UWM employee COVID-19 update

April 7, 2020

Summer session

Almost all summer classes will be offered online or through remote instruction this year because it remains unclear what public health guidance might be in place by May and beyond. According to the state’s Safer at Home order, all public and private gatherings of any number of people that are not part of a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited exceptions outlined in the order.

A few in-person summer classes may be offered, and the provost is working with the deans to determine what these will be. Those classes ideally would be scheduled during the latter half of the summer session, subject to public health guidance at that time. We hope to share more information about summer classes later this week.

EAP services

UWM’s Employee Assistance Program provider, FEI Behavioral Health, can help faculty and staff manage the challenges and changes caused by the pandemic. FEI, which has been providing services for more than 40 years, offers assistance in areas including:

  • Managing uncertainty and anxiety.
  • Achieving work-life balance, including negotiating arrangements for school-age children or elderly parents.
  • Coping with financial uncertainties.

To contact FEI, please call (866) 274-4723 or visit them online by clicking here. More information is available by going to this UWM Department of Human Resources page.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
WUWM: Poll Workers Called Heroes Of Wisconsin Election
WTMJ radio: Pick ‘n Save to limit number of shoppers in stores in wake of coronavirus
WISN 12: Home internet access could hinder learning for some MPS students

News links

UWM Report: Coverage of the impact of COVID-19 on campus
UWM Athletics: A letter from Director of Athletics Amanda Braun
Roar Report: MKE Baseball – The Waiting Game
Milwaukee Magazine: What It’s Like to Go To UWM Online During the Health Crisis


UWM employee COVID-19 update

April 3, 2020

Remote work and COVID-19 leave

UWM’s Department of Human Resources has published guidance for supervisors on successfully managing remote work and employees’ use of COVID-19 leave. This guidance document may serve as a helpful resource for both supervisors and employees.

The Department of Human Resources also provides this clarification about the recent expansion of COVID-19 leave for employees under the UW System Interim COVID-19 Leave Policy. The policy has been expanded to allow employees up to 272 hours of COVID-19 leave for the time period of March 17 through May 1. This will enable employees to use COVID-19 leave as defined by the policy at their full-time equivalency rate through May 1. The policy does not allow the use of COVID-19 leave after May 1 and this leave may not be converted into another type of leave. The UW System policy can be found by clicking here.

Minimal employees on campuses

Deans and division heads are working hard to significantly reduce the number of individuals working onsite at our three campuses, consistent with orders from the state and city. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Wisconsin, every opportunity for person-to-person contact increases the risk of transmission. Therefore, only those UWM employees who must work onsite for purposes of life, safety and critical infrastructure will be permitted to do so until we are cleared to bring all employees back onsite.

From this point forward, anyone continuing to work onsite at any of UWM’s campuses, whether occasional, part-time or full-time, must have formal approval to do so from the applicable dean or division head, who must seek approval from one of four UWM leaders. More information can be found by clicking here.

UWM Emergency Management representatives will be monitoring the list of approved individuals and contacting both employees and their supervisors to ensure that they are implementing UWM’s On-Site Essential Employee Work Practices. These required practices are designed to ensure safety for employees who must work onsite.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
Milwaukee Magazine: What Are the Political and Local Ramifications of Pushing Back the DNC?
AP: Wisconsin GOP says election should go on as scheduled
Urban Milwaukee: Washington Heights Mural Has Simple Message

News links

UWM Report: Feeling sick? UWM launches project to better track spread of COVID-19
UWM Report: UWM community donates personal protective gear to local health care facilities
WUWM: UWM history professor talks about rise of anti-Asian racism reports
TMJ4: UWM assistant professor documents COVID-19 pandemic by collecting items in the community


Housing and dining refunds and coronavirus-related updates

April 2, 2020

Housing and dining refunds

Housing and dining refunds for students who recently moved out of the residence halls will be processed by the end of April, if not sooner. Students who have credits on their accounts will have checks mailed to their permanent address on record in PAWS.

As of this spring, the Cashier’s Office no longer processes refunds by electronic funds transfer. It is currently processing checks two times per week while maintaining social distancing between employees.

Room reimbursements will be issued for the period from March 23 to May 16 for most students living in residence halls, regardless of the day they move out.

Students who lived in Kenilworth and have since vacated were being billed monthly. They will not be billed in April and May, and they will receive a credit for the period from March 23 to March 31.

Please note that any balances owed to the university will be deducted from housing and dining refunds before checks are issued. University Housing is sending additional information to students with residence hall contracts. You can also visit the University Housing COVID-19 site to contact staff with a question.

Segregated Fees

Many students have asked about refunds for Spring 2020 segregated fees, noting that they are not on campus to take advantage of the services those fees provide.

Segregated fees provide funding for a wide range of services, including Norris Health Center, University Counseling Services, University Recreation and other student engagement services, including Student Involvement, the Women’s Resource Center, Military and Veterans Resource Center, the Center for Inclusive Excellence and the LGBTQ+ Resource Center. These services are still operating, although they may look a little different right now. For example, University Recreation is offering online fitness classes and recreation clinics . University Counseling is offering telehealth-based counseling.

Many of the units mentioned in the preceding paragraph, along with the Graduate Student Resource Network and UWM Student Association, are collaborating on a virtual student union, which is a Canvas course where Panthers can connect and build community through discussions, one-on-one conversations and social media. Students will be invited to join the Canvas course next week via their UWM email account.

Segregated fees also pay for maintaining buildings, such as the UWM Student Union, the Klotsche Center and related utility costs. These buildings and services have costs that can’t quickly be reduced, such as heat, maintenance and professional staff. And, we want to make sure that the buildings and services are available when students return to campus. For this reason, UW System has determined no UW campus will refund segregated fees for the spring semester.

It’s too soon for us to say whether the COVID-19 situation will continue beyond spring semester or what its total financial impact will be. While some units are seeing savings with providing online services, others are facing a loss of non-seg fee revenue from things like locker fees, dining and space rentals, which also help support their budgets. And, after years of state budget cuts, UWM has little in reserve to cover these losses.

As we look ahead, campus leaders are working with the UWM Student Association to determine adjustments to future segregated fees. If you are concerned about these fees, we encourage you to contact your SA representatives so that your voice will be heard.

Course illness policy

We wanted to let you know of guidance given to faculty and instructional staff on absences due to illness for the rest of this semester.

We have asked faculty and instructional staff not to require students to provide excuses from health care professionals when missing class or assignments due to illness. We understand that health care systems are becoming overburdened and may not be able to provide excuses.

We also have asked instructors to be flexible with students whose families have been affected by COVID-19.  We recognize that you may be managing care for relatives who are ill or otherwise need your support, and that you may be dealing with other complications related to the pandemic.

We ask that you keep your instructors informed about your circumstances and let them know if you need help or accommodations. We’re all in this together, and we want to support you.

Grading and credit/no credit

On Monday, we shared with you a new emergency grading accommodation for undergraduates.

All enrolled students will receive a letter grade in each enrolled Spring 2020 course by the grade deadline of May 21. Students will have until July 3 to designate courses to be graded on a credit/no credit basis or to keep the grade they received.

The earlier email you received with information on the policy wrongly referred to it as an “Emergency Interim Pass/Fail Grading Policy.” It is not a pass/fail policy, but an option to take a class for credit/no credit. We apologize for any confusion.

Please consult with your academic advisor with questions about this policy and procedures.

Grad student accommodations

Similarly, we have new interim policies affecting graduate students.

Grading

The Emergency Graduate Grading Accommodation Policy expands the credit/no credit option for graduate students. This 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 elect to change a spring 2020 course to credit/no credit on or before July 3. For more details, see the policy posted here.

Time Clock

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 a one-year extension of the deadline to complete the preliminary examination. For more details on the policy, click here.


UWM employee COVID-19 update

April 2, 2020

Timing of Title & Total Compensation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UW System Title & Total Compensation Project has been delayed. While some behind the scenes work on the project will continue, forward facing work like the manager/employee conversations, are on hold. UW System Administration will work with institutions’ chief human resources officers to establish a new timeline and communicate again once that is established. Further information is available at this UW System link.

COVID symptom tracker

Environmental epidemiologist Amy Kalkbrenner in the Zilber School of Public Health has developed an online tool designed as a public health strategy to help manage the COVID-19 crisis. The confidential online survey at wecountcovid19.com collects by ZIP code and day the symptoms people with respiratory illness are experiencing. Those who are sick, both in Milwaukee and across the U.S., can contribute using their smartphone or computer. If you are experiencing symptoms, we encourage you to contribute to this important work.

Open meetings

Given that most UWM employees are working remotely due to the pandemic, UW System has developed guidance on complying with the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law when meeting virtually.

According to that guidance, the organizer of a public meeting that is not face to face 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].

When using the UWM submission form for open meetings, that information can be entered into the location field, which now includes a prompt to note either a physical location or the conference call/teleconference connection information. Please note there is no character limit for that location field.

When a meeting goes into closed session
Asking participants to leave an open meeting when it goes into closed session depends on the software being used. For Microsoft Teams, you can just ask those who should not stay for closed session to leave. You can confirm by checking if they have left the participant list.

You can also view the participant list and remove participants as needed by clicking on “remove participant.”

Resources for teaching online

We want to thank faculty and staff who put in long hours as we transitioned more than 6,000 in-person classes to those being taught online or through alternate delivery due to the pandemic. This is an extraordinary effort that reinforces your dedication to providing the best instruction possible through unprecedented circumstances.

Don’t forget about these resources from Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning if you need help or have any questions:

  • Daily informal, online question-and-answer sessions held twice a day with no formal agenda. Each session is an hour. 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. All levels of expertise are welcome. Complete this form if interested.

CETL is also available for support weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 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.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Federal judge extends absentee balloting by six days but does not delay April 7 election in Wisconsin
CBS 58: DNC Milwaukee 2020 pushed back to week of August 17 due to COVID-19
TMJ4: List of Milwaukee-area restaurants offering carryout, delivery

News links

WUWM: The Coronavirus’ Impact On UW-Milwaukee
Milwaukee Business Journal: COVID-19 cost the NCAA $1 billion. Now Marquette, UWM athletic departments have tough decisions to make


Extension of COVID-19 Leave and Vacation Carryover

April 1, 2020

It’s April Fools’ Day and I am delighted to share some good news that is no joke. Our lives will be impacted by COVID-19 for a prolonged period and thus, UW System is extending COVID-19 leave with an additional 272 hours. UW System is also extending the vacation carryover deadline for this fiscal year.

The interim policy took effect yesterday (March 31). It implements leave provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic prioritizing the health and safety of our people.

Under the policy, faculty, academic staff, university staff, limited appointees, employees-in-training, graduate assistants, teaching assistants, research assistants and program assistants, and temporary employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties during the COVID-19 pandemic may use up to 272 hours (prorated based on percentage of appointment) of COVID-19 leave for the period of March 31 through May 1, 2020. This is in addition to the 80 hours that were provided for March 17-30. This will cover employees who are:

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

Further guidance and FAQs from our HR team are under development and will be available soon. Questions may be sent to hr-covid19@uwm.edu.

Employees may enter COVID-19 leave in HRS as they would other types of paid leave and should contact their unit’s payroll coordinator with any questions. It is 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.

Vacation Carryover
The carryover deadline for unused vacation has been removed this year given the reality that many people canceled planned vacations to respond to the pandemic. See below for more details and additional important coronavirus-related updates.

I also encourage you to tune into WUWM 89.7 FM tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. or thereafter for a special edition of the UWM Today show about how we are managing the COVID-19 crisis. Vice Chancellor of University Relations Tom Luljak interviewed me, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen, and Chief Student Affairs Officer Kelly Haag.

Until my next update, please take good care of yourself and loved ones.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Vacation carryover

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.

Grad student accommodations

On Monday, we shared details about the interim policy on an emergency grading accommodation for undergraduate students. Today, we have an update on a similar interim policy affecting graduate students.

Grading
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.

Time Clock
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.

Course illness policy

We would like to clarify yesterday’s message on course illness policies.

This semester, faculty and instructional staff should not require a student to provide an excuse from a health care professional when missing class or assignments due to illness. Health care systems are becoming overburdened and may not be able to provide excuses. For this semester, if a student informs you of an illness, we ask you to take the student at their word.

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

We also ask that faculty and instructional staff consider posting this information in their Canvas course announcements.

Prowl Line and parking

Prowl Line shuttle service has been suspended until further notice because of the pandemic. The Prowl Line provided service from the Capitol and Humboldt (UPARK) surface lot to the UW-Milwaukee campus and residence halls.

We are urging nonessential employees to work from home as much as possible for the health and safety of those who must come to campus for work. If you must come to campus, please note that employees may now park in campus surface lots free of charge.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
WPR: Madison, Milwaukee Open Voluntary Coronavirus Isolation Centers
Fox 6: ‘Urgent need’ for poll workers creates questions of what to expect on April 7
TMJ4: St. Francis cake decorator hopes to bring normalcy, joy to clients during times of uncertainty

News links

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: UWM student brings native Moroccan dishes, traditions to Milwaukee
WUWM: Latest higher education updates


UWM employee COVID-19 update

March 31, 2020

COVID-19 leave update

Some employees may have already used sick leave or vacation to cover an absence due to COVID-19. Those employees can instead use COVID-19 leave, even if they have already reported the absence, if that absence is covered by the UW System COVID-19 leave policy and occurred on or after March 17, when System issued that policy.

Please reach out to your supervisor, unit payroll coordinator or the Central Payroll office at payroll@uwm.edu for assistance.

The COVID-19 leave provides 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

You can find more information on guidelines at the UW System COVID-19 leave policy page or through the UWM coronavirus website FAQ.

Tenure clock and academic staff probationary period

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to disruptions in the normal progress of tenure-track faculty in areas of research, scholarship, teaching and service. Tenure-track faculty affected by the pandemic disruption can send a request for an extension of the tenure clock to their dean, who will then 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 an extension of the tenure clock for up to a year due to COVID-19 should be sent to your dean on or before Dec. 23. The provost will provide a report on approved requests to the University Committee.

Accommodation also will be made to extend the probationary period for academic staff on track toward indefinite status. Similarly, there is a presumption of approval of these requests since the circumstances are beyond the control of the staff member. Extensions will be available for individuals who have files due on or before Dec. 31, 2020. More information can be found in the provost’s most recent campus update by clicking here.

Microsoft Teams training

UWM’s first Microsoft Teams online training class on Friday 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 on Thursday. A recording of last Friday’s session is also available on that page.

Campus parking permits

Effective today, all faculty/staff parking permits will be canceled and payroll deductions will be stopped. Those with a vehicle still in a garage after March 31 will need to press the help button at the garage exit to be let out. Employees may park on campus surface lots for free. Those interested in continuing to park in a garage and continuing the payroll deduction 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 by filling out this form. Due to high volume, it could take up to four weeks before the credit appears on your credit card account.

Course illness policy

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.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
WUWM: Coronavirus: A Look Inside The North Shore Health Department
AP: Evers seeks disaster declaration as unemployment grows
CBS 58: FBI warns of coronavirus scams — here’s what to look out for

News links

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: UWM social epidemiologist talks about statistical estimates of when coronavirus might peak in Wisconsin
WISN-TV: UWM, Concordia University hailed as ‘persons of the week’ for creating 3D printed masks
Spectrum News: UWM music student provides virtual guitar lessons
WUWM: UWM Shifts 6,000 In-Person Courses Online Mid-Semester


Chancellor’s Update: Updates on Interim Grading Policy, COVID-19 Leave and Compensation

March 30, 2020

Dear UWM Faculty and Staff,

Changes and approaches to COVID-19 issues continue to be part of our everyday lives. Today, I write to share updates on how we are addressing student grading this semester, clarifications on compensation and leave, and access to campus buildings.

Emergency Grading Accommodation – Interim policy
After consulting with a multitude of internal constituencies and with the approval of the University Committee and the Academic Staff Committee, the provost has issued an interim policy on emergency grading accommodation for undergraduate students.

All enrolled students will receive a letter grade in each enrolled Spring 2020 course by the grade deadline of May 21. Students will have until July 3 to designate courses to be graded on a credit/no credit basis or to keep the grade they received. Students who earn a C- 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 or accreditation requirements. Students will have until July 3 to exercise their option by submitting a form to their academic advisor. Students should consult with their academic advisor with questions about this policy and procedures.

While we have the grading accommodation interim policy, please encourage all students to put forth the full effort in each enrolled class to successfully complete the coursework. A similar policy for graduate students is being finalized and we will share details tomorrow.

COVID-19 Leave
To minimize the spread of COVID-19 per the state’s Safer at Home order, most employees have been directed not to perform work in-person at any of our campuses. Up to 80 hours of paid leave are available for faculty, academic staff, university staff, limited appointees, employees-in-training, graduate assistants and temporary 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

Employees may enter COVID-19 leave in HRS as they would other types of paid leave, and should contact their unit’s payroll coordinator with any questions. It is important to note that COVID-19 leave will expire when the pandemic concludes (that date is currently undetermined). 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.

Clarification on Compensation
On Friday, we announced that compensation adjustments are frozen, or no longer being approved. This means that individual requests for salary adjustments, including for merit, expanded duties, or other reasons, currently are not allowed. The freeze does not apply to promotional increments or January 2021 compensation plan increases, which are still planned.

Minimal Employees on Campuses
We have undertaken efforts to significantly reduce the number of individuals working onsite at our three campuses as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Wisconsin. Faculty and staff should talk directly with their supervisors about options before coming to campus.

Access to UWM Buildings
Academic buildings were locked on March 18, and we have since closed access to administrative buildings, our libraries, Klotsche Center and the UWM Student Union. For the remainder of the semester, all UWM facilities, except for students approved to remain in Sandburg Hall and Kenilworth Square Apartments, will be accessible only to individuals with keys or other access to unlock enter 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.

Students have expressed needs to get into academic buildings to retrieve personal items, and thus, dean and divisional offices should establish and clarify what processes students should follow to gain access.

Please visit our COVID-19 website often and encourage our students to do the same. New information and helpful FAQs are being added every day.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Chancellor’s Update: Updates on Interim Grading Policy, Refunds and Building Access

March 30, 2020

Dear Students,

The disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be part of our daily lives and, as students, you are particularly affected as we shift today to alternative course delivery. There are a few updates I’d like to share with you about our new interim student grading policy, clarification on refunds, student assistance and access to campus buildings.

Emergency Grading Accommodation – Interim policy
Many students have asked whether we will have a credit/no credit grading policy this semester. The short answer is yes. All 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- 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 will have until July 3 to 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.

For details, please see the new interim policy on emergency grading accommodation for undergraduate studentsStudents should consult with their academic advisor with questions about this policy and procedures. A similar policy for graduate students is being finalized, and we will share details tomorrow.

I encourage you to put forth the full effort in each of your classes to successfully complete your coursework while we have this grading accommodation interim policy in place.

Housing & Segregated Fees and Tuition
Last week, we announced that we will provide prorated refunds for housing, dining and parking permit fees for the remainder of the spring semester for students who have vacated their respective campuses.

To clarify that announcement, while we are making those refunds, there will be no pro-rated refunds for tuition and segregated fees. We continue to provide instruction through alternative means to safeguard the health and safety of our students, your families, our employees and our communities. In addition, UW System has determined that segregated fees at UW campuses will not be refunded. These fees provide support for critical services to students, including health care, student organizations, and fixed costs such as building construction. Please see our FAQ here.

Student Assistance
We continue to work on support for students during the pandemic. This includes:

  • Financial assistance from the Student Emergency Grant Fund, administered by the Dean of Students Office, to help with expenses for distance learning, food, housing or moving expenses and emergency travel
  • Groceries from the UWM Food Center and Pantry
  • Short-term, interest-free personal loans from the UW Credit Union

The campus programs listed above have been in high demand, and, thus, availability of funding is subject to change. We will continue our efforts to raise funds for these programs. To learn more about these resources, please see here.

Reminder on Access to UWM Buildings
In response to the State of Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order and to safeguard you, friends and loved ones, we have closed access to academic and administrative buildings. For the remainder of the semester, facilities will be accessible only to individuals with keys or other access to unlock the building. Students who need to get into academic buildings to retrieve personal items should contact their instructors, who will work with the deans of the schools and colleges to arrange access.

Please visit our COVID-19 website often. New information and helpful FAQs are added every day. We care about you and sympathize with the unprecedented changes you are facing during this COVID-19 crisis.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone, PhD
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


COVID-19 Impact on Our Budget

March 27, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We have never experienced anything remotely akin to the COVID-19 pandemic. The greatest toll, of course, is the thousands of people who have died and hundreds of thousands more who have been infected by the disease. Hour by hour, we also are seeing the financial impact the pandemic is having on businesses and institutions, including UWM and other colleges and universities. Today, I write to share an update on how the pandemic is affecting our financial situation at UWM. The impacts include:

  • Lost revenue from operations that have been closed. Without open facilities, we can’t provide catering, dining, recreation, community engagement activities and other services.
  • Providing pro-rated refunds for parking permits, University Housing and dining operations budget.
  • Costs associated with providing COVID-19 leave. This is the right thing to do, but it was an unplanned expense.

As a result of these unexpected developments, I am announcing several measures to help mitigate the financial impact the pandemic is having on our campus:

Cancellation of VSIP
Earlier this month I shared our plans to move forward with a limited voluntary separation incentive payments (VSIP) plan. The VSIP was being offered as a tool to address anticipated FY21 budget reductions. Due to the unexpected and extreme impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our budget, we are canceling the VSIP program. We do not currently anticipate a restoration of the VSIP at a future date.

Hiring Freeze
We are putting into place a temporary hiring freeze, effective today. Limited exceptions will be allowed and should be forwarded through deans and division heads. All exceptions will be subject to approval from Provost Johannes Britz and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen.

Compensation
Effective immediately, compensation adjustments for our employees, other than due to promotions, will be on hold, with very limited exceptions that will be subject to the same approval used for hires.

Safety of our People
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Wisconsin, and in Milwaukee County in particular, the health and safety of all our employees are paramount. For the safety of us all and our families, we are undertaking efforts to significantly reduce the number of individuals working onsite. Deans and division heads will receive guidance and details on this later today. Employees should talk directly with their supervisors about options before coming to campus.

These are exceedingly difficult times that we are facing together. It is understandable that people are concerned, frightened and discouraged by the financial impact of COVID-19. Yet, we are needed now more than ever. It is important for us to activate our resilience as we reflect on the power of what we do – and will continue to do – to advance our students and communities.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Outside activities disclosure

The Wisconsin Administrative Code requires faculty, limited appointees and academic staff with half-time appointments or more to report outside activities for 2019 by April 30, 2020. Employees also must complete this requirement to be eligible for any future pay raises, including adjustments included in the proposed 2019-21 State of Wisconsin Pay Plan.

The criteria for reporting outside activities have not changed from prior years. Faculty and academic staff must complete disclosure forms even if they have had no outside activities or financial interests in 2019. This process will once again be done online. An email from “UWM eWorkflow Process Director” with a subject of “Outside Activities Reporting – Action Required” will be sent to all employees who must report outside activities. The email will include a personalized link for you to complete and submit your report. You will receive the email no later than April 1.

As in prior years, your department chair and the appropriate dean or director will review your disclosure. These reviews will also be accomplished via the online system.

Student privacy during online discussion

UW System has provided guidance regarding privacy concerns during online coursework, including the proctoring of online exams and the use of webcams during online classes. UW System recognizes that proctoring of exams, including online exams, is essential in many cases to protecting the integrity of courses and assigned grades. However, instructors should notify students that they are being recorded, including sending an “all-class communication” about the use of webcams or other tools as part of online coursework.

Preparing to teach online

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is available for last-minute questions before classes resume online or through alternate modes on Monday. CETL support will be available every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Sunday, March 29. Connect with them through email at cetl@uwm.edu or via Microsoft Teams. Normal hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also still sign up here for workshops offered daily through Sunday.
Don’t forget these other CETL resources:
  • Daily online question-and-answer sessions begin Monday. 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. All levels of expertise are welcome. Complete this form if interested.

Refunds for online class fees

We’ve received a number of questions regarding the refund of online class fees now that all classes are being taught remotely for the rest of the semester. UWM will not be refunding online course fees.
Students who initially enrolled in online courses paid fees to help fund the digital infrastructure associated with those courses, while students who initially enrolled in face-to-face courses paid more segregated fees to support on-campus resources. We are not adding online course fees for students whose courses moved online, nor are we reducing their segregated fees. In keeping fees unchanged for the semester, all students will have paid fees to help fund campus services and infrastructure.

Contacting the Help Desk

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 be able to choose numbered options to route their calls to the Help Desk or the Classroom hotline. Faculty, staff and students can continue to contact the UWM Help Desk through the same methods.
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.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
WUWM: Is Wisconsin Ready For A Recession? It’s In Better Financial Shape Than 2007, Report Says
WTMJ radio: Medical College CEO: Wisconsin hospitals to be in ‘crisis’ in weeks at current pace of coronavirus pandemic
Spectrum News: Wisconsin Photographer Captures Smiles and Donations for Hunger Task Force

News links

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: UWM theater professor and fellowship winner releases free tools to help connect with isolated seniors during pandemic
Milwaukee Business Journal: UWM one of several Wisconsin schools working with companies for face mask production


UWM employee COVID-19 update

March 26, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to announce that we have found a way to provide some assistance to student workers who have lost their positions as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

UWM will provide a one-time COVID-19 leave payment to all active student hourly workers who have logged hours in HRS on or since Feb. 1, 2020. The payments will be made as follows:

  • The payment will be $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 will be a one-time action designed to help UWM student employees who have not been able to continue in their jobs.

The pandemic has caused unprecedented and unexpected changes to our operating budgets. UWM is not unique in this regard. The majority of colleges and universities – both in Wisconsin and nationwide – are facing the same circumstances. For those reasons, we also will be ending all student hourly appointments in the coming weeks, with exceptions provided for units in which student employees are helping to provide ongoing services. Supervisors are or soon will be speaking with students whose appointments are ending. We view this as a relatively short-term circumstance while the virus is forcing most people to stay home. It is our sincere hope that when isolation requirements are lifted, and the UWM campus is again a lively place for instruction, research and community engagement, student employees will return to campus jobs.

In addition, we continue to advocate to our federal elected officials for student assistance. We are grateful to the faculty, staff, alumni and others who have donated to the Student Emergency Fund and UWM Food Center and Pantry.

I realize this is a stressful time due to the rapid pace of change and significant amount of uncertainty. It is my sincere hope that the news of additional compensation will provide our student workers with some comfort and assistance. Additional coronavirus-related updates on planning and operations are below.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Students in need of a computer

On Tuesday, UWM Surplus announced a limited number of computers for sale to students at a low cost. Those computers were all reserved for purchase by Wednesday morning.

With classes resuming online or through alternate modes on Monday, UWM students still in need of a computer can fill out this form to get on a waiting list for a computer. The UWM Surplus manager will alert students as computers become available.

Workshops to help with online transition

We hope faculty and staff have taken advantage of the extended spring break period to use the many resources available to assist with the transition to online instruction.

If you haven’t signed up yet, this free course, which is the result of a UWM partnership with two other institutions, can help. Based in current learning science and online learning research, the class covers key concepts and provides guidance on how to start teaching online.

Nearly 700 people from more than 90 countries have already signed up for the course. Participants include K-12 educators, university and college faculty members, and corporate workers. The six-week course began on March 16, but anyone is welcome to join at any time, and all sessions are recorded.

Online workshops are also being offered by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

  • Sign up here for workshops offered daily through Sunday.
  • Daily online question-and-answer sessions begin on Monday. 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. Email cetl@uwm.edu or connect via Microsoft Teams. Normal hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Other valuable resources:

Microsoft Teams online training

With most employees now working from home in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19, many faculty and staff have started using Microsoft Teams. If you haven’t used Teams yet, or if you’re relatively new to Teams and need a primer, join an online training session hosted by campus technologists on Friday from 10 to 11 a.m.

Topics covered will include:

  • What’s Teams?
  • Teams apps
  • Creating a team
  • Chatting with your team
  • Sharing files
  • Holding virtual meetings

Click on this link on Friday to join the session. Please make sure that your device has audio capabilities before you join – either working speakers or the ability to listen with headphones. After joining the course, the instructor will show where to ask questions, as well as how to access course resources and the recording of the course.

Contact UITS Learning TECHniques at learning-techniques@uwm.edu with any questions.

Access to the Klotsche Center

Many people have asked about retrieving items from the Klotsche Center. The center is closed until further notice in compliance with social distancing guidelines. As a result, there is not currently access to retrieve items from lockers. Once a determination is made regarding the duration of the closing, the center will provide information on the steps and timeline for retrieving belongings.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: ‘This is such uncharted territory’: Milwaukee is supposed to host the DNC in July, but coronavirus has changed everything
WPR : As State Responds To COVID-19, GOP Leaders Say Debate Over Evers’ Emergency Powers Can Wait
CBS 58: Milwaukee buildings lit up in red, white and blue to show support, solidarity amid COVID-19 outbreak

News links

WUWM: UWM gerontologist offers advice on easing senior isolation, loneliness
Mashable: UWM professor talks about the importance of prolonged social distancing
Urban Milwaukee: UWM economist discusses rising unemployment claims
Fox 6: UWM economics professor talks about potential impact of Congress’ virus rescue bill


Compensation for Student Employees

March 26, 2020

Dear Students,

We care about you and sympathize with the unprecedented changes you are facing during this COVID crisis. The way you will engage in learning, the parameters of Governor Evers’ Safer at Home order and campus life are all distinctly different compared to just a few weeks ago.

We also know that those who had campus jobs and have not been able to continue in those jobs are struggling to pay bills. I am pleased to announce that we are going to provide a one-time COVID 19 leave payment to provide some assistance to UWM’s student workers. UWM is providing the funding for these payments. Here are the details:

  • The payment will be $200 ($100/week for two weeks).
  • The payment will be effective for the April A payroll, which begins on Sunday, March 29, ends on Saturday, April 11 and pays on Thursday, April 23.
  • We will pay all active student hourly appointments who have logged hours in HRS on or since February 1, 2020.
  • Each student employee will be paid $200 for the April A pay period. For those student workers who have logged hours during the April A pay period, they will receive this payment in addition to their logged hours during the same pay period.

This will be a one-time action to help UWM student employees who have not been able to continue in their jobs.

The pandemic has caused unprecedented and unexpected changes to our operating budgets. UWM is not unique in this regard. The majority of colleges and universities – both in Wisconsin and nationwide – are facing the same circumstances. For those reasons, we will be ending all student hourly appointments in the coming weeks, with exceptions provided for those units in which student employees are helping to provide ongoing services. You have already heard or will hear from your supervisor on whether your appointment is ending. We view this as a relatively short-term circumstance while the virus is forcing most people to stay home. It is our sincere hope that when isolation requirements are lifted, and the UWM campus is again a lively place for instruction, research and community engagement, student employees will return to campus jobs.

In addition, we continue to work on and share information about additional financial resources available to students. These include:

  • Financial assistance from the Student Emergency Grant Fund, administered by the Dean of Students Office, to help with expenses for distance learning, food, housing or moving expenses and emergency travel
  • Groceries from the UWM Food Center and Pantry
  • Short-term, interest-free personal loans from the UW Credit Union

To learn more about how to access these resources, please see here.
In addition, we continue to advocate to our federal elected officials for student assistance, and are asking faculty, staff, alumni and other UWM supporters to donate to the Student Emergency Fund and UWM Food Center and Pantry.

I realize this is a stressful time due to the rapid pace of change and significant amount of uncertainty. It is our sincere hope that the news of additional compensation provides some comfort and assistance. We are here to support you in your ongoing academic and personal success, especially as you gear up to resume courses next week. I wish you good health and will continue to share additional updates as developments occur.

Best regards,

Chancellor Mark A. Mone


UWM employee COVID-19 update

March 24, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Over these past few weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak, each day has brought new changes. Today is no exception. I have a promising update about UWM Commencement for the class of 2020, news about how Gov. Tony Evers’ executive decision impacts UWM, and a brief update on our advocacy efforts to receive aid.

Postponement – NOT Cancelation – of Commencement
In my March 20 update messages, I shared the unfortunate news that our May 17 in-person commencement would be canceled. What I didn’t spotlight enough then are the efforts underway to plan for alternative ceremonies. We are actively seeking future dates to hold in-person commencements for our Class of 2020. While we do not yet have dates determined, we are looking at the possibilities of adding ceremonies in October or November or expanding our Dec. 20 ceremonies. Availability of the UWM Panther Arena, whose scheduling is controlled by the Wisconsin Center District, will be a factor in the dates we ultimately select. For May, we are asking UWM schools and colleges to consider what limited, interim and virtual recognition within academic units would entail. Please note that eligible graduates will still graduate on time; there is no postponement of graduation (just the ceremonies).

State Safer at Home Order
Today, Gov. Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services to issue a Safer at Home order that prohibits all nonessential travel, with some exceptions. The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25 and remains in effect until April 24. Please know that the City of Milwaukee Health Department has also issued a Stay at Home order. UWM is subject to both the state and city orders.

Both orders allow UWM and other educational institutions to continue to operate for the purposes of alternative/online learning, critical research, and essential functions as determined by the institution.  At UWM, deans and division heads have authority to determine what functions are essential and need to be performed onsite at UWM, whether full-time, part-time, or periodically.  These decisions also may change from week to week. We will be working to provide deans and division heads with more guidance on how to make these important decisions consistent with the letter and spirit of the orders.

There is also a Department of Administration request for UWM and other universities/colleges to provide housing space for COVID-19 emergency operations. We are permitted under both the state and city orders to continue moving students out of University Housing. The safety of our students, families and staff is our top priority, and we have carefully orchestrated our move-out process to align with social distancing standards and other healthy practices. Further details are available in the modules below this message.

UWM and UW System Advocacy Efforts to Receive Aid
Yesterday, I joined UW System President Ray Cross in asking Congress to include emergency funding for UWM and other UW System schools in the economic relief legislation it is considering in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In my letters to U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, I emphasized the important role UWM has in our community as an institution committed to our access and research mission. Details on our specific requests are included in President Cross’ letter to both senators.

We are in a period when great patience, empathy and understanding are of the highest value. None of us has a playbook for the pandemic that is wreaking havoc on our daily lives. What I can assure you of is that everything we do is grounded by our guiding values and the maxim of what is best for our students, faculty, staff and UWM during these extraordinary times.

Additional important updates on campus operations and services are found below.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Low-cost computers for students

When the libraries closed, we promised to make computers available to students who needed them at little or no cost. A limited number of computers available for check out have been loaned to students. We are now making additional computers available at a very low cost.

Students who need a computer when classes resume online or through alternative delivery on Monday have an opportunity to purchase one at low cost from UWM Surplus, which has a limited number of used Apple and Dell laptops and desktops for sale. The computers are available only for UWM students and cost between $20 to $50.

Students must pay cash.
• Apple iMacs have macOS 10.13.6, High Sierra, installed, which is the most current version they can support.
• Dell devices have Linux installed and the student may install Windows by going to this website.

Interested students should contact UWM Surplus manager Andrew Avery-Johnson at averyjoh@uwm.edu or 414-659-1391. He is available weekdays from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. You will also schedule an appointment to pick up the computer.

• Computers must be picked up at the University Services and Research Building, north of North 1st Street and West Capitol Drive.
• At the scheduled pick-up time, Avery-Johnson will meet the student buyer outside the “Surplus Door” entrance at the University Services and Research Building.
• Social distancing measures will be in place. A computer will be set down outside the entrance and the student can then pick it up.

Students can also contact the Dean of Students Office at dos@uwm.edu if they do not have access to technology and need support.

All events canceled through May 31

All university-sponsored events are canceled through May 31 in response to city and state orders limiting public gatherings during the coronavirus health emergency. This includes all events for the rest of the spring semester, other than those that have been moved online or are being held by alternate means.

Staff are asked to update event calendars by doing the following:
• Add the word “CANCELED” in all caps before the name of the event in the title field
• Add the sentence “THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED” in all caps as the first line of the event description.

A select list of major events that have been canceled, as well as other now-virtual events, can be found here.

Employee assistance webinar on COVID-19

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic creates disruptions to even our basic daily routines. The nonstop news cycle can cause stress and worry about the future of our families, communities and workplaces.

UWM’s Employee Assistance Program provider, FEI Behavioral Health, is offering a special webinar to help navigate the anxiety and stress of the COVID-19 crisis. The webinar will be held on Thursday, March 26 from 11 a.m. to noon. Register here if interested.

Items left at Klotsche Center

For the safety of the campus community, the Klotsche Center is currently closed until further notice. As a result, no access is permitted for retrieving items from lockers. UWM will provide information on the steps and timeline for retrieving items once it is determined that it is safe to reopen Klotsche.

Online voter registration extended

The deadline to register online to vote in the Wisconsin presidential preference primary has been extended to March 30.

You must be registered to vote to request an absentee ballot. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is April 2, though the Wisconsin Elections Commission is urging anyone planning to vote to request one be mailed to them as soon as possible at the My Vote Wisconsin website. As of Tuesday, the Elections Commission said it was working to reinstate online registration.

Mail service and packages

To faculty and staff working remotely who have arranged for personal packages to be sent to their personal residence instead of their campus address – thank you!

Unfortunately, we’re still receiving some packages at campus addresses, including those from Staples and Amazon. Those packages must be picked up at the Mail Services building. Please call 414-229-4742, or send an email to warren@uwm.edu, if you plan to come out to pick up a package.

Business-related FedEx and UPS deliveries should be directed to the Mail Services building:

UW-Milwaukee
115 E. Reindl Way
Glendale, WI 53212

UWM Mail Services is operating on regular hours from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Some departments have already contacted Mail Services about delivery arrangements. If your department has not, please call 414-229-4742, or send an email to warren@uwm.edu.

To send out mail if you are not having regular delivery to your office, use the Mail Services drop boxes around campus.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Public health manager, a UWM graduate, waiting for transplant knows about dangers of coronavirus
Gmtoday.com: Economic resources for employees, businesses during COVID-19 crisis
WISN 12: Company moves from making American flags to making medical masks

News links

UWM Report: Aid available to UWM students facing financial crisis
WUWM: Coronavirus: Milwaukee-Area Higher Education Updates
Cap Times: Travel shutdown leaves recent UWM grad stranded in Peru
WTMJ: UWM athletic director talks about potential change in NCAA transfer rule


Commencement Postponed (Not Canceled), State Order and Legislative Actions

March 24, 2020

Dear Students,

Over these past few weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak, each day has brought new changes. Today is no exception. I have a promising update about UWM Commencement for the class of 2020, news about how Gov. Tony Evers’ executive decision impacts UWM, and a brief update on our advocacy efforts to receive aid.

Postponement – NOT Cancelation – of Commencement

In my March 20 update messages, I shared the unfortunate news that our May 17 in-person commencement would be canceled. What I didn’t spotlight enough then are the efforts underway to plan for alternative ceremonies. We are actively seeking future dates to hold in-person commencements for our Class of 2020. While we do not yet have dates determined, we are looking at the possibilities of adding ceremonies in October or November or expanding our Dec. 20 ceremonies. Availability of the UWM Panther Arena, whose scheduling is controlled by the Wisconsin Center District, will be a factor in the dates we ultimately select. For May, we are asking UWM schools and colleges to consider what limited, interim and virtual recognition within academic units would entail. Please note that eligible graduates will still graduate on time; there is no postponement of graduation (just the ceremonies).

State Safer at Home Order

Today, Gov. Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services to issue a Safer at Home order that prohibits all nonessential travel, with some exceptions. The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25 and remains in effect until April 24. Please know that the City of Milwaukee Health Department has also issued a Stay at Home order. UWM is subject to both the state and city orders.

Both orders allow UWM and other educational institutions to continue to operate for the purposes of alternative/online learning, critical research, and essential functions as determined by the institution. At UWM, deans and division heads have authority to determine what functions are essential and need to be performed onsite at UWM, whether full-time, part-time, or periodically. These decisions also may change from week to week. We will be working to provide deans and division heads more guidance on how to make these important decisions consistent with the letter and spirit of the orders.

There is also a Department of Administration request for UWM and other universities/colleges to provide housing space for COVID-19 emergency operations. We are permitted under both the state and city orders to continue moving students out of University Housing. The safety of our students, families and staff is our top priority, and we have carefully orchestrated our move-out process to align with social distancing standards and other healthy practices. Further details are available in the modules below this message.

UWM and UW System Advocacy Efforts to Receive Aid

Yesterday, I joined UW System President Ray Cross in asking Congress to include emergency funding for UWM and other UW System schools in the economic relief legislation it is considering in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In my letters to U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, I emphasized the important role UWM has in our community as an institution committed to our access and research mission. Details on our specific requests are included in President Cross’ letter to both senators.

We are in a period when great patience, empathy and understanding are of the highest value. None of us has a playbook for the pandemic that is wreaking havoc on our daily lives. What I can assure you of is that everything we do is grounded by our guiding values and the maxim of what is best for our students, faculty, staff and UWM during these extraordinary times.

Additional important updates on campus operations and services are found below.

Best regards,
Mark A. Mone
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Low-cost computers for students

Students who need a computer when classes resume online or through alternative delivery on Monday have an opportunity to purchase one at low cost from UWM Surplus, which has a limited number of used Apple and Dell laptops and desktops for sale. The computers are available only for UWM students and cost between $20 to $50.

  • Students must pay cash.
    Dell devices have Linux installed and the student may install Windows by going to this website.
  • Interested students should contact UWM Surplus manager Andrew Avery-Johnson at  averyjoh@uwm.edu or 414-659-1391. He is available weekdays from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. You will also schedule an appointment to pick up the computer.

Computers must be picked up at the University Services and Research Building, north of North 1st Street and West Capitol Drive.

At the scheduled pick-up time, Avery-Johnson will meet the student buyer outside the “Surplus Door” entrance at the University Services and Research Building.

Social distancing measures will be in place. A computer will be set down outside the entrance and the student can then pick it up.

Students can also contact the Dean of Students Office if they do not have access to technology and need support.

All events canceled through May 31

All university-sponsored events are canceled through May 31 in response to city and state orders limiting public gatherings during the coronavirus health emergency. This includes all events for the rest of the spring semester, other than those that have been moved online or are being held by alternate means.

  • Staff are asked to update event calendars by doing the following:
    Add the word “CANCELED” in all caps before the name of the event in the title field.
  • Add the sentence “THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED” in all caps as the first line of the event description.

A select list of major events that have been canceled, as well as other now-virtual events, can be found here.

Moving out of residence halls

The health and safety of students and their families, as well the rest of the UWM community, are top priorities as students move out of residence halls this week. Move-outs are being scheduled to space them out and maintain social-distancing protocols. You can find details about this in the emails University Housing sent to residents on Friday, March 20, and on this website. Residents who are concerned about travel can ask University Housing staff to pack their belongings and have them stored.

Items left at Klotsche Center

For the safety of the campus community, the Klotsche Center is currently closed until further notice. As a result, no access is permitted for retrieving items from lockers. UWM will provide information on the steps and timeline for retrieving items once it is determined that it is safe to reopen Klotsche.

Online voter registration extended

The deadline to register online to vote in the Wisconsin presidential preference primary has been extended to March 30.

You must be registered to vote to request an absentee ballot. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is April 2, though the Wisconsin Elections Commission is urging anyone planning to vote to request one be mailed to them as soon as possible at the My Vote Wisconsin website. As of Tuesday, the Elections Commission said it was working to reinstate online registration.


UWM employee COVID-19 update

March 20, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

We understand the challenges and sacrifices you are facing during these extraordinary and unprecedented times. The spread of COVID-19 has compelled us to make difficult choices that put the safety of our faculty, staff, students and their families first. This was not the semester anyone expected. 

Each day, and nearly by the hour, we are addressing new issues and making difficult decisions. Today, I am sharing much of the same information that we are sending to students so that you can see a more complete picture of developments on campus and can help empathize with students.  

In-Person Commencement and Honors Ceremonies Canceled
Given the circumstances facing our university, our communities, the nation and the world, we have decided we cannot hold our in-person graduation ceremonies on May 17 nor Honors Commencement on May 11. These decisions are consistent with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ executive order barring mass gatherings.

We know how profoundly disappointing this is for those graduating, as well as families, supporters and friends. These decisions are not made lightly, but with the best interests of our campus communities and our students’ families and loved ones in mind, especially since many people would make travel plans to attend. We appreciate your understanding of this difficult decision. 

For your background, below is some additional information we are sharing with students.  

Refunds of Housing Fees and Updates on Tuition and Other Fees
In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis and its impacts to UWM students and families, UWM will refund the prorated charges for housing and dining for the remainder of the spring semester for students who vacate their on-campus student housing (and do not receive a COVID Accommodation to remain on-campus).

Prorated reimbursements will exclude the period of the originally scheduled spring break and shall be issued by the close of the spring academic semester, though efforts are being made to expedite the refund process. Crediting these funds toward future semesters in lieu of a refund is not an option because of rules related to the awarding of federal financial aid. There is a team working on other fee issues, and we will share updates as they become available. 

We also have extended the Spring 2020 payment deadline. UWM will not assess late payment fees or interest charges from March 20 to June 2. We are committed to working with our students and families to the best of our ability through these challenging times. Students who cannot make payments on time are encouraged to contact the Bursar’s office at bursar@uwm.edu 

University Housing to Close
We are closing University Housing with the exception of those individuals who do not have other options.  All residents will receive a separate email from University Housing with details later today explaining how and when they can retrieve their belongings. 

We know what a disruption has been placed on your lives during this crisis. Your continued patience and understanding are most appreciated. 

Additional important updates on campus operations and services are found below. 

Best regards, 

Mark A. Mone, PhD
Chancellor 

Libraries

Libraries at all three UWM campuses were closed yesterday, and interlibrary loan service has been placed on hold because of the pandemic. Faculty who need interlibrary loans can request digital delivery of portions of books, rather than complete, physical editions of books.  

Online databases, articles and e-books continues uninterrupted, and reference support is available online. Note that many publishers are also providing expanded, free, online access to their content during the pandemic. 

Go to the UWM Libraries’ Coronavirus Update page for the latest information. 

Access to campus buildings

Only individuals with keys or access cards can enter academic buildings, which are locked until further notice. Faculty and staff who don’t have a key or access card, but who still need to get into research labs, music studios or other spaces on a regular basis for work should contact their supervisor to arrange access.  

Employees should contact UWM Police at 414-229-4627 for other special requests to unlock a building. Those individuals will need to have appropriate employment permissions and a UWM ID to enter the building.  

Campus practices regarding COVID-19 infections

The City of Milwaukee Health Department notified the University of one case of COVID-19 in a UWM employee early this week. Local health departments are following state and federal public health guidelines related to contact investigations. With the majority of students and employees not on campus individuals should follow the information related to COVID-19 of their local community and local health department.

Student and employee health matters are confidential, and while UWM may have a count of employees taking COVID-19 leave, they may be doing so for reasons other than illness, such as child care. 

UWM food pantry

The UWM Food Center and Pantry on Thursday handed out about 200 bags of food totaling more than 2,000 pounds, emptying once-stocked pantry shelves and underscoring the impact that the pandemic has already had on UWM students. The overwhelming demand meant the cancellation of a distribution scheduled for Monday. The food pantry hopes to receive a delivery from their food bank partner, Feeding America, in time for the next scheduled distribution of food on Thursday, March 26.  

If you are able to help, please visit the food pantry’s website for more information. The options include donating to an Amazon wish list. 

Online or alternative delivery of classes

Online and alternative delivery of instruction begins on Monday, March 30 following the extended spring break period. If you haven’t accessed them already, here are some helpful resources to prepare for the transition: 

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates

WUWM:  Coronavirus: How Wisconsin Hospitals Are Handling The Outbreak

Spectrum News: TipMKE launched to provide “tips” for out of work service industry employees

Urban Milwaukee: Florentine Presents Its ‘Carmen’ Digitally

News links

UWM Report: UWM works to help instructors move courses online 

UWM Report: UW-Milwaukee, UT-Arlington partner on free online course to support faculty during pandemic

Milwaukee Record: UWM historian building digital archive of what life is like in Milwaukee during pandemic


Updates on Commencement and University Housing

March 20, 2020

Dear Students, 

We understand the challenges and sacrifices you are facing during these extraordinary and unprecedented times. The spread of COVID-19 has compelled us to make difficult choices that put the safety of our students, their families, our employees and our communities first. This was not the semester anyone expected. 

At the same time, we are dedicated to helping our students progress. We are especially committed to assisting students meet the requirements for graduation this semester through alternative means of course delivery. As a reminder to all students, there will be no further in-person instruction this semester. Alternative delivery of instruction begins March 30. 

In-Person Commencement and Honors Ceremonies Canceled
Given the circumstances facing our university, our communities, the nation and the world, we have decided we cannot hold our in-person graduation ceremonies on May 17, nor Honors Commencement on May 11. These decisions are consistent with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ executive order barring mass gatherings.   

We know how profoundly disappointing this is for those graduating, as well as your families, supporters and friends. These decisions are not made lightly, but with the best interests of our campus community and our students’ families and loved ones in mind, especially since many people would make travel plans to attend. We appreciate your understanding of this difficult decision. 

Eligible graduates should apply for graduation in the normal manner at https://uwm.edu/secu/com_cer/. Students who fulfill the requirements will still earn their degree and receive their diploma. The lack of an in-person ceremony does not change your significant accomplishment, and you deserve to celebrate that. We are exploring other ways to honor our graduates and will communicate when those plans are known. 

Refunds of Housing Fees and Updates on Tuition and Other Fees 
In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis and its impacts to UWM students and families, UWM will refund the prorated charges for housing and dining for the remainder of the spring semester for students who vacate their on-campus student housing (and do not receive a COVID Accommodation to remain on-campus).  

Prorated reimbursements will exclude the period of the originally scheduled spring break and shall be issued by the close of the spring academic semester, though efforts are being made to expedite the refund process. Crediting these funds toward future semesters in lieu of a refund is not an option because of rules related to the awarding of federal financial aid. There is a team working on other fee issues, and we will share updates as they become available. 

We also have extended the Spring 2020 payment deadline. UWM will not assess late payment fees or interest charges from March 20 to June 2. We are committed to working with our students and families to the best of our ability through these challenging times. Students who cannot make payments on time are encouraged to contact the Bursar’s office at bursar@uwm.edu 

University Housing to Close
We are closing University Housing with the exception of those individuals who do not have other options. All residents will receive a separate email from University Housing with details later today explaining how and when they can retrieve their belongings. 

We know how invested you are in your futures, and what a disruption has been placed on your lives and on your learning. Your continued patience and understanding are most appreciated. 

Additional important updates on campus operations and services are found below. 

Best regards, 

Mark A. Mone, PhD
Chancellor 

Online or alternative delivery of instruction

As a reminder, UWM classes will be taught online or through an alternate mode of instruction following the extended break period, starting Monday, March 30 through the end of the semester. This allows you to continue your academic progress during the pandemic while promoting the health and safety of our campus community.  

Faculty and staff are using the extended spring break period to prepare for the transition. If they haven’t done so already, your instructors will be reaching out shortly with more details.  

Don’t forget that you can also reach your academic advisors by phone or email.  

Campus access

While academic buildings are locked for the rest of the semester, we understand that many graduate and undergraduate students may still need to access facilities for research, lab work or other activities related to their education. Please contact the faculty and staff you work with for details on building access.  

Students who need to access buildings to retrieve personal belongings should contact the dean of their school or college to coordinate. UWM Police will not be letting students into buildings. 

Libraries closing

While libraries at all three UWM campuses are closed, you can continue to access online databases, articles and e-books. Many publishers are also providing free, online access to their content during the coronavirus pandemic. Reference support is still available online.  

For students who need computer access, Campus Technology Services is developing a program to distribute about 200 repurposed laptops to students at no or little cost. Plans are also in the works to provide access to equipment such as cameras, audio recorders, special calculators and tripods. More information will be provided when available.  

UWM food pantry

The UWM Food Center and Pantry hopes to receive a delivery from their food bank partner, Feeding America, in time for the pantry’s next scheduled distribution on Thursday, March 26. About 200 bags of food totaling more than 2,000 pounds were handed out yesterday. Visit the food pantry’s website for more information. 

Campus practices regarding COVID-19 infections

The City of Milwaukee Health Department notified the University of one case of COVID-19 in a UWM employee early this week. Local health departments are following state and federal public health guidelines related to contact investigations. With the majority of students and employees not on campus individuals should follow the information related to COVID-19 of their local community and local health department.  

Student and employee health matters are confidential, and while UWM may have a count of employees taking COVID-19 leave, they may be doing so for reasons other than illness, such as child care.


UWM employee COVID-19 update

March 19, 2020

Timely communication is critical

Deans, division heads and other supervisors are asked to reach out to all employees to make sure that they are reading coronavirus updates from the Office of the Chancellor and University Relations & Communications. The coronavirus pandemic is spurring many rapid changes, and these messages summarize the most urgent and impactful campus decisions. With many people working remotely, it is critical that employees stay informed so that they can protect themselves and their families while completing their research, campus work and serving our students. Along with these summary updates from the Office of the Chancellor and University Relations & Communications, employees should watch for additional information from their supervisors and the heads of their units.

Libraries closing

Libraries at all three UWM campuses were closed as of 5 p.m. today until further notice.

Access to online databases, articles, and e-books continues uninterrupted, and many additional publishers are providing free, online access to their content during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reference support is available online. Interlibrary loan service has been disrupted by the pandemic, and it’s recommended that faculty submit requests for digital delivery of portions of books, rather than complete, physical editions of books.

See the Libraries’ Coronavirus Update page for the most complete and current information.

Campus access

There have been a number of questions about access to campus after academic buildings were locked yesterday. For the remainder of the semester, they will be accessible only to individuals with keys or other access to unlock the building. If you do not have a key or access card but need to get into a research lab, music studio or other facility on a regular basis for work, please contact your supervisor to arrange access.

If there are other 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 a University ID.

Parking

Payroll deductions for parking and transportation will automatically stop for employees after the March deductions. The exception is a small number of employees with large balances who are past due.

For monthly employees, that means the last deduction will be taken out of the April 1 paycheck. For biweekly employees, the last deduction will be taken out of the March 26 paycheck.

Refunds for parking paid in advance

  • Monthly permits: Refunds will not be issued for monthly permits that have been valid for more than 10 days.
  • Semester and annual permits: Prorated refunds will be issued back to your credit card upon request.

To cancel a permit paid for with a credit card please fill out this UWM Transportations Services form. Due to high volume, please note that it may take up to four weeks before the refund appears on your credit card statement.

If you want to continue your bus permit, please contact Transportation Services at uwmpark@uwm.edu.

Those with parking permits for Lubar, NWQ, Pavilion, and Union can still park in those garages for the duration of the permit. The garages are only closed for parkers who do not have a permit.

UWM passwords

As of Friday, March 20, the current 180-day period before UWM login passwords expire will be extended to 365 days for all UWM faculty, staff and students with ePantherID. The hope is that this will help reduce the likelihood of inadvertent faculty, staff and student lockouts during UWM’s period of remote operations. Please contact the UWM Help Desk at (414) 229-4040 or visit their website if you have questions.

Microsoft Teams and campus technology

Your computer must have speakers and a microphone to use the online meeting and internal calling features of Microsoft Teams. University-provided headsets are available for UWM faculty and staff members whose devices do not have a speaker and microphone.

Headsets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis and only one will be available per person. They can be picked up on campus weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., through a “drive-through” service set up in the Merrill Hall parking lot (Lot #18) to help protect the health of our university community.

You must call (414) 229-5480 when you arrive at the Merrill lot and provide your name and UWM ID number. More information on pick-up and Microsoft Teams is available at the Campus Technology website.

Important note: There is also an “audio only” option for those who have not yet downloaded the Microsoft Teams app. Call-in information, which includes a phone number and conference ID number, is usually found in the notes section of your calendar invite to that meeting, below a link that says “Join Microsoft Teams meeting.”

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

Mail service and packages

Many packages are still being delivered to campus.

Any employee expecting a package from Amazon at a campus address must pick up that package at the Mail Services building.  Please call 414-229-4742, or send an email to warren@uwm.edu, if you plan to pick up a package.

If you are working remotely and use a campus address to receive Amazon packages, please change the Amazon delivery address to your home address.

Business-related FedEx and UPS deliveries should be directed to the Mail Services building:

UW-Milwaukee
115 E. Reindl Way
Glendale, WI 53212

UWM Mail Services is operating on regular hours from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Some departments have already contacted Mail Services about delivery arrangements. If your department has not, please call 414-229-4742, or send an email to warren@uwm.edu.

The delivery options are:

  • Delivery and pick up at your office, as usual (morning only)
  • Special circumstances and requests including, but not limited to
  • day-specific delivery (only M,W, F, for instance)
  • delivery to a central spot in the building for multiple departments
  • holding 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.

Community News

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates.

Wisconsin State Journal: Tony Evers restricts child care center capacity as state COVID-19 cases top 100

TMJ4: Pick ‘n Save, Metro Market stores to offer ‘senior hours’ seven days a week during coronavirus pandemic

CBS58: Kohl’s stores to close nationwide due to coronavirus

News links

Washington Post: The United States might have a secret weapon against coronavirus

New York Times: Census suspension “unprecedented,” UWM expert says

Cheddar: Financial hit to airline industry is “really, really bad,” UWM economist says

Milwaukee Magazine: UWM archive is chronicling Milwaukee’s coronavirus experience

 


UWM employee COVID-19 update

March 18, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I write with the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on UWM faculty, staff and operations. We continue to take steps to promote your health and safety, as well as that of our students, and to help limit the spread of the virus.

UWM will extend online or alternative delivery of instruction from Monday, March 30, to the end of the spring semester. Yesterday, Gov. Evers issued an emergency order that allows universities to continue instruction and operations but prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people in a single room or enclosed space. For this reason, online and alternative modes of delivery are the best way to continue and complete instruction this semester.

If you haven’t accessed them already, many resources are available to help with the transition. To start, information technology specialists from across campus have put together an excellent guide on how to prepare for working remotely.

The websites for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Division of Academic Affairs offer tips, guides and links to more information. CETL has online workshops nearly every day through March 27, and UWM is also working with two other institutions to provide assistance with the transition to online instruction.

As a reminder, we began strictly limiting most onsite, non-essential operations at noon today 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.

There will be impact on student employees, many of whom are unable to perform their duties remotely. Student employees are a valuable part of our workforce, and as operational planning is solidified, supervisors will be in contact with employees as to their status. We asked UW System to discuss with the state some form of compensation relief for student employees. Please know that it is unlikely such compensation will be provided as we are subject to state authority on this issue, and early indications are that the state is unwilling to pay what is essentially a leave benefit to employees who are not eligible for benefits. We will explore alternative student hourly employment opportunities and share more information as this develops. Meanwhile, our Development team is working to raise money for the UWM Student Emergency Fund.

I realize this is a stressful time due to frequent changes and uncertainty, and it is not what any of us were expecting this semester. Please know that your hard work and flexibility during this unprecedented period are very much appreciated. You will find additional details below on campus operations, and we will share more information as developments occur. If you have questions, please continue to submit them here. I wish you good health, and please stay safe.

Best regards,
Chancellor Mark A. Mone

Academic Buildings

Academic buildings were locked at noon today. 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.

 

Other Facilities

The Klotsche Center, including all athletics practice and training areas, closed at noon today.

The UWM Student Union was also closed at noon today.

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 know many faculty and staff refer students to University Counseling Services, which is closed for in-person services starting today. Phone lines, 414 229-4133, will remain open during regular business hours. For students with a mental health crises , during regular weekday business hours, they can call 414-229-4133 for a crisis consultation. For after hours-crisis assistance, students can use these resources. https://uwm.edu/norris/health-services/emergencies/

The Children’s Learning Center will close at the end of the day on Thursday, March 19.

The Union, Lubar, NWQ, and Pavilion parking garages will be closed since staffing is needed to keep them open.

All outdoor parking lots will be open, in addition to the Sandburg and EMS garages.

We are evaluating the status of our residence halls. Currently, they remain open for students approved to stay, including those who are not able to return home or have other reasons for remaining on campus. Very limited services in the residence halls are available.

Mail Service

UWM Mail Services is operating on regular hours from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Some departments have already contacted Mail Services about delivery arrangements. If your department has not, please call 414-229-4742, or send an email to warren@uwm.edu.

The delivery options are:

  • Delivery and pick up at your office, as usual (morning only)
  • Special circumstances and requests including, but not limited to:
    • day-specific delivery (only M,W, F, for instance)
    • delivery to a central spot in the building for multiple departments
    • holding 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.

All Fed Ex and UPS deliveries should be directed to the Mail Services building:

UW-Milwaukee
115 E. Reindl Way
Glendale, WI 53212

Community news

News links


Chancellor’s Update: Continuation of Online Instruction and Facilities Updates

March 18, 2020

Dear Students,

I write with the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on UWM students and operations. We have made several decisions to promote your health and safety and to help limit the spread of the virus.

UWM will extend its delivery of online or alternative delivery of instruction starting Monday, March 30 to the end of the spring semester. Yesterday, Governor Evers issued an emergency order that allows universities to continue instruction and operations but prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people in a single room or enclosed space. For this reason, online and alternative modes of delivery are ideal ways for you to continue and complete your academic progress this semester. We realize the change to alternate instruction delivery will impact students who have been living in our residence halls. Those students will be contacted by University Housing with additional details.

We have also, as of noon today on all three campuses, begun strictly limiting most onsite, non-essential operations. This includes closing most offices and services that are open to walk-in traffic and having staff provide services remotely as 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, providing library services, continuing payroll operations and providing security for those accessing campus.

There will be impact on student employees, many of whom are unable to perform their duties remotely. Student employees are a valuable part of our workforce, and as operational planning is solidified, supervisors will be in contact with employees as to their status. We discussed with UW System whether it would be possible to pay student hourly employees per their normal schedules even if they cannot work remotely or to extend COVID-19 leave to student employees who are not ordinarily eligible for paid leave. Unfortunately, given state rules and the financial exigencies created by this situation, we cannot pay our student hourly employees who are not working, and COVID-19 leave will only be provided to employees who otherwise receive paid leave benefits. We are exploring alternative student hourly employment opportunities and will share more information as this develops.

Changes for UWM facilities and services include the following:

At noon today, academic buildings were locked and for the remainder of the semester are accessible only to individuals with key or other access to unlock the building. We understand many graduate and undergraduate students are actively involved in research activities that take place in our facilities; the faculty and research staff you work with will contact you to discuss additional details. If there are special needs for unlocking a building after that time, 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 a University ID.

The library locations on all three campuses, which have internet access, will remain open to students as previously announced. Due to the Governor’s order, UWM staff will be monitoring admission (so please bring your student ID card) and distancing to ensure we are following the gathering protocol mentioned above. At the Golda Meir Library, only the Daniel M. Soref Learning Commons in the first-floor west wing of the will be open. Library staff will gladly retrieve items from the general collection, the Music Library, the Curriculum Collection, and Media & Reserves, as requested. Access to online databases, articles, and e-books also continues uninterrupted. The American Geographical Society Library, Archives, and Special Collections are closed at this time. Hours for all libraries, including those on our 2-year campuses, can be found here.

The Klotsche Center will be closed starting today. This will include all athletics practice and training areas as well.

The Norris Health Center will continue in-person medical services and the dispensary will also be open. All students must call in advance, (414) 229-4716, for any services, as this is a rapidly evolving situation. Patients scheduled for routine appointments will be contacted to reschedule.

University Counseling Services will not be open for in-person services starting Wednesday March 18. Clients that have upcoming scheduled visits will be contacted for alternative options. Phone lines, 414 229-4133, will remain open during regular business hours. For mental health crises, during regular weekday business hours, please call 414-229-4133 for a crisis consultation. For after hours-crisis assistance, please use these resources.

Effective immediately, Survivor Support and Victim Advocacy services will be closed for in-person services. Students may call 414-229-4582 or email victimadvocacy@uwm.edu for assistance.

The Children’s Learning Center will close at the end of the day on Thursday, March 19.

The Union, Lubar, NWQ, and Pavilion parking garages will be closed since staffing is needed to keep them open.

Residence halls will remain open for students approved to stay including those who are not able to return home or have other reasons for remaining on campus. Thus, very limited services in the residence halls will remain available. As stated above, in light of the decision to move to alternative instruction delivery, all residents will receive communication from University Housing on other details.

The Student Union has been closed, effective at noon today.

We have learned that the City of Milwaukee Health Department has confirmed one case of COVID-19 in a UWM employee. Given the wide reach across communities, we expect to have more cases confirmed in the coming days. Due to respect of the privacy of such employees we will not be identifying them. This is not a time to panic, but a time to stay true to our guiding values to be a caring, compassionate and collegial community.

Please continue to follow recommended public health guidelines, which include:

    • Clean your hands often
    • Maintain 6 feet of separation from others
    • Stay home if you’re sick
    • Cover coughs and sneezes
    • If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people
    • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people
    • Avoid unnecessary travel

Additional updates and resources can be found at the UWM Information on the Coronavirus website. I encourage you to check this often as UWM is updating it frequently.

I realize this is a stressful time due to frequent changes and uncertainty, and it is not what any of us were expecting for this semester. We are working to address your concerns as quickly as possible. Your ongoing success and progress to graduation are fundamental to your futures, and we know that interruption of that progress is disorienting. We are doing all that we can to continue your academic progress as smoothly as possible under these unexpected circumstances, although we understand that some academic experiences may be altered due to the pandemic. I wish you good health and please know we will share additional updates as further developments occur.

Best regards,
Chancellor Mark A. Mone


UWM employee COVID-19 update

March 17, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

With COVID-19 spreading rapidly, your health and safety, as well as that of our students, are paramount. To help control the spread of the virus, we will be strictly limiting all onsite, non-essential operations and moving most operations to virtual or remote methods no later than noon tomorrow. This includes closing all operations and services that are open to walk-in traffic and having all employees who are able to work remotely do so.

There may be limited circumstances in which some employees need to continue working on campus and can do so in secure, private areas, such as research labs. Deans and division heads will grant permission to these employees to continue their work on a case-by-case basis. Those decisions are subject to change in light of the rapidly evolving situation.

Please note that campus is not closed, but we are closing and limiting access for many areas to limit exposure to COVID-19. Indeed, some employees will need to provide critical services, such as caring for students living in our residence halls, providing core IT and networking services to campus, continuing payroll operations and providing security for those accessing campus. But, all who can work remotely must do so, and we ask all supervisors to make those determinations as quickly as possible.

We also realize there are some employees who are not required to work onsite and who cannot work remotely. Those employees may be eligible for special COVID-19 leave, which was announced today by UW System. This provides 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 emergency has concluded.

I also want to let you know that the City of Milwaukee Health Department has confirmed one case of COVID-19 in a UWM employee. Like all large institutions in Milwaukee, we expect to have more cases confirmed in the coming days. We want to respect the privacy of these employees and will not be identifying them. This is not a time to panic, but a time to stay committed to our core values of treating everyone with respect and maintaining an environment free from discrimination. It’s also a time to support and care for each other. In the balance of this employee update, you will find more details on testing, access to campus facilities, updates to our travel guidelines and other information to help you through this time.

Mark A. Mone
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Where do I get tested?

If you recently traveled to an area with community spread or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and has symptoms, the Milwaukee Health Department urges you to call your primary care provider. Do not seek care without calling ahead because doctor’s offices and hospitals are overwhelmed. More information on testing can be found here.

Monitoring your health

Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure: fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, call your health care provider for medical advice before going to a health care facility.

How to Protect Yourself
The CDC and White House are urging measures to protect yourself including:
Clean your hands often
Avoid close contact
Stay home if you’re sick
Cover coughs and sneezes
If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people
Avoid social gatherings in groups of 10 people or more
Avoid unnecessary travel

Important resources
Besides the CDC, updated information on the coronavirus crisis and response can be found at the following websites:
Milwaukee Health Department
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Campus access changes

The UWM campus is not closed. However, by tomorrow at noon, we will be closing and limiting access to many areas to limit exposure to COVID-19. Those areas include the Klotsche Center, a facility for which we’ve received many inquiries.

Access to academic buildings
Starting around noon on Wednesday, buildings will be locked and accessible only to individuals with keys or other access to unlock the building. If there are special needs for unlocking a building after that time, individuals should contact UWM Police at 414-229-4627. UWM Police will continue to patrol the campus and provide dispatch services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Parking
The following changes will go into effect by noon Wednesday:

The Union, Lubar, NWQ and Pavilion garages will be closed because staffing is needed to keep them open.

All outdoor lots will be open, in addition to the Sandburg and EMS garages. Open parking areas will be free for any UWM employees who need to come to campus.
Individuals may not park vehicles in UWM parking facilities overnight without express permission.

Change in travel policy

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

As a reminder, UWM announced on Monday that all employees who have traveled to states with sustained community transmission must stay out of the workplace for 14 days. States with verified sustained community transmission now include Illinois, California, New York and Washington. This means UWM employees who live in Illinois must make arrangements with their supervisor, such as working remotely, to follow this guideline.

Who needs to self-quarantine?
Anyone who has traveled internationally 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.

Should I travel for a personal trip?
Should you decide to travel, be aware of the risks to your health. If you are returning from countries with widespread transmission according to the CDC and/or U.S. states with sustained community transmission, you are prohibited from returning to the workplace and must self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you do not exhibit symptoms.

Correction: Deadline for voting absentee by mail in the April 7 election

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, voters are strongly urged to act now to vote absentee for the April 7 spring election and presidential preference primary. Wednesday, March 18, is the deadline to register to vote by mail or online for the presidential preference primary and spring election. After this date, voters must register in person in the municipal clerk’s office or at the polling place.

The deadline for registered voters to request an absentee ballot be mailed to you is the Thursday before the election, April 2. However, the Wisconsin Elections Commission urges voters not to wait due to possible delays in mail delivery.
You can request a ballot be mailed to you. For more information, visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission website.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
TMJ4: Froedtert South opens drive-thru coronavirus testing site in Kenosha County
Fox 6: 11 Milwaukee County leaders issue order closing bars, restaurants except for carryout, delivery

News links

Insider: UWM professor talks about challenges of online teaching
Newsweek: UWM epidemiologist says Europe travel ban will have limited effect 


UWM employee coronavirus update

March 16, 2020

Beginning today, university administration will be providing regular updates for all UWM employees with the latest developments related to the coronavirus pandemic. As you know, this is a dynamic situation with new information becoming available constantly.

For the time being, this email will replace the weekly faculty/staff newsletter sent each Wednesday. It is our hope that we will be able to provide all UWM employees with real-time information to help us all manage our work responsibilities as safely and efficiently as possible.

Update on remote working assignments

We have asked all supervisors to determine whether or not employees can complete their work assignments remotely. Our goal is to have as many employees as possible work remotely at this time. Tim Danielson, director of Human Resources, is sharing this message with supervisors today, providing guidance during the COVID-19 crisis.

Support to move courses online

Starting March 30, UWM will initiate alternate forms of instruction, including online instruction. Updated information on support to help move courses online and identify alternative delivery methods can be found here. The support includes workshops.

UWM also is working with two institutions to provide additional assistance with the transition to online instruction. The course, “Pivoting to Online Teaching: Research and Practitioner Perspectives,” is a partnership of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) at UWM, the University of Texas at Arlington’s LINK Research Lab, and the University of South Australia’s Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L).

The course, which starts today, is based in current learning science, learning analytics, and online learning research. It covers key concepts and provides guidance on how to start teaching online. The course offers a series of online webinars addressing planning and design, overview of teaching technologies, fostering interaction, student voices, and planning assessment. Read more here. Registration is free for this course at Edx.

Campus building hours

Starting today, the following building hours are in effect, until further notice:
Buildings are open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and closed on weekends. The exceptions on UWM’s main campus include:

  • Northwest Quadrant will be open until 6:30 p.m. to accommodate the Children’s Learning Center.
  • The Lubar Entrepreneurship Center & UWM Welcome Center closes at 5 p.m.
  • The Klotsche Center will be open over spring break, today to March 29, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Starting Tuesday, March 17, only the Daniel M. Soref Learning Commons will be open at the Golda Meir Library. Helpful library staff will retreive items from the general collection and Course Reserves, as needed. Access to online databases, articles, and e-books continues uninterrupted. Distinctive collections are closed at this time. Spring Break hours remain 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and closed on weekends.
The libraries at the Waukesha and Washington County campuses remain open to the public during the extended spring break hours. They are closed on weekends.

  • Waukesha: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
  • Washington County: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to noon Friday.

We will provide updates with changes or other exceptions.

Important update to travel policy

In light of the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases around the country, UWM will now require all employees who have traveled to states with sustained community transmission to stay out of the workplace for 14 days. States with verified sustained community transmission now include Illinois, California, New York and Washington. This means UWM employees who live in Illinois must make arrangements with their supervisor, such as working remotely, to follow this guideline.

Who needs to self-quarantine?

Anyone who has traveled internationally 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.

Should I travel for a personal trip?

Should you decide to travel, be aware of the risks to your health. If you are returning from countries with widespread transmission according to the CDC and/or U.S. states with sustained community transmission, you are prohibited from returning to the workplace and must self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you do not exhibit symptoms.

New deadlines for data security/privacy training and annual staff evaluations
Deadlines have been extended for employees to complete their required online data security and privacy courses by one month. The new deadline to complete this work is April 30.

The deadline to complete and file all annual employee performance evaluations also has been extended. The new date for completing that work is May 1.

Deadline for voting absentee by mail in the April 7 election

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, voters are strongly urged to act now to vote absentee for the April 7 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary. Those interested in voting absentee by mail must request a ballot by Thursday, April 2. You can request a ballot be mailed to you. For more information, visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission website.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates
WISN-TV: Spectrum offers free broadband, WiFi to homes with students who don’t have access
TMJ4: CDC says don’t touch your face, but it turns out it’s a lot harder than it seems


Impact of local school closings on UWM faculty, staff and student employees

March 13, 2020

Today, as President Trump declared a national emergency, the state of Wisconsin has announced 11 new coronavirus cases, including the first two in Milwaukee County. In an attempt to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers today 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 today’s new developments.

As a result, UWM is considering a variety of options for employees. Here is what we can tell you now:

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

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.

Will I be able to work remotely?

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.

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

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.

Student employees

Student employees are an important component of our workforce. Student employees should work with their supervisors on their planned work schedules over the extended break and beyond. Student employees are not prohibited or discouraged from working at their UWM jobs under our current COVID-19 guidelines.

Because many campus operations will continue, some student employees will be needed to maintain key student services and campus functions. If students have concerns, they should work with their supervisor. Additional information will be shared if the situation changes.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unfolding crisis for our entire country. We ask for your patience as we work through the personnel considerations we are all now facing. In the coming weeks, we will continue to provide regular updates to all of our employees.


Chancellor’s Update: Study Abroad Programs, Travel and Campus Operations

March 12, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

As we near our extended Spring Break (March 15-29), I want to thank you for your understanding, resilience and patience as we continue to safeguard the health and well-being of our campus communities.

Today, Governor Tony Evers declared a public health emergency for the state of Wisconsin. This announcement is another reason why UWM is responding swiftly and decisively as the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve in our state and further abroad.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the virus on any of our campuses. We received the good news today that the UWM Foundation employee who was tested earlier in the week for COVID-19 received confirmation that they are not infected with the virus.

Since my last message, we have additional information about travel restrictions, steps for students to take as they depart campus, and campus operations.

Study Abroad and Travel
All study abroad programs currently underway are being suspended and all 63 students who are currently overseas are being recalled. Students returning from countries designated as severely impacted will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. This currently includes China, Iran, South Korea, Japan and 26 European countries identified by the CDC as Warning Level 3.

Due to the changed alert level for 26 European countries being elevated to a Level 3 Warning, faculty-led summer study abroad programs in the summer of 2020 will be canceled to the following countries: France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain. We are evaluating the remaining faculty-led study abroad summer programs to other countries.

All upcoming university-sponsored travel for students is being canceled through the end of the semester. This includes university-sponsored Spring Break trips, but does not include NCAA athletics which will be subject to guidelines established by the Horizon League and the NCAA.

All upcoming university-sponsored travel for employees, both domestic and international, is being canceled through April 10, with limited exceptions from the Office of the Provost.

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. If you travel outside of Wisconsin to a U.S. state where the CDC has determined that sustained community transmission is occurring, the Wisconsin DHS recommends that you self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Other travelers should self-monitor for 14 days for fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Preparing for a Period of Alternate Instruction
As announced yesterday, UWM is proceeding with plans for a minimum of two weeks (March 30 – April 10) of alternate delivery of instruction (including online). All in-person classes are suspended during this time.

Students who are returning home or to an off-campus residence during the extended Spring Break and the additional two weeks while classes are being delivered alternatively are being asked to take essential items such as laptops, medications, and items related to coursework. While the residence halls are not closing, we are discouraging trips back and forth to retrieve items.

Campus Operations
All three UWM campuses – Milwaukee, UWM at Waukesha and UWM at Washington County – will remain open. At the Milwaukee campus, the Golda Meir Library, Klotsche Center, UWM Children’s Center and the Student Union will remain open at this time.

UWM Commencement
At this time, UWM plans to hold its two commencement ceremonies on May 17. We will keep you informed if this changes.

Student Employees
Student employees should work with their supervisors on their planned work schedules over the extended break period and beyond. Student employees are not prohibited or discouraged from working at their UWM jobs under our current COVID-19 guidelines. However, UWM will respect students’ decisions not to work during the extended break and beyond. Additional information will be shared if the situation changes.

UWM Employees
All employees should continue working as they normally would unless advised differently by their supervisor, director or dean. Please see the HR FAQs for further information.

Care and Respect
This is a challenging time and many individuals are feeling nervous or frightened. We are a campus community that cares for one another. Any forms of discrimination or racism will not be tolerated and the reporting of such actions will be handled with great concern.

The one thing all of us can do is follow recommendations on the best ways to avoid contracting the virus.

Precautionary Measures
The best ways to avoid contracting COVID-19:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and cough/sneeze into your elbow
  • Practice social distancing

If You Develop Symptoms:

  • Stay home; do not go to work, class or public areas
  • Separate yourself from people and animals in your home
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Wash your hands often
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces every day
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-shares, taxis, etc.

We are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 crisis as the situation continues to change rapidly. Additional campus updates will be shared via email, the COVID-19 website, our FAQs and social media. We are striving to keep everyone safe and disruptions to studies as minimal as possible.

Best Regards,

Mark A. Mone
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


COVID-19 Updates on Classes and Campus Operations

March 11, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

First, I want to reinforce that the health and well-being of our campus communities are paramount. Since my message to you yesterday, we have additional information regarding our campus’ response to the COVID-19 virus, along with important news on how classes will be taught after spring break.

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Today’s WHO announcement underscores why UWM is moving quickly and decisively to prepare our students, faculty and staff for this unfolding worldwide crisis.

I want to emphasize that there currently is NOT a confirmed case of the virus on any of our campuses.

The reason classes and other scheduled events and activities will continue this week through Saturday, as originally scheduled, is because there is no immediate threat due to COVID-19 to the health of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. All three of our campuses remain open: Milwaukee, UWM at Waukesha and UWM at Washington County.

While the situation on our campuses is stable now, public health officials believe there is a possibility of COVID-19 spreading in coming weeks. For those reasons, we extended spring break, which will now run from March 15-29 (this means all classes – including online – will not be taught during this time). The longer break provides UWM faculty and instructors with additional time to prepare for alternative course delivery, including online classes.

Plan for Classes After Spring Break

To reduce risks to our students, faculty and staff, we are suspending in-person instruction beginning on Monday, March 30 (after the extended spring break), when we will initiate alternate forms of delivering our classes (including online). This will continue until at least Friday, April 10. It is our hope that we will return to our normal instruction and operations the following week, beginning Monday, April 13. However, due to the dynamic nature of the pandemic, we will be re-evaluating the timeline and will keep you informed on when in-person instruction will resume, with one week’s notice. More specific information on your courses will be forthcoming from your instructors.

Residence Halls

Because in-person classes are suspended after this Saturday, students who live in University Housing are encouraged to return home or to an off-campus residence during the extended spring break and the additional two weeks while classes are being delivered alternatively (March 15-April 10). The residence halls are not closing. We will accommodate and care for students who do not have alternative housing and need to remain on campus. Please notify University Housing staff if you plan to stay in a residence hall. A follow-up communication will be sent by University Housing to all affected residents, including information about housing fees.

Students Living Off Campus

Students who live off-campus can continue with their studies from their off-campus residences.

Student Employees

Student employees should work with their supervisors on their planned work schedules over the extended break period and beyond. Student employees are not prohibited or discouraged from working at their UWM jobs under our current COVID-19 guidelines. However, UWM will respect students’ decisions not to work during the extended break and beyond. Additional information will be shared if the situation changes.

UWM Employees

All three UWM campuses are open and all employees should continue working as they normally would unless advised differently by their supervisor, director or dean. Additional information for our permanent employees is available at https://uwm.edu/hr/coronavirus-faq/.

Travel

All upcoming University-sponsored travel for students is being canceled through the end of the semester. This includes university-sponsored spring break trips, but does not include NCAA athletics, which will be subject to guidelines established by the Horizon League and the NCAA.

All upcoming university-sponsored travel for employees is being canceled through the end of the semester for areas severely impacted by COVID-19. This currently includes China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea and Spain. This list may change as additional areas are impacted by COVID-19. Anyone returning from these severely impacted areas must self-quarantine for 14 days, whether or not symptoms are present, before returning to UWM campuses.

We also strongly discourage employees and students from any non-essential travel outside of Wisconsin until the end of the semester. If you do opt to travel, please know that there are health risks involved. If you travel outside of Wisconsin, we ask you to self-monitor for 14 days for fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Students who are already overseas with study abroad programs in countries that do not have Level 3 warnings should consult with UWM study abroad administrators on whether to stay or return.

Campus Events and Gatherings

University-sponsored events and gatherings of more than 50 people should be canceled from March 15 through April 10. Exceptions may be granted by Provost Johannes Britz and Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen.

What To Do If You Develop Symptoms

Please stay at home if you are sick. The CDC guidelines are here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html. Contact your health care provider if you develop COVID-19-like symptoms, including fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

UWM faculty and staff should not come to work if they are sick. Please use sick leave or discuss alternative arrangements with your supervisor or human resources.

Your Questions and Concerns

We know that there are additional questions and concerns that arise as the COVID-19 situation continues to quickly change. Please see our FAQ page that answers the most commonly asked questions. You can also refer to our COVID-19 website for updates. You can submit questions that are not already included in the FAQs or on the website to: https://uwm.edu/coronavirus/ask-a-question/.

Our Panther family is strong, resilient and innovative. We will continue to monitor the global COVID-19 outbreak, assess its impact on UWM and adapt our actions and plans. Our goal is to keep everyone safe with minimal disruption as students continue their studies.

Mark A. Mone, PhD
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Possible COVID-19 Case and Spring Break Extended – Mar. 10, 2020

March 10, 2020

Dear UWM Faculty, Staff and Students,

We have all been hearing updates on the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, across the country and the globe. Today, I write with an update about how COVID-19 is impacting UW-Milwaukee.

We have learned that an employee was tested yesterday at a local hospital for the COVID-19 virus. The employee became ill after having had contact with a person who had been to a country with a Level 3 warning. The results will not be known until the end of the week. The individual works in our UWM Foundation office, which is connected to the Cambridge Commons student housing facility on North Avenue on Milwaukee’s eastside. The individual who was tested is not at work. It is important to note that the majority of individuals in Wisconsin who have been tested have tested negative for COVID-19.

With the health and well-being of our campus communities being paramount, we are taking quick and decisive steps as a safeguard based on the rapidly changing environment in Wisconsin and worldwide.

We will extend our Spring Break by one week to March 15-29 so that UWM can prepare to move the majority of its classes online following the extended spring break. Students should make arrangements to be away from all three campuses during this extended break. Students who live in University Housing will receive additional details by Friday. Today, Provost Johannes Britz asked deans and other campus leaders to provide information on additional classes that can be moved online. We will send a follow-up communication with further details later this week.

UW-Milwaukee is updating its travel guidelines to include:

  • All upcoming University-sponsored travel for students is being canceled through the end of the semester. This includes university-sponsored Spring Break trips.
  • All upcoming University-sponsored travel for employees is being canceled through the end of the semester for areas severely impacted by COVID-19. This currently includes China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea and Spain. This list may change as additional areas are impacted by COVID-19.
  • Anyone returning from these severely-impacted areas must self-quarantine for 14 days, whether or not symptoms are present, before returning to UW-Milwaukee campuses.
  • We also strongly discourage employees and students from any non-essential travel outside of Wisconsin until the end of the semester. If you do opt to travel, please know that there are health risks involved. If you travel outside of Wisconsin, we ask you to self-monitor for 14 days for fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
  • Students who are already overseas with study abroad programs in countries that do not have Level 3 warnings should consult with UWM study abroad administrators on whether to stay or return.

This is a rapidly changing health issue and we will provide updates to our campus communities as quickly as possible when additional information becomes available. In the meantime, you may also check our COVID-19 website. Thank you for your patience, compassion and empathy.

Best regards,
Mark A. Mone, PhD,
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,


UWM Update Regarding Travel and Coronavirus – Mar. 6, 2020

March 6, 2020

Dear UWM students, faculty, and staff,

The situation internationally and within the United States regarding COVID-19 has continued to evolve rapidly. To date, there have been no confirmed cases in the city of Milwaukee or in Waukesha or Washington counties. Our campus community, like many other communities that are in areas where there is not local transmission, is still at low risk.

In the past two days, the (national) CDC and state and local public health officials have provided separate guidance for higher education institutions. Their guidance emphasizes important and unique issues for higher education to consider and the importance of preparedness. UWM’s Infectious Disease Preparedness Team and Crisis Management Team have been closely monitoring the situation and working closely with public health professionals.

We have taken a number of important steps before and as a result of the new guidance. UWM developed an Interim International Travel Policy to establish clear guidelines for the restriction of student study abroad programs and faculty and staff travel. UWM suspended university-sponsored programming in Level 3 Travel Warning countries, which include Italy, South Korea, and mainland China. All UWM study abroad students who are returning from Level 3 countries have been asked to follow public health guidelines and self-quarantine (stay home and do not go to work, classes, athletics events or other social gatherings) at their permanent home address for 14 days and to monitor for fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Given upcoming spring break travel, both locally and abroad, by many members of our campus community, it is important to re-emphasize key items within the International Travel Policy as well as our expectations of all returning international travelers.

Faculty and Staff Travel

If you are a faculty or staff member planning University-sponsored travel to a Level 3 CDC or Level 3 or Level 4 Department of State country, you are required to complete a Travel Risk Assessment Form to be submitted for review.

Self-Quarantine for All Travelers to Certain Countries

Consistent with recent state and CDC guidelines for the general public, all travelers returning from Level 3 countries should self-quarantine for 14 days in order to further support the health and well-being of their communities. For those returning from any location that is a Level 2 CDC Travel Health Notice, we advise that when you arrive home, you self-monitor for 14 days for symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath). For more details related to self-quarantine and self-monitoring details are provided on the Department of Health Services website. If you become ill, you should immediately contact your healthcare provider and the local health department for further instructions.

Reporting to Local Public Health Authorities

UWM is being asked to report the names of travelers who are known to be returning from Level 3 countries to local public health authorities. Local public health authorities will contact you and provide support and resources.

Work Arrangements during Self-Quarantine

Employees returning from Level 3 countries should self-quarantine for 14 days and contact their supervisor to request time off. You must use 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.

Student Housing during Self-Quarantine

Students returning from a Level 3 country who live in University Housing should plan to return to their permanent home address or other off-campus location for the duration of the 14-day self-quarantine. If they do not have such an alternative, University Housing may be able to assist you by calling (414) 229-4065.

Student Class Attendance during Self-Quarantine

Students returning from a Level 3 country should not attend classes that require in-person participation. They should contact their instructor to discuss possible alternatives for completing coursework. The Dean of Students office is available to assist you by calling (414) 229-4632.

As this situation continues to evolve, guidelines may change, and it is likely that there will be additional countries and areas within the U.S. where widespread community transmission is occurring. Please monitor CDC and Department of State sites before and during all travel for the most recent information. Enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a good way to get up-to-date information. You may also consult UWM’s COVID-19 website and UW System’s Coronavirus Preparedness website.

Sincerely,

Julie Bonner, MD
Campus Health Officer
Executive Director Norris Health Center,
University Counseling and Health Promotion


Chancellor’s Update: Interim Travel Policy to Address Coronavirus – Feb.28, 2020

March 2, 2020

Dear UWM Faculty and Staff,

As developments about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) accelerate and our spring break approaches, I am writing to inform you of a new interim travel policy. As a globally-engaged university, there are many from our campus communities who are involved with international education, research and outreach.

Effective immediately, UWM employees engaged in University-sponsored travel are strongly discouraged from going to, from, or through locations for which the U.S. Department of State or the CDC have issued travel warnings. Students engaged in University-sponsored travel are prohibited from going to, from, or through locations with travel warnings in place. Students will be sent a message in early March related to personal spring break travel and precautions to take.

Please refer to the interim policy for details on what is considered University-sponsored travel. Travel warning locations include places that are under a U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 advisory, a Center for Disease Control’s Notice Warning Level 3, or those locations additionally identified by the Provost as representing significant health or safety risks for UWM travelers.

I have asked the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs to oversee the implementation of the interim travel policy. UWM’s Infectious Disease Preparedness Team will continue to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and will provide regular updates.

For personal travel, we strongly urge you to monitor travel advisories related to the coronavirus outbreak as cases of the virus continue to emerge across the globe. This is a rapidly changing epidemic and the health and well-being of our campus communities is paramount.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone, PhD
Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


UWM Health Update Regarding Coronavirus – Feb. 21, 2020

February 21, 2020

Dear UWM students, faculty, and staff,

UWM’s Infectious Disease Preparedness Team has continued to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. While the international situation is serious, the local circumstances have not changed. To date, there have been no confirmed cases in the city of Milwaukee, or in Waukesha or Washington counties. Our campus community is still at low risk.

The concern over the COVID-19 outbreak comes at a time of year when a much more common disease, influenza, is prevalent. Only a very small number of cases of coronavirus disease have developed in the United States. In contrast, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 26 million people in the U.S. already have gotten the flu this season.

This week the City of Milwaukee Health Department reminded our community that it was not too late to get a flu vaccine this season. In fact, the university is partnering with the Milwaukee Health Department in hosting a flu shot clinic at the UWM Student Union on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be no cost for the vaccine while supply lasts.

In addition to getting vaccinated, individuals also can help prevent the spread of flu by following these guidelines. Since both flu and coronavirus are caused by a virus, the same prevention tips apply to each. These include:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After use, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.

While following the prevention tips is the best strategy to stay healthy, it’s still possible to get the flu. The signs and symptoms include a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, sore throat and body aches. If you experience these, stay home from class and work, and avoid other people. Stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Missing classes, work and other responsibilities may be challenging, but taking time to rest will benefit you and protect others.

Another event next week is aimed at raising public awareness of COVID-19 in the general community. The Zilber School of Public Health presents a panel discussion, “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – What We Know and What We Need to Consider,” on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The panel includes me, UWM faculty, city and state public health professionals, and the enterprise epidemiologist from Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

We will continue to regularly communicate with the UWM community with updates related to this emerging infectious disease. Our website is a primary source of information and is updated regularly.

Students who have general questions about influenza or the coronavirus, or who are sick and need medical advice, can call the Norris Health Center at 414-229-4716 to speak to a nurse. Faculty and staff, please consult with your health care professional.

Sincerely,

Julie Bonner, MD
Campus Health Officer
Executive Director Norris Health Center,
University Counseling and Health Promotion


Campus Preparedness and Coronavirus

February 5, 2020

Dear UWM Students, Faculty and Staff,

I am writing with an update related to campus preparedness and 2019 novel coronavirus.

As of now, there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the City of Milwaukee. One case has been confirmed in Dane County. Although our campus community continues to be at low risk, we are nonetheless taking steps to be prepared to respond in the event that these circumstances change.

At UWM, the Infectious Disease Preparedness Team is 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. We are working closely with state and local health departments and in close consultation with UW System and global health and infectious disease experts.

Our campus team is led by me and has representation from the following departments/groups: Norris Health Center, University Police, Dean of Students, Academic Affairs, University Safety and Assurances, College of General Studies, Human Resources, Center for International Education, University Housing, Partners for Health, University Relations, and Legal Affairs. Our team will continue to monitor the situation and respond as needed.

We have created a website that provides accurate and up-to-date campus information related to the coronavirus. We have also formed a community support group that will partner with staff from the Division of Global Inclusion & Engagement, University Counseling Services, and the Centers for Advocacy and Student Engagement toidentify proactive educational information and ensure that appropriate people are aware of available resources.

Every person can contribute to campus preparedness by following good prevention practices. We are in the peak of Wisconsin’s influenza season right now. Please follow the tips of our February “Take Good Care of Yourself Campaign,” starting with frequent hand-washing. Stay well-informed and share accurate information to protect your own health and the health of the community. A daily update can be found on the website of the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Students who have general questions about influenza or the coronavirus, or who are sick and need medical advice, can call the Norris Health Center at 414-229-4716 to speak to a nurse. Faculty and staff, please consult with your health care professional.

Sincerely,

Julie Bonner, MD
Campus Health Officer
Executive Director Norris Health Center,
University Counseling and Health Promotion


UWM Student Health Update

January 26, 2020

Dear UWM Students,

Welcome to the start of the spring semester.

There is a peak in the flu every year around this time. Last flu season, Wisconsin had 17,210 cases. With that in mind, here are some reminders related to prevention and advice if you are sick.

Prevention

  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water and/or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after coughing and sneezing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of used tissues in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands.

KNOW what to do if you get sick with the flu

  • The signs and symptoms of flu include: a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a cough, sore throat and body aches. If you get these symptoms, stay home from class and work, and avoid other people.
  • Many people who get the flu who do not have a high-risk health condition don’t need to see a doctor. Go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm for specific advice on diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and taking care of yourself. If you are pregnant or have a chronic medical illness, contact your health care provider.
  • If you think you need to see a medical provider, call the clinic first to describe your symptoms and let them know your temperature, which you should measure with a thermometer. UWM students have three options for care. They may call Norris Health Center at 414-229-4716, their personal health care providers, or urgent care centers after hours and on weekends.
  • Cold care kits are available from the dispensary at Norris Health Center and can help relieve some systems. Please use a mask if you visit the dispensary.
  • Stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

We realize it is challenging to miss classes, work and other responsibilities but taking time to rest will benefit your recovery and protect others.

Recently, the news has been focused on a different virus—the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html provide information that is accurate and up to date. I also wanted to let you know that my campus partners and I have been closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in China, working with local and state health officials. Also, it’s important for you to know that we do not have any confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus at UWM.

If you have general questions about influenza or the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or you are sick and need medical advice, call Norris Health Center at 414-229-4716 to speak to a nurse.

Your health and well-being are important to us.

Sincerely,

Julie Bonner, MD
Campus Health Officer
Executive Director Norris Health Center,
University Counseling and Health Promotion

Updated Feb.19, 2020


UWM Health Update Regarding Coronavirus

January 25, 2020

Colleagues,

As state, national and global public health authorities address the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, I am writing to you as the campus health officer to provide situational context for UWM faculty and staff.

About the Coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control has provided the following overview:

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always a public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on characteristics of the virus, including whether and how well it spreads between people, the severity of the resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, a vaccine or treatment medications).

Investigations are ongoing as we seek to learn more, but person-to-person spread of 2019-nCoV is occurring. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person to person. It’s important to know this in order to better assess the risk posed by this virus. While the CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time. Nevertheless, the CDC is taking proactive preparedness precautions.

UWM Preparedness
The campus Infectious Disease Preparedness Team has been convened, and we are carefully monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in China, in close consultation with UW System and local and state public health agencies. Those agencies have not identified any confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases at UWM. We are not aware of any students studying in or faculty working in China, although it is possible in a large university that a member of the campus community may travel without informing UWM.

The health of our students, faculty and staff is a top priority at UWM. The university will continue to monitor the situation and respond as needed. More information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. Thank you for your time and attention to this important health briefing.

Sincerely,

Julie Bonner, MD
Campus Health Officer
Executive Director Norris Health Center,
University Counseling and Health Promotion