May 15, 2020

PLANS FOR AN EXCITING FALL MOVING FORWARD

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Parents, Alumni and Friends of LTU --

I want to share some exciting news about the coming fall 2020 semester. The enthusiasm of our students is clearly expressed through strong enrollment numbers, the receipt of more campus housing reservations, and no diverting from academic programs that lead directly to lifetime professional and economic success.

Clearly, our current and incoming students believe that in spite of whatever obstacles and hardships exist today, the future is theirs to shape and this is their moment. This is their time to prepare for greatness. This is the time to move boldly and courageously ahead. 

Of course, the safety and health of all on campus remain a top priority of LTU, and these attributes are also important to their families and parents. Other academic communities are weighing teaching options for the fall semester, too. The three options that seem to be surfacing most often are (1) opening the fall semester with face-to-face classes as if COVID had never happened; (2) offering "hybrid" classes with in-person and online components; or (3) making the fall an entirely online semester.

There is no perfect solution. None of these options will please everyone. But, as I said in my previous message, we are considering all the information and by July 1, our goal is to announce the best plan for moving forward. STEM/STEAM institutions like LTU are different in operation than liberal arts colleges. And large public universities have different profiles and methods of educational delivery compared with small, private institutions that provide education in a more personal environment. 

As it turns out, the Lawrence Tech approach to experiential education rooted in theory and practice, small classes with caring, engaged faculty, and incredible resources like the LTuZone laptop program make a Lawrence Tech education particularly attuned to today and far beyond. This approach and instilling the virtues of lifelong learning place LTU graduates ahead of their peers professionally and economically. We will not deviate from it.

Our administration, faculty, and staff leadership, along with local, state, and federal health authorities, are continuing discussions while monitoring various scenarios of the pandemic's potential. LTU's community of faculty and student scholars have always kept exceptional scholarship along with security and safety as priorities in the learning environment. Blue Devils have done this before, and we are poised to do it again. We can make a difference in the world around us. We can reach the sky and seize the stars of success, and do it while remaining careful and vigilant in an academic enterprise that moves all to success and achievement.

So, please stay strong and let nothing shake your resolve of achieving a fulfilling and impactful educational experience. Know that the LTU community is with you. As American computer scientist Alan Kay has said: 

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."  

Keep inventing!

Virinder Moudgil Signature

Virinder K. Moudgil, PhD
President and CEO


April 27, 2020

PROGRESS AND PLANNING FOR FALL SEMESTER

The COVID-19 global pandemic has altered our lives like nothing we have ever experienced and upended the normal processes and activities of our social interaction, business, travel, and education at all levels. I am so proud that the students, faculty, and staff at Lawrence Technological University have worked together and made the best of this difficult situation, enabling our spring semester and soon, our summer semester, to continue without diminishing progress or momentum. 

Much is unsettled in the months ahead as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Michigan authorities set timetables for reopening and rules for social distancing. The fundamental question is whether we and other schools will be permitted to reopen for our usual August start of classes and under what new regulations and guidelines.

For this coming fall semester, Lawrence Tech intends to welcome students to the campus in our usual numbers, while being cognizant of and prudent about the safety of our community of scholars. We are committed to remaining and growing as both a commuter and a strong residential campus. All students benefit from the campus being more supportive and convenient, and research shows that students who reside or spend more time on campus do better academically. As generations of alumni have so aptly proven to us, it is LTU’s focus on experiential learning, theory and practice, working together, that leads them to some of our nation’s highest salaries and levels of career success. 

At this time, as all colleges and universities are doing, we are considering a number of options as we approach the fall semester. New policies may be implemented to minimize contact between low risk and high risk groups. Preliminary possibilities, none set in stone as yet, include more hybrid classes with online components, or perhaps more virtual laboratories or studios. Face coverings may be required and group gatherings above a certain size may be prohibited. Deep cleaning of facilities will continue. Health testing procedures may be instituted. As our state and national leaders assess progress on dealing with the pandemic and make recommendations, we expect to be able to announce LTU’s plans for the fall on July 1. 

Please know that our strategies will be to assure the health and safety of our entire Lawrence Tech community while moving forward with our inspired mission to prepare new generations of leaders. Over nearly 90 years, by working together, LTU Blue Devils have overcome all challenges and grown ever stronger. That is our legacy, and that is our future. 

Stay strong!

Virinder Moudgil Signature

Virinder K. Moudgil, PhD
President and CEO

April 5, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF, PARENTS, AND OTHERS

As we all cope with the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the drabness of winter is being cast off. As LTU’s beautiful quadrangle and lawns green and flowers begin to bloom, the hustle and bustle of having everyone on campus is missed. Like you, we look forward to the return to normalcy in our lives and in our academic and professional pursuits. 

In the meantime, Lawrence Tech’s leadership team continues to monitor needs and adjust operations as we approach the final weeks of the spring semester ending on May 15.

Here is a progress report:

  • The transition from face-to-face to online teaching continues to go well. Training for faculty continues, but now is more focused on helping with exams and grading.
  • We are examining whether students will be provided a choice to receive an actual grade for their spring classes, or a pass/fail determination. If this is the approach we take, there will have to be a number of procedures that will need to be revised. Also, student scholarships and other financial aid will need to be reviewed to see whether students will still meet the GPA requirements for their aid.. 
  • We are continuing to investigate how Lawrence Tech can provide services to local, state, or federal health care or other organizations that will not jeopardize the health and safety of members of our LTU family.
  • The annual Scholarship dinner for recipients and donors has been postponed. We are examining options, including a virtual dinner, or to have it during Orientation and Registration (O & R) this summer. The team is brainstorming different ideas.
  • The summer semester and camps are still on track for now. However, Associate Provost Kujawa is talking with faculty to be ready in case summer courses have to be online.
  • Faculty and staff are continuing to minimize costs in any way possible as we weather this crisis. We are working to see if funds can be received from governmental sources to help defray some of the costs being incurred with refunds/credits for students and other expenses.
  • Alumni and other donors have been stepping up contributions to the University which is very important as we seek to increase student scholarships and other support.
  • Enrollment activities are continuing for summer and fall. LTU’s Early Middle College plans with Detroit may expand to additional districts, allowing students to earn transfer credit while still in high school.

From Lawrence Tech’s earliest days—of being founded in the worst year of the Great Depression, to aiding the region’s rapid conversion to the Arsenal of Democracy during World War II, to disruptions from the Great Recession in the late 1980s, and many more—we have faced challenges and temporary setbacks, and we've overcome them together. 

Yours is a legacy of fighting spirit and optimism for brighter days ahead. Know that you, your loved ones, and friends are always in our thoughts. Blue Devils Dare!

Sincerely,

Virinder Moudgil Signature

Virinder K. Moudgil, PhD
President and CEO

March 25, 2020

POSSIBLE USE OF LTU FACILITIES BY OAKLAND COUNTY

To keep you fully informed, I wanted to let you know that Lawrence Technological University officials have met with representatives of Oakland County to investigate the potential use of University facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. There might be some media reports about this and I wanted to make sure that you, as part of the LTU family, knew about it first. 

As you are well aware, Lawrence Tech transitioned from face-to-face to all online classes, studios, and laboratories on Monday, March 23, sending students and many faculty and staff to work from home for the remainder of the semester that ends May 15. 

LTU's Emergency Management Coordinator Tim McGillivary has informed me that no plans have been developed at this time but that if use were to take place it would not create health or safety risks to you and others. First and foremost, your health and safety is, of course, our primary concern.

We are pleased to partner with local, state, and federal agencies during this international emergency. Lawrence Tech has always been a private university serving a public purpose, and it is important that we all work together during this difficult time. 

If a specific plan evolves, I will let you know.

With all best wishes,

Virinder Moudgil Signature

Virinder K. Moudgil, PhD
President and CEO

March 24, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF, PARENTS, AND OTHERS

Yesterday we launched Lawrence Tech's all online class schedule, precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. I want you to know how proud I am that so many of you have stepped up to the challenges and are making the transition a great success.

Monday's results from ZOOM are that there were 159,531 total meeting minutes (2,558 hours), 3,552 total meeting participants, 283 separate meetings, and 422 new users. Those are remarkable statistics for our first day.

Please continue to refer to our special website for the latest updates: www.ltu.edu/coronavirus, as well as your Canvas learning platform.

Governor Whitmer and others have said recently that "Tough times don't last. Tough people do." That description aptly describes you and other members of the Lawrence Tech family.

We continue to appreciate your patience and positive spirit as this process continues.

Sincerely,

Virinder Moudgil Signature

Virinder K. Moudgil
President and CEO

March 17, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF, PARENTS, AND OTHERS

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be carefully monitored by Lawrence Technological University as it continues to spread around the world and to a growing number of individuals in the United States and here in Michigan.

Your campus leadership is meeting and talking daily to manage the University’s response.  We are following guidance from local, state, and federal public health agencies with the one goal to keep Lawrence Tech students, faculty, staff, and guests safe and healthy. We are also pledged to assure that you complete the Spring Semester with as few obstacles as possible, even though this may require altering “business as usual” and completing requirements in new and sometimes innovative ways.

Here are the latest actions affecting Lawrence Tech’s Southfield campus and the Detroit Center for Design and Technology:

  • All in-person, face-to-face instruction is being replaced by online instruction through the end of the semester, May 15, 2020. Beginning March 23, students should refer to LTU’s Canvas learning platform for more details.
  • All courses currently delivered online will continue as scheduled.
  • Students residing in campus housing halls are asked to return home by Sunday, March 22, 2020. More details about move out will be sent tomorrow to residential students from the Dean of Students Office.
  • For students with limited or no internet connection off campus:
    • Check with your internet provider to ensure that their service is working.
    • Check local internet providers for free internet service.
    • Inform your professor that you have internet access issues and make alternative arrangements to submit assignments.
  • The May 9 Commencement will be postponed until December 2020. We sincerely regret the unprecedented need to postpone this ceremony that celebrates such an important life accomplishment. However, for the safety and health of our graduates and guests, we are following the guidelines of health officials who warn against large gatherings in that timeframe.
  • The Don Ridler Field House and the LTU Café (cafeteria) will remain closed. Beginning March 23, food for residential students with dining contracts will be available for pick-up only from the Cafeteria. Service will be limited.
  • LTU’s Library and Academic Achievement Center (AAC) will feature full, online assistance 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through March 20. Hours following that date will be determined shortly.
  • All NAIA and other athletic events and practices have been cancelled until further notice.
  • Faculty and staff are expected to report for work as usual. 
  • All campus events and activities scheduled through the end of the semester, whether sponsored by LTU or outside groups, are cancelled or postponed.
  • The University is deep cleaning and disinfecting campus facilities and surfaces. After disinfecting, many classrooms and other spaces will be locked to prevent potential contamination.
  • International travel by faculty or staff remains prohibited without permission.

For updated information from state health officials, visit https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/.

A reminder that the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations for prudent flu hygiene have not changed. Whether you are personally staying local, traveling within the US, or traveling abroad, heed the following precautions:

  • Keep your immunizations up-to-date including an annual flu shot.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water following the CDC’s handwashing guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/)

If you feel that you have been exposed to Coronavirus or are at risk, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that individuals call ahead and notify your health care provider of your symptoms and recent travel history. Contact with others should be avoided until a healthcare provider has provided an evaluation.

Members of the Lawrence Tech community and all visitors traveling from CDC designated countries listed as Level 3 are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.  The current listed countries are China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. You must submit this form to report this information to the Dean of Students under the following circumstances:

  • If you have returned from or traveled from China, Italy, Iran or South Korea in the last 14 days or are currently there, please immediately report this.
  • If you have had contact with anyone who has been confirmed by laboratory testing to have COVID-19 or anyone who is currently being tested,
  • If you are being actively monitored or observed by any local, county, state or federal public health agency due to risk of Coronavirus, please report immediately.

Questions about the reporting process can be directed to studean@ltu.edu.

More bulletins on this evolving situation will be provided as needed. Thank you for your cooperation and patience as all members of the Lawrence Tech community work through this situation together.


Virinder Moudgil Signature

Virinder K. Moudgil, PhD

President and CEO