Michigan Road Scholars

2020 Road Scholars,

It is with great disappointment that I am writing to let you know that we are canceling the 2020 Michigan Road Scholars program. This includes the orientation scheduled for April 1 and the tour itself scheduled for May 4-8, 2020.

We regretfully made this decision due in part to the following factors:

There is major uncertainty at our planned sites – schools and restaurants are currently closed; other businesses have changed their operations and may have to close in the future; and still other sites, though confirmed are in a ‘wait and see’ mode as things change from day to day– all of this makes finalizing plans a challenge at best.

If social distancing protocols are still in place by the time of the tour, it is impossible to implement a 6 foot buffer around people on the bus. Although our bus has more seats than our numbers – it is not big enough to accommodate this practice. Hosts and their employees are potentially impacted as well with 35 additional people coming into their spaces.

The nature of the trip is travel – visiting many communities and organizations throughout the week. Although travel is not yet restricted – it is recommended to avoid non-essential travel – and there is a probability that these guidelines will change or even mandates will be put in place before we travel.

Given the major issues associated with finalizing our tour and being mindful of the ultimate safety of our UM participants and our hosts at sites, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Road Scholars tour. However, we will essentially be postponing the tour – making you the 2021 Road Scholars cohort. We will check back with you in the fall to make sure you can participate, but for now, block off May 3-7, 2021 on your calendars. Orientation and dinner dates will be determined in the fall as well.

We are disappointed that we won’t get to know you on the bus. This is a first in Road Scholars history so as with much today, we are in uncharted territory. It’s the right decision given the circumstances but not one we wanted to make. We’re still looking forward to meeting all of you and to introducing you to some of the great communities and people of Michigan.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns and stay safe.

Through the annual Michigan Road Scholar Tour, more than 300 faculty and staff have been educated on economics, government and politics, culture, educational systems, health and social issues, history, and the geography of our state.

Michigan Road Scholar Tour

May 4 – 8, 2020


Wednesday, April 1st
Michigan Union Kuenzel Room

The Michigan Road Scholar Tour takes faculty of the University of Michigan (U-M) on a five-day traveling seminar on the State of Michigan. This educational tour exposes participants to the state’s economy, government and politics, culture, educational systems, health and social issues, history, and geography.

Designed to increase mutual knowledge and understanding between the university and the people and communities of the state, the tour introduces participants to locations the majority of U-M students call home. It also encourages university service to the public and suggests ways faculty can address state issues through research, scholarship, and creative activity.

In addition, the experience will help to develop beneficial ties and promote interdisciplinary discussion among the touring faculty; a look at past tours demonstrates the diverse itineraries enjoyed by past scholars.

The annual Michigan Road Scholar Tour, funded by the U-M Office of the Provost, receives tour planning and staffing from U-M Office of the Vice President for Government Relations (OVPGR) State Outreach Office and reports to Vice President Cynthia Wilbanks.

For Additional Information Contact:

Associate Director Dana Sitzler

Dana Sitzler

Associate Director of State Outreach

dds@umich.edu | 734-763-5554

Dana's areas of outreach include the west side of Michigan, northern, Tribal Connections and Project Manager for Michigan Road Scholars Tour.