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November 16 UPDATE

To: NCMC Campus Community

From:  Dr. David Roland Finley, President

While we are still clarifying the implications of yesterday’s Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) gatherings and face mask order, I want to communicate what we know to-date about how this order will affect North Central operations beginning Wednesday, November 18 through Tuesday, December 8.

All in-person classes, with the exception of EMS, nursing, and allied health, will be moved to remote instructional methods.  Instructors in these exempted disciplines will contact students regarding how the next three weeks will go.  All instructors will retain access to their offices during this three-week period.  The handling of final exams is yet to be determined.

In compliance with 2.c.2. of the order that allows for gatherings between an employee and a customer for the purpose of receiving services, Gaylord and Cheboygan offices will remain open by appointment to handle any student needs. Also open by appointment will be the library and student services, including advising and LSS. The foundation will remain open for scheduled appointments, and SCRC staff for individual exercise patrons using the college’s fitness facilities.

Because 3.b.1. of the order allows for students to gather at food service operations in college cafeterias, as long as they observe safe social distancing protocols, the Iron Horse Café will be operational.  Our residence hall will remain open to serve our students who call NCMC home and choose to stay.

In compliance with MIOSHA Executive Rule 5(8), we begin with the assumption that each employee will work remotely. However, this is not a blanket stay-at-home action like in the spring; therefore, it leaves open on-site work that cannot be feasibly performed from home. We are in the process of fulfilling the MIOSHA requirement that an analysis be conducted, and a written policy be created that demonstrates the infeasibility of remote work for various positions. Once complete, this policy will be part of the college’s COVID-19 preparedness and response planning documents. Supervisors will inform employees of their ability to work remotely or the need to stay on-site to perform work activities.

North Central’s mission is to provide exceptional, accessible, relevant higher education of and for the community, which includes the many support services our capable staff provide to our students daily.  We are providing an important service – a critical service – to educate members of our community. To date, we all have been doing an admirable job of remaining safe. 

We must continue our efforts to serve current students and do the same for the students arriving in 2021 and beyond.  Key admission and marketing staff members shall remain engaged in their efforts to attract students to North Central by continuing their work here on campus. 

We understand that the current order was put in place to moderate disease spread and promote public health by restricting unsafe gatherings. The college protocols that have been put in place so far have protected our employees from much of the COVID -19 virus spread.  Our data to date points to the fact that our employees are safe when they follow protocols that the college has implemented.  The safety of our college employees, students, guests, and community is the college’s highest priority.  Your efforts to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection, both on and off campus, are greatly appreciated.  Thank you.