Raider Return Updates
March 26, 2021
The end of the school year will be here before we know it, and many of you are wondering what our plans are for Fall Quarter 2021. As the vaccination rate increases and the number of COVID cases decreases, we anticipate it will be safe for MSOE to return to primarily in-person instruction in the fall.
The City of Milwaukee has announced they will lift all restrictions on gathering sizes once 80% of the population has been vaccinated. We are working under the assumption that city officials will allow colleges and universities to return to normal, in-person class sizes once the institution has reached 80% vaccination. Therefore, it is imperative that faculty and staff report their vaccination to firstname.lastname@example.org, while students should use the form at my.msoe.edu.
There are many locations near campus and throughout Wisconsin to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine Finder (https://vaccinefinder.org/search/) is a resource you can use to find vaccines based on your ZIP code anywhere in the U.S. All employees (students, faculty and student employees) at MSOE are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. Students may be eligible based on the State of Wisconsin’s guidelines and are encouraged to review them to determine their eligibility. Those living outside of the state should check with their local health department or health care provider.
While we are planning to be back, the pandemic is not over. We cannot let up on our efforts to remain healthy. For the remainder of the spring quarter, all members of our campus community should continue to abide by the various rules and guidelines that have been put in place.
The Raider Return Task Force is working on a new campus safety plan for the fall that will address many of your questions related to on-campus gatherings, classroom and laboratory capacities, safety guidelines, vaccination information and more. We invite your questions through the Raider Return Task Force Suggestion Form for the task force to consider as they are developing the plan. We may not have an immediate answer but will consider all questions and suggestions as planning progresses. I thank you in advance for your patience.
March 16, 2021
This is a week with many milestones for MSOE. We will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, recognizing the person considered the patron saint of engineers; we will celebrate WMSE’s 40th anniversary of bringing community-powered programming from our campus to the world; and we mark the one-year anniversary of when we found ourselves dealing with a pandemic that tested who we are as a community.
Please view the video below to take a look back at the many ways each and every one of our faculty, staff and parents rallied around our students. Thank you.
March 12, 2021
This week you’ll notice an addition to our COVID-19 Dashboard: we now include the vaccination rate of our faculty and staff. Last week the majority of our workforce became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and I am proud to share that 38% of faculty and staff have already reported receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.
In Wisconsin, faculty and staff in institutions of higher education who have direct student contact are eligible to be vaccinated. Even if they do not have direct student contact today, they are eligible to receive the vaccine now in order to support direct student contact in the future. Additionally, student workers have been included in this phase of vaccination. Faculty and staff are encouraged to find a vaccination site or take advantage of the upcoming opportunity to be vaccinated through the Medical College/Froedtert. All employees have received an email with these details. Additionally, https://vaccinefinder.org/search/ is another resource you can use to find vaccines based on your ZIP code.
Faculty and staff are asked to report their vaccination to email@example.com, while students should use the form available at my.msoe.edu to report their vaccination. These metrics are critical to informing our decision-making as it relates to a more normal return to campus this summer and fall. #IGotTheShot buttons and stickers are available in HR for faculty and staff, and in the Office of the Dean of Students for students.
While the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decrease and the vaccination rate increases, our health and safety protocols remain unchanged at MSOE. Our efforts to stay socially distanced, maintain good hand hygiene, and wear our masks are working for us. We will carry out these protocols through at least the end of the academic year. Thank you, again, for all of your work to keep our campus healthy.
Feb. 24, 2021
As a region we are doing our part to combat the COVID-19 virus and the decreasing number of cases reflect those efforts—in our state, our city, and our campus community. At MSOE our surveillance testing results and low case counts remain encouraging. I thank each of you and celebrate your efforts to be safe and healthy.
I am optimistic that these trends will continue, especially as the COVID-19 vaccination becomes more widely available. Workforce vaccination is imperative and we are closely watching state health guidelines and working with the City of Milwaukee Health Department. Faculty and staff will receive more information about vaccine eligibility later this week from the Human Resources Department. You can also check with your health care provider, community clinics, local health department and pharmacy. HealthyMKE.com has an online tool where you can find out if you are currently eligible to get the vaccine and learn more about vaccine options in Milwaukee County.
MSOE is committed to operating without COVID dominating us for the fall, and returning to a more normal way of learning and working. To be clear, “normal” will not be what it was before the pandemic and we will continue to adapt and learn from our shared experiences over the past year. To guide us as we move forward, I have reconvened a campus-wide planning group to evaluate MSOE’s strategic plan and determine the role that online and virtual tools will play in how we educate and operate post-pandemic. We are looking at ways to update our strategies and action items. A major focus of this work is to develop best practices and identify operational efficiencies as well as opportunities to take advantage of robust flexible modalities as they relate to Engaging our Community; Learning and Discovery; and Being Extraordinary.
When our Spring Quarter begins on March 8, we will continue our surveillance testing program. With the end of the Winter Quarter on the horizon, warmer temperatures are hinting that spring weather is on the way. I hope you find some time to enjoy the longer, brighter days outdoors and wish you a restful quarter break.
Feb. 5, 2021
Effective today, the City of Milwaukee has entered the next phase of its Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely plan. In Phase 4.4 the city is easing its restrictions on gathering size limits and athletic events in response to the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in the community.
What does this mean for MSOE?
- First, I am thrilled to share that we are able to hold a very well-deserved Commencement for our Fall and Winter graduates. There will be two ceremonies on Saturday, March 20: one for the Fall graduates, and one for the Winter graduates. The ceremonies will be conducted similar to what we did in September. Graduates will be allowed two guests, and faculty/staff participation will be limited to those essential to the ceremony. More information will be emailed soon to our graduating students and available at msoe.edu/commencement.
- Second, our athletic teams are allowed to have two spectators per participant at each game. As the procedures for this are developed, updates will be posted at go-raiders.com.
- The capacity limits are still in place for our classrooms, laboratories and meeting rooms and we remain in a hybrid mode of instruction through the end of the academic year.
- Registered student groups, clubs and organizations may be allowed to hold small gatherings provided they have an approved safety plan on file with Campus Life and Student Affairs.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has announced that faculty and staff in higher education who have direct student contact are tentatively scheduled to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on March 1. Information about the vaccine phases and eligibility can be found at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-about.htm.
As MSOE receives notification about our employees’ eligibility, individuals will be notified by email by Human Resources. If you do receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the meantime, please report that to Human Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Jan. 22, 2021
I am excited to share the news that several MSOE employees and nursing students have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Late last week, the Milwaukee Health Department invited MSOE employees and students who fall into Phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to make an appointment to get their vaccine.
As the CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services refine their recommendations for the vaccine, we will continue working with the Milwaukee Health Department to identify those in the MSOE community who become eligible. When employees become eligible for the vaccine in the coming weeks or months, they will receive an email from Human Resources with instructions on how to receive a vaccination.
The availability of the vaccine is expected to increase. You are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as you can, whether that’s at a community clinic, your health care provider, or a local pharmacy. There is no need to wait to get the vaccination through MSOE.
Employees are reminded to report their vaccinations to the Human Resources Office (email@example.com). This information will help us with our planning as we work toward the next steps of returning to normalcy.
In closing, even with a vaccine, it is important that we all continue to wear a mask, stay socially distanced, wash our hands, and complete the daily wellness checks in the Rave Guardian app.
For more information about the vaccine please visit:
- City of Milwaukee Health Department
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- CDC Facts about the Vaccination
Jan. 15, 2021
You’ve likely seen in the news that production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continue to increase throughout the U.S. and world. This is really great news and hopefully signals that the next phase of our “new normal” is on the horizon.
MSOE has joined a group of organizations in Milwaukee that are working with the Milwaukee Health Department to allow MSOE faculty, staff and students to gain access to the vaccines over the next few months. We are exploring this, and several other avenues of vaccination that may be available to us, leaving no stone unturned. Being able to access a vaccine is an exciting and promising opportunity, as widespread vaccination of the MSOE community will be key to allowing us to return to more normal operations. We will certainly share more information as it becomes known.
In the meantime, while our testing results continue to be extremely encouraging, the Leadership Team and I feel that we should continue with the hybrid learning mode for both the remainder of this quarter and through the Spring Quarter. The health of our community remains our top priority, and I sincerely thank all of you for your commitment to keeping yourself and others around you safe and healthy.
Dec. 17, 2020
Now that our Winter Quarter is underway and the holiday season is upon us, I’d like to pause for a moment and reflect on our academic year so far. I am thankful for each and every one of you—the students, faculty and staff—who make MSOE extraordinary. Your willingness to go above and beyond to create a safe, healthy and engaging learning environment has resulted in our ability to keep the campus open and vibrant. That is certainly no small feat, and something we should be proud of and celebrate.
We are continuing with our surveillance testing each Monday, and the number of positive cases of COVID-19 on campus remains very small. We are grateful for the safety measures in place and the healthy choices everyone is making. Thank you.
After Winter Break, we will be conducting expanded surveillance testing among students as they return to the residence halls. The Residence Life Office and Health Services will be sharing the logistics and details of this testing with those students who will be required to participate.
The break offers us all a chance to relax, recharge and reconnect with family and friends. As always, it is critical that we practice safe behavior and abide by the Raider Responsibility Pledge. The CDC offers tips on safely celebrating the holidays, which I encourage you to review: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
Happy holidays to you and your families, and best wishes for a healthy and bright new year.
John Y. Walz
Nov. 12, 2020
As we near the end of our Fall Quarter, I know many of you are looking forward to a well-deserved break. It is important that we all take this time to relax and recharge. The stresses of everyday life, academic pursuit, and personal and professional responsibilities have no doubt been increased this quarter because of the pandemic. I encourage you to find time for yourself and safely do something you enjoy: catch up on movies or your favorite Netflix series, read a book, play a video game or go for a run. The options are endless.
Whatever your plans, I want to reinforce the importance of adhering to health and safety guidelines and precautions: practice safe behavior, wear a mask and maintain social distance. The CDC has helpful information and guidelines on safely celebrating Thanksgiving. Please take a moment to review their page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html
In addition, Director of Health Services Jessica Morgan, APNP is offering another “COVID-19 & Travel” presentation this evening for students at 7 p.m.
When students return to campus after the break, we will continue with our expanded surveillance testing in the residence halls. We encourage you to stay in touch with us if you begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19 or feel you were exposed while you are on break. Students should email firstname.lastname@example.org, and employees should contact email@example.com for further guidance.
I thank you all for your efforts to keep our campus safe and healthy. Though we may be socially distanced, we are extraordinary together.
Congratulations to our students who are graduating this quarter. I look forward to celebrating with you once we are able to hold Commencement.
In closing, I wish you all a successful Final Exam Week and a restful holiday.
Oct. 30, 2020
Dear MSOE Students, Faculty and Staff,
As many of you are aware, Wisconsin is, unfortunately, now an epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States. However the worst burden of new cases is not in Milwaukee or even Southeastern Wisconsin. Nonetheless, there has been an increase in the positivity rate in Milwaukee and we must continue to take the pandemic very seriously.
At MSOE, we are seeing a slight uptick in the number of positive cases, as reflected on our dashboard. Fortunately, the total number of active cases on our campus remains relatively small, reflecting the strong commitment and efforts being made by our faculty, staff and students. The leadership team and Raider Return Task Force continue to monitor the situation and will respond to new information and situations as they arise. Additionally, we are increasing the number of tests that will be conducted on Monday during our weekly surveillance testing.
The City of Milwaukee Health Department has revised its orders relating to COVID-19 and issued new restrictions for businesses and organizations within the city. Under the new orders, MSOE can continue in a hybrid mode. It is critical that we continue abiding by the Raider Return Plan, which was approved by the Health Department in August, and the Raider Responsibility Pledge to keep our case-count to a minimum.
The biggest impact the new orders have on our campus pertains to events and gatherings that involve members of the public. The new gathering size limit is 10 people. This means:
- Fall Commencement has been postponed. More information about this will be shared as it becomes available.
- Admissions Open Houses and Preview Days will be virtual. Campus visits, which are by appointment only and limited to one family of four, may continue.
- STEM outreach programs in the new We Energies STEM Center are limited to 10 people.
- Special events at the Grohmann Museum have been moved to a virtual format, postponed or canceled.
- If you are planning an event on campus for your department or student organization, please refer to the MSOE-Sponsored Gatherings Policy. If you are reserving space on campus for the event, please note all requests must be submitted in 25Live at least 14 days before the event.
I mentioned above that MSOE is allowed to continue in a hybrid mode under the city’s orders. We still plan to start the Winter Quarter in hybrid mode on Monday, Nov. 30. I’d like to remind students that today (Oct. 30), is the deadline to request a 100% remote learning option for the Winter Quarter. Students are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students office at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance or questions regarding submitting this request.
Oct. 15, 2020
Dear MSOE Students, Faculty and Staff,
I want to commend you all for your continued commitment to our COVID-19 protocol and protecting the health of everyone on our campus. We should feel proud of our efforts to work together to make the first half of the quarter possible, and I encourage you to keep up the good work.
The State of Wisconsin is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. We must remain vigilant in our efforts at MSOE to keep our case-count as low as possible. As you can see on our dashboard, our numbers indicate that what we are doing is working.
As the weather turns cooler, it will become more difficult to spend time outdoors. We remind you to avoid gathering in large groups. Maintain six feet of physical distance between you and others. Wear a mask. Complete the daily wellness checks through Rave Guardian.
Many of you have asked what we are doing for the Winter Quarter. At this time, we are planning to continue instruction in a hybrid mode for the entire quarter as we have been doing for the fall term. The academic departments are finalizing the course schedules for the upcoming term. We are also planning on starting the term as scheduled on Nov. 30.
Looking ahead to the quarter break and Thanksgiving holiday, it is critical that we all abide by health and safety precautions to protect the health of our campus community. We will be conducting increased COVID-19 surveillance testing for students as they return to the residence halls before the start of Winter Quarter.
Finally, I want to highlight some new resources that are available:
Sept. 17, 2020
Dear MSOE Community,
The first two weeks of our quarter are going quite smoothly. Thank you all for your commitment to keeping our campus healthy and safe. I am pleased to see most everyone abiding by the policies and procedures we have in place. Short of creating a bubble like the NBA, we will never be immune to the pandemic. But, if we all continue to do our part and act as responsible Raiders, I hope we can keep the number of cases of COVID-19 at MSOE to a minimum.
Today we launched a COVID-19 dashboard on our website. The dashboard includes information about reported COVID-19 cases that directly impact MSOE. It will be updated every Thursday to reflect the number of confirmed-positive cases that have been reported by students, faculty and staff during the past seven days. I invite you to review the dashboard on our Raider Return web page.
I want to reiterate the need for you to stay home if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or if you are exposed to someone who tested positive or is symptomatic, and for you to complete the daily wellness check in Rave Guardian. The wellness checks are very quick and easy to do and a simple way for us to monitor COVID-19 symptoms on campus to prevent a widespread outbreak.
As always, please use the Raider Return Suggestion Form as you see opportunities for improvement. We welcome your input.
Sept. 3, 2020
MSOE will be conducting mandatory COVID-19 testing for all students upon moving in to Margaret Loock Residence Hall, Regents Hall and the freshman honors students in Grohmann Tower. Results of these tests will be available in 24 hours, and students will be notified if they test positive. Students who test positive will be quarantined for 14 days at specific locations arranged for this purpose in MLH, Regents and the Grohmann Tower, and will follow protocol as outlined in the Raider Return Plan. Beginning next week, we will perform surveillance testing on approximately 36 students per week.
MSOE’s Facial Covering Policy has been updated to include clarity regarding types of appropriate facial coverings. Please take a moment to review the updated policy.
Friday, Sept. 4 is the deadline to complete the COVID-19 training called “Your Campus and COVID-19: The Road Back.” Students received an email from the Dean of Students with login information. Faculty and staff received an email from Human Resources.
A number of foot traffic patterns have been designated throughout campus. Please be mindful of the signage that is in place.
Please remember to download Rave Guardian. It is a robust app for campus safety and security, and a powerful tool for monitoring COVID-19 symptoms to prevent a widespread outbreak. Each morning, you will get a push notification to compete the daily wellness questions. Wellness checks consist of a series of questions. Rave Guardian will provide you with more information based on your response. To assist with this effort, thermometers are being distributed to every student and every employee to check their temperature on a daily basis.
Finally, please continue to use the Raider Return Suggestion Form as you see opportunities for improvement. We are in this together and welcome your input.
Aug. 27, 2020
Dear MSOE Community,
One week from today our freshmen will begin the process of moving into the residence halls. We are excited to welcome them to campus! Our Residence Life team has laid out a very detailed and organized plan to help the process flow smoothly and safely.
Each of us plays an important role in keeping our community healthy, safe and open! I ask that you be an ally. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Stay away from high-risk situations. Monitor your symptoms. Follow the Raider Responsibility Pledge.
We have spent months preparing for this time, but it is near impossible to anticipate every situation. As you see areas for improvement, please work with your supervisor and/or use the Raider Return Suggestion Form.
While all of our offices are open for business, how we interact with the different areas of campus may be different. For example, you may need to schedule an appointment in advance for things like financial aid counseling, technical support or counseling services instead of “dropping in”. You can find more information about this here: Accessing Campus Offices.
In closing, we are living and working in a completely new environment. None of us has ever experienced a pandemic situation, and I ask for your patience as we navigate these new opportunities to be extraordinary together. There is no doubt we will face some challenges in the coming weeks. It is incumbent upon each of us to adhere to the protocols that have been laid out so we can have a successful and healthy academic year.
Thank you all for your cooperation. I look forward to greeting everyone (from a socially safe distance) soon!
John Y. Walz
Aug. 13, 2020
Dear MSOE Community,
I am happy to be able to report that the Milwaukee Health Department has approved MSOE’s plan for reopening for the fall 2020 quarter. This means we will move forward with hybrid instruction for this term. You will find complete details in the Raider Return Plan.
Our plan outlines policies and procedures that will keep MSOE students, faculty and staff safe in the classroom, across campus and in the residence halls. Policies and procedures outlined in the plan include, but are not limited to:
- In-person classroom/laboratory meetings will focus on the hands-on, application-oriented activities. We are reducing density in these educational spaces to allow for proper social distancing.
- Faculty will utilize digital and online formats to supplement in-person activities and to deliver most of the lecture-based content.
- We are implementing one-way foot traffic in the buildings where possible and encouraging social distancing in common areas.
- Additional hand sanitizers have been added in stairs, elevator lobbies and all other building common areas. We also implemented enhanced cleaning guidelines for high traffic and high-touch areas.
- Facial coverings are required.
- Faculty, staff and students will receive two facial coverings and a thermometer to do daily temperature checks.
- Plans are in place for contact tracing and procedures if someone is experiencing symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19.
The full Raider Return Plan provides additional in-depth details to ensure safety across campus.
The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are our top priority. We would not be reopening if we were not confident in our ability to keep students, faculty and staff safe.
Thank you everyone for your continued work and dedication as we prepare to reopen this fall.
John Y. Walz
July 23, 2020
The City of Milwaukee has announced that they will allow colleges and universities to reopen pending approval of each institution’s reopening plan by the Milwaukee Health Department. We are in communication with the Health Department and will be submitting the MSOE Raider Return Plan for review very shortly. We look forward to a positive response.
I want to again emphasize that we would not be reopening if we were not confident in our ability to keep our students, faculty and staff safe. While we are eager to welcome students back to campus, this fall term will be unlike any other, as there will be numerous structural and operational safeguards in place to support appropriate safety measures while still providing the outstanding education that distinguishes our institution.
July 17, 2020
Dear MSOE Community,
I sincerely thank each of our faculty and staff members for the time and effort they are putting in to prepare our campus and courses for the return of students this fall. We’ve been diligent in our plans to safely reopen campus and give our students the MSOE education they expect. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are a top priority.
The same work is happening at colleges and universities throughout southeastern Wisconsin. At MSOE, we continue to plan as though students will physically return to campus and take courses in a hybrid format, ensuring that CDC and other governmental guidelines are followed.
However, under the City of Milwaukee’s current orders, institutions of higher education are not allowed to reopen until the city reaches Phase 5 of its reopening plan. I, along with the presidents and leaders of 19 southeastern Wisconsin colleges, universities, professional organizations and economic development groups, have united in our request to the City of Milwaukee to amend their plan to allow our universities to reopen.
We hope the City will respond quickly to our request. I will share more information once it is available.
July 16, 2020
Our Raider Return Task Force continues its work to ready the campus for the return of students, faculty and staff. As mentioned in our last update, MSOE has instituted a Facial Covering Policy. Since then the City of Milwaukee has passed an ordinance requiring masks in the city. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with this information.
Next week, two masks will be sent to all employees via interoffice mail so they will be ready for you when you come to campus. Details are forthcoming for student mask distribution.
Here are some of the FAQ’s we’ve received about campus cleaning:
How is MSOE cleaning and disinfecting buildings across campus?
In addition to the routine custodial cleaning schedule, the university has implemented an enhanced cleaning frequency to clean and disinfect common areas and commonly touched surfaces in occupied buildings. Touchpoints such as entrance handles, handrails, elevator buttons, tables, restroom stall handles/doors are being cleaned at least once daily, five days a week, using EPA-registered disinfectants. Each person is encouraged to use hand sanitizer and wash their hands frequently.
What can I do to help?
Classrooms, Laboratories, Meeting Rooms
We are asking faculty and staff to help keep everyone healthy by thoroughly cleaning classrooms, laboratories and meeting rooms when they are done using the space. Terminator disinfectant, disposable paper towels, and cleaning instructions will be made available in these spaces before the start of the school year. Terminator is a heavy-duty disinfectant, cleaner, sanitizer and deodorizer. It is an effective one-step disinfectant designed for use in schools, nursing homes, hospitals, residential facilities, health clubs and more.
Procedures are being developed to clean printers and copy machines on a regular basis, but they will not be cleaned in between each use. You are encouraged to bring a stylus to reduce the number of times you have to physically touch the device, and to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after using the device.
Will additional hand sanitizer stations be installed?
MSOE installed more than 40 additional dispenser stations containing alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout campus, and will continue to review needs. Dispenser stations are available at building entrances and elevators, near time clocks, and other frequently visited locations. It is recommended that each person carries their own hand sanitizer bottle as well. Although hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, practicing the CDC’s proper hand-washing technique is considered to be more effective.
How can I disinfect my personal workspace?
Clean commonly touched surfaces several times per day this includes door handles, desks, tables, chair arms, phones, remote controls, printers, copiers and computer equipment. MSOE recommends that departments or units purchase EPA-registered disinfectants such as single-use disinfectant wipes and multi-surface spray cleaners. Always use cleaning products as recommended on manufacturer labels, including wearing disposable gloves where directed.
Wash hands thoroughly on a routine basis as well as after cleaning. Handwashing should include the use of regular soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. If soap is not immediately available, use hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol content or greater.
July 2, 2020
MSOE Facial Covering Policy
Effective July 6, 2020 and until further notice, Milwaukee School of Engineering will enforce a policy mandating that all students, faculty, staff, contractors and campus visitors wear a facial covering (1) when they are inside university buildings and vehicles, and (2) when they are outdoors on campus and social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. Facial coverings must cover the nose and mouth.
Facial coverings may only be removed when an individual is alone in a room, more than six feet from other people when outside, or participating in activities in which facial coverings cannot practically be worn, such as eating or drinking.
As a courtesy, MSOE will provide two washable cloth masks to each student and employee. If you are unable to wash these masks on a daily basis, you are required to provide additional facial coverings for yourself. The masks are currently on order. When they arrive on campus, details will be provided via email on how to obtain your masks.
The Raider Return Task Force is designating foot traffic patterns to help individuals move safely throughout campus buildings. This includes one-way traffic on stairwells, some elevators, and through building entrances/exits. Signage will be installed over the next few weeks
MSOE is continuing its phased approach to re-opening campus buildings within the city’s health order. If your department is interested in reopening, please send your reopening plan to Dr. Eric Baumgartner for review by the Raider Return Task Force. Faculty, staff and students are required to continue to work from home until their return to campus plan has been approved unless their job does not warrant this option. Please contact your supervisor if you have any questions.
The Grohmann Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed July 3-4 for the holiday).
The Kern Center will open with limited capacity to current MSOE faculty, staff and students July 6. No guest passes will be issued. Hours, guidelines and restrictions are posted on the Kern Center website.
June 18, 2020
Health Guidelines and Social Considerations
As previously noted, everyone on the MSOE campus is strongly encouraged to wear a mask or facial covering whenever they are in the presence of others and to maintain proper social distancing. This recommendation is made based on guidance from the CDC.
The City of Milwaukee’s Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely plan transitioned from Phase 2 to Phase 3 on June 5. This phase allows non-essential business to open as long as they abide by certain gathering size limits, protective measures and safe business practices. The order utilizes data-driven gating criteria that align with federal and state guidance.
MSOE is also implementing a phased approach to re-opening campus buildings within Phase 3 of the city’s health order once these reopening plans have been reviewed and approved by the Raider Return Task Force which is meeting weekly throughout the summer. Please send your reopening plan to Dr. Eric Baumgartner at email@example.com if you wish to present your plan to the Raider Return Task Force. Faculty, staff and students are required to continue to work from home until their return to campus plan has been approved.
As such, we are excited to announce that the Grohmann Museum and the Kern Center will soon resume limited operations.
The Grohmann Museum will formally reopen Tuesday, June 30 with limited hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attendance will be limited to 120 patrons, and only one group (attending together) will be allowed in each gallery at a time. Families/groups must stay together and attend to standard museum etiquette. All tours and events have been canceled through Sept. 7, 2020.
The Kern Center will open with limited capacity the week of July 6. The building will be open only to current MSOE students, faculty and staff, and they must use their MSOE ID card to self-swipe at the front desk to gain access into the workout areas. Only the weight room area near the main entrance, the cardio ellipse and the track workout spaces will be open. No guest passes will be issued. Hours:
Monday, July 6 – 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesday, July 7 – 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, July 8 – 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thursday, July 9 – 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, July 10 – 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Closed: July 11-14 to analyze facility usage from the previous week and to make any needed adjustments
Kern Center staff will implement safety measures including enhanced cleaning protocols, increased spacing between equipment and more. Users are expected to come dressed to work out, bring their own towel and water bottle, and to wipe down the equipment before and after usage. There may be time limits on machines or equipment, and equipment will not be available for checkout. Locker rooms and showers will not be available. Additionally, workout times may be restricted to MSOE athletic teams. For a complete listing of guidelines and restrictions, please visit the Kern Center web page.
The building will re-open Wednesday, July 1 5 for current MSOE faculty, staff and students with a valid MSOE ID. It will be open Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kern Center staff anticipates re-opening to all community members on Aug. 1, assuming the City of Milwaukee has entered Phase 5 of its “Moving Milwaukee Forward” orders.
June 4, 2020
The Raider Return Task Force is continuing its work to plan for the return to campus this fall. As of today, the City of Milwaukee is still under stay at home orders. As such, the campus remains closed.
Members of the task force include Betty Albrecht, Residence Life; Eric Baumgartner, VP of Academics; Dave Bugalski, Athletics; JoEllen Burdue, Marketing Communications; Rick Furmack, Environmental Health and Safety; Robin Gates, School of Nursing; Allison Heine de Romero, Student Life; Kip Kussman, Student Life; Dan Meiser, Wellness Center; Kevin Morin, Operations; Rebecca Ploeckelman, Human Resources; Catherine Scholz, IT; Saj Thachenkary, Marketing Communications; and Tim Valley, Enrollment Management and Student Life.
As we look toward the fall, here are a few things you can expect to see:
Health Guidelines and Social Considerations
Everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a mask or facial covering whenever they are in the presence of others and to maintain proper social distancing.
We are asking the entire campus community to do a daily self-check of symptoms and, if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, to self-isolate and contact their primary health care provider. Our Wellness Center is also available as a resource to students and we are currently in the process of hiring a nurse practitioner in the Health Services Department.
We have identified dedicated rooms that can be used to isolate students who live in the residence halls and have tested positive for COVID-19. Once someone has tested negative, they will be able to resume normal activities.
Delivery of Education
Hands-on, application-oriented experiences are hallmarks of an MSOE education. As we welcome MSOE students back to campus this fall, we will focus our in-person activities on these types of experiences while reducing classroom and laboratory capacities in order to provide a safe learning environment for faculty, staff and students. Faculty will also utilize digital and virtual formats to deliver course content and complement in-person activities. We believe that this hybrid approach to an MSOE education will provide our students with the best and safest possible educational environment in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Any time a student is feeling ill (regardless of the type of illness), they are encouraged to reach out to their professors to let them know they will not be in class and make arrangements to get lecture notes or make up missed work. If their absence extends beyond a few days, then staff in Student Accessibility Services will work with students and their faculty to make accommodations to assure their education continues as best possible for their situation. These are processes we’ve had in place long before COVID-19 and it has worked quite well. Students who do not wish to return to campus due to underlying health conditions should also contact Student Accessibility Services to develop an accommodation plan that will allow a student to continue their education in a fully online format.
Reopening our Buildings
Each building on the MSOE campus has unique features and requires an individualized approach to reopening. The Raider Return Task Force is in the process of evaluating each building to determine its needs. Sneeze guards are being installed in reception and transactional areas. Signage will be installed and furniture may be rearranged to encourage social distancing and designate foot traffic patterns.
These are just a few of the many things the task force is addressing. As plans are solidified, more information will be shared at a minimum of every two weeks.
May 21, 2020
Much has been in the news regarding Wisconsin, and Milwaukee’s, Safer at Home orders. While many businesses are allowed to reopen and our community is beginning its return to a more normal environment, you may be wondering if MSOE’s campus is reopening.
MSOE employees should continue working from home, to the greatest extent possible, through the summer months. Working from home should continue to be the rule and not the exception.
The Raider Return Task Force and university leadership are working to identify the areas that need to return first to help us move forward, and to map out the requirements for a phased return to operations. MSOE will then determine when employees will be allowed to return to campus based on the institution’s ability to prepare the workplace per the steps outlined in the plan.
Expectations and guidance have been established for employees who must be on campus to carry out their responsibilities:
- Prior to arriving on campus you must self-conduct symptom monitoring every day. You must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Runny nose or new sinus congestion
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New GI symptoms
- New loss of taste or smell
- Employees with pre-existing conditions that put them at a higher risk for COVID-19 should contact Human Resources to see what accommodations can be made.
- You are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or facial covering whenever you are in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Maintain social distancing by staying at least 6 feet from other people at all times, not gather in groups, and stay out of crowded places.
- If there are multiple people working in close proximity, supervisors should implement scheduling options to help maintain social distance, such as: alternating days or staggered reporting/departing.
- Use stairs, when possible. Only one person should be on an elevator at a time.
- Maintain good personal hygiene with frequent hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer, sneezing into your elbow or a tissue (that must be discarded), and using hand sanitizer after touching high-contact surfaces.
- Be responsible for wiping down work areas and shared-space locations with disinfecting cleaning solutions.
The Raider Return Task Force and university leadership are mapping out the requirements for a phased return to operations following state and local guidelines.
In Phase One of the Badger Bounce Back plan (the state of Wisconsin’s plan to decrease COVID-19 cases and deaths to a low level and increase capacity in the health care system so that a phased reopening of businesses is possible), non-essential businesses will be allowed to begin limited operations.
MSOE will then determine when employees will be allowed to return to campus based on the institution’s ability to prepare the workplace per the steps outlined in the plan. Post-secondary educational institutions can pursue a partial reopening to employees when Phase One is achieved while institutions can consider reopening to students when Phase Two is achieved. A full opening of higher education institutions without restrictions will only be achieved when Wisconsin enters Phase Three of the Badger Bounce Back.
More details will be forthcoming about Phase One, followed by information later this summer to map out subsequent phases. Once MSOE employees can return to campus, certain conditions and restrictions will be established in order to maintain a work environment that seeks to keep the MSOE community as safe as possible.
May 13, 2020
Recently, President Walz was interviewed by TMJ4-TV to discuss re-opening campus to students, faculty and staff for the fall 2020 term. Read the story here.
May 12, 2020
Living at MSOE
As previously announced as part of the RWJ Residence Hall renovation, only first-year students will live in the MSOE residence halls for the 2020-21 academic year. (Current residents for the 2019-20 academic year have been released from their housing contract to coincide with the renovation work.)
Several online resources are available to students who are searching for off-campus housing options for the 2020-21 academic year. For resources that include financial aid/student account meetings as well as open houses of local rental properties, please visit the Living Off Campus page.
A group of MSOE leaders is working on guidelines and recommendations to ensure the safety of our campus community. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
April 30, 2020
President John Walz shares his message to current students about returning to campus this fall.