you on our plans thus far. While this is more information than I typically provide in an email, there is a lot to share, and you can find more details on our website. We will also hold a town hall meeting tomorrow, Thursday, July 16, from 3 to 4 p.m., where you can hear directly from members of the restart committee and me, as well as submit your questions and comments.

Campus life and learning will look different than they did in February, and we have new guidelines and procedures in place, detailed at the conclusion of this message, to accommodate physical distancing and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Although things have changed, we remain firmly committed to our academic mission. You will still receive a premier education from Wayne State University — whether that instruction occurs on campus, remotely or through a combination of the two — and we will continue to provide ways for you to maintain vital social connections with fellow students even when you are physically distant.

Please note that the plan below reflects decisions made based on the most current public health and science information available at this time. However, the situation with COVID-19 spread in Michigan is changing rapidly and, unfortunately, trending in the wrong direction. While we selected today, July 15, as our announcement day to allow time for faculty and students to plan accordingly prior to the start of classes in August, it is important to note that some plans and guidelines may change as conditions evolve and new information becomes available. We will continue to monitor the health of our community and surrounding areas over the coming weeks, and we will be flexible and evidence-based in our decision-making as to the size and number of classes that will be delivered in person. Please continue to monitor your email inbox and our website for the latest information, and be sure to familiarize yourself with all essential guidelines before returning to campus to ensure your safety and that of others in the campus community. Remember: being Warrior Safe is Warrior Strong.

This information will be posted online and updated as necessary. A list of health and safety guidelines is also available on our website.


Wayne State University has remained committed to its academic mission throughout the pandemic, and we will maintain that commitment as students, faculty and staff begin the fall semester. To protect the health and safety of the campus community, and to ensure that students continue to receive a world-class academic experience, classes for the fall 2020 semester will be offered in a number of formats:

  • Traditional: Course instruction will take place on campus. 
  • Remote (Synchronous): Students must log in online at a specific time along with their professor and classmates. 
  • Online (Asynchronous): All instruction is online only, with no specific meeting dates or times. 
  • Hybrid: Students are occasionally expected to be on campus for face-to-face instruction, but they will also complete work online through distance education. 
  • Individually Arranged: These include dissertations, theses, individual research credits, and special projects.

As of now, we anticipate the proportion of each type of course instruction to be as follows: traditional (20%), remote and online (46%), hybrid (2%), and individually arranged (32%). This ratio will depend on the pandemic situation, and we are prepared to adjust if necessary.

Tuition: On June 5, the Wayne State University Board of Governors unanimously approved a 0% tuition increase to allow our students to focus on their studies without added financial stress. The university will also continue to develop new and innovative ways to make an education affordable for everyone. Updates are available on the Financial Aid website

Registration: When registering for classes, take note of whether your classes are offered via traditional, remote, online or hybrid formats so you can plan for when to be on campus and when you will be learning remotely. Your specific school or college may have further guidelines and procedures to follow, so be sure to check their website and your email inbox for further updates. For more information on these options, visit the Registrar's website. To register for classes, visit the Registration website.   

Libraries: University libraries and computer labs will implement new processes for cleaning of spaces and equipment, as well as new guidelines to facilitate social distancing.

The David Adamany Undergraduate Library will be open during regular hours in a limited capacity to support those who need access to technology and study spacesThe Shiffman Medical Library and the Arthur Neef Law Library will be available to accommodate Wayne State students and faculty. Purdy/Kresge Library will remain closed, and the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs will be available by appointment only. Accommodations are being developed at all libraries to create access to materials. Libraries will be open to Wayne State students, faculty and staff only; your OneCard will be required to enter. The libraries will continue to provide online access to collections and services, including reference and instruction.

More information on the hours and operations of the libraries will be available before the start of classes at the libraries website.


Campus housing has continued to operate during the pandemic and will be open for the fall semester. We have recommended best practices to provide you with a safe on-campus housing experience. In addition to following all health and safety guidelines, please follow these procedures to help ensure your safety and the safety of the Wayne State community.  

  • Moving in: To accommodate social distancing, fall 2020 housing move-in has been extended over a weeklong period in August before classes begin. Visit the Housing website and check your email for information on move-in dates and times.
  • Get tested: All residents will be tested for coronavirus infection as part of the move-in process and will be periodically retested over the academic year. Information regarding testing will be provided closer to move-in day.
  • Stay safe: Face coverings are required in public spaces as well as six-foot physical distancing between residents wherever possible. Face coverings are not required in residents' private rooms, but six-foot physical distancing between residents is expected wherever possible. Guest visitation will continue to be suspended for the fall semester to limit non-resident traffic in housing facilities.

Dining and retail

Campus dining and retail options will be open. Entrées, side dishes and desserts will be provided at all stations to reduce foot traffic in our cafeterias. The number of diners present in Towers Café, Gold 'n' Greens, and the Student Center Food Court will be reduced to optimize physical distancing. New procedures to accommodate diners while protecting safety are posted below and are also available on the Housing and Residential Life website

  • Face coverings: Face coverings may be removed once seated at a table for dining, and are required when leaving the dining table.
  • Get it to go: To-go meals will be available during all meal periods. An additional residential dining to-go location will be opened in the Student Center Building for residents who choose not to visit a cafeteria.
  • Go cashless: Contactless transactions for meal plan swipes and OneCard use for purchases will be maximized.


Wayne State Athletics is working with the NCAA on plans for the resumption of competitive sports. While the dates are yet to be finalized, student athletes, in addition to following the required campus health and safety guidelines, will undergo temperature checks prior to entering buildings, and all student athletes will be tested for COVID-19. Athletics has enacted several policies regarding safe usage of its facilities and equipment, including temperature checks for everyone entering its facilities. Detailed information on protocols and guidelines for equipment and facilities is available in the Athletics Restart Protocol Handbook 

Note: The Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center will remain closed until Governor Whitmer allows fitness facilities to reopen. Guidelines for safe use have been developed and will be available upon reopening.

Campus life 

Student activities, student organizations, social events and campus-wide celebrations are an integral part of student life. While we may be physically distant, we have developed many opportunities for you to remain socially connected. These events will look different than they have in the past, but you can look forward to celebrating your Warrior pride with many Wayne State traditions like Orientation Part 2, Homecoming and Campus Activities Team Week, as well as new opportunities for online programs such as esports, trivia, crafts, tours and comedy.

The Fall Student Engagement Committee has been working through the spring and summer to present activities and opportunities to get you involved. Whether it is viewing a Department of Theatre production online, attending live supplemental instruction sessions online with the Academic Success Center or cheering on our Warriors through the Department of Athletics' virtual fan experience, you will have plenty of opportunities to get involved.

The Dean of Students Office website features an up-to-date student activities calendar, Warrior Life health-and-wellness resources, and student organization membership information. Be sure to read the weekly Get Involved newsletter, emailed every Sunday to your Wayne State inbox.

Making your return

We all have a role to play in the health and safety of our campus community. Following are some general guidelines that will help you protect yourself and your fellow Warriors. Remember: All students must abide by the Student Code of Conduct, which has been updated to include a section on COVID-19 mitigation compliance.

Before coming to campus  

A safe return begins before you come to Midtown. Follow these guidelines before heading out the door to ensure that you know where to go and how to navigate this new campus experience.  

  • Review your classes: Know which classes you are taking remotely and which classes are on campus. Check your syllabi for important safety guidelines from your instructors.
  • Complete the training modules: The online Warrior Safe training provides an overview of COVID-19 and a guide to staying safe on campus.   
  • Fill out the Campus Daily Screener: Beginning two days (48 hours) before your return, fill out the Campus Daily Screener — available on the Wayne State website and on the Wayne State mobile app — each day before coming to campus. This includes all course-related experiences, such as clinical or field experiences that might be conducted in another site.  
    • If you are cleared to be on campus, you will receive a QR code that you may be asked to produce.  
    • If you are not cleared to be on campus, you will be contacted by the Campus Health Center for further screening. You may then be cleared, or you may be referred for testing. 
  • If you have symptoms or have been exposed, stay home: If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 (new cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, chills, loss of taste or smell) or have been exposed to someone confirmed to have the virus, you must stay home. The Campus Health Center will arrange testing for those who experience symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Know before you go: Before you leave, visit the Parking website to know which lots and structures are open and the status of campus shuttles. 

Staying safe on campus 

We have enacted new cleaning and safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have also created new guidelines to help you play a role in contributing to the health and safety of our campus community. 

  • Face coverings: Until a vaccine is available, the most effective way to protect yourself and others is to be 100% consistent in wearing a face covering at all times in public spaces. Students will receive a Warrior swag bag that includes a Wayne State face covering, a great way to show your Warrior pride while keeping safe, or you may bring your own. Information on proper use of face coverings is available at the CDC's website.
  • Social distance: Please follow guidelines posted in hallways, elevators, parking structures, restrooms, and at entryways and exits to maintain social distance. Leave six feet of physical distance between yourself and others wherever possible. 
  • Hand-washing: Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds several times throughout the day. Hand-sanitizer dispensers have also been installed in every building. 
  • Bring your OneCard: Please bring your OneCard with you when you come to campus to assist with verification and building access as needed. If you need a replacement or new card, visit the OneCard website.
  • Classroom safety: Seating in classrooms has been arranged to facilitate social distancing; please do not re-arrange the furniture. Comply with all posted guidelines in campus buildings, classrooms, laboratories and common areas.
  • Use of shareable items: Please refrain from sharing textbooks, papers, pens, study materials, or unpackaged food or beverages with fellow students. 

I know this is a lot, but hopefully it demonstrates the concern we have for your safety, and our excitement to start the fall semester. The pandemic has changed our world, at least for now, but it hasn't changed our spirit. We remain Warrior Strong, and can't wait to welcome you to campus — physically or virtually — for the fall 2020 semester.


M. Roy Wilson signature

M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S.

June 19, 2020 - COVID-19 Student Safety Guidelines and Plan

Dear Warriors,

As we prepare for the fall, many university departments have been planning to welcome you to a safe and successful semester. We are putting plans in place to maintain your health and safety to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While there are still many decisions to be finalized and the university expects to offer a combination of in-person, online and remote instruction, we know that you will play a pivotal role in keeping our campus community safe, because being Warrior Safe is being Warrior Strong. 

The Dean of Students Office, in accordance with recommendations from the Coronavirus Campus Restart Committee's public health and academic affairs subcommittees, has developed a three-pronged approach that includes:


  • The Warrior Safe is Warrior Strong student ambassador team will help promote the message of health and safety and the importance of compliance to campus rules and policies related to COVID-19 safety. Any student interested in serving on the ambassador team should complete this form.
  • All students will be expected to familiarize themselves with mandatory campus health and safety guidelines — including practicing social distancing and wearing a face covering — by completing the Be Warrior Safe training in Canvas. Additionally, students must complete the Campus Daily Screener daily health screener beginning 48 hours before coming to campus and each day that you will be on campus. If you are cleared to be on campus, you will receive a bar code that you may be asked to produce. Students who will be living on campus will receive specific instructions from the Office of Housing and Residential Life.

Distribution of reusable face coverings

  • What better way to show your Warrior pride than with Warrior personal protection equipment? Students will be provided a Warrior Safe is Warrior Strong swag bag that will include, among other items, two reusable Wayne State face coverings.  More information about the swag bag will be shared via email later this summer.


  • We know our students are Warrior Strong, but in the rare occurrence that a student refuses to adhere to the campus' health and safety guidelines, the Board of Governors  passed an amendment to the Student Code of Conduct on June 19. The amendment requires the wearing of face coverings in all public spaces, including classrooms, laboratories and offices; observing social distancing; and completing WSU's Be Warrior Safe training module and Campus Daily Screener prior to coming to campus. The primary purpose of the Student Code of Conduct is to promote civility and academic integrity, and the new amendment will allow the university community to have a mechanism to address students whose behavior does not support the university's focus on civility and safety.

While much has changed since we were last together, we remain committed to your well-being and success. I encourage you to visit Wayne State's dedicated COVID-19 website, which is regularly updated with important information key to your student safety and success. This website is the best way to stay informed. If you have any questions we can assist you with, feel free to submit them via this form or email  

Take care, be well and stay Warrior Strong.

David Strauss
Dean of Students

June 10, 2020 - A note about COVID-19 testing from the Public Health Restart Subcommittee

The goal of the Public Health Subcommittee of the Wayne State University Restart Committee is to present a strategy for testing, symptom monitoring, mitigation and contact tracing that supports a safe return to campus based on the best science available in a rapidly changing environment. We also recognize that this strategy must be sustainable over a long — potentially three-year — period of time and that our strategy may change with new information.

In anticipation of returning to campus and the new academic year, many members of the campus community have asked questions about testing. As this can be both an area of concern and confusion, this note is intended to provide information and guidance. 

As described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are two kinds of tests available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.

  • A viral test (often called a PCR or swab test) is intended to show whether a person currently is infected with COVID-19. It can only tell a person — on the specific day of the test — whether they are infected. The current viral tests, however, have limitations. Estimates of "false negatives" (i.e., when a person actually infected with COVID-19 tests negative) range as high as 30-40%, and a person who is infected can test negative one day and positive the next. Many individuals who were "probable" COVID-19 cases have had negative tests. These tests serve an important function, but they are not without limitations.
  • An antibody test is intended to show if a person was previously infected with COVID-19. It, too, has limitations, since it can take one to three weeks after infection to make antibodies. The science remains unclear as to whether having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last.

We have received many inquiries regarding whether we are recommending testing of all members of the WSU community who will be on campus. Universal testing currently is not recommended by the CDC1 or public health authorities in Michigan.2 A single test may provide a false sense of security for an individual, and also provides information limited to one point in time. For a safe return to campus, we recommend that testing be conducted in a manner consistent with the recommendations of the CDC and the American College Health Association. We do not recommend universal viral or antibody testing at this time.

At Wayne State, we will have testing available through the Campus Health Center for all individuals who are symptomatic based on CDC criteria. We will also conduct thorough case investigations and contact tracing of close contacts.We will also conduct periodic testing for all individuals living in campus housing because they may be more likely to have prolonged, close exposure to others. Individuals on campus who are not symptomatic but would like to be tested are able to find access to testing sites at Michigan COVID-19 Test Finder.

Until a safe, effective vaccine is widely available or effective treatment is discovered, our best strategies for preventing illness and reducing spread of the coronavirus rely on our own behavior. Wearing a face covering at all times in public places significantly reduces transmission and is the best method for reducing transmission by those who have no symptoms.  Social distancing, careful and frequent handwashing, and avoiding touching of the face are also important components of our strategy. Daily use of the Campus Daily Screener will also help to identify those who may be ill and will be followed by careful contact tracing and quarantine where necessary.

Very importantly, in early fall, we strongly recommend that all members of the university community obtain an influenza vaccine. There are many benefits from flu vaccination and preventing flu is always important, but in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's even more important to do everything possible to reduce illnesses and preserve scarce health care resources.

Individuals with questions may submit them on the Wayne State University coronavirus website.


  1. CDC, Serology Surveillance Strategy (May 27, 2020). Accessed at:
  2. MDHHS, COVID-19 Test Finder,(may4, 2020). Accessed at:,9753,7-406-98189---,00.html
  3. Scientific brief from WHO, "Immunity passports" in the context of COVID-19 (April 24, 2020). Accessed at:
  4. CDC Contact Tracing Guidelines, (June 4, 2020). Accessed at:

Influenza (Flu), (April 28, 2020). Accessed at:

June 5, 2020 - Phased resumption of on-site, lab-based research activities

  • Next phase of Facilities and Program activation
  • Reminder: Current research and office activities enabled remotely should remain remote
  • Reminder: Facilities and Programs activation must operate at limited capacity

Dear Colleagues –

As indicated in my memo of May 26, 2020 we initiated the phased resumption of limited and approved on-site lab activities June 1-5, 2020 in the following facilities and cores.

Sites Initiated June 1 - 5

A. Paul Schaap Chemistry Building - Designated labs as approved with access through the northwest entry site at 5101 Cass Ave.

Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences - Designated units with lab-based activities as approved with access through the North entry site (June 1-3) Brady Ave.

Danto Engineering Development Center - Designated labs as approved (June 1-3) 5050 Anthony Wayne

IBio – Designated labs and units as approved with access through the Woodward Avenue entry site (June 2-5) 6135 Woodward Ave.

Mott Center for Human Growth and Development  - Designated labs as approved (June 2-5) 275 E Hancock St

Kresge Eye Institute - Designated labs as approved (June 5th) 4717 St Antoine

Physics & Astronomy Building - Designated labs as approved (June 5th) 666 W. Hancock St.

Research cores – AMTEC, Biobanking and Correlative Sciences Core, Genome Sciences, Lipidomics, Proteomics, Lumigen Instrumentation Center (Mass spec and NMR), and the Microscopy, Imaging & Cytometry Resources (June 1-5) operationalized at a reduced capacity during this initial phase

Activity initiating at the various sites was distributed over several days as part of the overall phased engagement approach with continued monitoring for health screen survey completion, alignment with operational expectations and any health or facilities concerns.

Sites Initiated June 8 - 19

Based on specific and careful evaluation of various considerations including site readiness, the activity involved and the ability to coordinate on-site access and function, the following sites are targeted for the next segment of the initial phase of resumed limited on-site research activity.

Bioengineering Center - Designated labs as approved (anticipated June 8-11 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans) 818 W. Hancock

Biological Sciences Building - Designated labs as approved (anticipated June 8 -12 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans) 5047 Gullen Mall

Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences – Next group of designated units with lab-based activities as approved with access through the North entry side on Brady (anticipated June 9-12 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans)

Scott Hall -  Designated labs in the basic sciences (anticipated June 10-13 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans) 540 E. Canfield Avenue

Research cores - Lumigen Instrumentation Center (X-Ray and Electron Microscopy) (June 8)

Elliman Research Building -  Designated labs as approved (anticipated June 15-18 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans) 5201 Cass Ave

Hudson-Webber Cancer Center Research Labs - Designated labs as approved (anticipated June 15-18 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans) 4100 John R

Lande Research Building  - Designated labs as approved (anticipated June 16-17 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans) 550 E. Canfield

Manufacturing Engineering Building - Designated labs as approved (anticipated June 15 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans) 4815 Fourth

Tolan Park -  Designated labs as approved (anticipated June 15-18 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans)  3901 Chrysler Service Dr

Science Hall - Designated labs in Nutrition & Food Science as approved (anticipated June 12 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans) 410 W Warren Ave

Communication Science and Disorders - Designated labs and space area as approved (anticipated June 15-16 pending final review and approval of submitted activity plans) Prentis Building (5201 Cass Avenue) and Rands House (5229 Cass Avenue)

The individual plans for limited resumption of any required on-site activities for programs in the Department of Psychology, the Institute of Gerontology and the Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development are under development.

General Considerations

Each individual authorized for access must complete the Campus Daily Screener each day they are scheduled to come on-site (  Upon completion of the Campus Daily Screener, an online barcode is issued and is scanned in the Wayne State University research sites upon entrance.

  • Individuals approved for each site receive detailed instructions on facility access by email. 
  • This initial phase targets a level of activity and personnel on site that is ~25% of that before the pause in research activity in March of this year. 
  • All approved individuals coming on-site must have completed and passed the Be Warrior Safe training and education module
  • Mechanisms in place to address any concerns regarding any aspect of the initial phased resumption of research activities and compliance with WSU Covid-19 policies (WSU Internal Audit Anonymous tip form at and/or contact the WSU Integrity Officer Phil Cunningham at, 313-577-9064). 

The Path Ahead

Three key elements of the path ahead are as follows:

  • On-site, lab-based research activities will not be business as usual and there is a new landscape ahead of us. Buildings and units that do not follow occupancy limits and operational guidelines may have their authorization suspended during this initial phase of activity.
  • It is critical that we take measured steps during the first few weeks of this process and adjust the operational processes as needed.   These measured steps will continue during the summer and into the fall.
  • Each of us has to take ownership and personal responsibility to assure the success of this process with the focus on a healthy and safe environment.

As always, thank you for your consideration and engagement.

Stephen M. Lanier, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research

Additional Key Updates and Information

Parking  - Current parking sites available for access may be found here. PS#3, 4, 5 and 6 are currently closed. Everything else is open. PS#3 and #6 were given access to lot 56, PS#4 has lot 75 and PS#5 can use either PS#2 or PS#1.

Check the WSU Covid-19 web site and the research update web site for any daily updates

Graduate School – Note to Graduate Students and Postdocs on resumption of limited on-site, lab-based research activities -

  • Guidance on Face Coverings Required in Enclosed Public Spaces
  • Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines for Cleaning Laboratory Workspace
  • Checklist for Reopening of Labs After Shutdown
  • WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

The Be Warrior Safe education and training module ( includes information on social distancing, elevator use and restroom use and additional safety considerations – see also Return to Campus Guidelines at

Two reusable cloth masks are provided to individuals as they begin on-site activity.

EPA-approved disinfectant is currently in use by the custodial worker staff as part of their enhanced cleaning procedures and this disinfectant is provided individuals coming on site for spray bottle use.

(See Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines for Cleaning Laboratory Workspace

Please note that all of the basic minimal lab operations and on-site personnel currently approved through the Critical Infrastructure platform in late March remain in place as we implement the initial phase of resumption of limited on-site, lab-based research activities. 

June 2, 2020 - Update on campus restart plans

Dear campus community,

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer issued a new executive order, essentially lifting the stay-at-home order across a broad range of activities and businesses, including most of the activities on our campus. This is welcome news, and it hopefully signals a return to a greater sense of normalcy. Like you, I am eager to return to campus life, but I want to be sure we do so carefully and safely.

To that end, I'd like to share some thoughts on the campus restart, many of which we shared in our town hall meeting on May 21, where we were joined by nearly 5,500 people. If you missed it, you can still view it here.

  • First, and most importantly, we continue to serve our mission. This is a source of pride for me personally, and I hope for every member of our campus community. Thank you to the faculty, students, staff and administrators who found a way to keep teaching, keep learning and keep going in the chaos and uncertainty of a global pandemic. But this is also a source of continued confusion. Members of the media keep asking, "Are you going to be open in the fall?" Of course we are — we never closed. The fall semester will start as scheduled, and we will continue to be guided by safety and science, rather than the urge to deliver a dramatic — and potentially premature — announcement.
  • What will fall look like? There are still unknowns that make it hard to predict with great certainty, but we expect to be teaching classes on campus where we can maintain safe social distancing. Where we can't, we will continue to conduct classes remotely and online. We expect to decide on the proportion of each type of instruction by July 15. The few hundred students who have never left our residence halls will be joined by students who are already signing up to live on campus. Here, too, we will enact new measures of testing and distancing for safety. There is still more to learn before we can decide definitively on events and athletics, so please stay tuned for updates.
  • What about returning to work on campus? We have learned through this experience that many people can work effectively from home, and we have created new policies to support this. Even though the governor has lifted the stay-at-home order, those who can work from home effectively should continue to do so. And nobody should feel pressured to return to campus if they have health concerns. We will bring people back to campus slowly to control the population density and help keep everyone safe.
  • If you come to campus — and you will need to check with your supervisor to determine if you should — then you will need to follow these guidelines, which include wearing face coverings, taking the Be Warrior Safe training modules and completing the Campus Daily Screener each day before coming to campus, beginning 48 hours before your first day back. I, of course, will do this, and I urge every one of you — students, faculty, staff and administration — to follow these guidelines closely. In doing so, you help protect yourselves as well as others in our campus community. Staying Warrior Safe is Warrior Strong.
  • The pandemic has been difficult financially for the university, and we are modeling various scenarios depending on state funding, tuition and enrollment. This Friday, I will recommend to the Board of Governors that we hold tuition with a 0% increase. Additionally, there is hopeful news with enrollment, as numbers are ahead of last year, which saw the second-largest freshman class in Wayne State's history. This is a testament to the fact that Wayne State remains an excellent opportunity for students to get a quality education from a premier research university. With so much economic uncertainty in the world, now is a great time for students to invest in their futures by attending or continuing college.

We will continue to communicate with you on restart plans in various ways, and I encourage you to visit the coronavirus website regularly.

Thank you all for your understanding as we navigate these unprecedented challenges. This has been a difficult time for many of us as we've adapted to this new situation, but I am proud of the way we as a campus community have responded — with characteristic creativity, resilience and compassion.

Thank you for staying Warrior Strong.

M. Roy Wilson

June 1, 2020 - Governor Whitmer's Executive Order

To all employees,

Today, Governor Whitmer issued a new Executive Order lifting, in many areas, the stay-at-home order that had been in effect.

This is good news for Michigan and Wayne State University, as it signals an eventual return to a more normal, though still careful, state. However, it is important to remember that our approach to restarting the campus is guided, first and foremost, by safety. For this reason, I wish to remind all faculty and staff of the following:

As we have stated in various communications, including the Town Hall on May 21st, all people who can work effectively from home must continue to do so. Continuing to limit the density of the campus population is important for the safety of each of us and our entire community. If you are required to return to campus, please check with your supervisor, and adhere to the "Return to Campus Guidelines" at the Coronavirus website. Importantly among these guidelines, you must a) complete the "Be Warrior Safe" training module, and b) complete the Campus Daily Screener each day before you come to campus, beginning 48 hours before your first visit. Continue to consult the Coronavirus website for updates. If you have further questions, please direct them to your supervisor or submit them directly on the website. Thank you for helping keep us all Warrior Safe and Warrior Strong.

Carolyn Hafner
Interim Associate Vice President and CHRO
Human Resources

May 21, 2020 - Wearing a face covering while on campus is mandatory

Thursday, May 21 at 5:30 p.m.

The Campus Health Center reminds all Wayne State University employees who have returned to campus or who plan to return upon the lifting of Michigan's stay-at-home order that they must wear a cloth face covering while on campus. This follows the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Following are some frequently asked questions regarding the use of face coverings.

  • Who must wear face coverings?
    • All employees, students and staff must wear a cloth face covering while on campus. Face coverings may only be removed in private offices, private study carrels and dorm rooms. Employees and students must also continue to maintain six feet of social distance and avoid groups of more than 10 individuals.
  • Will Wayne State University provide me with a face covering?
    • Wayne State will provide cloth face coverings to employees upon returning; employees are also welcome to bring their own homemade or previously purchased face coverings. The cloth face coverings recommended by the CDC are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which should be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders.
  • How do I wear a face covering?
    • The face covering must cover your mouth and nose. It should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of your face and be secured with ties or ear loops. Face coverings must include multiple layers of fabric to allow for breathing without restriction and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.
  • How do I handle the face covering during lunches and breaks?
    • Public areas include common areas where employees may eat lunch or refreshments. Prior to and after eating, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based hand rub. Prepare a clean surface using a paper towel or paper bag. Remove the face covering carefully by the strings or ties, taking care not to touch the cloth sections, and store it carefully. After eating or drinking, replace the face covering, ensuring the clean side is to your face and taking care to avoid touching your face or eyes.

We understand that wearing a face covering may feel uncomfortable or awkward at first; however, they play a vital role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our campus safe. Thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and your fellow Warriors. 

May 18, 2020 - Virtual town hall with President M. Roy Wilson and campus restart committee

Thursday, May 21 at 3 p.m.

As the state of Michigan moves closer to a potential easing of the stay-at-home order, President Wilson will provide updates on some of the decisions that the campus restart subcommittees have reached so far, including: the continuation of working from home, returning to work, methods being put in place to make a return as safe as possible, research and laboratories, housing, retail, and more. Committee chairs will also be available for a Q&A session.

The event will be streamed at If you can't attend, we will post the recording of this session for your review. RSVP for the event and submit any questions you would like the committee to address. 

May 16, 2020 - Governor's executive order on resumption of laboratory research activities 

Dear colleagues,

I am glad to share the news regarding the Governor's Executive Order released last night approving the phased initiation of research and discovery activities in the State of Michigan.

"EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 2020-90 Resumption of laboratory research activities"

I will be providing additional specific information later this weekend, but I wanted to send a note this morning to the research community as I am sure that all are looking forward to next steps in this area, as well as part of the broader vision of the university for restart and transitions on the horizon in academics, service and campus life.

As you know, on May 11 we posted the "Principles and Guidelines for a Phased Ramp-Up of On-site, Laboratory-based Research Activities," which provides the process for next steps:

The individual labs, departments and units are in the process of developing phased ramp up plans as indicated in this guidance document.

The working groups assembled by President Wilson for Public Health, Facilities and Communications ( are coordinating with the Research task force (and other working teams) for thoughtful implementation of a phased ramp up initiative to assure all elements of the posted guidance document and the stipulations provided with the Governor's Excecutive order are in place. 

The safety of all members of the Wayne State community remains our primary concern. Accordingly, please note that our plan is a phased process with the initial phase targeting a level of activity of ~25-30% of pre-COVID activity in any given building at any given time with ongoing monitoring and adjustment. In addition, we will implement this process gradually in selected facilities depending upon their preparedness and the infrastructure we have in place.

The final stages of this process are under development, and all of the key elements as defined in the "Principles and Guidelines for a Phase Ramp-up of On-site, Laboratory-based Research Activities" must be in place before we officially begin the phased ramp up activities.

All of these factors must be considered as we hone in on a specific date for operational implementation and I will provide further guidance on this element later this weekend.

Please note that success with this phased ramp up of on-site, lab-based research activities is the first phase of a broader university plan for restart through the summer and into the fall that covers all aspects of our mission. It is of utmost importance that we move forward in a phased and thoughtful way with the health and safety of all involved front and center as I have noted in my earlier communications. 

Success with this phase process will be critical for the next steps of university restart plan and our success depends on each individual, each team and all involved to take ownership each step along the way.

Again – as before – thank you for your kind consideration and engagement of all involved in this journey. As always, please contact me with me any questions, concerns or suggestions as we go forward.

Stephen M. Lanier
Vice President for Research 

May 11, 2020 - Academic Restart Committee town hall

Dear faculty, staff and students,

I hope you are staying safe, well, and socially distant but emotionally connected. I would like to invite you to participate in a virtual town hall meeting from 5 to 6 p.m on Wednesday, May 13, with the Academic Restart Committee. The committee, one of nine charged by President Wilson to think about how we can come back to campus in the fall, will share preliminary suggestions for the restart in order to get input from the WSU community. As you will see from the planning so far, one solution will not fit all circumstances, so we will be sharing these primary elements with the assumption that they should be tailored to best fit departments and schools/colleges. 

After this meeting, our committee will revise the plan based on the feedback we receive and post it on the COVID-19 website so that you can see how it has changed with your input. While it is likely that we still will not have every detail about returning to campus activities, it should provide you with things to consider and discuss with your departmental and school/college leadership.

I hope you can join us. We welcome your questions and suggestions. To participate, please use the following link: If you can't attend, we will post the recording of this session for your review.


Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

May 5, 2020 - Preparations to restart campus

Members of the Wayne State community,

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the world, and each of us, have undergone momentous transformation. Although it may seem that everything has changed, some important things remain intact, including our mission and values as a university, which have helped guide us through these tumultuous weeks, and will continue to serve us in this, our 152nd year.

We have shared with you a great deal of information since early March, when the pandemic began to reshape our lives and our campus. It is time now to shift our focus to restarting our campus, and preparing for the fall 2020 semester.

On April 16, the Coronavirus Campus Restart Committee was formed and charged with developing plans to phase in campus operations consistent with the easing of pandemic restrictions. Like the original Coronavirus Committee, this committee is guided by principles and focused on goals, which are below.

 Restart Committee principles:

  1. Safety first: This remains our top priority, and we will continue to be governed by sensible safety precautions and direction from state and health authorities.
  2. Continue the academic mission of the university: Teaching, learning and research will shift back to former operations, where prudent and possible, though they will incorporate new learning where applicable. We may need to change the way we operate in some cases, but we will not compromise the quality of our education and research. 
  3. Hold students, faculty and staff harmless to the extent possible within budget realities.
  4.  Incorporate learning from the shutdown: While the constraints imposed upon the campus and operations were difficult, WSU responded quickly and effectively. The actions taken in response to the shutdown have yielded lessons and opportunities that can help us re-imagine and reposition the university for the future.

Goals of the Restart Committee: 

  • Welcome the community "back to campus," while providing information on new policies/procedures to ensure both safety and our ability to serve our mission.  
  • Re-energize the academic mission of teaching, learning and research.
  • Return the campus to as near to normalcy as possible, while continuing to prioritize safety.
  • Implement necessary adjustments based on budget/financial realities.
  • Adjust policies/processes/procedures to accommodate new learning.
  • Ensure preparedness for future events.

To address the wide range of challenges and opportunities facing the Restart Committee, we formed a number of subcommittees — consisting of faculty, administration, and in some cases, students — each with individual goals, and chaired by subject-matter experts.

Subcommittees Chairs
Academics/teaching and learning Keith Whitfield
Research Steve Lanier
Finance and budget Rebecca Cooke
Public Health Laurie Clabo
Facilities Rob Davenport
Housing, dining, campus retail Tim Michael
Athletics Rob Fournier
C&IT Daren Hubbard
Human Resources Carolyn Hafner

The subcommittees are meeting regularly and report to the full committee to ensure information is shared and collaboration is maximized. Though we are making progress, there remains much work to be done, and many questions still to be answered. Some of the answers are dependent upon variables that are hard to predict, and we are modeling scenarios to maintain flexibility. Where we have more control, we will move quickly to communicate and implement decisions, so that you can plan your work and education. In the meantime, we will continue to communicate regularly and post updates on the coronavirus website, where you can find guidance, decisions and recommendations from the Restart Committee. To learn more about the Restart Committee, visit the menu item labeled "Campus restart."  

This has been a challenging time for all of us, and like you, I am eager to move to the next phase. While there are issues to be resolved, we will be "open for business" for the fall semester. As I have shared in other communications, I hope for a full return, but I expect that initially we will have a combination of in-class and remote instruction, depending on safety concerns. I expect we will have campus activities, student events and even sports, though for now they may be held differently than in the past. People will return to work on campus, though new policies and options will be in place to ensure people are safe and protected. The necessity of adjusting to this pandemic has taught us new ways of doing things, and we will incorporate this new learning where it makes sense.

Once again, I continue to be grateful and proud of the adaptability and generosity of our Wayne State community. While this is not over, there is a sense of hope and, soon, a plan to return. I am as excited to begin as you are, but I urge you to be patient and continue to observe the recommendations and policies on safety, for your good and the good of others.

Stay safe and Warrior Strong.


M. Roy Wilson

 May 4 - CARES Act

Members of the Wayne State community,

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress in March to protect against the economic impacts of COVID-19. The Office of Student Financial Aid has been working to develop a process to distribute these funds within U.S. Department of Education guidelines. As a result, the WSU CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund has been established. The fund is intended to assist students with urgent financial needs directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to students who are eligible for federal financial aid. This includes undergraduate, graduate and professional school students enrolled at Wayne State University and pursuing degree programs. Students may begin applying for this aid this week.

I encourage students who need assistance and may not be eligible for CARES Act funding to consider applying for an institutional grant made available through our WSU Student Emergency Grant Program.


Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D. 
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affair

April 23 - Executive pay cuts

Members of the Wayne State community,

Yesterday, I shared with you our current assessment of the university's financial situation, which included actions we are taking immediately and the potential impacts on our FY 2021 budget. In two of the budget scenarios outlined, I referred to the possibility of furloughs, which we had intended to implement in a tiered fashion to minimize the impact on employees with lower salaries.

Members of my executive leadership team were in complete support of furloughs, should they become necessary, but wished to go further as a leadership team. Today, we agreed to implement voluntary pay cuts immediately and channel these funds to the Student Emergency Fund, which now is a part of the overall Warrior Relief and Response effort that was created last month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective immediately and through the end of the year, my salary will be reduced by 10%. Members of my executive team — including the deans of the schools and colleges — agreed unanimously to have their salaries reduced by 5%.

The Student Emergency Fund is a resource created to help currently enrolled Wayne State students who are in need of financial assistance during a time of hardship or unexpected emergency with issues such as transportation, food, utilities, medications or personal tragedy. Students can be considered even if they have received aid previously. The program ensures that temporary hardships do not prevent students from continuing forward and achieving their dreams of a college degree.

While all students are eligible to receive these new funds, special focus will be on providing assistance to students who are ineligible for support from CARES funds based on the fund requirements. All of our current students are considered part of the Warrior family, and we want to make sure all of our students are eligible for this support. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Wayne State students, faculty and staff have stepped up in extraordinary ways to support those in need. At one of our first coronavirus meetings, employees began donating their sick time to help fellow employees whose sick banks were low or exhausted. This began almost as a symbolic gesture, but we've now banked thousands of hours, more than $200,000 worth from our executive leadership alone. Since then, Wayne State Warriors have found many other ways to help, from establishing early testing for health care providers and first responders to providing virtual mental health support and creating face shields through 3D printing. Today's announcement is one more step.

As I noted in my message yesterday, I could not be prouder of our institution's response during these uncertain and difficult times. Thank you for remaining Warrior Strong. 


M. Roy Wilson

April 22 - Financial impact of the pandemic to Wayne State

Members of the campus community,

I continue to be amazed by the speed and creativity exhibited by so many across our campus community as we have adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes necessitated by this crisis have been difficult, but we have adapted with understanding, flexibility, compassion and Warrior spirit. Thank you.

While our highest concern during this pandemic must remain the health and safety of our people, there are many other challenges we are addressing as we strive to serve our mission. Important among these is stabilizing our finances. As I have noted in prior communications, we continue to assess our financial impact in real time. We already see some negative impact, and we must plan accordingly, both in the immediate and longer terms. 

In the short term, I informed higher-paid, non-represented employees last week of the need to suspend their merit increases. This week, we are taking further action. Effective immediately:

  • Spending will be limited to essential purchases only.
  • Consultant and independent contractor contracts exceeding $50,000 will require presidential approval.
  • All immediate hiring decisions are subject to presidential approval, and a process is under development to provide enhanced review for all longer-term hiring decisions.
  • All information technology functions will be consolidated under C&IT.
  • New policies regarding carry-forward reserve and deficit balances will be communicated to the relevant people as soon as possible.

For the longer term, the Fiscal Year 2021 budget is being developed in consideration of the pandemic impact. This is a complex undertaking, as there remain significant unknowns and factors over which we have limited or no control. Among these are the progress on the fight against COVID-19 and its impact on state finances. And while we remain confident in the value of a Wayne State education, fall enrollment may be affected, depending on the pandemic's impact to students and families.

With this in mind, we are currently analyzing an array of budget scenarios using various assumptions for revenue generation, primarily changes in enrollment and tuition rates. Based on these models, our estimates range from a best-case scenario that would require a budget reduction of 5% and a worst-case scenario of 15% or more. Potential cuts in state funding could require additional budget reductions.

In previous communications, I noted that our decisions during this crisis have been guided by three principles: 1) the safety of our community, 2) holding people "harmless" to the extent possible (i.e., mitigating the impact on students, faculty and employees) and 3) continuing our academic mission. Our FY 2021 budget recommendations will seek to balance these principles with today's realities, but we will have to make difficult decisions.

We understand that people are concerned. Students have been asking about tuition. Faculty and staff have questions about budget cuts and the potential for layoffs, reductions in pay and furloughs. I believe it is best to be as transparent as possible with regard to these possibilities, even in the face of uncertainty. 

Our financial models suggest the following:

  • Scenario 1: Budget reduction of 5%, or approximately $20 million. This budget scenario can be managed under our current budget model with the administrative decisions outlined above and some additional belt tightening. This is consistent with annual reductions made in recent years.
  • Scenario 2: Budget reduction of 10%, or approximately $40 million. At this level of reduction, we will need to consider multiple options for reducing expenses, including furloughs and selected layoffs. We also will need to review programs and functions, and focus spending in areas that are strategic priorities.
  • Scenario 3: Budget reduction of 15%, or approximately $60 million or more. This scenario would entail actions noted in Scenario 2 plus the elimination of select programs and services.

The above scenarios appear stark, but I am cautiously optimistic. My personal opinion is that Wayne State is a very desirable university and that fall enrollment will be robust. Also, Wayne State is in a better financial position than many universities.  Our cash position is strong, and our credit agencies consider our liquidity position to be excellent. Nonetheless, this pandemic will financially impact all universities, including ours, and we need to be prepared for all possibilities.

Over the coming weeks and months, the administration will work with the Academic Senate, Student Senate and collective bargaining units to further refine our scenario planning and recommend a budget to the Board of Governors that best meets the needs of our entire campus community. 

As our world has shifted, I have watched the Wayne State community rise to the daunting challenges of this pandemic in extraordinary fashion, across all levels of the organization. In a time when one might expect fear, discord or a rigid adherence to the status quo, I have seen innovation, collaboration and even heroism. I couldn't be prouder. This is undoubtedly difficult, but I remain confident that by working together, we will emerge a stronger, more resilient institution.


M. Roy Wilson

April 15 - Summer Classes

Dear Colleagues,

Given that Spring/Summer term is approaching quickly and there is a need to reduce uncertainty and allow time for planning for the Summer Session June 24-Aug 14, 2020), we have decided that Summer course offerings will be limited to online or remote instruction.

For all Spring/Summer, Spring and Summer courses, the Office of the Registrar will be automatically changing the Schedule of Classes to replace the TR (traditional) instructional delivery mode with WEB, to indicate that the course will be offered via either online or remote delivery. We expect these changes to happen in the next couple of weeks.  Meeting patterns and times will remain to allow flexibility to offer courses synchronously.  Information for scheduling coordinators is being prepared now and will be distributed to them shortly, advising them on how to make changes to meeting patterns as needed.

For the Fall term, with the continued uncertainty around the containment of the Covid-19, what the new normal is going to look like, and how soon we will be able to resume teaching on campus, it is prudent to plan for remote/online teaching for the Fall term. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed as decisions are made. Even in the event that health experts and government officials call the "all clear," there may be a strong sentiment to continue social distancing that results in a strong preference for online courses. We need to be able to meet that demand. As I have mentioned, to support your efforts in that regard, my office has initiated the Knowledge on Demand course development support program and we have expanded the support from CIT and OTL.  


Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs

April 4 - Message concerning the loss of a Wayne State team member

Dear campus community,

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that Darrin Adams, a custodian and member of our Wayne State family, passed away from complications caused by COVID-19.

Darrin worked at Wayne State for nearly six years, mostly in Manoogian Hall. He was also a student, studying for his degree in sociology. He was one of us, and we all grieve his loss. Darrin leaves behind family and friends, and we keep them in our thoughts as they deal with this unexpected loss. We hope that their grief is assuaged by good memories of a life well lived.

This pandemic has hit Detroit hard, and we have all watched with great concern as the cases in our city have mounted. Unfortunately, our campus is not immune. We have had a number of cases, and now we mourn the loss of one of our employees.

Please be safe, and follow the guidelines from the CDC, which are posted on our website and in many other places. And please stay connected. We all need each other, now more than ever. 


M. Roy Wilson

March 30 - Remote Spring/Summer Classes

Dear Wayne State Warrior:

I am writing to let you know that the upcoming spring semester courses (May 4-June 23) and spring/summer semester courses (May 4-July 30) will be offered via online and remote instruction only. The plan for summer semester courses (June 24-August 14) has not been finalized. Your progress toward your degree is my top priority. The online student success resources that have been provided to you through the Learn Anywhere platform will continue, as well as other programs and initiatives to support your success. At this time, we are not certain of when university resources like computer labs will reopen, but as soon as we know, we'll let you know. Be sure to regularly check your Wayne State email and

I very much appreciate the courage you have demonstrated in these uncertain times. I know it has disrupted so many lives but I admire your Warrior Strong spirit to help our communities weather this pandemic. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to submit them with the Ask A Question link.

In Warrior spirit,

Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 29 - Mental Health Support and Crisis Care Services

The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched and tested health care systems and hospitals. It has done the same to the mental wellbeing of many, whether they are caring for patients in those hospitals, coping with stay-at-home orders or enduring the juggling of classes.

The Wayne State University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, recognizing the strain, is enacting an innovative new program to offer free assistance for members of the WSU campus community who may require assistance coping with the demands of the pandemic.

The program, called Warriors Strong Together, provides free mental health intervention to all faculty, staff and students of Wayne State University, and physicians and staff of the Wayne State University Physician Group, during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an added convenience, the services are available by telephone or videoconferencing per the caller's preference.

"We know that everyone has their hands full during this crisis," said David Rosenberg, M.D., professor and chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. "Our department has been deeply humbled and inspired by our colleagues on the front lines and what their efforts have meant working to keep our community and neighborhoods safe. We have also been motivated and inspired by the larger Wayne State University and UPG response and pulling together during the pandemic. Extraordinary times require unique approaches. Our department is trying to do whatever we can to support our university and UPG colleagues during this time."

Those seeking assistance can reach the dedicated call center at 313-577-1596 seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., beginning March 30. Callers will be scheduled for a phone session or teleconference with trained professionals that day, within 45 minutes or less depending on call volume.

There is no charge for the first telephone or videoconferencing session.

If a caller does choose to enter into further treatment, Dr. Rosenberg said, insurance would be accepted and all co-pays waived. If a caller's insurance does not cover further service, he or she will not be billed. If a caller decides to enter into further treatment but is concerned about confidentiality, Warriors Strong Together will provide outside referral information.

"During the period of the pandemic, our goal is not to generate revenue. We have been humbled and inspired by our colleagues on the front lines, and the way the whole Wayne State University community has pulled together underscores the Warrior spirit and resolve," Dr. Rosenberg said. "We have considerable experience with telepsychiatry, videoconferencing and mobile crisis programs, and this Covid-19 special program is modeled on our experience and expertise in ongoing programs in the state of Michigan for other health care systems and first responders that has received national attention."

Assistance provided during calls and teleconferences will vary based on the need of the caller, from supportive to crisis intervention. "Our goal is to make this as user-friendly for the recipient as possible and help them avoid long car drives, delays and inconvenience. In-person meetings and referrals will be available for those whose situation warrants this."

The length of teleconference sessions will vary based on the caller's needs. "We plan to be as accessible as possible," Dr. Rosenberg said. "If the need and volume of requests becomes very high, we will hire additional personnel and increase the hours of operation."

Jack D. Sobel, M.D.
Distinguished Professor
Wayne State University School of Medicine

March 27 - Mail Services Notice

Attention Faculty and Staff,

As we continue to navigate the responses to COVID-19, Mail & Receiving Services continues to operate daily, but with reduced hours.  Currently, our hours are between 8:30 am -12:00 noon. However, we are taking further precautions to limit our face to face interactions.

These safety precautions include:

  • Limiting visits to USPS for retrieval of inbound mail and delivery of outbound mail to once per day.
  • No signature will be required for accountable/trackable mail deliveries. Mail & Receiving shall sign as delivered on behalf of recipients.
  • Mail and receiving will not be delivering mail and packages during Governor Whitmer's "Stay at Home" period of time:
    • 1200 Holden (our location) will be open for pick-up of mail and packages and for drop off of any outbound mail. We have staged an isolated area near the dock entrance door, which is clearly marked RECEIVING, for pick-ups and deliveries. If you call ahead when you are coming the staff can ensure we have your mail and packages ready for pick up when you arrive.
    • 1200 Holden is located across from the Detroit Recycling Center with nearest cross roads being Lincoln and Holden.
    • If Departments wish to have their mail bundled and sent via USPS to a staff member's home address, they may reach out to Leo Lieberman with an index to charge and the name and address of the staff member to send it to and we will do our best to accommodate these requests. Unfortunately we do not have the ability to do this for packages. All mail will be sent accountable so that it can be tracked
    • In the event you are not able to pick up your mail and packages, they will be housed until we are back to operating as usual. There will be no need to call or email to advise.
  • Please contact us as 577-2377 or 577-2376, or Leo Lieberman at with additional questions. Please also note that due to reduced staffing during this period calls may not be answered straight away and there may delays in responses.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and are adjusting our processes as needed. Further notifications will be sent out as needed. 

Leo Lieberman, Associate Director, Campus Services

March 26 - Modified custodial coverage


I hope this communication finds you all safe and well. The purpose of this communication is to update you all on the status of custodial coverage for Wayne State University buildings where we have limited occupancy during the governor's executive order, EO2020-21, which will extend through April 13, 2020.

In order to exercise an abundance of caution for the campus community, effective Friday, March 27, we will modify the custodial coverage for critical buildings. The modified schedule includes modified tasking as well.

Minimal custodial coverage includes:

  • Service on Tuesdays and Fridays only, from 7-11 a.m.
  • Collection of a single trash-drop point at the entrance of the building
  • Paper and soap restock, basic wipe down of first-floor restrooms only
  • Sanitization of access card pad and hardware on exterior doors and elevator keypads for the main entrance

Critical buildings that will receive minimal scheduled custodial coverage during Executive Order, EO2020-21:

  • Medical Campus
    • Lande
    • Elliman
    • Mott
    • Applebaum
    • Scott Hall
  • Main Campus (north)
    • Computing Services
    • WSU Police Station
    • Integrative Biosciences Center 
    • 1200 Holden
  • Main Campus (south)
    • Academic/Administrative Building 
    • University Services Building
    • Welcome Center

Please know that we expect staffing coverage challenges well after the expiration of the governor's executive order; therefore, modified custodial changes are expected for the foreseeable future. We will be sure to communicate changes to schedules and tasks as situations arise. If you have questions related to coverage, please contact

Thank you for your patience and cooperation in helping Facilities Planning and Management ensure the safety and health of our staff and the campus community. Remember: Be nice, be kind, be thankful. We are all in this together.

March 25 - P/N grading winter 2020

Dear Wayne State University Warrior:

I hope this email finds you well. I realize that the transition to online classes can be stressful for some of you, in addition to the worries and challenges the coronavirus pandemic is bringing to our families, friends, co-workers and fellow Warriors.

To help you complete the semester and maintain your progress toward your degree, Wayne State is adding a pass/no pass grading option for undergraduate classes taken during this winter 2020 semester. There are several details to this process, so you will want to review them carefully and work with your academic advisor to determine the best choice for you to make. The entire plan will be on by Monday, March 30.

Instructors will assign a letter grade for each course. Then, depending on the grade received, the letter grade may be translated into a pass/no pass format. (Updated on April 9, 2020 for clarity) Specifically, grades of D+, D, D- and F will be automatically translated into a grade of N, a grade that will not affect your GPA, although you will not receive credit. However, there may be a few cases where a D+, D, or even a D- may serve you better. If you think this might be the case, you should consult with your advisor. After doing so, you will have the option to change your N to the earned grade, whether D+, D or D-. Based on consultation with the schools and colleges, grades of F will be automatically translated into a grade of N, a grade that will not affect your GPA, although you will not receive credit.  If you receive receive a D+, D, or a D-, you will have the opportunity to change your grade to an N.  Remember that a D will earn credit, but will impact GPA. There may be cases where a D+, D or D- may serve you better. If you are considering this, you should consult with your advisor.

If your instructor assigns a grade of A, B or C (including C-), you will receive that letter grade. However, depending upon your academic program and goals, you may prefer a P. Again, you should consult with your academic advisor to discuss the options. If you and your advisor determine that a P is in your best interest, you will be able to file a request to change the letter grade to a P.

The decision to change your grade depends on many things, including your school/college policies, your current GPA and major, and your academic goals. Up until the time you graduate, you can make this change at any time. You can also change your grade back to the original grade. For example, if you change your program or major, you may decide that it's better to switch from a letter grade to a pass/no pass grade, or vice versa. However, once you graduate, your transcript cannot be changed and your grade will remain fixed on your transcript. A transcript notation will indicate that the pass/no pass grades in the winter 2020 semester resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

P grades elected during this semester will not count toward the maximum allowed. Also, P grades elected during this semester will be accepted for general education credit, but they might not count for some schools, colleges, programs or majors. Therefore, you should be careful to make sure the P grade will satisfy your school, college or program requirements.

This new policy doesn't change any of your school, college or program requirements. You should be aware that although individual schools, colleges or programs are permitted to make curricular changes in light of the coronavirus pandemic, they are not required to do so. In particular, many programs cannot accept grades of P or of C- due to accreditation requirements. Your advisors are learning about this new policy now, just as you are. They are working to review the policy and to understand the best approach for each program and major and they will need some time to discuss within each school and college.

Remember, unless you plan to graduate this semester, you have a great deal of time to make the decision that is best for you. The most important choice you can make now is the choice to commit deeply to your academic success during the remainder of this semester. We are here to help you, so be sure to visit our "Learn Anywhere" website at as well as to keep up-to-date on other important information at

Be well and remain Warrior Strong.


Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 24 - Governor Whitmer's executive order

Dear colleagues,

Yesterday, we resumed our winter semester in a new and different manner from which we are accustomed. Also yesterday, Governor Whitmer issued an executive order for all but essential workers to stay home. Over the past several weeks, we have witnessed events and change that was unthinkable just a few months ago.

Despite all of this, we are able to carry on our core academic mission. This is due to the hard work of many people, and the openness and flexibility of faculty, students and staff to adapt and adopt novel ways of teaching and learning, even as we conform to rapidly changing conditions in all other aspects of our lives. Thank you, all of you, for working together as we find our way in this new reality.

The governor's executive order requires that we continue to adapt. To comply with these new requirements, I have asked that deans and members of my cabinet designate, in writing, the people who qualify as exceptions to the order by the end of this month. As a comprehensive university that serves the health and educational needs of our community, we will have clear exceptions. In some cases it may not be as clear. However, I believe this order is in the best interests of all of us, and I ask that we comply in both spirit and letter. If you can work from home, you should be doing so, for your health and the health of others. If you have questions about your specific situation, please direct them to your supervisor, who will work with leadership to answer your questions.

Since this situation began to escalate, our decisions have been guided by three principles:

  1. The safety of our community comes first.
  2. We will, to the best of our ability, "hold people harmless." This pandemic was not caused by any of us, and we will do all we can to ensure people can continue their work, and support themselves and their families.
  3. We will continue to serve our academic mission. This has meant that our faculty, staff and students have had to make tremendous adjustments in a very short period of time. By all indications, they have done so with speed and Warrior spirit. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.

Finally, as we adjust to these new circumstances, let's also continue to uphold our values, and let's continue to support each other. I've been heartened by many examples of people stepping up to help others, or finding ways to connect or share their stories. I look forward to sharing my stories as Jacqueline and I figure out our work-from-home situation. Most importantly, please remember we are in an unprecedented time, but we are in it together. This will pass, and we will persevere.


M. Roy Wilson

March 23 - Gov. Whitmer signs "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order

On March 23, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order, directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michigan residents to stay in their homes unless they're part of those essential workforces, engaged in outdoor activities, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy or doctor appointments.

Wayne State employees with questions about whether their services are exempt from the executive order should contact their supervisors to discuss; designation of employees as exceptions to the order is subject to approval at dean/vp level. Read the full text of Gov. Whitmer's executive order.

March 20 - Learn Anywhere

Dear students,

Wayne State University is eager to welcome you back to classes on Monday, March 23. While online and remote learning environments are new for many, we assure you that our care for you and our commitment to your success remain as strong as ever. During the last two weeks, dedicated faculty, advisors and staff have been working to ensure that many of your routine academic resources will still be available to you, albeit in different ways. While the way we interact may have changed, our goal of helping you successfully complete the winter 2020 semester has not. To that end, we are excited to share Learn Anywhere, a new resource page that includes tips and services to support online and remote learning.

Information about accessing technology off campus — including discounted and free internet and cellular service — can be found on Computing & Information Technology's (C&IT) resource page. Additionally, the C&IT Help Desk has its extended weekday hours from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and added weekend hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For support, contact 313-577-4357 or

Many of you are adapting quickly to a variety of issues you never anticipated. We assure you that you will continue learning with access to dedicated faculty, advisors and staff, who will teach and engage using email, phone, Canvas, Microsoft Teams, BigBlueButton, Echo360 and other platforms.

The university will share updates and other information by email, text, newsletters, social media and, of course, through our various websites. Wayne State has established a dedicated student information section on its COVID-19 website to keep you informed during this time. The Dean of Students Office has also provided a place for you to submit your questions.

In addition to these resources, you should check your email regularly, as it is a primary way for us to communicate with you. Please reach out to your instructors if you have questions about a class, or if you need more information about the new course format.

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. We also commend the tenacity and perseverance of our students and faculty. We know that we will successfully complete this semester because, together, we are Warrior Strong.


Monica Brockmeyer
Senior Associate Provost for Student Success

Michelle Hunt Bruner
Senior Director, Student Academic Success

March 20 - Campus building availability

To the campus community,

We want to update you on the status of campus buildings during this time when we seek to minimize large congregations of people in buildings and other spaces due to the COVID-19 virus public health threat.

As you know, we are transitioning to remote instruction and learning, starting Monday, March 23. We are also asking everyone who can work from home to do so and C&IT is working hard to make sure people have the necessary technology to do this. For more information about working from home, check the human resources website at

As a result of these changes, there are far fewer people in all of our buildings. We have been working with people across the university to understand the needs of students, faculty and staff, with regard to building access. We have also sought the advice of health experts and the Wayne State University Police Department (WSUPD) to insure that people who continue to use our buildings are safe.

As a result of these discussions, we have decided that starting Monday, March 23, virtually all campus buildings will be locked, as they are during weekends and the holiday closure. These buildings will need to be accessed either by a OneCard or building key. People without card access who need to enter a building must call WSUPD at 313-577-2222. WSUPD has committed to respond to these requests within 15 minutes. We also want to assure the campus community that WSUPD continues to patrol the campus and check facilities as usual. If you need to get into a building and would like a police escort call the police department at the number above.

During this period, we will be providing limited services to most buildings. You'll see on the list below that we have reduced our need for custodial staff in most areas by keeping only one or two restrooms accessible per building and designating one central location for trash disposal. People who are using these buildings are asked to carry their trash to this central location before leaving for the day.

We understand that this may be inconvenient, but we ask for your patience and flexibility. The potential threat of spread of the coronavirus is causing all of us to make significant changes in our day-to-day routines. Our priority is to keep the campus community safe and healthy during these extraordinary times while we continue to fulfill the missions of the university. To quote a colleague, "We are still doing our jobs, we are just doing them differently." I want to thank everyone in our campus community for keeping operations going during this difficult time.

Buildings that are already closed:

  • State Hall
  • Deroy Auditorium
  • Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center
  • Rands House
  • McGregor Memorial Conference Center
  • Law Library
  • Shapero Hall
  • Law Classroom
  • Beecher House
  • Tierney Alumni House
  • Stadium Auxiliary
  • Softball Stadium
  • Harwell Baseball Field
  • Multipurpose Indoor Facility
  • Bookstore
  • General Lectures
  • St. Andrew's Hall
  • Mike Ilitch School of Business
  • Industry Innovation Center

Buildings that will require no custodial coverage by the end of the day today:

  • Walter P. Reuther Library
  • 5425 Woodward
  • Freer House
  • Knapp Building
  • Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute
  • Education
  • Purdy/Kresge Library
  • Law Administration
  • School of Social Work
  • Prentis Building
  • Life Science Building
  • Manoogian Hall
  • Hilberry Theater
  • Shaver Music Recital Hall
  • Art Building
  • Community Arts
  • Linsell House

Buildings that will require minimal custodial coverage:

  • David Adamany Undergraduate Library: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Old Main: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Mortuary Science: one restroom open, on the third floor only; trash at restroom
  • Richard Cohn Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Acadademic/Administrative Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Faculty/Administration Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Integrative Biosciences Center: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Engineering: one restroom (first floor); trash in one location at restroom
  • Bioengineering Center: one restroom (second floor west hallway); trash in one location at restroom
  • Engineering Technology: one restroom (first floor); trash in one location at restroom
  • Manufacturing Engineering Building: two restrooms (one on each floor); trash in locations at each restroom
  • Lande Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Elliman Building: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development: one restroom; trash in one location at restroom
  • Matthaei Physical Education Center: two restrooms (primary men's and womens' locker room restrooms); trash in one location at restroom
  • Welcome Center: one restroom (first floor); trash in one location in restroom

Parking structures that will be closed:

  • Parking Structure #3 (aka Rackham Garage), located at 45 E. Warren between Woodward and John R. –All current permit holders will have access at PS#6 as a temporary solution. PS#6 is located at 61 Putnam between Woodward and Cass, also known as the Welcome Center Garage.
  • Parking Structure #4 (aka Medical School Garage), located at 555 E. Canfield at St. Antoine on the east side of campus. Lot #75 can be used as an alternative and is located at 545 E. Canfield between Brush and St. Antoine adjacent to PS#4.
  • Parking Structure #5 (aka Anthony Wayne Drive Garage), located at 5501 Anthony Wayne Drive. Alternative parking options include PS#1 (aka Palmer Street Garage) located at 450 W. Palmer, between Cass and Anthony Wayne Drive or PS#2 (aka Manoogian Garage), located at 5150 Lodge Service Drive just west of the new Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments.

We will update this message as new developments occur.

Rebecca Cooke
Interim Vice President for Finance and Business Operations and Chief Financial Officer; and Treasurer, pro tempore

March 20 - Updated Information on positive COVID-19 tests

On March 18, we announced that two employees had tested positive for COVID-19. One employee is based out of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library. After further investigation, it was determined that the other person has no formal affiliation with Wayne State.

March 19 - Information on employees with COVID-19

One of the Wayne State employees confirmed to have COVID-19 is based out of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library. The other works at Children's Hospital and did not spend time on the Wayne State campus.

Medical professionals are in communication with the employees to conduct contact tracing and are reaching out to students, faculty and staff who may have had direct contact with them. Those contacted individuals will receive advice regarding self-monitoring and/or self-quarantine based on the nature of the contact. If you are concerned, please call your personal care provider or the Campus Health Center.

March 18 - Confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Wayne State University

Dear members of the Wayne State community,

Today, we learned that two members of the Wayne State community have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). These are the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Wayne State University. Our thoughts are with the employees and their friends and families, and we wish them a speedy recovery. Now we turn our attention to you and the safety of others on our campus.

In line with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, these individuals are now under the care of trained clinicians and will be in isolation off campus.

The appropriate health authorities, in adherence to the CDC protocols for COVID-19, are in communication with the employees, and are reaching out to students, faculty and staff who may have had direct contact with them. Those individuals will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, monitor their symptoms, and call their personal care providers or the Campus Health Center if they experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

I know this announcement causes you concern, and this is understandable. This is serious, and as a medical doctor with a background in epidemiology, I share your concern. Please know that the university has been active in our preparations for this event since well before the coronavirus became a pandemic, and we will continue to do all we can to minimize the risk to our campus community.

I also feel compelled to continue reminding all of us to take precautions. If you are not feeling well, or believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus, please follow the CDC guidelines and stay home. This is especially important, as we understand that one of the infected individuals continued coming to work after becoming ill. This virus is very contagious – now is not the time for this sort of heroism. If you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, dry cough and/or shortness of breath), please call the Campus Health Center or your primary care provider for an immediate evaluation. When you call, let them know what your symptoms are and if you've traveled out of the country or to a high-risk area in the United States recently. Social distancing is critical to stopping the spread of this virus.  

We will continue to provide regular updates. Wayne State's COVID-19 website is the best source of information about the impact of the virus on our university community and provides answers to frequently asked questions.

Please take care of yourselves.


M. Roy Wilson

March 17 - Commencement postponement

Dear students:

I know that you each of you have been working hard to attain your Wayne State degree.  I regret to inform you that Wayne State has made the very difficult decision to postpone spring commencement ceremonies due to the ongoing battle against the spread of the coronavirus. We understand that commencement is an important milestone, one worthy of the traditional pomp and circumstance.  You have worked long hours to earn a degree and we, like you, looked forward to celebrating this day with you and your family and friends. Know that this news as disappointing to us as it is you. However, due to the large number of attendees that typically travel to attend commencement, and government restrictions on larger gatherings, we felt we had no choice but to postpone the event.

One thing that is not cancelable due to the coronavirus, thankfully, is the conferring of degrees for students who have fulfilled their requirements. Please rest assured that graduates will receive their degrees.  The Wayne State School of Medicine and Wayne Law have different academic calendars, and different commencement dates. Information about their commencements will be covered in different messages.

The situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is evolving rapidly, requiring our students to adapt quickly to a variety of issues they never anticipated. Wayne State University has established a dedicated student information section on its COVID-19 website to keep you informed during this time. This site will be updated as new information becomes available, and also provides a place for you to submit questions.


Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 17 - Dean of Students message to Warrior families

Dear Warrior families,

The situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is evolving rapidly, and we understand your concern and desire to know what Wayne State University is doing to keep your student safe and educated in this unprecedented time. To provide the latest information, we have established a COVID-19 website, which includes a dedicated student information section. The site will be updated as new details become available, and it also provides a place to submit questions.

The Presidential Coronavirus Committee — composed of infectious disease specialists, campus health professionals, administrators, faculty and others — is meeting continuously to discuss new developments and make recommendations and decisions to keep the campus community safe. It is important to remember that campus remains open, and while the way we do business may change, our commitment to student success and safety has not.

  • Academics: Face-to-face classes have been canceled March 16-22. However, classes scheduled to be online during this time will continue as scheduled. Remote instruction for all classes begins Monday, March 23. Exceptions for laboratory, performance and other classes — which present a unique challenge for online/remote instruction — will be considered on a case-by-case basis upon recommendation of the appropriate dean.
  • Remote Learning: By the time classes resume, a Learn Anywhere website will be available to provide information, support and guidance about how to access the technology needed, and, most importantly, maximize learning to help students adapt to this change and finish the semester successfully.
  • Events: All events with 50 or more people will be canceled through the end of the semester (April 28) to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations for social distancing. The Dean of Students Office has canceled all face-to-face programming and events, and is active exploring opportunities for virtual engagement. April's commencement ceremonies have also been postponed. Alternatives are being explored, and details will be shared as soon as possible to ensure that everyone has enough time to make the necessary arrangements to join us for this joyous occasion.
  • Student Services: Every student support office — including the Academic Success Center; Counseling and Psychological Services; Student Disability Services; Career Services; the Office of Student Financial Aid; and the Student Service Center — is currently able to provide support via online and remote delivery. Additional details about remote peer counseling via the Warrior Chat program will be available soon.
  • Housing: Campus housing remains open, but students who do not need to be on campus are strongly encouraged to return to their permanent place of residence, if possible. For those unable to go to an off-campus location, Wayne State will continue to fully support students in campus housing and dining facilities.
  • Dining: Towers Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner during posted hours. All diners are required to use to-go/takeout options effective immediately until further notice. Most other campus food retail, including Gold 'n' Greens, is closed until further notice. Some shops on Anthony Wayne Drive and around campus are open for takeout service only.
  • Parking: Students will be issued a refund for semester parking passes by completing an online cancellation form. The reason for cancellation would be "other."
  • OneCard: If you would like to close/cancel a OneCard account and have funds returned, complete an online cancellation form. Please note that there is a $15 administrative fee to close the account, which will be deducted from the balance. Refunds will be issued in 2-6 weeks. If you do not want to incur the fee, you can keep the funds on your OneCard account and use them at a variety of on- and off-campus vendors
  • Campus Buildings: Some campus buildings remain open but are operating at a reduced capacity. An updated list of closures and building hours is available at

The Campus Health Center (CHC) remains open. All students — and especially campus residents — who return from travel or stopovers at any countries or areas with travel advisories set at CDC levels 2 and 3 (currently China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Venezuela and Europe), or who have been exposed directly to a confirmed case of COVID-19, must quarantine themselves for 14 days immediately upon return.

  • Campus residents who believe they qualify for self-quarantine should notify the Campus Health Center (CHC) at 313-577-5041 to discuss their situations.
  • Those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should contact the CHC or their primary care provider immediately to begin COVID-19 testing.
  • Those who test positive for COVID-19 should alert the CHC and/or their primary care provider immediately.
  • Those returning from domestic travel in areas with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 are encouraged to practice self-observation for the development of any symptoms and contact the CHC if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.

While these changes are inconvenient, please remember that the CDC recommends social distancing as a critical strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we do our part to protect members of our campus community and beyond. I know that together, we will successfully complete the semester Warrior Strong.


David Strauss
Dean of Students

March 16 - Update concerning coronavirus disruptions

Members of the campus community,

First, thank you all for the spirit and flexibility you have shown during this time of great concern, rapid change and continuing uncertainty. Even in this time of social distancing and working remotely, we are seeing many examples of dedication, commitment and selfless behavior. That is the true Warrior spirit, and I am grateful.

Safety must remain our top priority, though, and we encourage everyone to attend to their health and the health of those around them by adhering to the many guidelines that help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

To that end, we continue to consider other proactive measures beyond those we have shared already, and we continue to publish these on our website. An important consideration right now is limiting the amount of people on campus in hopes of mitigating the risk of spreading the virus through personal interactions. Many people have already begun to work remotely, but we still believe there is opportunity to further limit the campus population. That said, it is important to remember that Wayne State is still open, and we continue the work that serves our academic mission.

In the midst of a crisis like the one we are now experiencing, with the speed of change and the necessity of adjustment, it is easy to lose perspective and focus only on the moment. I thought it would be helpful to remind us all of the bigger mission we serve. The core of what we do — teaching and learning — will continue, even if our method of delivery must change for now. We are here to serve our students, and each of us plays an important role in that endeavor.

I have asked our deans and members of my cabinet to work with their teams to identify people who are mission critical and must be on campus, and those who can continue their work at home. Beyond general guidelines, these decisions are best made at a local level, with input from the employees and supervisors who are closest to the work. The analyses and discussions that will inform these decisions are already taking place.

Some staff, due to the nature of their work and the availability of technology, can work from home. Other work cannot be done remotely. An example of this is housing and dining, which are required to serve some of our students, for whom the residence hall is their home. Although the libraries were closed by executive order from Governor Whitmer, we are working on an alternative plan to provide the technology that students need to continue their studies. This, too, will require people on campus to deliver these services. Research, another core mission of the university, also requires a different approach, and this will be discussed in subsequent communications. In all of these examples, services will be provided in a different manner, but they must continue if we are to carry out our academic mission.

Having some work from home while others must report to campus may seem unfair. I understand your feelings and share your concerns. We will do all we can to keep our work environment safe, including limiting the amount of personnel around you and instituting greater measures of cleaning and disinfecting. We ask for your understanding, and ask that you discuss any personal situations directly with your supervisor or your personal care provider. We do not wish anyone to take unnecessary risks.

Finally, more announcements are forthcoming, and we ask for your patience as we continue to adjust to this new world. This is a serious situation, but with all of us working together, supporting each other and serving our greater mission, we can make the best of this situation until it has passed. And, it will pass.


M. Roy Wilson

March 13, 2020 - Human Resources update to employees

To the campus community,

As you know, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has made the decision to close all Michigan K-12 schools in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This poses a new set of challenges for us, especially for employees who have young children. 

First and foremost, it's important to be clear that the university remains open. The Presidential Coronavirus Committee and the Division of Human Resources have been discussing ways to accelerate work-from-home solutions and to support our employees during this time. 

We are taking the following action now through April 28:

  • In order to minimize the risk to our employees, we have developed guidelines on flexible work arrangements (FWAs). Employees will be allowed to work from home if the nature of the job lends itself to that possibility and their supervisor agrees. Employees will be expected to perform normal job duties as if they are working from their office.  
  • Managers are encouraged to use discretion regarding employees' work arrangements and to be flexible regarding attendance policies. 
  • Some employees may not have enough hours in their paid time off (PTO) banks to cover time at home to care for their children or other dependents. We have identified some options that will allow employees to continue to be compensated during this critical time. One of the options, currently under development, is a voluntary shared PTO pool. University leaders have already donated more than 3,000 sick hours that can be used by employees who do not have enough hours in their leave banks. This is a great example of how the Wayne State community supports its colleagues in challenging times. 
  • Additional information on benefits such as wellness resources, virtual doctor's visits, and financial concerns can be found on the HR coronavirus page. This situation continues to evolve quickly, so please check the WSU coronavirus website for the latest information.

If you are sick or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please follow the CDC guidelines and stay home except to get medical care. If you are exhibiting symptoms (fever, dry cough and/or shortness of breath), please make an appointment with the Campus Health Center or your primary care provider for an immediate evaluation. Let them know when you make the appointment what your symptoms are and if you've traveled out of the country recently. Social distancing is critical to stopping the spread of this virus.   

Finally, please remember: If you are well, we need you now more than ever. On-campus staff will be reduced and our jobs may require a different approach than usual. Please be willing to share resources and take this opportunity to cross-train your colleagues. Human Resources is available for consultation and assistance at any time. Now is the time for everyone to band together and remain Warrior Strong.  

Carolyn Hafner
Interim Associate VP & CHRO
Human Resources

March 12, 2020 - Dean of Students message to students

Dear Wayne State University students,

The situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is evolving rapidly, requiring our students to adapt quickly to a variety of issues they never anticipated. Wayne State University has established a dedicated student information section on its COVID-19 website to keep you informed during this time. This site will be updated as new information becomes available, and also provides a place for you to submit questions.

Below are some additional details about how the university will continue to provide support and resources to students:

  • The Dean of Students Office has canceled all face-to-face programming and events, and is actively exploring opportunities for virtual engagement.
  • The Student Center Building will remain open
  • The Campus Library System remains open with spring break hours through March 23, at which time it will provide an update on operations through the end of the semester.
  • Towers Cafe will resume normal hours on Monday, March 16, 2020. All diners will be encouraged to use to-go/takeout options; for diners who choose to eat in Towers Café, self-service will be eliminated and all items will be pre-plated or made-to-order. Safe dining practices, including social distancing, are recommended and guidance will be posted at dining entrances, retail locations around campus and in the Student Center. Gold 'n' Greens and some other retail food operations on campus will be closed March 16-22 due to expected reduced demand during that time.
  • Campus housing remains open, but students who do not need to be on campus are strongly encouraged to return to their permanent place of residence, if possible. For students who need to be on campus, we will continue to support them with available housing and dining.
  • We know that many students depend on funds earned through campus employment. More information will be available shortly regarding altered work schedules, pay, and missed work. Employees should contact their current supervisor with specific questions.
  • The Campus Health Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. If you exhibit symptoms (fever, dry cough and/or shortness of breath), please make an appointment for an immediate evaluation by calling 313-577-5041. If your call is after hours, directions will be provided.  
  • The Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center will close indefinitely at 11 p.m. on Friday, March 13. All programming is also cancelled indefinitely.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is working on plans to ethically and empathetically continue services as possible. Visit the CAPS website or call 313 577-3398 for details. A student experiencing a crisis outside of regular hours can call 313-577-9982.
  • Student Disability Services will be available for students who may need a new or adjusted accommodation based on the shift to online classes.  Please call 313-577-1851 to schedule an appointment Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • In lieu of the NCAA's decision to cancel its spring sports championships, the Athletics Department has decided to cancel its spring sports seasons.

If you traveled over spring break, be sure to follow our university travel guidelines:

All students, and especially campus residents, who return from travel or stopovers at any countries or areas with travel advisories set at CDC levels 2 and 3 (currently China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan), or who have been exposed directly to a confirmed case of COVID-19, must quarantine themselves for 14 days immediately upon return.

  • Campus residents who believe they qualify for self-quarantine should notify the Campus Health Center (CHC) at 313-577-5041 to discuss their situations.
  • Those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their primary care provider or the CHC immediately to begin COVID-19 testing.
  • Those who test positive for COVID-19 should alert the CHC and/or their primary care provider immediately.
  • Those returning from domestic travel in areas with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 are encouraged to practice self-observation for the development of any symptoms and contact the CHC if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.

While these changes are inconvenient, please remember that the CDC recommends social distancing as a key strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. I know that together we will successfully complete this semester Warrior Strong.

David Strauss
Dean of Students

March 12, 2020 - Provost message to students

Dear Wayne State University students,

As you are aware, we are taking a proactive approach to help ensure the safety of our campus community. The speed of change during this situation has necessitated frequent updates to ensure, you, our students, are informed of decisions and can plan accordingly and continue making progress toward your degree. This update is to clarify Wayne State's current plans for classes for the rest of this semester.

Face-to-face classes are cancelled March 16-22. However, classes that were scheduled to be online during this period will continue as scheduled. Remote instruction for all classes begins on March 23. The campus will remain open. Further communication is forthcoming regarding hours and services available, including libraries, the Student Center, dining, etc.   

The extension of the spring break for face-to-face classes will allow instructors time to adapt their syllabi and delivery methods in transition to online and remote instruction methods. Staff in our Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) and C&IT are working around the clock to provide your faculty and instructors with the resources and support they need to give you the best possible learning experience.  

A limited number of classes that present an extreme challenge for online/remote instruction may be granted an exception to this policy. Your professors and deans are examining these options and will contact you directly if you will continue meeting in person.

Our university is committed to providing students with the support you need to be successful when learning in remote and online courses. Every student support office, including the Academic Success Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Disability Services, Career Services, Office of Student Financial Aid, and the Student Service Center, is currently preparing to offer you support using online and remote delivery. Your academic advisors are doing the same. You will also be receiving an update very soon from the dean of students regarding other aspects of student life.

By the time all classes resume on March 23, a "Learn Anywhere" website will provide you with information, support, and guidance about how to access the technology needed, but more importantly, how to maximize your learning. 

We are also exploring ways to support students who do not have access to a computer off-campus, or who may have limited connectivity.  We will continue to expand and improve these supports as better understand your needs.  In short, the way you receive support from the university may change, but our commitment to provide you that support has not. 

Please remember, the CDC recommends social distancing as a key strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of students, faculty, and staff contracting the disease. The experts we are consulting with and many of our peer institutions agree this is the right choice. Please visit WSU's COVID-19 website for the latest on WSU's plans to deal with this pandemic, including FAQs.

I want to reassure you that dealing with this situation and doing everything we can to ensure you have a successful semester is my team's top priority. Although this is a very challenging situation, I am sure that we can all work together toward a successful end to the semester. I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.

Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 11, 2020 - Provost message to faculty

Dear faculty,

We are escalating our institutional response to protect our entire community by suspending face-to-face class meetings. All face-to-face classes are cancelled for the week of Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 22. This will allow instructors time to adapt their syllabi and delivery methods in transition to online and remote instruction methods. Classes that started the semester online may proceed normally during this period.

Online and remote instruction will begin on Monday, March 23, and continue for the remainder of the semester. Exceptions for laboratory, performance and other classes which present an extreme challenge for online/remote instruction will be considered on a case-by-case basis upon recommendation of the Dean. Any rationale provided to support such a request should detail extraordinary measures taken to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Please note though, this is not a university closure, and faculty and staff are expected to continue working during this suspension of face-to-face classes.

Staff at our Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) and C&IT are working around the clock to provide faculty and instructors with the resources and support they need during this transition. By Thursday March 12, current best practices and latest options for online teaching will be posted on OTL's "Teach Anywhere" web page, and OTL staff will continue improving this resource as things progress. More details on this initiative will be communicated via email to you as they become available, as well as being regularly updated on the OTL website. Please communicate with your Chairs and the OTL as you develop alternative instruction to keep our campus safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Also, please be understanding and take all reasonable steps to accommodate students who may have difficulty during this transition.

If you have questions, please contact your chair or other appropriate school/college administrator. Staff in the Office of the Provost will be working diligently with deans and chairs to implement this transition as smoothly as possible and will be keeping them informed of new developments.

Please remember, the CDC recommends social distancing as a key strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of students, faculty, and staff contracting the disease. Although the immediate risk to the campus community remains low, the experts we are consulting with and many of our peer institutions agree this is the right choice. Although this is a very challenging situation, I am sure that we can all work together toward a successful end to the semester. We thank you in advance for your efforts in supporting students and the academic mission.

Keith E. Whitfield
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 11, 2020 - Coronavirus update

Members of the campus community,

As you have heard by now, Michigan health officials have confirmed that two people in Michigan have tested positive for COVID-19. One of the patients is from Oakland County and the other is from Wayne County.

This is not an unexpected development and, as we have communicated, we have been preparing for this scenario. Wayne State University, like other institutions, has an important role to play in containing the spread of this virus. To date, we have chosen a proactive approach to help ensure the safety of our campus community.

The Presidential Coronavirus Committee met today to discuss this new development and to make recommendations to keep the campus community safe. Our decisions are as follows:

  1. Wayne State University will extend its spring break for students and cancel all classes until Monday, March 23, 2020.
  2. To plan for our shift to online instruction, a subcommittee of the larger committee, led by Provost Whitfield, has been analyzing alternative modes of instruction and limiting face-to-face instruction. There remain a number of issues under consideration, including training of faculty and working to accommodate the unique needs of students who have limited access to technology off campus. We will be sharing instructions with the campus within the next 24-48 hours.
  3. Campus housing remains open, but we strongly encourage students who do not need to be on campus to return to their permanent place of residence, if possible. For those unable to go home to an off-campus location, we will continue to fully support students in our campus housing and dining facilities.
  4. Dining will resume normal hours starting Monday, March 16, 2020. Safe dining practices, including social distancing, are recommended, and guidance will be posted at all entrances to Gold 'n' Greens, Towers Café, retail locations around campus and in the Student Center. Campus Dining will be encouraging students to opt for to-go/takeout options, and are making the necessary preparations to accommodate this shift.
  5. The campus will remain open. If you have questions regarding your ability to work from home, please work directly with your supervisor. Human Resources will be providing further guidelines in the coming days on other necessary policy adjustments. Employees who are ill, especially if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, are instructed to stay home.
  6. All events with 100 people or more will be canceled to adhere to the CDC's recommendation for social distancing. Deans and vice presidents may consider exceptions, but safety must remain our top priority. Events with less than 100 people are also discouraged. Communications regarding the upcoming commencement ceremonies will be forthcoming.
  7. The health schools/colleges (medicine, pharmacy and health sciences, nursing, and social work) have unique student instruction situations (e.g., clinical rotations). The deans of these schools and colleges will be communicating further instructions based on the guidance of their accrediting agencies.
  8. Effective today, all university-sponsored international air travel is prohibited.

Please continue to follow updates and developments posted on WSU's coronavirus website. Also, please continue to practice the recommended personal precautions to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. This is an evolving situation and we appreciate your patience.


M. Roy Wilson

March 9, 2020 - Coronavirus Travel clarifications

Campus community,

Last Friday, we shared a message with you about university travel guidelines in light of the COVID-19 situation. Based on a number of questions we received, we wish to clarify the guidelines concerning quarantines. 

  • Only students, faculty and staff returning from travel or stopovers at any countries/areas with travel advisories set at levels 2 and 3 (currently China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan), or who have been exposed directly to a confirmed case of COVID-19, must quarantine themselves for 14 days immediately upon return.
    • Those who self-quarantine should notify the Campus Health Center (CHC) at 313-577-5041 or their primary care provider that they have begun their quarantine.
    • Those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their primary care provider or the CHC immediately to begin COVID-19 testing.
    • Those who test positive for COVID-19 should alert the CHC and/or their primary care provider immediately.
  • Those returning from domestic travel in areas with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 are encouraged to practice self-observation for the development of any symptoms and contact their health care provider or CHC if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.

We understand this may be inconvenient, but these precautions are vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Wayne State University continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and has created a COVID-19 webpage to keep the campus community aware of important updates and policies.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Rebecca Cooke
Interim Vice President for Finance and Business Operations, and Chief Financial Officer; and Treasurer pro tempore

March 6, 2020 - Coronavirus Travel Guidelines

This message has been updated with clarifications on March 9, 2020

Dear university community:

With spring break upon us, we want to answer questions you may have about travel guidelines related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat. These recommendations are from our Presidential Coronavirus Committee and are in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

  • Wayne State will not approve travel to any jurisdiction identified by the CDC with a Level 3 Travel Warning for coronavirus: currently mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. This will also apply to any other country or region that is added to the Level Three Travel Warning list in the days and weeks ahead. We also ask that you restrict travel to Japan, the only nation so far to be on the Level 2 Travel Warning list for COVID-19.
  • We also strongly discourage personal travel to countries or regions with a Level 3 Travel Warning.
  •  If you decide to travel, educate yourself about health resources in the areas under consideration. You may be subject to governmental travel restrictions with little or no notice, and airlines may limit or cancel flights without warning. You will be subject to any restrictions in place at the time of your return.
  • If you plan on domestic travel, please note that the known prevalence of COVID-19 infection in the United States is changing rapidly. Please visit the CDC website for daily updates about spread and outbreak clusters, and check for the latest information before embarking on any trip.
  • If you are a student, staff or faculty and do travel to an area affected with COVID-19, we ask that you quarantine yourself upon your return for 14 days and monitor your symptoms. If you are a student who requires a quarantine, you will need to contact your instructors to make accommodations for your coursework. If you live in campus housing, the university will work with you on accommodations. Please visit our coronavirus FAQ  on additional precautions required upon your return.
  • If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, please alert your primary care physician or the Campus Health Center (313-577-5041). If necessary, the Campus Health Center will provide guidance for the COVID-19 testing protocol. Visit the CDC website to learn more about symptoms.
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to file a CARE report with the Dean of Students Office if they are aware of any students who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19 or who are concerned that they are experiencing symptoms.
  • The evolving situation related to the COVID-19 virus means we must face the possibility of faculty/staff canceling pre-approved university business-related travel plans. The reason may be due to a canceled conference and/or when travel is considered inadvisable. 
  • In this case, the faculty/staff member's first course of action should be to seek a refund from the vendor(s) where the expense was paid (airline, hotel, conference host). If a faculty/staff member is requesting reimbursement from WSU for expenses related to a pre-approved university business trip that they did not attend, it is an exception to policy and needs the approval of a dean, or an associate provost/associate vice president or higher in order to process reimbursement. Visit here for details on the Travel policy.

A full description of what Wayne State is doing about the potential threat of the COVID-19 virus can be found on our website.

Our priority is to keep the campus community safe and well. Please enjoy your spring break, and we'll see you soon.

Rebecca Cooke

Interim Vice President for Finance and Business Operations, and Chief Financial Officer; and Treasurer

March 5, 2020 - Message from the president

Dear campus community,

I am writing to update you on Wayne State University's preparation for the possibility that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may affect our campus. At this point, there are no confirmed cases in Michigan, but many epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists feel that it's only a matter of time before we see cases of COVID-19 in our state. Now is the time to prepare.

I have charged a presidential committee with ensuring that our campus communicates information promptly, exercises appropriate precautions, and implements continuity plans for our academic mission and campus operations. That committee — composed of infectious disease specialists, campus health professionals, administrators, faculty and others — meets routinely and fully understands the weight of their responsibilities. We will continue to update the campus community regularly, both directly and online.

Additionally, I'd like to address a related issue that is extremely important to all of us. At some campuses across America, there are reports that people have targeted Asian and international students for harassment simply because the novel coronavirus originated in China. This sort of behavior is inconsistent with our values of being a diverse, welcoming and inclusive campus community, and will not be tolerated. I urge all of us to uphold these values, which are a source of pride at Wayne State, even in times of anxiety.  

We are preparing for many contingencies, but this crisis will eventually pass. In the meantime, let's stay true to our values, and continue to treat each other with the respect and dignity we all deserve as members of our common community.


M. Roy Wilson

March 5, 2020 - Message from Dean of Students to students

Dear Wayne State University student,

You are likely aware that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to parts of the United States. Although no cases of the virus have been confirmed in Michigan, infectious disease specialists expect that we will see the virus in the state.

As a university, preparation is our best defense. As we are days away from spring break, this is a good time to mention a few common-sense precautions you can take as you embark on a well-deserved break from your studies:

  • You should not travel to locations that have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for travel restrictions — mainland China, Iran, Italy, South Korea or Japan. These are nations with high incidences of the disease and evidence of rapid spread in the community.
  • If you are traveling in the United States, monitor new developments closely to make sure COVID-19 has not been found in the place you are traveling to. You can view updates on the CDC website.
  • Avoid travel altogether if you are sick. Visit the CDC website to learn more about symptoms.  
  • If you are in large groups of people, consider practicing social distancing and try to stay away from individuals who are coughing or sneezing. The CDC website has more information about prevention.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes. Consider using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently throughout the day.
  • If you feel ill and have a cough, fever or shortness of breath, see a medical professional as soon as you can. When you call to make an appointment, make sure you tell them over the phone about your symptoms.

On a different note, we have noted that at a handful of universities across the nation, some have used the coronavirus as a vehicle to target international, and particularly Asian students. The coronavirus may have originated in China and, but it does not discriminate based on ethnicity or country of origin. At Wayne State, we pride ourselves on offering a welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus community. This is instilled in our values and a focus of our strategic plan, and does not change based on changing situations. I ask that we continue to embrace this value. Behavior that negatively targets others has no place at Wayne State, and will not be tolerated. If you witness this sort of behavior on our campus, we urge you to contact the campus police at 313-577-2222.

A full description of what Wayne State is doing about the potential threat of the COVID-19 virus can be found on our website.

Our priority is to keep the campus community safe and well. Please enjoy your spring break, and we'll see you on March 16.

David Strauss
Dean of Students

March 4, 2020 - Provost message to faculty

Dear colleagues,

The coronavirus (COVID-19) threat is real and significant, although the immediate risk is low. We have been closely monitoring developments globally and nationwide, and are working with health care professionals and others to prepare for potential cases in Michigan and on or near the Wayne State campus. To that end, President Wilson has charged a committee comprising administrators, faculty and staff to ensure that campus is prepared and informed, appropriate precautions are exercised, and continuity plans for our academic mission and campus operations are in place.

At this point, there are no confirmed cases in Michigan, but many epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists feel it's a matter of when — not if — we see cases of COVID-19 in this state. Now is the time to prepare.

As faculty members, you have an important role in managing the risk of COVID-19. For now, we ask that you consider reviewing your attendance policies so as to strongly encourage sick students to stay home and recover. Staying home when you are sick is one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) key recommendations. We hope that you will ask your students to follow these recommendations and not come to class is they feel ill.  Additional recommendations can be found at the CDC's website.

We also recommend that you begin to consider ways to continue your teaching responsibilities should the spread of COVID-19 necessitate limits to meeting in large groups or even the possibility of a campus closure. Although at this point, we see campus closure as unlikely, but it is a contingency we are making sure to consider.

For more information, see the university's communications regarding the COVID-19 virus, how to prevent it and other advice related to minimizing the impact of this illness. Another great source of updated information is the CDC's website. The CDC is leading the national effort to educate and inform, and to promote best practices for prevention and treatment of the virus.

This is a challenging time for all of us. Disruption in our academic mission is challenging and can be disconcerting, especially if it involves threats to our health and well-being. We appreciate your willingness to help us address these challenges and help ease the anxiety that this situation has caused.

Keith E. Whitfield
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 3, 2020 - Presidential charge issued

Today, a presidential committee was formed, bringing together Wayne State's academic and administrative department leaders to discuss continuity of operations related to teaching, research, campus services and operations, and other community-related issues.

To view previous CMT activities, visit our crisis-preparedness website.

February 28, 2020 - President message to employees regarding travel/study abroad

Members of the campus community,

As you know from our previous updates and the wealth of information being shared publicly, the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread at a rapid rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the situation closely and providing necessary information, advice and, where appropriate, warnings. I encourage you to visit the CDC site.

As a university with global impact and global travelers, I feel it is important that we take extraordinary precautions in this extraordinary time. As I have noted in the past, the safety of our campus community is our top priority. For this reason, I feel our precautions should extend beyond the advice of the CDC.

Effective immediately, I have directed that we suspend study abroad travel for this semester. The Office of International Programs has already communicated this directive to applicable faculty and students. While this means that some students and faculty must forgo opportunities for global learning for now, we will work to ensure that student finances and progress toward degrees are unaffected. We will continue to monitor the situation for future planning purposes.

Since the situation is changing daily and will continue to do so in the coming weeks, we highly encourage you to keep checking the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites regarding your potential travel plans, and even consider postponing personal international travel until the CDC lifts its travel warnings and feels COVID-19 is under control.

Whether you plan to travel or not, I encourage you to be especially diligent in practicing behaviors that help prevent the spread of disease, including washing your hands, covering your cough or sneeze, or staying at home if you are sick. Several of my colleagues at the National Institutes of Health have even discontinued the practice of shaking hands. While I understand the difficulty — and perhaps impracticality — of refraining from such a common greeting, I also have decided to forgo shaking hands as much as possible. While socially awkward, my training in epidemiology and public health makes me believe this is the right approach to reduce the risk of spreading infection. To that end, I ask your indulgence if I, or others, choose a different greeting.

We will continue to update you as necessary through messaging and at our coronavirus information webpage. In the meantime, the committee of experts we referenced in our communication on Feb. 12 will continue to monitor this situation and its implications for our campus, develop necessary recommendations, and report to me weekly.

Thank you for your cooperation.

M. Roy Wilson

February 27, 2020 - Office of International Programs message to campus regarding travel

To Our Wayne State University Community,

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a great deal of uncertainty and disruption in several countries around the world. Among the impacts are disruptions to international travel.

Out of an abundance of caution and because of the high degree of uncertainty about how the disease is spreading and our inability to control events on the ground in different countries, we have decided to suspend our Wayne State University spring break study abroad programs for this semester.

Participating students will not be impacted financially or academically, and we will work with our faculty to ensure that students receive full credit for their courses. This was a difficult decision, but one made with the best interest, safety and well-being of the students and faculty in mind. Students or faculty with questions can email the Office of Study Abroad or call 313-577-3207.

We will continue to follow the U.S. Department of State and the CDC guidelines regarding other travel restrictions and will post ongoing updates on the situation on the Wayne State coronavirus update page.

Thank you,

Ahmad M. Ezzeddine, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President
Educational Outreach and International Programs

February 12, 2020 - Campus Health Center message to campus

Dear university community,

The coronavirus outbreak, also known as novel coronavirus syndrome or Covid-19, is a significant public health concern. While there have not been any reported cases in Michigan, Wayne State University is carefully monitoring the situation and will take any necessary steps to protect our campus community. A committee of campus experts has met and are following this situation closely. This committee is composed of infectious disease physicians from the School of Medicine, staff from the provost's office, Campus Health Center professionals, communication staff and others.

In keeping with the recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. government, all WSU-related travel to China will be restricted and personal travel to China discouraged. Students, faculty and staff who have returned from China in the last 14 days should follow the recommendations listed on the CDC website.

If you have one or more coronavirus symptoms, please see your primary health care provider, visit a local urgent care center or call the Campus Health Center at 313-577-5041 to make an appointment.

Here are some potential scenarios and recommended actions:

  1. Faculty, staff and students who have been in China in the last 14 days or have come into contact with a person known to have the coronavirus and have symptoms of respiratory illness — including fever, cough or difficulty breathing — should see their primary care health provider for an evaluation. Your physician may isolate you in a private room and ask you to wear a facemask and other appropriate protective equipment. The appropriate clinical assessment may be conducted in collaboration with state and local health departments.
  2. If you have not been to China and have no symptoms but are just generally concerned about the coronavirus, you may contact the Campus Health Center and ask to speak with a nurse practitioner, the outreach nurse or nursing administration.
  3. If you live in campus housing with someone who has traveled to an affected area and are concerned about remaining in the residence, please contact Dr. Kelly Thacker, associate director of university housing, at 313-577-2116 to explore alternative temporary housing.

Although there is, understandably, a high level of concern and much misinformation about the novel coronavirus syndrome, we do not believe there is any immediate threat to our campus community. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will post updates on new developments to keep the campus community informed. We also encourage good health hygiene for all infectious diseases. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands frequently, and stay home if you are sick.

For more information about the novel coronavirus syndrome, visit


January 28, 2020 Update

Dear University Community,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring developments around a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. There are seven distinct types of coronaviruses. This strain is known as the novel coronavirus because it is a new permutation of existing coronaviruses.

Human coronaviruses commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people who contract them. Two types in particular – MERS and SARS – have been known to cause serious illness and, occasionally, death.

Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in close to 2,700 confirmed cases and 106 deaths in China, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The first case of the virus in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020 in Seattle, Washington and since then four other cases have been confirmed in the U.S. There is no known cure, although scientists are working on developing an effective vaccine.

Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people are infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. These illnesses typically last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include:

  • runny nose
  • headache
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • fever, chills
  • body aches
  • a general feeling of being unwell

Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults.

Officials from the state health department report there is some evidence of limited person-to-person transmission of the virus, but that the risk to the general American public is still deemed low. There have been reports of three suspected patients in Michigan – two in Washtenaw County and one in Macomb County. All three cases have been confirmed as negative.

If you have one or more of the symptoms listed above, please contact your primary health care provider to schedule an appointment. It is particularly important to report to your provider if you have traveled or been in contact with someone who has recently traveled to China.

If you are having any of the above symptoms and need care, please visit a local urgent care center, or call the Campus Health Center at (313) 577-5041 to make an appointment. Office hours Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update you as developments occur.

For more information about the novel corona virus please visit:

Thank you,
Campus Health Center Staff

Campus priorities

  • The safety of our campus remains our number one priority.
  • Continue the mission of the university.
  • Learn and adapt based on our experiences so far.
  • Try to protect people from difficult financial consequences.

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