November 17, 2020  |  News & Events, Timely Announcements

Dear Colleagues,

UW System’s post-Thanksgiving requirements are complex, and we have been determining as an institution how we’ll operate after the break. As we prepare to shift to fully online after Thanksgiving, we have already started receiving requests for exceptions to allow courses to continue in-person instruction or activities. This email reiterates some points of a previous communication and provides additional information and details.

As mentioned in the Friday, November 13 communication, students who engage in on-campus course activities after Thanksgiving will be required to have additional COVID testing, consistent with President Thompson’s order regarding “congregate activities.” Please recognize that these testing requirements will apply to all students who engage in face-to-face instructional activities after Thanksgiving. Please note that President Thompson’s requirements entail that in-person classes will not be held the week of November 30, 2020, because the required twice-tested requirement cannot be met until December 7.

The Monitoring Core Team (MCT) (led by Kim Litwack and Stephen Schmid) will field all requests to continue instructional activities after Thanksgiving. Recognize that if your request is granted, all students in the course must go through the testing regime and cannot participate in activities until December 7. We ask that Deans or Associate Deans submit all requests after vetting within the academic unit. Please send to Stephen ( the following information for each requested exception:

  1. Course number.
  2. Number of students in course/activity.
  3. Rationale for continuing in-person activities.
  4. Explanation of what accommodations will be in place for students who cannot/will not return to campus for the remaining in-person activities.

After review by MCT and me, MCT will communicate with the person submitting the request. Requests should be sent as soon as possible with a deadline of Wednesday evening, 11/18/20, 5:00 p.m.

In addition to the process above, we want to answer some questions that have arisen.

1. As communicated, campus facilities and residence halls will remain open. Instructors and staff can still access classrooms, offices, and other spaces. We recommend that those who can work at home do so. Most buildings will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Klotsche and Student Union will be open for their usual hours until Dec. 22; these usual hours are longer than the 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. timeframe to be used for other buildings on campus. The UWM Libraries will also be open after Thanksgiving. Hours will vary by campus location. Please see the Libraries’ website at

2. Instructors can use their office, studio, classroom, or lab to teach remotely, if they wish.

3. If alone and not part of a group, students can study, practice, create, or work in studio spaces, labs, practice rooms, study areas, or other spaces that facilitate their studies and success in their coursework. If there are multiple students who will be engaging in such activities and they are part of the same course, then an exception should be requested as per the above. Instructors and deans should be able to produce a list of the names for students who will be utilizing the respective facilities.

4. Students engaged in these solo activities are not required to be tested twice before engaging in these solo activities.

For all activities on campus, UWM’s safety protocols remain in effect. The Emergency Operations Center will likely provide additional information this week about any additional non-academic changes to operations.

If there are other questions that need addressing, please do not hesitate to contact me or the MCT leads.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding and take good care.


Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs


NOTE: Sent to Deans, Associate Deans and Deans Assistants on 11/17/2020.