Dear UMA Community,
I am providing you with a communication from Chancellor Dannel Malloy regarding the collective actions that will be undertaken by the University of Maine System to prepare for Covid19 (Coronavirus) at all universities. Chancellor Malloy’s message and directives follow:
FROM: Dannel P. Malloy, University of Maine System Chancellor
RE: COVID-19 Planning and Travel Directives
DATE: March 9, 2020
Considering the rapidly evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and associated public health risks, the dynamic information updates from the Maine and U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention and the Maine Emergency Management Agency and associated guidance to institutions of higher education, the expectation that COVID-19 cases could be confirmed in Maine in the near future, and our collective responsibility to take proactive steps to ensure the health and wellness of our university communities, the System, and the Maine communities in which we work, the following directives are effective immediately:
Although no decision has been made yet to discontinue in-class attendance and instruction, UMS Presidents and the Dean of the Maine Law School will instruct all faculty to prepare plans by March 23, 2020 for class instruction to transition to online or other distance modalities on that date or thereafter at the direction of the Chancellor, or alternatively, on or after the same date, to permit students to complete course requirements and earn full semester credit through pedagogically appropriate means other than physical presence in class. Requests for exceptions must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with Risk Management, the involved university Provost and President (or Law Dean), and the Chancellor.
Considering CDC guidance that recognizes heightened COVID-19 health risk for older persons or persons with pre-existing health conditions, older faculty or those with preexisting health conditions who are ready to do so may transition as soon as possible to online or other instructional modalities that do not require physical presence in class. Older staff employees or those with pre-existing health conditions who communicate a desire to work remotely should be given preference for “telecommuting” work-from-home arrangements to the extent possible. Older students or those with pre-existing health conditions may seek assistance or accommodations from their university accessibility services office.
Until further notice:
a. All UMS-sponsored non-essential air travel is prohibited.
b. International travel is prohibited to countries with a Level 3 or 4 advisory in accordance with U.S. State Department and CDC guidelines, as described at https://www.maine.edu/health-advisory/.
c. Exceptions may be granted only by the Chancellor, in consultation with the involved university president and UMS Risk Management.
d. UMS faculty, staff, and students are strongly discouraged from personal travel to any domestic or international area with known COVID-19 cases or community transmission, and Presidents should widely communicate this recommendation to their campus communities.
So as to avoid unnecessary travel, UMS universities should encourage students to remain on campus through Spring Break and broadly communicate appropriate residence hall and dining options for those who do so.
These directives will be reviewed not less than every fourteen days.
I know you share my concern for the welfare of our communities and my desire that we take these steps to preserve the opportunity for our students to maintain their educational progress with the least disruption possible.”
This memo and other information can be found on the UMS Health Advisory website, which is updated on a regular basis.
UMA has established its own webpage, uma.edu/remote, where UMA specific information will be posted as it becomes available to help us meet the directives listed above.
We will continue to update the community, as information becomes available.
Rebecca M. Wyke, Ed.D.