Site visitors from AAALAC International (AAALAC) will be on campus for the University of Michigan’s re-accreditation site visit beginning Tuesday, August 25 through Friday, August 28.
During this time, you should anticipate a visit to all animal housing locations on campus, as well as visits to many laboratories.
We expect each and every member of the U-M animal care and use community, supported by each and every laboratory, and each and every Principal Investigator, to take the requisite steps to prepare for the Site Visit, including:
- Designate your AAALAC Laboratory Spokesperson(s),
- Review, and be familiar with, your laboratory’s currently approved protocol(s),
- Download Quick Reference Sheets and participate in upcoming AAALAC Virtual Chats to learn about specific programmatic topics/points of interest,
- Visit the Animal Care & Use Program website for Site Visit news and updates,
- Attend a final preparation(s) meeting (dates announced soon), and
- Discuss the visit with staff and colleagues.
Please also remain vigilant to email and newsletter announcements as we share additional tools and resources to help you prepare for the Site Visit in August.
This continues to be a time of tremendous transition as we individually and collectively adapt to a “new normal” in research operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As you may expect, this Site Visit will look different from previous visits as we explore the use of various technologies and teleconferencing solutions that will allow us to adhere to social distancing guidelines and protect the health and safety of our entire community, including our Site Visit Team.
In addition to hosting site visitors from peer institutions with close physical proximity to the U-M, which will minimize any hazards associated with air travel, we are working in close partnership with our AAALAC peers to make Site Visit arrangements that will ensure personnel safety while still maintaining the rigor and specificity that is crucial to a thorough assessment of our facilities and our Animal Care & Use Program.
We understand that moving forward with the Site Visit in light of re-activating research across campus and the ongoing challenges created by COVID-19 may feel overwhelming. We know that the last several months have not been easy, and that our path into the foreseeable future is also likely to present new obstacles for us to overcome.
However, given the recent successes of our research re-engagement efforts and the momentum we have built toward an overall state of sustained readiness and compliance, we are confident that our institution and you, our research community, are now more prepared than ever for this visit.
The thoughtful attention that you have given to re-assessing your projects in order to adapt to rapidly-changing circumstances provides a solid framework for continued AAALAC Site Visit preparations, and will be increasingly valuable as we look to a public health-informed fall semester, fall semi-annual IACUC and USDA inspections, and an eventual return to more standard University operations.
With the many competing priorities you are most certainly managing, we thank you for your diligence in helping us prepare for this most important re-accreditation visit. We hope that you will join us in capitalizing on this opportunity to demonstrate to our colleagues and peers that the culture of shared responsibility for excellence in animal care and use, and in research, that we have worked so hard to build here at the University of Michigan has not only been sustained, but strengthened, by the challenges we have faced together.
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