Schools and colleges preparing for more traditional fall semester


The University of Michigan will welcome back students for a fall semester more historically familiar to Ann Arbor’s 19 schools and colleges as well as at Dearborn and Flint.

The Record asked schools and colleges to share some aspect of the coming year they’d like to highlight, within the context of moving on after the last year and a half under the pandemic’s restrictions.

A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Taubman College faculty are excited to return to in-person learning this fall and are eager to welcome the first cohort of 20 students to the Bachelor of Science in Urban Technology program in the winter.

The students’ applications revealed a diverse group, ranging from hardcore programmers with experience on the high school robotics team, to students with a design bent who want to explore new tools, to urban policy wonks looking for efficient ways to make change. Some were already taking on their own urban tech projects, such as reducing vehicle congestion in front of their school by better managing traffic flow or improving the bus network in their hometowns.

Noting the daunting issues the next generation faces — serious challenges like climate change and affordable housing — Brian Boyer, assistant professor and program director, said, “It’s great to come to an understanding about what’s not working in the world around you, but then what do you do about it? I tell prospective students, ‘Don’t come to urban technology if you’re looking for something that’s easy, because it’s not going to be easy. We’re talking about designing the future of cities.”

Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

The Stamps School is excited to welcome our students back to our studios and classrooms this fall.

Fostering opportunities for community connection will be a major focus of the fall semester, as we all come together again for the first time in 18 months. The school has welcomed new staff members to the student services team to support undergraduate advising and student life.

As we reconnect, collaborate and create this semester, we will do so with respect for one another’s health and safety at all times. Stamps will adhere to all state, local and university health and safety guidelines and will ensure that our studios and classrooms are resourced with cleaning supplies to support safe work environments.

Stamps Gallery at 201 S. Division St. is open to the public and will continue to bring vibrant exhibitions to our community, starting with the exhibition Stephanie Dinkins: On Love and Data, on view Aug. 27-Oct. 23.

Additionally, the Stamps School will host two flagship virtual offerings this fall.

In partnership with Detroit Public Television, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series will continue this fall in a virtual-only format, streaming events at 8 p.m. every Friday. Please visit For our scholarly community, the Stamps School will host the 2021 Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Conference virtually Sept. 30-Oct. 3.

Stephen M. Ross School of Business

In the 2021-22 academic year, the Ross School is looking forward to the return of many in-person programs and experiences that bring together students, faculty and staff we have missed this past year.

From casual meetings and socializing in the Winter Garden to orientations, club activities and schoolwide events, we are hopeful there will be more opportunities for members of the Ross community, including alumni, to gather and engage with each other.

In addition, Ross is excited about enrolling its first cohort of students in its new Master of Business Analytics program, which will launch in June 2022. The 10-month residential program will prepare students for future leadership roles that require the ability to transform complex data into high-impact business insights and solutions.

The new program will join the school’s portfolio of top-ranked one-year master’s programs that also include the Master of Management, Master of Accounting, and Master of Supply Chain Management programs.

School of Dentistry

The educational and patient care missions of the School of Dentistry are fully engaged year-round, and we welcome the prospect of a vibrant campus community around us this fall.

The school has returned closer to pre-pandemic norms in our clinical, educational and research missions while incorporating new strategies learned over the past year. Rigorous infection-control standards and vaccination protocols have allowed faculty and students to optimize education and orchestration of research and patient care. Engineering studies and air flow adjustments enhanced clinics, and the latest technology has elevated our comprehensive dental care for patients in all of our general and specialty clinics, including the Dental Faculty Associates clinic.

Of special note, the school is less than a year from completion of its four-year comprehensive building renovation and expansion. This major project is giving the school a new sheen and atmosphere as renovated clinics, laboratories, new exterior spaces and other portions of the building have emerged. A 48,000-square-foot addition in the former courtyard includes state-of-the-art research labs, student meeting spaces, conference rooms and offices.

More information can be found at

School of Education

The School of Education continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding as the 12th school at U-M in 1921. The SOE community launches its second century with a focus on initiatives that center equity and justice, prioritize strong community partnerships, and meet the needs of future of educators.

The Teach Blue Initiative seeks to recruit and support teachers through “Grow Your Own” programs, tuition-free teaching degrees, teaching residencies, and fellowships for expert teachers.

Michigan EdHub will advance online learning, community engagement opportunities, professional development, and credentialing for educators everywhere.

The Detroit P-20 Partnership and Teaching School continue to grow and thrive. This fall, the campus welcomes children through age 5 and high schoolers in grades 9 through 11. The Teaching School has educated more than 30 interns and student teachers, and now has four certified teaching residents.

The CREATE (Community-based Research on Equity, Activism, & Transformative Education) Center connects scholars and education advocates and activists who are committed to conducting or leveraging research to catalyze transformative public education for children, families and communities affected by the injustices of systemic racism and poverty.

College of Engineering

Through our continued focus on research, education and culture, CoE this year pursues its mission to serve the common good through a range of initiatives. New research endeavors include a collaboration with the Medical School to more deeply utilize artificial intelligence to prevent and treat disease; advancing engines that fly more than five times the speed of sound; and making liquid fuel and fertilizer with solar power.

The new U-M Ford Motor Company Robotics Building and the new U-M Space Institute bring together researchers from across campus to advance U-M’s leadership. ZEUS, the most powerful laser in the country, has received $18.5 million from the National Science Foundation to cover operating costs for its first five years. And we continue to expand our use of augmented, mixed and virtual reality.

Pioneering an approach among U.S. engineering schools, we’ve approved plans to educate all members of the college community on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, starting with a focus on race, ethnicity and bias. These and other efforts are some of the first steps in realizing our vision for equity-centered engineering. As both a goal and a process, equity-centered engineering aims to approach the work with an intent to close societal gaps. Read more at

School for Environment and Sustainability

The School for Environment and Sustainability is turning thought leadership into action. SEAS has launched two major initiatives, the Western Forest and Fire Initiative and the Energy Equity Project, which are targeted at solving some of the world’s biggest problems, including wildfires and the lack of accessibility and affordability of the energy supply.

SEAS also is bringing thought leadership to environmental justice at the state and federal levels. Professor Tony Reames, a leader in the energy justice movement, has been appointed by the Biden administration to serve as a senior adviser to the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. He is responsible for energy justice policy and analysis to ensure energy investments and benefits reach frontline communities and Black, Indigenous and other communities of color. Reames also was named to the state’s Climate Justice Brain Trust.

In addition, Professor Kyle Whyte, an advocate for Indigenous people’s rights, was appointed to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, while Dean Jonathan Overpeck and Professor Sam Stolper are members of the Council on Climate Solutions, which advises Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on the state’s action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning toward carbon neutrality.

School of Information

How do students get hands-on learning experiences during a pandemic? The School of Information found ways to deliver location-agnostic experiences that can be applied even after we return to in-person learning.

When student internships and jobs were canceled, rescinded and delayed due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, UMSI’s Career Development Office turned to the school’s alumni network for support. The team launched Alumni Career Connections, an initiative that virtually connects current students to alumni mentors for one-on-one informational career chats, mock interviews, portfolio and resume reviews or career panel sessions.

The school will continue to offer the program even as more in-person opportunities are available. UMSI found that the virtual format attracted a broader global alumni network and provided greater equity and access to opportunities for students and alumni to fit networking around work schedules and time zones.

Students in the school’s Citizen Interaction Design program worked remotely with municipal IT departments across the state to create and pilot an automated email notification system to alert 2020 absentee voters when their ballot had been received, saving city clerks hours of time responding to queries from anxious voters.

School of Kinesiology

The School of Kinesiology is excited to welcome students to its new building this fall for in-person classes. After a transformative $120 million renovation, the School of Kinesiology Building now offers 26,000 square feet of teaching and learning space and 36,000 square feet of research space, all containing top-of-the-line equipment and amenities.

The increased space makes it possible for the school to hire additional faculty — including eight positions as part of the dean’s Strategic Synergy Hiring Initiative, already underway — and launch new academic programs.

The new athletic training master’s program, which began classes in July, offers students on-the-field clinical experience, challenging coursework and access to the nation’s top researchers and medical practitioners. The Sport Management Immersion Program, now in its post-pilot year, offers first-year students a winter term start with a small cohort and a special spring travel experience.

Law School

It has been a time unlike any other in the history of the Law School, and we are excited to welcome students to the Law Quad for an in-person semester.

With the arrival of the new academic year, the Law School welcomes new faculty, including Daniel Fryer and Luis C. deBaca, who led U.S. government activities in the global fight against contemporary forms of slavery during the Obama administration.

Throughout the academic year the Law School will move forward with actions to support its commitment to racial equality and dismantling the barriers to fulfilling that commitment. Student-attorneys will continue to represent hundreds of clients from the surrounding communities through 17 legal clinics in matters ranging from the formation of new business ventures (including U-M student startups) to foster-care proceedings to wrongful conviction, among many others.

The Law School also will continue to engage with the university community through the Problem Solving Initiative, which brings together graduate students and faculty from law and other disciplines to address complex challenges, such as creating a framework for the national slavery monument, designing a new global refugee protection system, examining clemency and decarceration, and exploring identity theft.


This fall, LSA has set its goal not to “go back to normal” but to move forward with imagination and courage, with special focus on academic exploration, community building, addressing inequities, and promoting well-being as we apply what we’ve learned during the pandemic to create an even better experience for students, faculty and staff.

In the classroom, we will continue to innovate with hybrid instruction, combining new online tools with our deep commitment to in-person instruction. Outside the classroom, LSA social events will promote community and well-being with movie nights, pumpkin carving, study breaks with treats, games, a tailgate and more.

The college is also moving forward on equity issues by implementing recommendations from the LSA Anti-Racism Task Force established by Dean Anne Curzan. Another task force, the LSA Working Group on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment, is working on a report and recommendations to better safeguard our community.

LSA is launching academic initiatives including the RISE (Research for Indigenous Social Action and Equity) Center and a new minor in quantitative methods in the social sciences that prepares students to use data to solve problems, shape policies and explain a complex world.

Medical School

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a significant platform for Michigan Medicine faculty, staff and learners to showcase their adaptability, resiliency, and teamwork.

From rapidly changing its service model to care for COVID-19 patients, to utilizing its research expertise to pursue promising lines of inquiry on the virus, to ensuring that learners remain integral members of multidisciplinary care teams during the pandemic, Michigan Medicine has excelled in its tripartite mission during an unprecedented time in its history.

Many learners volunteered through the M-Response Corps and helped to address critical organizational needs. They also adapted to virtual interviewing, helping to showcase Michigan Medicine to potential students and residents, while also pursuing their own futures. The workforce — those who have been onsite during the pandemic, as well as those who have worked remotely — has remained steadfast in its service, and their success is allowing Michigan Medicine to create a modern workplace culture of flexibility and adaptability.

As Michigan Medicine welcomes back some of its workforce, and as the newest medical and graduate students begin their studies, the organization and school are committed to keeping faculty, staff, learners, patients and families safe, while remaining vigilant for whatever happens with COVID-19, this fall and beyond.

School of Music, Theatre & Dance

The School of Music, Theatre & Dance is thrilled to welcome the university community back to our theaters, recital halls and performance spaces this fall to enjoy innovative, thought-provoking and dynamic concerts, events and productions. In addition to the traditional in-person experience, SMTD will build on the skills that our students and faculty honed in the virtual space over the last year to offer many performances in hybrid formats.

SMTD also will continue its commitment to projects, performances and programs that celebrate the voices of Black and Indigenous performers and other people of color, including several premieres of alumni work such as “Kung Fu” by Shuying Li, set to be performed by the Symphony Band on Sept. 24, and “Tales: Folklore Symphony” by Carlos Simon, set to be performed by the University Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 23, 2022.

SMTD also welcomes our dance students to North Campus this fall with the opening of the new Dance Building. The building will double the size of the Department of Dance’s existing facilities and features four large, flexible studio-classrooms. The building brings together music, theater and dance students on North Campus for the first time in SMTD’s history.

School of Nursing

As School of Nursing students prepare for their return to campus this fall, the school’s faculty and staff have been focused on creating a community of excellence for the 2021-22 school year.

“Creating a community of excellence, where all students, faculty and staff feel connected, engaged and valued, is a priority for the upcoming school year and beyond,” said Dana Tschannen, associate dean for undergraduate studies.

Students can expect more opportunities to participate in events and programming aimed at creating a sense of belonging and togetherness.

“We are looking at ways we can expand community building for students who have been virtual for so long and who have experienced a lot of isolation from their fellow students,” said Lisa Kane Low, associate dean for practice and professional graduate studies. “We are forming a new graduate student organization to expand programming and support for our students.”

Also new is the integration of telehealth experiences into the graduate programs using simulation experiences from entry through exit in clinical programs. This is in response to the rapid transition to this model of health care delivery expanding so much during the pandemic.

College of Pharmacy

The College of Pharmacy is excited to welcome our bachelor’s, doctor of pharmacy, master’s and Ph.D. students back to campus. Over the last year, we focused on deepening our sense of community and expanded on the programs that make the college one-of-a-kind — our student-led advocacy, leadership and service activities, networking and career development, and respect for academia.

Our students’ physical and mental well-being continues to be a top priority. We’ll be launching mental health first aid training at our PharmD Pharmacy student orientation and working with our student organizations to spread wellbeing tips and resources college wide. We’re also putting a spotlight on the race and ethnicity curriculum at our student orientation programs. This training will be reinforced by multiyear race and ethnicity curriculum for all Pharmacy community members.

Our 17 student organizations are thrilled to again host community outreach efforts, including administering vaccinations. The Pharmacy Phamilies program, which pairs faculty advisers with a small group of students, provides invaluable support and guidance, helping ease students into and through the school year. In February 2022, we are looking forward to showcasing the achievements of students from every degree program at our collegewide Research Forum.

School of Public Health

The School of Public Health is building on its commitment to expand access to a public health education and foster diversity in the field.

“In public health, we strive to improve the well-being of communities, and that means our workforce must broadly reflect all of the communities we serve,” said Dean DuBois Bowman. “This past year has demonstrated the critical importance of educating a diverse array of highly skilled and adaptable public health professionals who can help us respond to the most pressing challenges.”

A new partnership with Spelman College in Atlanta will offer a five-year accelerated study program, in which students will earn a bachelor’s degree from Spelman and a Master of Science degree in one of three disciplines from the School of Public Health.

In addition, the school is welcoming its first cohort of students in its new online Master of Science in Population and Health Sciences program, the school’s second fully online master’s degree program.

To further expand the reach of public health education, the school is continuing to build on its offering of massive open online courses and other open content.

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

The Ford School community looks forward to a robust in-person learning and teaching experience this academic year, planned with input from faculty, students and staff.

It is launching a Center for Racial Justice, led by renowned sociologist and Associate Dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes. This fall, the center will bring a diverse cadre of scholars to the Ford School to deliver virtual presentations on the historical roots and contemporary currents of race in economic, housing, criminal justice, education and immigration policy. Read a Record story about it.

Our Policy Talks at the Ford School event series will continue in a virtual format, with some speakers also coming to campus to interact with students and faculty in small groups. On Sept. 9 our annual Rosenthal Education Fund event will mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 as we host distinguished journalists Beth Fertig of WNYC and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal. Other highlights include a Sept. 13 event on post-9/11 international security with Michael Chertoff and Farah Pandith and a virtual visit Oct. 12 by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization.

The Ford School is leading the university’s participation in a Big Ten collaboration: Democracy in the 21st Century. Spearheaded by U-M and the University of Maryland, this collaboration will produce virtual events on key topics, a student simulation, and a conference.

Rackham Graduate School

No information submitted.

School of Social Work

In 2021, the School of Social Work is celebrating its centennial. The celebration looks different than we had imagined, but the ability to connect over video has meant alumni from across the globe have participated in a variety of commemorative events, including the inaugural Social Justice Changemaker Lecture featuring Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard.

Alumni and friends are also recording stories about their time at the school and how it has impacted their lives. These stories will be archived where they can inspire generations to come.

Two new online opportunities have been launched expanding the school’s educational mission and providing opportunities for students to learn no matter where they live. The MasterTrack certificate, in collaboration with U-M Academic Innovations and Coursera, provides an introduction to social work and how students can create positive change in communities. The part-time, online Master of Social Work program prepares students to become licensed clinical social workers.


College is a time to learn more about yourself, your interests and build a foundation for the future. To help students focus on that and simplify the business side of university life — from the admissions process to applying for graduation — UM-Dearborn leadership created a new centrally located one-stop service spot.

The Enrollment Student Services team will be available to answer questions people may have about their student accounts, course registration and financial aid. This “one stop” also offers another way for the UM-Dearborn community to connect students with a variety of campus services and resources.

Enrollment Student Services Director Julie Faust said this new approach will get students the answers they need quickly. And, when needed, students can speak more in depth with a staff member familiar with the topic they have questions about.

In addition, the university launched My UM-Dearborn, a student portal, where they can view important campus announcements, see tasks they need to complete, schedule appointments, get answers to questions and access key university resources. Automatic reminders are shared through the portal about appointments students have scheduled and tasks they need to complete.


The pandemic did not slow the pace of progress at UM-Flint, and the university is poised for a strong start to the semester as it marks its 65th anniversary in September.

The College of Innovation & Technology opens this fall as the sixth major academic unit at UM-Flint. The CIT has leading-edge bachelor’s degrees in digital manufacturing technology and information technology and informatics. These majors are designed to prepare students for high-demand careers in such industries as digital design, digital technology, automotive, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, health care and other sectors.

Many students will step into the new wing of the Murchie Science Building for the first time. The wing opened earlier this year, with more than $2 million worth of new equipment installed over the summer.

New undergraduate degree programs in data analytics, urban science and the recent addition of the Master of Science Physician Assistant Program offer students exciting opportunities to explore compelling areas of study.

Students will also have the chance to join UM-Flint’s latest extracurricular activity. The new ESports Team is open to all UM-Flint students and is already competing.

Compiled by Jeff Bleiler, The University Record


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