September 24, 2022

Banned Books Week Read Out Event Illuminates

UMW President Troy Paino reads from 'Slaughterhouse-Five' during the recent Banned Books Week Read Out event.

UMW President Troy Paino reads from ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ during the recent Banned Books Week Read Out event.

In recognition of the annual American Library Association’s Banned Books Week (September 18-24), a Read Out was held on Wednesday, Sept. 21, on Campus Walk, in front of Lee Hall, and near Katora and the Hurley Convergence Center from 11:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. President Paino and other administrators, faculty, staff, and students read from selected banned and challenged books in a free, public event sponsored by the Department of English and Linguistics, Simpson Library and Katora. Simpson Library’s special collections will have an exhibit of rare banned books. The lobby area of Simpson Library has a special display related to banned books throughout the week. 

Frankel Receives $50,000 FMC Research Award

Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Tyler Frankel

Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Tyler Frankel

Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Tyler Frankel  is the winner of a 2022 FMC New Investigator Award of $50,000 for his research on sub-lethal effects on aquatic invertebrates. FMC praised Dr. Frankel’s work with undergrad students in his research.

REMINDER: Safe Zone Presents Fall Semester Events

UMW's Safe Zone is set to offer an array of educational events this semester.

UMW’s Safe Zone is set to offer an array of educational events this semester.

The UMW Safe Zone program offers workshops and events that are designed to educate members of the University community about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ+) issues to increase the safety and inclusion of all campus citizens.

We offer an array of programs every semester, and our fall programming will continue with six events held in October and November.

We will have two campus-wide celebrations in October, and you can find us in the lobby of the Cedric Rucker University Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on each of these days to participate.

  • On Thursday, October 6, we’ll celebrate National Coming Out Day (the actual day is Tuesday, October 11, during our fall break)
    • Stop by to sign our banner and declare your support for members of the LGBTQ+ community.  We’ll be handing out both resources and swag, so make sure you visit!
  • On Wednesday, October 19, we’ll celebrate International Pronouns Day
    • Come by our table to make your own pronoun button and learn simple things you can do to highlight the importance of using pronouns correctly and providing people opportunities to share theirs with others.

We are also offering more trainings, workshops and discussions in October and November.

  • We will be offering a second basic training on Thursday, October 20, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. (in-person).
    • This training focuses on terminology, issues related to privilege, increasing awareness and sensitivity, and how to support the LGBTQ+ population on campus.
  • We will be offering an advanced training for those who have already completed the basic training on Wednesday, November 9, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. (in-person).
    • This training builds on the basic training and covers more complex topics, including bystander intervention.
  • We will be offering our Identity and Intersectionality workshop on Thursday, October 27, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. (in-person).
    • This is an interactive discussion- and activity-based workshop that digs deeper into what it means to be part of a socially marginalized group through discussion of privilege, power, oppression, prejudice, diversity, cultural competency, intersectionality and allyship. All participants are welcome, but this is most appropriate for those who have attended at least one Safe Zone training prior to this workshop.
  • Our book club continues this fall. This semester, we’ll be reading Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene A. Carruthers.  Free books will be provided to the first 12 participants to register.  The book club discussion will take place on Thursday, November 10, from 6 to 5:30 p.m. (in person on campus).

Registration is required for trainings, workshops and book group discussions. If you would like to attend one or all of these events, please email Mindy Erchull at Space is limited for each event, so register early to secure your spot!

If your office, department, class, club or a group of students you know would like to schedule a training, please email Mindy to talk about content and scheduling.

If you would like more information about Safe Zone at UMW, to see the list of allies on our campus, or to  access LGBTQ+ inclusion resources, please visit our website. Also, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on our activities.

Homecoming is Happening, Oct. 21-22; Student Events Start Oct. 17

The following message is from Athletics and SAE:

UMW Campus Community,

We’re one month out from Homecoming 2022, and you’re invited to join the celebration! Student activities kick-off Monday, October 17, with events through Homecoming weekend Oct. 21-22, 2022. Mark your calendars to cheer on the Eagles in swimming, volleyball, rugby, field hockey, and soccer, with alumni games, matches and meets too. See the weekend sports schedule online.

UMW Athletics will once again host a Homecoming tailgate, presented by the Virginia Lottery. Students, alumni, friends, and more are invited to gather at the Battleground Athletic Complex as part of Homecoming festivities on Saturday, Oct. 22, with tailgating returning as an annual tradition after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic.

Tailgating spaces must be purchased in advance, and less than 20 spaces remain. To choose your preferred tailgate space, view the Homecoming page of the UMW Athletics website here. For more information, contact Assistant Athletics Director for Communications Clint Often at

For more information about Homecoming activities throughout the week, email

Sept. 16 Public Health Reminder/COVID Update

Dear UMW Community,

This week the COVID-19 community level is low, as reported on the CDC tracker. Based on this level of transmission, the CDC’s recommended action is to “Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Get tested if you have symptoms. Wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Wear a mask on public transportation. You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others.” Read more.

Strategic Vision Open Forums, Sept. 28 & Oct. 4

Dear Colleagues,

Last spring, President Paino charged four working groups with reviewing the goals and action items of the 2017 Strategic Vision and providing updates, especially in light of the many changes we’ve experienced in the Commonwealth, across the increasingly disrupted and competitive higher education sector, and more generally, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The work of those committees was then refined and distilled into a focused draft that was shared with the Board of Visitors at its summer retreat. All UMW employees should have received that draft via email on Monday, Sept. 19.

The current draft incorporates feedback from the Board as well as the Cabinet and the Provost’s Council. It is anticipated that a final draft will be presented to the Board for its consideration at its November meeting.

Please send any additional feedback to me at

You are also welcome to join me along with the working group chairs at one of the open forums we have set up in the coming days:

  • Wednesday, September 28 @ 10:00 am (Seacobeck 145)
  • Tuesday, October 4 @ 4:00 pm (Seacobeck 145)

Thank you for your time and commitment to UMW’s future.


Timothy M. O’Donnell

Update from the President About Student Conduct Review

Dear UMW Community,

Last spring, I called for an outside review of our entire system of student conduct. Two independent expert evaluators began this review over the summer, and today, I write to update you on the next steps.

Their charge was to complete a comprehensive evaluation of our conduct system, including the code of conduct; the process through which cases are heard; and the impact of the process on community members. Additionally, the evaluators were asked to review specific aspects of the system, including transparency and the rights and responsibilities of all students involved in the process.

They reviewed UMW’s public documents, policies and reports, and conducted interviews with many staff members throughout the summer. Given the expedited timing over the summer break, they were not able to connect with several key stakeholders in the process, including students. As such, the initial review is incomplete and will continue this fall.

We want to make sure our students are represented and heard as part of this process, so we are extending the review timeline and expanding the process. We will also seek the input of several offices that collaborate with and complement the student conduct system. We have new members of our campus community joining us for their first fall semester and new leaders bringing renewed energy and attention to these areas. Together, we will listen and learn from one another.

If contacted for an interview or listening session, I encourage you to answer the call and share your perspective. Note that the reviewers have not been asked to review specific cases or interview individual respondents and will follow FERPA rules and maintain confidentiality.

We are committed to a holistic review to ensure the University of Mary Washington community has a system of student conduct and responsibility in which they have faith, a system in which complaints can be raised with a clear and fair process, while also a system that follows best practices as well as state and federal policies and laws.

We appreciate the work that has already occurred this summer, particularly from our expert evaluators who will continue this work, as well as Dr. Juliette Landphair, Vice President for Student Affairs, in leading the review. If you have questions about this next phase or would like to be contacted to contribute to the review, please contact Dr. Landphair.

Troy D. Paino, J.D., Ph.D.President

Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program, Applications Accepted Sept. 26 to Nov. 18

Dear Colleagues,

As we shared last spring, faculty members have been asking UMW to offer a Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program (FERIP) for several years. The Board of Visitors approved a proposed program at its February 2022 meeting after which UMW began the effort to navigate the multi-layered state approval process. We are pleased to share that the plan has now been approved by the governor and we are able to accept applications for the program.

The plan offers approved participants 100% of their final base salary payable monthly over a two-year period. The application period will be open for 45 days beginning September 26, 2022 until November 18, 2022, with a required retirement date of June 1, 2023 (last day of work will be contract end date, May 15, 2023).

As we have shared previously, the requirements for this program are outlined in the Code of Virginia and the eligibility criteria include: tenured status; at least 60 years of age; employed full-time in a non-classified teaching position at UMW for at least 10 years, and agree to withdraw from active membership in the Virginia Retirement System.

The proposed early retirement plan is entirely voluntary and eligible faculty must apply to participate. Applications will be assessed by a committee comprised of the Provost, Deans, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Diversity Officer and the Executive Director of Human Resources. Please visit the Human Resources website for further details about the program, the application and approval process, and to find other helpful information and resources.


Paul Messplay, Vice President for Administration and Finance
Timothy M. O’Donnell, Provost
Beth Williams, Executive Director of Human Resources

Share Your Dining Preferences by Taking the Campus Lifestyle Survey

Dear University of Mary Washington Campus Community,In an effort to understand your needs and wellbeing for dining on campus, you are invited to participate in a campus lifestyle survey. Your participation in this research survey is strictly voluntary and you are under no obligation to participate in this process.  The survey takes approximately 12 minutes to complete. Your responses to the research survey will be combined with the answers of the other members of the campus community.  Upon completion of the survey, you will have the opportunity to enter into a prize drawing for $100 in Declining Balance Funds to be added to your account.

If you choose to take the survey, please click on the link below.CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding this survey, please contact David Schneider with Dining Services.

Dive into New Swim Hours (and Registration Process)

Dive into CREC’s new swim hours!! This year, not only do you get to enjoy our new swim hours, we also have a brand new registration process!! Here’s how you do it:

  • Pick up a pool pass at the Fitness Center Front Desk!
  • Register online at! Navigate to the Menu and select the “Pool” tab, then select “Fall 2022 Open Rec Swim”, and register for the hours you want to swim!