Top Questions

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 hr-covid19@uwm.edu.


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.



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.


What is happening with campus parking permits for the garages?

March 30, 2020

Effective Tuesday, March 31, all faculty/staff parking permits will be canceled and payroll deductions will be stopped. If your vehicle is still in a garage beyond March 31, you’ll need to press the help button at the garage exit to be let out. Employees may park on campus surface lots for free. If you would like to continue parking in one of the garages and continue your payroll deduction, you must make a written request to uwmpark@uwm.edu and get approval from Transportation Services.

For employees and students with semester and annual permits that were paid in advance, prorated balances will be refunded to credit cards upon request here. Due to high volume, it could take up to four weeks before the credit appears on your credit card account.


What is the status of campus parking for the rest of the spring semester?

March 30, 2020

Parking in campus lots will be free for the rest of the spring semester. Effective Tuesday, March 31, all faculty/staff parking permits will be canceled and payroll deductions will be stopped. If your vehicle is still in a garage beyond March 31, you’ll need to press the help button at the garage exit to be let out. If you would like to continue parking in one of the garages and continue your payroll deduction, you must make a written request to uwmpark@uwm.edu and get approval from Transportation Services.

For employees and students with semester and annual permits that were paid in advance, prorated balances will be refunded to credit cards upon request here. Due to high volume, it could take up to four weeks before the credit appears on your credit card account.



Now that I’m working remotely, what are my obligations under Wisconsin public records law?

March 27, 2020

All communications and documents created by employees that relate to university business are subject to public records law regardless of where employees are working. Records created in Microsoft Teams, such as chats and recordings, are records. Work-related communications and documents created on non-university platforms (text message, Slack, etc.) are also subject to public records law. For more information, please see this webpage.


Will spring 2020 commencement still be held?

March 27, 2020

Although UWM has made the extremely difficult decision to not hold May 17 in-person ceremonies for spring 2020 commencement, UWM is actively seeking future dates to hold in-person commencements for the Class of 2020. No dates have been determined, but possibilities include adding ceremonies in October or November, or expanding the already-planned Dec. 20 ceremonies. For May, UWM schools and colleges are considering what limited, interim and virtual recognition within academic unites might entail.

It is important to note that eligible graduates will still graduate on time, as there is no postponement of their actual graduation, only the ceremonies celebrating it. Eligible graduates should apply for graduation in the normal manner here. Students who fulfill the requirements will still earn their degree and receive their diploma.

Students who have already purchased caps and gowns for the May 17 ceremonies will have the option of keeping them or returning them for a refund. Refunds are being processed through this website, which also has information about how to have items previously scheduled for campus pickup to be directly shipped to your home address.


What is the status of the Teams Calling Project that involved transferring UWM telephone service to Microsoft Teams?

March 27, 2020

Because of coronavirus-related campus technology needs and AT&T-associated delays, the timeline for proceeding with the Teams Calling Project has been delayed.

Earlier this year, UWM faculty and staff received updates regarding the Teams Calling Project and transferring UWM telephone service to Microsoft Teams. Plans called for faculty and staff to receive Teams phone numbers on April 2. Plans also called for providing Teams phone numbers and the transfer of existing phone lines to continue throughout the summer.

The April timeframe for Teams phone number provisioning has been postponed. Project updates will be posted at this website.


Have there been any changes to how the UWM Help Desk operates?

March 27, 2020

UWM’s Help Desk will be using a new Microsoft Teams phone system to answer incoming calls from the campus community. Callers will hear an introductory message and then choose an option to route their call to the Help Desk or the Classroom hotline.

Faculty, staff and students can continue to contact the UWM Help Desk through the usual methods (calling 414-229-4040, emailing helpdesk@uwm.edu or visiting uwm.edu/help). All issues will continue to be handled according to the order they are received and the urgency of the issue. Help Desk personnel ask for your continued patience during this time, as they navigate a new working environment and acclimate themselves to new tools.


What assistance is being providing to UWM student employees unable to continue working because of the coronavirus-related campus changes?

March 26, 2020

UWM is providing a one-time COVID-19 leave payment to all active student hourly workers who have logged hours on or since Feb. 1, 2020. Students who qualify will receive $100 per week for two weeks – a total of $200. The payment will be effective for the April A payroll, which begins Sunday, March 29, ends Saturday, April 11, and pays Thursday, April 23. Student workers who have logged hours during the April A pay period will receive this payment in addition to their logged hours during the same pay period. This is a one-time action designed to help student employees who have not been able to continue their jobs. UWM continues to advocate to federally elected officials for student assistance.


I understand a UWM employee tested positive for coronavirus. How will people know if they were in close contact with the person?

March 26, 2020

The Milwaukee Health Department conducts tests for coronavirus, and with a positive test, it begins a contact investigation. Using information gathered during this investigation, local or state health departments notify people it determines are at risk. Local health departments are following state and federal public health guidelines related to contact investigations.


What resources are available to help instructors who are moving their courses online?

March 26, 2020

Many resources are available to help faculty and staff with the transition to teaching online or through alternate means of instruction.

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

  • Sign up here for workshops offered daily through Sunday, March 29.
  • Daily online question-and-answer sessions begin on Monday, March 30. These informal, one-hour sessions will be held twice a day, with no formal agenda. Feel free to attend the full session or just a portion. Click here to sign up.
  • Connect with colleagues virtually in the Online Teaching Partnership Program. CETL will connect you with a partner based on interest in the type of online instruction. (Click here for more information on asynchronous and synchronous delivery.) All levels of expertise are welcome. Complete this form if interested.

CETL is also available for support every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Sunday, March 29 through email at cetl@uwm.edu or Microsoft Teams at https://uwm.edu/cetl/teams/. Normal hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

EdX

This free edX course, which is the result of a UWM partnership with two other institutions has already drawn nearly 700 people from more than 90 countries. The weekly course began on March 16, but anyone is welcome to join at any time, and all sessions are recorded.

Other resources

  • Instructors can find tips, guides and links to more information at the websites for CETL, and the Division of Academic Affairs.
  • Information technology specialists from across campus have complied an extensive guide on how to prepare for working remotely.

I heard headsets are available for use with Microsoft Teams. How do I acquire one, and what else should I know about Teams?

March 26, 2020

Headsets were available for pickup through Wednesday, March 25. UWM IT is unsure when they’ll be available for pickup again. UWM IT is compiling a list of faculty and staff members who remain interested in receiving a headset should pickup again become available. Requests can be made here.

In lieu of campus-provided headsets, people can still participate in Teams meetings by:

  • using a personally owned headset or smartphone-capable earbud/microphone set. For example, the EarPods included with iPhones have a microphone.
  • downloading the Teams Mobile App on a tablet or mobile device, which typically have built-in audio and video capabilities.
  • installing the Teams Desktop App on a personal computer that is equipped with a built-in microphone, speaker and/or video camera.
  • calling into a Teams meeting via telephone using the call-in information provided in a Teams meeting invitation.

More information on Microsoft Teams is available at the Campus Technology website.

Reminder: Information technology specialists from across campus have put together a detailed guide on how to prepare for working remotely.



How has the coronavirus situation affected sponsored research programs at UWM?

March 24, 2020

With some exceptions, UWM’s research laboratories are shutting down or in the process of moving online if possible. For critical lab operations, no more than two people will occupy a lab at one time. Because each grant-funding organization is issuing it’s own guidance, the UWM Office of Research has compiled a list of resources at this website. It is updated several times daily.


Can I still get a fob for dual authentication with my university computer accounts?

March 23, 2020

At this time, employees are being encouraged to use their iOS or Android device to facilitate dual authentication, officially known as multifactor authentication. To do so, they need to follow they steps for enrolling their device in the multifactor authentication program, and details about enrollment and the program can be found here. If employees don’t have access to an iOS or Android device, they’re asked to contact the Help Desk to discuss alternative methods. New employees have 14 days to enroll in multifactor authentication once their ePantherID is activated, and it’s important they contact the Help Desk with any issues prior to the end of the 14-day enrollment period.





Can we still use the computer labs in Enderis Hall?

March 23, 2020

The computer labs in Enderis Hall are closed until further notice. Campus Technology support is working with school and college stakeholders to identify instructional lab needs, which may include making the labs available remotely for online instruction.


If I do not have available leave to remain in paid status during a self-quarantine, may I use an unpaid leave?

March 23, 2020

Yes, employees are able to use an unpaid leave during a self-quarantine. Employees are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources to gain understanding of the consequences of using an unpaid leave.

UW System has also instituted a COVID-19 leave policy providing up to 80 hours of paid leave for employees who can’t perform their assigned duties during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency due to the following:

  • inability to work remotely
  • self-quarantine
  • self-isolation
  • illness
  • care of an immediate family member
  • child/elder care due to school and day care closures

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.

Faculty, academic staff, university staff, limited appointees, employees-in-training, graduate assistants and temporary employees are eligible for COVID-19 leave, with the approval of campus administration. The leave may be used prior to using any other type of accrued leave and will be available until the president of UW System determines the pandemic has concluded.

More details about the implementation of the COVID-19 leave policy are expected to be released this week, with an anticipated rollout date of March 27. To learn more about preliminary COVID-19 leave processing guidelines, click here.


What if my children’s school or daycare provider is closed and I have no one else to take care of my children?

March 23, 2020

UWM is considering a variety of options for faculty, staff and student employees. It’s important for you to talk to your supervisor as soon as possible about your options, given your duties at UWM. If you will not be working, you may request to use paid leave time (including COVID-19 leave) or choose to utilize unpaid leave. You can also talk to your supervisor about the possibility of a flexible work schedule.


If I am advised by my physician or public health authorities to self-quarantine and not to come to work, will I be paid or must I use sick leave?

March 23, 2020

You should contact your supervisor about the advice received and request the time off. Your supervisor may require medical documentation from you in accordance with normal leave policies. However, supervisors are encouraged to be flexible about requiring such documentation.

You must use COVID-19 leave, sick leave or other leave time if you are advised to self-quarantine unless your supervisor is able to plan for you to work remotely.

UW System’s COVID-19 leave provides up to 80 hours of paid leave for employees who can’t perform their assigned duties during the pandemic emergency due to the following:

  • inability to work remotely
  • self-quarantine
  • self-isolation
  • illness
  • care of an immediate family member
  • child/elder care due to school and day care closures

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.

More details about the implementation of the COVID-19 leave policy are expected to be released this week, with an anticipated rollout date of March 27. To learn more about preliminary COVID-19 leave processing guidelines, click here.


If I am required to self-quarantine, may I use sick leave in order to remain in paid status, even if I am not exhibiting acute respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms or am not otherwise ill?

March 23, 2020

Yes, you may use sick leave during a self-quarantine in order to remain in paid status. You may also use COVID-19 leave under this circumstance.

More details about the implementation of the COVID-19 leave policy is expected to be released this week, with an anticipated rollout of March 27. To learn more about preliminary COVID-19 leave processing guidelines, click here.


Why am I not getting email updates on coronavirus planning from the chancellor?

March 22, 2020

You might have opted out of emails from the chancellor (or others) without realizing it. The good news is that you can opt back in.

The easiest way to do this is by finding an old email from the chancellor (or other sender) in your archive. In the footer of that email, click on “Manage Your Preferences.” That will open a Manage Preferences Form that you can use to opt back in.

For more detailed instructions, see option 2 on this page.


How can I help our UWM food pantry during this time when many students and other members of the UWM community may be in need?

March 21, 2020

There are several ways to help:

  • Donate through the UWM Foundation: Head to UWM.edu/give, click “Give Now” and select “UWM Food Pantry.” This ensures your donation goes directly to the Food Pantry.
  • The food pantry has set up an Amazon wishlist also for those wishing to order much-needed supplies to help out during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • From time to time the Food Pantry will be posting high need items on social media. Folks can just order from their own Amazon account and have it delivered to 2200 E Kenwood Blvd., ATTN: Food Center & Pantry, Milwaukee, WI 53211.

Items currently most needed are:

  • Menstrual products
  • Toilet paper
  • Laundry detergent
  • Ready-to-eat meals
  • Deodorant
  • Spices and cooking oils
  • Culturally affirming foods
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Shelf-stable milk products
  • Canned fruits, beans, soups, peas, corn and potatoes
  • Canned chicken & tuna
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Pasta and sauce
  • Snacks (granola bars, nuts, chips)
  • Cereal
  • Rice
  • Soap, shampoo and conditioner
The UWM food pantry is open, but because supplies are limited, distribution is restricted solely to UWM students who are in need of food. Contactless, curbside distribution at the UWM Student Union will take place every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patrons will receive a bag with roughly one week’s worth of food. Special bags are available for these dietary restrictions: nut free, gluten free, pork free, vegetarian and vegan. Check back here or at uwm.edu/studentassociation/uwmfcp/ for the most up-to-date information.

Have the hours changed for campus buildings?

March 19, 2020

As of March 18, UWM began strictly limiting most onsite, non-essential operations on all three campuses. This includes closing most offices and services that are open to walk-in traffic and having staff provide services remotely when they can do so. Please note that our campuses are not closed. Indeed, some employees will continue to provide critical in-person services, such as caring for students living in our residence halls, providing core IT and networking services to campus, maintaining academic research programs, providing library services, continuing payroll operations and providing security for those accessing campus.

Academic buildings were locked on March 18. For the remainder of the semester, they will be accessible only to individuals with keys or other access to unlock the building. Accommodations are being made for employees engaged in research to maintain access to labs and other needed facilities. If there are special needs for unlocking a building, individuals should contact UWM Police at 414-229-4627. Those individuals will need to have appropriate employment permissions to enter the building, and those employees should be prepared to show University ID.

The Klotsche Center, including all athletics practice and training areas, and the UWM Student Union closed at noon on March 18.

Libraries at all three UWM campuses closed at 5 p.m. on March 19.

The Norris Health Center will continue in-person medical services to students, and the dispensary will be open. All students must call in advance, (414) 229-4716, for any services.

We will update this post with any changes or exceptions.


How does the new online environment affecting best practices related to open meetings?

March 19, 2020

Given that the majority of UWM employees are working remotely for the time being, UW System has developed guidance on complying with the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law when meeting virtually.

Here is a key excerpt from that guidance:

The basic legal requirements for an open meeting held by teleconference, videoconference, or another virtual format under the Wisconsin’s Open Meetings law are the same as those for the face-to-face meetings routinely conducted at University of Wisconsin campuses, namely public notice of the time, location, and subject matter of the meeting, and opportunity for the public to attend and observe the meeting. The key difference with a public meeting format that is not face-to-face is that the meeting body must provide the public with an effective means to observe the meeting that is the equivalent of being present in the room for a face-to-face open meeting.

A line like the following can be added to open meetings notices to satisfy that requirement: To be held via teleconference/videoconference/virtually at [insert link and/or call-in number].



Can I get a refund for parking permits I’ve already paid for?

March 19, 2020

Parking in campus lots will be free for the rest of the spring semester. The Union, Lubar, NWQ, and Pavilion parking garages will be closed to everyone except those with existing permits because staffing is needed to keep them open. All outdoor parking lots will be open, in addition to the Sandburg and EMS garages. Individuals may not park vehicles in UWM parking facilities overnight without express permission.

All parking payroll deductions will be automatically stopped after the March deductions.

For semester and annual permits that were paid in advance with credit cards, prorated balances will be refunded to credit cards upon request here. Due to high volume, it could take up to four weeks before the credit appears on your credit card account.


Are there restrictions for upcoming travel for university faculty and staff?

March 19, 2020

Effective March 17, UWM is prohibiting any employee from booking university-sponsored and paid travel until better information is known about when travel may resume.

You must to self-quarantine for 14 days if you’ve traveled to countries with widespread transmission according to the CDC and/or traveled in the United States to states with sustained community transmission. The CDC is updating this list regularly. Visit this page, and after the U.S. map, click the States + bar to reveal the state list. Look under the Community Transmission column for states marked yes.

Along those lines, UWM announced on March 16 that all employees who have traveled to states with sustained community transmission must stay out of the workplace for 14 days. All or parts of more than 20 states are included in the list of those with verified sustained community transmission.

We continue to strongly discourage employees and students from any non-essential travel outside of Wisconsin until the end of the semester. (This does not apply to out-of-state students who are returning home for the extended spring break.) If you do opt to travel, please know that there are health risks involved. All travelers should self-monitor for fever, cough and difficulty breathing.


If I have traveled, what precautions must I take before returning to work?

March 19, 2020

You need to self-quarantine for 14 days if you’ve traveled to countries with widespread transmission according to the CDC and/or traveled in the United States to states with sustained community transmission. All travelers should self-monitor for fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

The list of countries impacted includes China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Ireland and Malaysia, as well as the United Kingdom and most of Europe.

As of March 19, all of parts of more than 20 states are on the list. (To find the list of states: visit this CDC page; after the U.S. map, click the States + bar to reveal the state list; look under the Community Transmission column for states marked yes.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates this information daily.




How will the latest work-from-home guidelines affect mail service? Will campus mail continue to be delivered or will it be held?

March 18, 2020

Mail is picked up from the U.S. Postal Service each morning as usual. In lieu of regular delivery and pickup at your office, please email Warren Krutzik, supervisor for Mail Services, at warren@uwm.edu to set up special circumstances. Here are some options:

  • day-specific delivery to your office
  • delivery to a central spot in the building for multiple departments
  • a hold your mail until further notice

To send out mail if you are not having regular delivery to your office, use the Mail Services drop boxes around campus. Fed Ex and UPS deliveries should be directed to: UW-Milwaukee, 115 E. Reindl Way, Glendale, WI 53212.



What videoconferencing software should we use for meetings and classes?

March 13, 2020

UWM’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) recommends Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for synchronous classes. Further recommendations and a Quick Start Guide for online instruction can be found on their website.

Campus Technology recommends administrative staff use Microsoft Teams for meetings and collaborating online. See its working remotely webpage to get started with Microsoft Teams. More information is available on the Microsoft Teams webpage.


Are there any security issues with me using my personal computer to work from home?

March 13, 2020

UWM’s information security policies apply to both on and off-campus work. Here are a few tips for staying secure when working remotely:

    • Do not store any UWM files on personal devices, including personal computers.
    • Ensure your computer’s operating system, software and antivirus tools are up-to-date.
    • Password and account credential sharing is strictly prohibited, including sharing with other members of your household. All passwords and login information for devices and system logins must be kept private.
    • Lock your computer’s screen when you’re not using it, and do not leave your personal computer unattended in public areas, where it could be stolen.
    • Be aware of phishing emails. Many online threats come from phishing or online scams, urging you to click a button or follow a link and reveal sensitive information. Always double check who the request is from and look for indicators such as spelling errors and language of extreme urgency.
    • Report any loss of device, suspected compromised account or other suspicious activity to UWM’s Information Security Office.

If our department has invited applicants to campus for interviews, should we cancel?

March 13, 2020

If your applicant is coming from a U.S. state where the CDC has determined that sustained community transmission is occurring or an international location that requires a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival, you should conduct the interviews remotely (for example, via Skype or Zoom) or postpone their interview.

This is because the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends that such incoming travelers self-quarantine for 14 days, which would be impossible in the context of a job interview.

However, even if they are not coming from a U.S. state with sustained community transmission or an international location that requires a self-quarantine, in order to limit the potential spread of the virus, it would still be prudent to conduct the interviews remotely or postpone their interview. The CDC issued guidance March 12 about travel within the U.S., which seems to encourage that domestic travelers choose to delay or cancel their plans.


What if I do not have the ability to work remotely?

March 13, 2020

At this time, there is no provision in state policy that allows for employees to be paid without working or using paid leave. We realize this may create a hardship for some employees. We are monitoring this situation very closely and should this change, we will communicate with you. You may choose to use paid leave time to remain in paid status or you may elect to take unpaid leave. It is suggested you contact a benefits specialist in the Office of Human Resources so you understand the consequences of unpaid leave.


Will I be able to work remotely?

March 13, 2020

In order to implement suggested guidelines for social distancing, deans, division heads and supervisors will consider which employees perform mission-critical work `that must be completed on site, and what work can be completed off-site. Supervisors will be provided with guidance on considering whether employees may work remotely or if they need to perform their duties on site.

Deans, division heads and supervisors should communicate to all of their employees whether they may work remotely or be allowed to adjust their schedule.

Meanwhile, information technology specialists from across campus have put together an excellent guide on how to prepare for working remotely at uwm.edu/technology/working-remotely.


My child’s school or daycare is closed and I have no one else to take care of my child. What options do I have?

March 13, 2020

In an attempt to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has ordered the closing of all K-12 public and private schools in the state. All UWM campuses continue to remain open. But we realize many of you have immediate questions concerning the latest developments.

UWM is considering a variety of options for faculty, staff and student employees. It’s important for you to talk to your supervisor as soon as possible about your options, given your duties at UWM. If you will not be working, you may request to use paid leave time or choose to utilize unpaid leave. You can also talk to your supervisor about the possibility of a flexible work schedule. Until these conversations occur, we ask that employees make arrangements to come to work as usual.



How do I obtain products for general disinfection of my workspace?

March 12, 2020

Department accounts and/or P-cards may be used to purchase the office cleaning products mentioned here.

At this time, the availability of hand sanitizer and cleaning products for the office is limited. The UWM Procurement Department is working to obtain these products and more information will follow if these products become available.


What are the recommended products for general disinfection of my workspace?

March 12, 2020

The following are some recommended products for use in general disinfection/ routine cleaning that are effective for influenza and COVID-19. This is not an all-inclusive list; these are simply some recommended products from the Biosafety Program Office. If you have questions or inquiries about products you are currently using, feel free to contact the biosafety program at: uwm-biosafety@uwm.edu to discuss your disinfectant products.

  • Clorox Brand Products, including Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner + Bleach, and Clorox Disinfecting Bleach. These can be found at most major retailers, but are harder to find due to high demand. Contact times and additional information may be found on the Clorox website.
  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are a good option for cleaning of computer keyboards and related items.
  • Lysol Brand Products, including Lysol Disinfectant Spray, Lysol Disinfectant Spray Cover Mist, Lysol Multi-Surface Cleaner Pourable, Lysol Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Hydrogen Peroxide, Lysol Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Bleach EPA, Lysol Power Bathroom Cleaner, Lysol Power Foam Bathroom Cleaner, Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach. These can be found at most major retailers, but are harder to find due to high demand. Contact times and additional information may be found on the Lysol website.

What products should I use to disinfect my workspace?

March 12, 2020

Use products approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, which can be found on the U.S. EPA Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 webpage. Disinfectants that possess the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are recommended by the CDC for use against COVID-19. These products can be identified by the following claim:

“[Product name] has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to COVID-19 on hard non-porous surfaces. Therefore, this product can be used against COVID-19 when used in accordance with the directions for use against [name of supporting virus] on hard, non-porous surfaces.”


What can I do to disinfect my workspace?

March 12, 2020

Influenza viruses and coronaviruses (such as COVID-19) can survive on a variety of surfaces, such as door handles, tables and keyboards. Besides good hand washing practices, routine disinfection of surfaces people may encounter is an excellent way to minimize exposure to these viruses and many other infectious agents.

These include workstations, countertops, doorknobs/ push bars, hard-backed chairs, remotes, desks and light switches. It is important to clean in between users, or daily for single user workstations. It is also important to engage in routine hand washing and use of hand sanitizer in-between hand washing. After disinfecting an area, make sure hands are promptly washed at the nearest sink.


What cleaning is done in the offices in the housing facilities?

March 12, 2020

All offices are detail cleaned (dust, damp wipe with hospital grade disinfectant, mop and/or vacuum) once a month. Main offices, or offices having certain prestige, are cleaned weekly. Office trash is removed by the occupant of the office, except on the scheduled day for cleaning. Floors are refinished and carpets/chairs are deep cleaned once a year.




If a conference is cancelled, will I be reimbursed?

March 12, 2020

Any travel (including conference registrations, airline tickets, personal expenses within the standard travel policy guidelines or similar) that is canceled due to COVID-19 will be a reimbursable expense. Airline tickets can be canceled in Concur or by contacting a Fox World Travel agent.



What is UWM doing to monitor the COVID-19 virus situation to remain in touch with what’s happening across the globe and to plan for future contingencies?

March 12, 2020

UWM is following all information related to the virus closely and planning for contingencies. UWM has engaged its Crises Management Team, a group staffed by the chancellor’s cabinet and other UWM leaders. An Infectious Disease Preparedness Team has been meeting weekly for some time to monitor the virus and prepare for possible impacts upon UWM. As necessary, UWM leadership will communicate broadly on this topic.








May I use vacation, sick leave or any other type of leave to avoid working?

March 11, 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.

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 hr-covid19@uwm.edu.



If I feel I’m being treated unfairly, discriminated against or harassed due to concerns around this issue, what should I do?

March 11, 2020

Coronavirus is not specific to any ethnicity or race, and racist behavior and stereotyping – in the classroom or the workplace – will not be tolerated at UWM. Students and staff who feel they are being discriminated against are encouraged to contact UWM’s Office of Equity/Diversity Services at 414-229-5923 or diverse@uwm.edu.  Incidents may also be reported here. EDS can conduct a formal investigation of the alleged behavior, and it also can help students and staff with support, connecting to on- and off-campus resources, and informal resolutions. Those resolutions can include academic or workplace modifications, alternative assignments, and other measures to meet the needs of those who have been impacted.

UWM also encourages everyone to act with care and compassion. We are all experiencing this dynamic, evolving situation together, and it is important that we support each other. Students can get help from the Dean of Students Office at dos@uwm.edu or 414-229-4632. Employees have a wide range of services available to them through the Employee Assistance Program.


I know a member of the campus community who is being impacted directly by the coronavirus. Where should they go for support?

March 11, 2020

Students in need of support can contact the Dean of Students in the Student Union, Room 345, at dos@uwm.edu or 414-229-4632. Someone in that office can direct students to appropriate on- and off-campus resources. Students may also contact Norris Health Center for medical needs at 414-229-4716 or University Counseling at 414-229-4133.

Faculty, staff and members of their households may contact FEI Behavioral Health, which is the provider of UWM’s Employee Assistance Program. They can be reached at 866-274-4723, or online at www.feieap.com (username: SOWI)


What is the university doing to keep the community safe?

March 11, 2020

At UWM, the Infectious Disease Preparedness Team and the Crisis Management Team are meeting regularly to monitor the situation, to review rapidly evolving guidance from national, state and local public health authorities, and to coordinate across departments to address needs. Consult UWM’s COVID-19 webpage for updates.

Norris Health Center is following public health authorities’ guidelines for health care facilities. This includes asking patients who have respiratory symptoms or fever whether they have traveled internationally in the past two weeks. If a student is identified as someone who has the risk factors identified by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, they will be isolated for assessment and staff will work with local and state public health professionals to prevent the spread of infection to others.