March 23, 2020: Governor's "Stay at Home" executive order

Dear Spartan community: 

As many of you know, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today announced a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order that suspends in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. 

In the immediate hours following the order, MSU leaders worked with the governor’s office to determine the impact on our university’s workforce and operations. The executive order references federal guidelines that specify as critical “colleges and universities for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing other essential functions, if operating under rules for social distancing.” This means today’s order does not impact our ability to continue offering classes in alternative and virtual settings or our decision to encourage employees who can do so to continue working remotely.

I am proud to say that MSU, for some time, has been leading the way on these preventive measures, including being the first university in the state to adopt remote instruction. Thank you to everyone for demonstrating the patience, faith and perseverance needed to get through this challenging time.

While MSU has been at the forefront of changes to better protect our students, employees and communities, we are taking the following additional precautionary measures in accordance with the spirit and intent of the governor’s most recent executive order, effective at midnight tonight:

  • Construction projects will cease for the duration of the order (April 13).
  • Research deemed as non-essential will stop for the duration of the order. Researchers must suspend non-essential research activities conducted on-campus or at other MSU sites across the state. Please visit for more information.
  • Given this order, many employees who have jobs that don’t allow them to work remotely will need to remain home. Details about which employees will need to remain home and additional information will be available tomorrow morning from MSU Human Resources at For those certain employees required to stay home, the university is developing new leave policies to supplement upcoming federal aid programs.

I continue to be impressed by the responsiveness of our units across campus and around the state and the willingness to adapt during this unprecedented and fluid time. Each of you is instrumental to the daily work happening at our university.

Decisions made previously will continue at MSU, all while adhering to social distancing practices:

  • Support for students living on campus, including residence halls and dining
  • Remote learning through the end of the semester, including finals
  • Employees who can work from home continuing to do so
  • Research not impacted by the new executive order will continue; however, MSU will limit access to laboratories and only essential research-related operations can continue

Further, the MSU Police Department is offering parking rebates to both students and employees for the month of April. Students who are interested in taking advantage of this prorated opportunity can contact the MSU Parking Office; more information can be found at For employees, April payroll deduction fees for parking will be waived. No action is needed. This also applies to employees who may occasionally come to campus during this time period to perform essential functions.

Please continue to visit our website for the latest information: Our hotline will remain open during this time to help answer your questions: 888-353-1294.

I can’t say how much I appreciate everyone’s willingness to work together during these trying times. I appreciate your flexibility and dedication to continuing the work of our university as this situation evolves.


Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.