LANSING —Michigan’s independent, non-profit colleges and universities have shared a playbook filled with strategies for re-opening the state’s post-secondary education sector in the aftermath of COVID-19.

The playbook is based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, executive orders from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and other state and federal directives.

“What we’ve created here is not policy, but sound practical advice and information aimed at protecting public health and safety across our state,” said Kristen R. Alford, MSW, MPH, Ph.D., who spearheaded much of the playbook’s writing. “Higher ed institutions can use it as a reliable tool for ensuring they’ve anticipated and addressed all possible contingencies.”

The playbook offers practical support and model strategies for supporting instruction, lab activities, and clinical work—all while ensuring appropriate social distancing, monitoring, testing, and disinfection protocols are maintained.

“We have an important balancing act ahead of us as we look to comply with all applicable law, regulations, and safety practices,” said Michael Le Roy, Calvin University president and Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities board chair. “Each institution is going to follow its own locally developed policies, but these shared tools will offer a starting point for all of us to consider as we make our plans and prepare to implement them successfully.”

The playbook was developed in collaboration with all 25 MICU members and staff through targeted workgroups over a month-long period.

“We are fortunate to be able to support our members in this way,” said MICU president Robert LeFevre. “COVID-19 has posed all of us with a set of unprecedented challenges, but to convene and share the best thinking of our members through this unique playbook showcases the best of what we can offer in support of students, faculty, and staff across Michigan.”

MICU represents the state’s not-for-profit independent colleges and universities. Our goal is to increase awareness of the impact MICU members have on higher education in Michigan. With nearly 100,000 students at our institutions, Michigan independent colleges educate approximately 20 percent of all college students in the state. MICU serves its members through government relations, public policy development and advocacy.

For more information and data related to Michigan’s independent colleges and universities, please visit micolleges.org.

This article was published in Technology Century.