UWM employee COVID-19 update

CARES grants for students

The university notified more than 8,000 students Tuesday that they will receive grants as part of UWM’s distribution of nearly $8.5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. The federal money is intended to help students struggling with expenses such as food, housing, course materials and child care after campus operations were disrupted by the virus.

Each grant will be worth $950, and students are expected to receive checks within two weeks.

More than 6,000 grant applications were submitted by the priority deadline of May 12. CARES grants are being given to eligible applicants as well as low-income students who did not apply for CARES grants but are eligible. Low-income status was determined by Pell Grant eligibility.

Students who did not qualify for CARES grants have two weeks to request reconsideration. After that, the remaining funds — currently about $665,000 — will be distributed to eligible students who applied after May 12.

Failure to complete a 2019-20 or 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form was the most common reason students were ruled ineligible for a CARES grant.

More information about CARES grants and an application form are available on the Dean of Students website.

Planning underway for fall semester

As we wrap up spring semester amid unprecedented circumstances, you may be wondering what UWM will look like in the fall. Campus leaders have been looking at every aspect of college life and the best ways to deliver a top-flight education in a safe way.

Much depends on circumstances out of our control: Has the pandemic receded? Will it come back? What social distancing measures will be in place? How much testing capacity will there be?

We can’t wait for all the answers, so we are planning for the most likely scenarios:

  • School starts with mostly in-person instruction, albeit with social distancing and other safety measures in place, along with some classes being taught online.
  • School starts in the fall mostly online, along with some face-to-face classroom instruction.
  • Fall instruction is entirely online, with the possibility that it will remain so next spring.

Decisions on how to offer classes will be made with two primary considerations: how to provide the best possible education for students, and how to provide a safe environment for students, faculty and staff.

Face-to-face learning will likely be different. Classes will be planned to allow for proper social distancing. Large lecture courses might remain online. Furniture in the libraries, dining areas, UWM Student Union and other places might be placed farther apart. Facilities will undergo more frequent disinfection.

In every scenario, online learning will continue to play an important role. UWM is a national leader and innovator in online educational delivery and research, educating more online students than any other university in the state of Wisconsin. UWM’s portfolio includes more than 700 online courses offered each semester and 40 online degree and certificate programs known nationally for their high quality. U.S. News & World Report has ranked UWM nationally as #31 in Best Online Bachelors Programs for Veterans and #48 in Best Online Bachelors Programs overall. Since COVID-19, UWM has further bolstered its capacity to deliver online instruction and is continuing to provide instructors with new and enhanced training in the best ways to teach remotely.

While we do not yet have all the answers regarding what the future holds, we want you to know that UWM remains committed to providing the best education possible and to communicating plans with you as decisions are made.

Dates of intermittent furloughs

A reminder that the dates of intermittent furloughs have been set and are as follows:
Twelve-month employees will take one furlough day on June 19, 2020. Intermittent furlough dates for the 2020-21 fiscal year are:

12-month employees

  1. Friday, July 3, 2020
  2. Friday, August 21, 2020
  3. Friday, October 30, 2020
  4. Friday, November 27, 2020
  5. Monday, December 28, 2020
  6. Friday, January 22, 2021
  7. Friday, March 26, 2021
  8. Friday, May 28, 2021

9-month employees

  1. Monday, August 31, 2020
  2. Friday, November 27, 2020
  3. Monday, December 28, 2020
  4. Friday, January 22, 2021
  5. Friday, March 26, 2021
  6. Friday, May 14, 2021

With few exceptions, all employees are subject to intermittent furloughs. More information is available on the UWM coronavirus website.

Resources available to help supervisors support their teams

We understand that faculty and staff are facing additional pressure and stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Support & Impact Team, a multi-disciplinary group led by Dean of Students Adam Jussel and including members from Human Resources, Enrollment Management, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, has put together a supervisor “toolbox” aimed at helping supervisors support their teams during this difficult time.

The toolbox can be found on the UWM Human Resources website.
The CS&I team also produces a weekly Wellness Wednesday email, designed to provide good news and valuable staff wellness information. Please click here to sign up for the Wellness Wednesday emails.

Community news

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest coronavirus updates

News updates