The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved campus committee recommendations to revise the winter 2021 semester academic calendar and to hold a virtual recognition ceremony celebrating all 2020 graduates.
Winter semester will be delayed by one week, with in-person classes starting Tuesday, Jan. 19—just after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Spring break will be canceled and the semester will end on May 1, as originally scheduled.
The NMU Ad Hoc Calendar Committee determined that canceling spring break would reduce the potential for COVID-19 virus transmission from other destinations to Marquette, and eliminate the need to develop additional safety protocols for returning to campus mid-semester. The committee was led by NMU Academic Senate Chair Norma Froelich and composed of faculty, staff and a student government representative.
The board also approved an NMU Commencement Committee recommendation that the university hold a virtual graduation recognition ceremony and premiere the event online after the fall semester ends, most likely Nov. 28. Those who qualified for graduation in May and August, and those who complete their studies this semester, will receive an official invitation to view the ceremony. They will also be mailed a printed commencement program, diploma cover and 2020 graduate lapel pin.
“The Board of Trustees is very grateful for all the hard work Norma Froelich and the committee did on the calendar,” said Chair Steve Mitchell. “These are good, common-sense recommendations that will help NMU be as safe as possible for the students, faculty and staff next semester. We had hoped the virus issues would have been over by the December graduation, but that was not to be. The virtual graduation is designed to honor the graduates as best we can in this COVID-19 world. When we can have a regular commencement, all those who did not have one will be invited back to campus to participate.”
With their final action at today's special formal session, trustees agreed to move their previously scheduled Sept. 24-25 meeting to be held on October 15-16.