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A message from President Wyke: UMA’s Safe Return Plan

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Dear UMA Community,

Chancellor Dannel Malloy has announced the re-opening of the University of Maine System campuses for fall 2020 as scheduled on August 31 with completion of the semester online after the Thanksgiving break. The reopening of campuses will take place under UMS Together for Maine unifying principles developed by the UMS Safe Return Planning Team. Each university will implement these unifying principles according to its own specific safe return plans.

Over the past several weeks, the UMA Safe Return Committee, led by Associate Provost and Dean of the College of Professional Studies Brenda McAleer, developed UMA’s Safe Return Plan guided by the need to provide necessary health and safety precautions for students, faculty, and staff while offering students the best educational experience possible. Many thanks to the faculty and staff who took part in this planning process. Special thanks to Provost Joseph Szakas, Deans McAleer and Fahy, and the Academic Coordinators for their efforts in developing a comprehensive plan that will allow our students to maintain access to high-quality academic programming that will keep them on a path to degree completion.

The Plan provides the best practices for reopening our institution based upon available information, state requirements, and scientific guidance as of this date. Should information or the situation change, our Plan will adapt accordingly.

To review the UMA Safe Return Plan, visit uma.edu/return.

This webpage will be updated to provide resources and guidance on UMA’s reopening as information becomes available. Additionally, an Open Forum on UMA’s Reopening will be held on July 7, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to share details and answer questions.

UMA’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has already begun to implement this plan. As we return to UMA, plexiglass shields in reception areas, classroom reconfigurations, and installation of hand sanitizer stations will be some of the noticeable changes on our campuses and center locations. Employees will be provided washable face coverings for use while on campus and everyone will be asked to acknowledge our mutual commitment to the safety of our community members.

A gradual return from remote work locations by employees will begin in July. The UMA Safe Return Committee, with input from directors and managers, will make recommendations on how employees will return safely to campuses and centers. Employees will receive specific instructions about this transition and should not return to their usual work location until they receive these instructions.

Our collective adherence to the Plan’s protocols and guidelines, such as wearing face coverings while at UMA locations and maintaining physical distancing, are imperative to our successful opening and our ability to reduce the risks to members of our community. I look forward to working with the UMA community as we implement this plan and begin the fall 2020 semester.

Be safe and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Rebecca M. Wyke

Rebecca M. Wyke, Ed.D.
President