Faculty News

Maize & BLUEprint: Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic

F. DuBois Bowman, dean of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, says this semester will be vastly different for everyone. But he’s confident that the U-M community will still thrive, and advance the university’s mission by bringing some of the brightest students from around the world to learn from and engage with faculty experts and staff across campus—in person and virtually.

“As I think about the return to campus, the thing that’s top of mind for me is the well-being of our students, staff, and faculty. And when I say well-being, I mean well-being in a collective sense—socially, emotionally, psychologically, and physically. And we all have a role to play,” Bowman says.

He also discusses administrative decisions that have been implemented to reduce the risk of transmission, such as the decision to not have students return to in-person classes after Thanksgiving break to reduce the risk of transmission.

During this unprecedented time, Bowman says, the U-M community has a responsibility to look out for one another.

“In a time where most operations have been done through virtual means, it’s important to be intentional about looking out for one another, being accountable to one another, following up and checking on classmates and other colleagues just to ensure their wellness,” he says.

Bowman explains that several Michigan Public Health faculty like to use the “Swiss cheese” metaphor to explain how combining public health practices—like wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and not gathering in large groups—helps protect everyone and ultimately reduces the risk of spreading the virus across campus.

Hear more from Dean Bowman in this episode of Michigan Minds.

Download the transcript.

Learn more about taking care of Maize & Blue at campusblueprint.umich.edu/care