All Questions

Have any extensions to complete master’s and doctoral degrees been put in place?

April 1, 2020

The Emergency Time Clock Accommodation for Graduate Students extends the timeline to complete doctoral and master’s degrees by one year for students who entered their programs before or in the Spring 2020 semester. The COVID-19 emergency also will be regarded as an extenuating circumstance for all current doctoral students to request up to one-year extension of the deadline to complete the preliminary examination. For more details on the policy, click here.

Will a credit/no credit grading system be in place for graduate students in the Spring 2020 semester?

April 1, 2020

The Emergency Graduate Grading Accommodation Policy expands the credit/no credit option for graduate students and will apply to eligible courses with letter grades and to courses with satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades. Schools and colleges will identify courses that are ineligible for credit/no credit grading by April 14. Students will be assigned a letter or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade in each course by the grading deadline of May 21. Graduate students may exercise their option to change a Spring 2020 course to credit/no credit on or before July 3. For more details, see the policy posted here.

What if a student has to miss class due to illness in the Spring 2020 semester?

April 1, 2020

Faculty and instructional staff should relax requirements this semester for doctor’s or health care provider’s notes when a student misses class due to illness. This request is to help relieve pressure on overburdened health care workers. We also ask that instructors do not request notes from students’ parents, as many UWM students live on their own. It is appropriate this semester if a student informs you of an illness to take the student at his or her word.

Faculty and instructional staff are also asked to be flexible with students whose families have been impacted by COVID-19. During this time, students may be caring for loved ones who are ill or otherwise need their support, or contending with other complications related to the pandemic.

Faculty and instructional staff are asked to consider posting this information in their Canvas course announcements.

What adjustments have been made to the vacation carryover policy?

April 1, 2020

Many employees have canceled vacations due to travel restrictions in place for the pandemic. Given the circumstances, UW System will be extending the deadline for employees to carry over vacation from the 2018-19 fiscal year. This means that employees will be able to carry over unused vacation from the 2018-19 fiscal year as well as the current 2019-20 fiscal year into the 2020-21 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2020.

You can check your vacation balances in the human resources system (HRS). Vacation carried over from the 2018-19 fiscal year currently appears in HRS as “vacation carryover.” Vacation allotted in 2019-20 appears in HRS as “vacation.”

More details about the extension of the deadline to use vacation will be provided when they are available.

What is COVID-19 leave and how do I get it?

April 1, 2020

UW System’s COVID-19 leave provides paid leave for employees who can’t perform their assigned duties during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The policy allowed for up to 80 hours from March 17-30, 2020, and it provides for an additional 272 hours from March 31, 2020, through May 1, 2020. It’s available for employees unable to work due to the following:

  • inability to work remotely
  • diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis
  • caring for an immediate family member who has a COVID-19 diagnosis, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a diagnosis
  • caring for an immediate family member subject to a quarantine or isolation order, or who has been advised to self-quarantine
  • caring for children or elders due to school/care closures

Faculty, academic staff, university staff, limited appointees, employees-in-training, graduate assistants (including teaching assistants, research assistants and program assistants) and temporary employees are eligible for COVID-19 leave, with the approval of campus administration. Employees may enter COVID-19 leave in HRS as they would other types of paid leave, and they should contact their unit’s payroll coordinator with any questions.

Delivery of instruction to students, which is work that can be performed remotely, does not qualify for COVID-19 leave without extraordinary circumstances and the availability of course coverage. Should a faculty member or other instructional staff wish to use COVID-19 leave in lieu of providing instruction, they should check with the dean their school or college to explain the extraordinary circumstances.

It’s important to note that COVID-19 leave will become unavailable after May 1, 2020. For that reason, it is helpful to use COVID-19 leave now instead of vacation, sick leave or another type of paid leave. Information about leave bank processing guidelines is available here. Questions may be sent to

Are there training sessions available to learn more about using Microsoft Teams?

March 31, 2020

UWM’s first Microsoft Teams online training class on Friday, March 27, was a success, with 275 faculty and staff members signing up for the session. Campus technologists led a virtual tutorial about the Teams app and the features that can help faculty and staff work remotely.

Another virtual training session is coming up on Thursday, April 2, from noon to 1 p.m. No prior registration is necessary – just go to this Office 365 @ UWM website for more information on how to join. A recording of last Friday’s session is also available on that page.

Are we able to access WEPA printing anywhere on campus?

March 31, 2020

Since July of 2017, UWM students have enjoyed access to Wēpa Print Away print service.

Due to compelling considerations of health, IT staff support capacity and projected reductions in student demand, however, all Wēpa devices on UWM’s campuses in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Washington County have been deactivated.

When circumstances change and Wēpa printing can again be supported at UWM, our community will be promptly apprised.

How will the COVID-19 situation affect faculty members tracking toward tenure?

March 30, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to disruptions in the normal progress of tenure-track faculty in the areas of research, scholarship, teaching and service, and thus toward tenure. Disruption due to the pandemic is a reason for requesting an extension of the tenure clock. Interested tenure-track faculty should submit their request to their dean, who will forward the request to the provost for approval. Because the circumstances are beyond the control of the faculty member, there is a presumption of approval of these requests. Requests for extension of the tenure clock for up to one year due to COVID-19 pandemic should be sent to deans on or before Dec. 23, 2020.

How will the COVID-19 situation affect the probationary period of academic staff who are on track toward indefinite status?

March 30, 2020

Accommodation will be made to extend the probationary period for academic staff on track toward indefinite status. Because the circumstances are beyond the control of the staff member, there is a presumption of approval of these requests. The extensions will be available for individuals who have files due on or before Dec. 31, 2020. A written request for an extension should be made to the Academic Staff Committee chair as well as the chair of the Instructional and Research Academic Staff Review Committee (IRASRC) OR the chair of the Non-Teaching Academic Staff Review Committee (NTASRC). Extensions must be requested by the staff member by Sept. 15, 2020. This extension is not available to individuals with probationary status who have already received a nonrenewal notice for Spring 2020 (as these files were due to the committee prior to the COVID-19 disruption). The extension allows employees to complete the indefinite status appointment process by May 31, 2021. Notification of the extension will be provided to the supervisor/executive committee/dean/division head.

How can I ensure that students on SURF grants who are assisting in my research can continue to do so remotely?

March 30, 2020

If you have an undergraduate SURF student helping you with your research and want the student to remain on payroll while continuing to work at home or remotely, please fill out the quick form on the Office of Undergraduate Research’s website. It only takes a few moments.

Also, the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is proceeding with its Summer SURF Awards process, with a deadline of April 10. If you have an undergraduate that you would like to support as a research assistant this summer, please apply. The OUR will fund the awards in two rounds. The first round will focus on research that can be done under the current restrictions. The second round will then take place as soon as the research restrictions can be lifted.

Will there be any changes to end of semester course evaluations?

March 30, 2020

Due to the profound impact of COVID-19 on Spring 2020 instruction, UWM will not conduct formal course evaluations this semester. Departments and instructors who want to gather student feedback on their course experiences this semester may ask some open-ended questions to obtain the feedback. However, such feedback from this semester should only be sought by the instructor, should remain with the instructor, and must not be used in personnel evaluations of the instructors.

With UWM incorporating a credit/no credit (pass/fail) policy for the Spring 2020 semester, what will happen to my scholarship if I’m required to maintain a certain GPA?

March 30, 2020

Students who have received renewable scholarships from UWM will have their continuing eligibility for the scholarships reviewed at the end of the Spring Term under standard business practices. The unit responsible for administering the scholarship (typically either Financial Aid, or the school/college in which the student is enrolled) will review eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

Even though the interim Emergency Grading Accommodation policy allows for credit/no credit grading, all students will receive a letter grade in each of their Spring 2020 courses by the grade deadline of May 21. Students will have until July 3 to exercise their option to designate each eligible Spring 2020 course to be graded on a credit/no credit basis or to keep the grade they received. Students who earn a C-minus or better in a course may opt for the credit/no credit option for that course.

In the event that a recipient has become ineligible due to academic performance, inability to maintain full-time enrollment or other circumstances, the unit will have the freedom to waive any eligibility requirement as it deems appropriate under the circumstances. Units will be encouraged to review individual circumstances with flexibility and compassion, understanding that UWM, the UWM Foundation and our scholarship donors provide renewable scholarships to help students achieve their academic goals.

Please reach out to the school/college/unit that awarded your scholarship with any specific questions or concerns, or information regarding your individual circumstances. Please remember that if you have received scholarships from external sources (outside of UWM or the UWM Foundation) that incorporate a GPA requirement, you will want to check with the funder directly.

Will UWM move to a credit/no credit grading system for undergraduate students this semester?

March 30, 2020

Many students have asked whether UWM will have a credit/no credit (sometimes called pass/fail) grading policy this semester. The short answer is yes, through the interim Emergency Grading Accommodation policy.

Undergraduate students will receive a letter grade in each of their Spring 2020 courses by the grade deadline of May 21. Students will have until July 3 to exercise their option to designate each eligible Spring 2020 course to be graded on a credit/no credit basis or to keep the grade they received. Students who earn a C-minus or better in a course may opt for the credit/no credit option for that course. The current limitations on the number of courses/credits for the credit/no credit option are being suspended for the spring semester.

By April 14, each school/college will designate a limited number of courses as ineligible for the credit/no credit grading option due to licensing/certification/accreditation requirements. Students can designate classes as credit/no credit by downloading a form and submitting it to their academic advisor as an email attachment from their UWM email account.

When should I apply for financial aid for the Fall 2020 semester?

March 30, 2020

You should apply now. The recommended date to complete the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive maximum consideration was March 1, 2020. If interested in financial assistance and you have not yet applied, you may still do so by going to the FAFSA website.

You may monitor the status of your financial aid file, including information about items that you still need to submit, via your PAWS account. You can review our PAWS tutorials if you need help accessing your account. It is very important that documents are completed in their entirety and consistently with information reported on the FAFSA. Incomplete or inconsistent documents require additional follow-up, slowing the process for everyone.

The Financial Aid, Military Education Benefits, and Student Employment departments are expecting a much higher number of applicants than usual, so submitting all paperwork now will allow adequate time for processing and awards to be provided in a timely fashion.

My income has change significantly due to coronavirus, so can I have my financial aid package reviewed and adjusted?

March 30, 2020

Financial aid eligibility for the 2019-20 academic year (Fall 2019, Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms) is based upon 2017 federal tax information as reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In special situations, schools can also look at 2018 and 2019 federal tax information.

If income has changed in 2020, this would not impact the current 2019-20 academic year. However, it may be taken into account for the 2020-21 academic year (Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 terms). Per the 2020-21 Special Circumstance Form, we can look at 2018 and 2019 federal tax information or estimated 2020 federal income information. Due to the current economic situation, a large volume of such appeals is anticipated. Therefore, it is extremely important that if a 2020-21 Special Circumstance Form is submitted, all supporting documentation as outlined on the form is provided at the same time and in a timely fashion.