Release Date: 
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Changes in Henry Ford College operations due to coronavirus

HFC logo / COVID-19

March 12, 2020

HFC Students, faculty, and staff:

Henry Ford College leaders have been carefully monitoring the coronavirus outbreak since it became public. We have been working daily to make the best decisions for our campus community.

Based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our state government, as well as community concerns, we are making changes to our operations for the rest of the Winter 2020 semester.

These changes will allow us to continue to provide the education and student services you expect from us, while also providing the safest environment possible.

Please carefully review the information below. We will share additional details in the coming days. We will communicate through HFC email and will provide a new section on the HFC website by the end of the day Monday, March 16. The link will also be in the student portal and employee portal.

Our coronavirus information website remains available. It will be updated as we learn more about the virus and related issues.

The first change to our operations is that no classes will be held during the week of March 16 - March 22.

All on-campus, hybrid, online classes, and clinicals will be canceled through March 22.

This one-week cancelation of instruction does not include students in the ASSET automotive program. ASSET students should report to their auto dealerships next week as scheduled.

This delay in re-starting classes will allow HFC to work with faculty and staff to convert many classes to an online format, and to provide additional support for students who will be taking classes online.

The time will allow us to continue and target our increased cleaning protocols to protect those who are on campus.

The second change is a modification of course formats. Classes will resume on Monday, March 23, as follows:

  1. To reduce the number of students on campus, all classes that can be offered online will be delivered online beginning March 23.

  2. Faculty who will move to online teaching will receive additional training in our online course module and processes next week. Faculty and staff will reach out to students to assist with access to online courses. (Courses that are already online will continue as normal, resuming March 23.)

  3. Classes that cannot be offered online will be identified and communicated next week. For classes that must be offered face-to-face, modifications will be made to minimize the number of students in a classroom, lab, or workshop at the same time.

Classes that will continue to be offered face-to-face will include many, but not all, courses in workforce, trades, culinary, art, music, lab-based science, and lab-based health programs. We will notify you next week via email and our website about which courses will continue to be offered face-to-face.

To ensure the safety of our HFC community, the campus will continue to be cleaned and sanitized daily. New hand sanitizer stations will be added, focused heavily in locations that will continue to have student activity for face-to-face instruction.

The third change is that the Winter semester will be extended one week.

Due to the delay in restarting classes until March 23, the Winter semester will end one week later than originally scheduled. The final day of regularly scheduled classes will be May 11. Final exams will begin May 12 and will run through May 16.

The fourth change is that we will cancel many on-campus events.

The College will follow recommendations from Governor Whitmer and others to cancel large events through the rest of the Winter semester. This includes any gatherings expected to have 100 or more attendees.

The HFC website will be regularly updated regarding changes to events. Notify if you cancel your public event.

Unfortunately, state and national guidelines, along with the changes in our class schedule, have led us to postpone our 2020 spring graduation ceremony. Graduates will be notified when we have a new date and further details about commencement.

The fifth item is not a change but is important for you to know. There are many kinds of support and assistance available to you as we continue with the Winter 2020 semester.

We want to be sure that students and employees excel this semester, even though we face some challenges together. We will provide additional support from the following areas:

Help Desk:

If you need technical support for your online classes or other computer access, please email or call 313.845.6345. The help desk will offer extended hours from 6am-10pm M-F, beginning March 23.

Instructional Technology:

Faculty, please contact or call 313.845.9663 for assistance with your online course shell. If you have questions specific to HFC Online, our staff is ready to help you navigate our course sites. Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Additional information about how to use HFC Online can be found on our website.

Call Center:

Students, if you have any other questions or concerns about your education during this transition, please contact our call center at 313.845.9600.

Further information and support for students:

We are committed to continue providing the high-quality education you expect from us. We have made the changes listed above to enhance your safety and to support your success.

During our change in operations, we will continue to provide a full suite of support services, available both online and in person.

Visit our student services and campus resources websites for more details and how to access these resources.

Some of the services available to you are:

• Call-in help desk with extended hours, and a call center (see above)
• Advising
• Campus Safety
• Career Center
• Cashier
• College Store
• Counseling
• Financial Aid
• Hawks’ Nest
• Learning Lab and tutoring
• Library
• Public Speaking Lab
• Records and Registration
• Veterans Services
• Writing center

Your health and wellness

For students whose classes and labs will remain face-to-face: If you are sick, please stay home. Students taking online classes: If you are sick, notify your instructor as early as possible.

If you exceed the maximum number of absences allowed for your course or program, we will work with you to address these issues individually. We will not penalize you for being sick.

Tips on how to avoid getting sick are on our coronavirus website.

Students who need special accommodations should reach out to the Vice President for Student Affairs Daniel Herbst at 313.845.9610 or

Further information for faculty:

The education you provide is second-to-none, and I tell people everywhere that this is the best College in the state. I believe in you, and I support what you are doing. We plan to use next week to help you either move your classes to a distance or online format, or prepare to accommodate students face-to-face in programs that have to be delivered in person.

Our changes in operations emerged from a highly collaborative process. We consulted with Faculty Senate, AFT, AFO, Local 71, and SSA before making these decisions.

Please plan to report to campus next week as normal. You will receive a message from your dean with details on when and where to report. Nursing and health careers clinical instructors will not need to report to their clinical rotation next week.

One of the key points of focus next week is to work with other faculty to optimize your courses for online learning. We will plan teams to assist you in moving classes online and to make sure you are able to use technologies such as Moodle, lecture capture, and other tools that will help you continue to deliver the excellent education you offer to our students.

We are working to help make sure assessments can be provided in a safe, reliable, secure environment.

Further information for staff and administrators:

I appreciate the value that you bring to the College and your commitment to student success. Because the College will continue to provide instruction and full services to students, employees will continue working as usual. I thank you for the work in the coming weeks in providing friendly, supportive services to our students and letting them know that all of us are here for them and will support them as they complete their classes.

Also, if you are sick, please stay home. You will be permitted to use your sick time, along with personal business time and vacation time, if necessary, to cover any extended sick hours. Please refer to the website next week for additional information on how this will work. If you are sick, but you are worried about your employment or your compensation, please contact your supervisor right away. I will direct supervisors to evaluate each of those concerns. No one will be penalized for exercising due caution during a time of public health concerns.

As I mentioned in the faculty section above, the operational changes emerged from a collaborative process involving all our collective bargaining units and Faculty Senate.

I know this has been a difficult process, and I want to thank you for being a part of this fantastic College community. We have an opportunity to support each other, to help each other achieve our goals, and to help alleviate fear.

As always, I am here for you. Let my office know if you have concerns that are not addressed here or on our website.

Russ Kavalhuna