Dear UMPI Community,
Much has changed since I wrote to you a week ago about our COVID-19 response efforts, with classes moving online and students moving out of the dorms by the end of Spring Break. There have been difficult good-byes, many questions (along with a resolve to provide answers as quickly as possible), and remarkable efforts by all to prepare our campus for the new normal.
As you may have seen in the Chancellor’s message last evening, to assist us in that last endeavor, UMPI will observe a two-day extension of Spring Break. Classes will formally resume on Wednesday, March 25. This gives our faculty and academic support team more time to prepare for this unprecedented, mid-semester shift to online and distance learning.
In addition, I’m very pleased to share that a determination has been made about room and board charges. After students complete proper check out with our Residence Life Office, adjustments will be made to students’ accounts with March 13 designated as the check out date, even if departure occurs later during the Spring Break. For some, these adjustments will reduce the amount owed on accounts; for others, it will result in a credit balance with refunds being processed and disbursed. For our students who have moved, or are moving, out of the dorms by the end of Spring Break, please connect with our Residence Life (207-768-9587) and Student Financial Services offices (207-768-9510) to ensure these adjustments can be made as quickly as possible.
In addition, the University is undertaking another important effort to slow the community spread of COVID-19 and better support those impacted by public school closures. As stated by the Chancellor yesterday, starting March 19 and continuing through at least April 6, most faculty and staff will transition to telework (working from home). There will be individuals and services identified as critical and essential that will continue on campus–and in those cases, adherence to CDC guidelines on social distancing and other precautions will continue–but we’ve been asked to set up telecommuting arrangements to the maximum extent possible. Faculty and staff should look for more information on this from HR later today.
Through all the changes that have occurred because of this evolving public health emergency, I have so appreciated this campus’ resilience and adaptability. Thank you for your continued determination to see our Spring semester successfully completed while protecting the health of our campus and community.