June 17, 2021

Update from the Future of Work Planning Group

Greetings UMW Community,

Over the past 15 months, COVID has restructured our work environment in significant ways. UMW saw faculty and staff move expeditiously to remote teaching and working, while essential staff maintained the physical operation of the University while implementing numerous new COVID protocols.

As COVID restrictions are lifted and we move toward a post-pandemic community, many employees are wondering what UMW’s future work environment will look like and how it will impact our image as a vibrant, engaged, and diverse traditional residential university.

President Paino has appointed the faculty and staff listed below to the Future of Work Planning Group and charged us with drafting a plan for the future of work at UMW consistent with our educational mission and ASPIRE values, as well as DHRM policies.

The Future of Work Planning group will be asking for information about your personal experiences in your pre-COVID and current work environment and how you envision the future. Your input is critical to the work of this group to shape the new normal of working at UMW. Please take a few minutes to respond to the upcoming survey that will help guide the committee’s work over the coming months. For more details on the current and ongoing work of the committee, see the Future of Work at UMW Planning Group website.

Just as our future ways of working will evolve over time, so will the focus of this committee. It will change and develop as we learn and gain valuable input from all areas of the UMW community. We look forward to your contributions and feedback in this effort.

 

Sincerely,

The Future of Work Planning Group

Julie Smith, AVP for Administration and Finance (Co-Chair)
Beth Williams, Director, Human Resources (Co-Chair)
Maureen Aylward, Donor Relations and Stewardship Associate, Advancement
Teresa Coffman, Professor, College of Education
Michelle Crow-Dolby, Education & Communications Manager, Gari Melchers Home & Studio
Tracey Funtanilla, Senior Accountant, Finance
John Hughey, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Residence Life & Housing
Kunle Lawson, Lecturer, Athletics
Angie Lynch, Enrollment Services Specialist, Registrar
Sharon Neville, Assistant Building Attendant Manager, Facilities
Carolyn Parsons, Head of Special Collections & University Archives, Simpson Library
Michelle Pickham, Senior Contract Officer, Procurement Services
Jerry Slezak, Director, Digital Learning Support
Gregg Stull, Professor of Theatre and Chair, Theatre & Dance
Chris Williams, Assistant Director, James Farmer Multicultural Center

A message from Finance

Fiscal year end is approaching! That means fiscal year end processing and system downtime. Please mark your calendars for the following:

  • Banner will be down from 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, until noon Thursday, July 1. This downtime will impact the Banner production environment, including SSB functionality and Report Central.
  • ​Systems exchanging data with Banner will go offline Tuesday, June 29, at 5 p.m.

All systems are expected to be back up and online by noon on Wednesday, July 1. For additional information on deadlines, refer to the End of Year Calendar.

Finance will make every effort to have the systems restored as quickly as possible. Your cooperation and patience are appreciated.

Please contact  tess@umw.edu with any questions.

Reducing plastic pollution at UMW

Earlier this year, Governor Northam issued Executive Order #77 as a means of “reducing plastic pollution and eliminating the need for new solid waste disposal facilities in Virginia.” 

What does this Executive Order mean for UMW? 

Effective July 21, 2021, all state institutions of higher education and contractors who operate on their campuses will discontinue buying, selling, or distributing these specific items: disposable plastic bags, single-use plastic and polystyrene food service containers, plastic straws and cutlery, and single-use plastic water bottles as the University determines are not for medical, public health, or public safety use. 

How will this Executive Order immediately impact the University Community? 

As the University awaits further guidance from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), UMW will cease the purchase of the following items as of July 21, 2021: 

  • Glitter/confetti, plastic table cloths, balloons of any type 

Existing inventories, purchased prior to this communication, may be distributed until supplies are exhausted. 

  • Additionally, we will be asked to immediately find alternatives to the following: 

K-cups, disposable plastic bags, single-use plastic and polystyrene food service containers, plastic straws and cutlery, and single-use plastic water bottles

All of this is a work in progress. By September 20, 2021, the University must submit to the state a Plastics Pollution Reduction Plan, which will include University compliance progress. 

For more information, please visit the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) website and check out the comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section. 

Stay tuned for additional details to be shared via email.

Have specific questions? Contact GreenUMW@umw.edu.

Underground utilities advisory

Campus-wide steam outage
May 27-31 & June 3-7

Athena Construction Group will be performing steam line work between Melchers and Woodard halls over the next two weekends, May 28-31 and June 4-7, 2021. This work will require campus-wide shutdown of steam service during the period.

Please direct questions and concerns to Capital Outlay Project Manager Les Johnson, ajohnso3@umw.edu, 540-654-2100.

Seeking members for UMW Safety Committee

The following message is from the Office of Emergency Management & Safety:

The University of Mary Washington Safety Committee brings together many community voices to elicit their insights and to foster transparency regarding camus safety. More about the committee, including its mission and responsibilities, can be found here.

The UMW Safety Committee is seeking faculty and staff from all three campuses as members to help develop and promote a healthy work environment.

The committee’s responsibilities include:

  • Assisting in safety inspections of buildings, grounds, and work sites on a periodic basis.
  • Reviewing regularly all safety-related incidents, injuries, accidents, and illnesses on campus. This includes investigation, recommending corrective action, follow-up, and compliance.

Members are expected to serve a one-year term, devoting about five hours a month to the committee, including a meeting of approximately one hour via Zoom.

To review the committee procedures and fill out an application, please go here.

Any questions should be addressed to the Director of Emergency Management & Safety, Mike Muckinhaupt, at mmuckinh@umw.edu.

VRS DCP Seminar Schedule – June-August 2021

Registration is required for all sessions and individual consultations. It’s easy to register online: visit www.varetire.org, click on the Defined Contribution Plans tab, select your plan’s website, then go to the Education page and click the View group seminars link or call VRS-DC-PLAN1 (877-327-5261),
option 2.

Visit your plan’s website to view the schedule of Upcoming Webinars on
the Education page.

Agenda for all sessions is as follows –
9:00 – 9:45 a.m.
457 and Cash Match Features and
Highlights (Non-Hybrid Plans Only)

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
457, Cash Match and Hybrid Defined
Contribution Plan Investments

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
457 and Cash Match Distribution
Options (Non-Hybrid Plans Only)

1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Individual Consultations

Schedule of Upcoming Virtual Education Meetings

North Central Region
JUNE 30, JULY 12, AUGUST 5

South Central Region
JUNE 23, JULY 11, AUGUST 18

Western Region
JUNE 9, JULY 15, AUGUST 10

Southwestern Region
JUNE 17, JULY 13, AUGUST 9

Northern Virginia Region
JUNE 16, JULY  14, AUGUST 12

Eastern Region
JUNE 16, JULY 21, AUGUST 25

Southeastern Region
JUNE 2, JULY  7, AUGUST 4

VRS Hybrid Seminar Schedule June 2021

SCHEDULE OF UPCOMING VIRTUAL EDUCATION MEETINGS Registration is required for all sessions and individual consultations. It’s easy to register online: visit www.varetire.org, click on the Defined Contribution Plans tab, select your plan’s website, then go to the Education page and click the View group seminars link or call VRS-DC-PLAN1 (877-327-5261), option 2.

Visit your plan’s website to view the schedule of Upcoming Webinars on the Education page.

Agenda for all sessions is as follows –

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Hybrid Features and Benefits Overview (Hybrid Retirement Plan only)

10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Plan Investments Seminar (457, Cash Match, and Hybrid plans)

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Individual Appointments (457, Cash Match, and Hybrid plans)

HYBRID PLAN SESSIONS

JUNE 9 North Central Region

JUNE 3 South Central Region

JUNE 2 Western Region

JUNE 8 Southwestern Region

JUNE 10 Northern Virginia Region

JUNE 9 Eastern Region

JUNE 9 Southeastern Region

 

Sophomore Experience Working Group Seeking Feedback

The Sophomore Experience Working Group (charge below) is seeking feedback from students in the Class of 2024 about their needs going into their sophomore year, as well as from upperclassmen about their sophomore year experience. This feedback will help guide recommendations that will be presented to UMW leadership.

Please share these links with students and encourage them to complete the appropriate survey:

Survey for the Class of 2024: https://umw.presence.io/form/class-of-2024-sophomore-experience-survey
Survey for Upperclassmen: https://umw.presence.io/form/upperclassmen-experience-survey

The charge of the Sophomore Experience Working Group is to determine how to recapture opportunities for relationship-building and student engagement among our rising sophomores in the Class of 2024. Working group members should identify methods of student success for these students inside and outside the classroom in light of their 2020-21 experiences as well as opportunities for faculty, staff, and other students to get to know the wonderful students that make up the Class of 2024.

If staff or faculty have feedback or suggestions for the sophomore experience for the Class of 2024, please send them to ssutphin@umw.edu.

A message from President Paino to the UMW community

Action Steps to Reform Policing at UMW:

University Response to the UMW Community Advisory Panel (CAP) Final Report

When I joined the University of Mary Washington (UMW) in 2016, the Board of Visitors charged me with articulating a vision for the University. After a year of listening to all the University’s constituency groups, a few themes emerged. One, in particular, was UMW’s longstanding commitment to service, and community and civic engagement. This theme touches on the primary public purpose of UMW’s mission: To equip students with the ability to address society’s demands, to identify and challenge injustices, and to embrace the world’s possibilities. Therefore, the first pillar of UMW’s strategic vision, An Investment of Hope for the Future, is to provide an increasingly diverse population with the opportunity to improve their lives, their communities, and the world around them. The goal is to prepare and empower our graduates to engage with the issues of the day with rigor, curiosity, and empathy.

In response to the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, several students and members of the Mary Washington community joined other citizens in Fredericksburg to take to the streets to protest in the UMW tradition of community and civic engagement. They joined in the initial public protests, which mirrored activity across the nation and continued for several days throughout the summer of 2020. On one evening of protests, May 31, 2020, the Fredericksburg City Police Department invoked a mutual aid agreement between the City of Fredericksburg and the University of Mary Washington, requesting assistance from the UMW Police Department to manage the protests. Five UMW Police officers were dispatched to guard the Fredericksburg Police Department building and one was dispatched downtown. Later that evening, members of the Fredericksburg City Police’s Tactical Field Force used tear gas and a sting-ball grenade to disperse the crowd of protestors, evoking a strong reaction from members of the UMW community who were involved in the protests. As they shared with me after the protest, many of the UMW protestors were confused, disappointed, and even angered by the presence of UMW police. They expressed a sense of betrayal and fracture of trust that the same University that encouraged them to use their voice to speak for what is right may have participated in an effort to quell their demonstrations and free speech.

In the aftermath of this event, I heard from hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who believed the presence of UMW Police at the Fredericksburg City Police Department headquarters on the evening of May 31 called into question the department’s commitment to the safety of the UMW community. They demanded answers, accountability, reform, and in some cases, the complete abolishment of the campus police department.

As I reflected on UMW’s public purpose and vision, I thought about trust. We are living at a time when trust in our important democratic institutions is at a low point. This mistrust threatens our nation’s ability to respond to big problems. If UMW is going to fulfill its mission to prepare engaged citizens for our democracy, we must demonstrate good governance through a commitment to transparency, accountability, and a willingness to listen to those who have concerns. To do nothing in response to these heartfelt concerns would have only added to this generation’s erosion of trust. While some demanded immediate action, I believed a deliberative process dedicated to collecting the facts and listening to all involved gave us the best chance to model the sort of accountability required amid a crisis of confidence.

Toward that end, I formed a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) consisting of Board of Visitors members, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and community members. In a move that proved controversial to some, UMW Police Chief Mike Hall was later added to the CAP to ensure access to necessary and relevant information from the police. I thought it was important to include Chief Hall to ensure all perspectives were a part of this conversation. His participation reflected our commitment to inclusion and an understanding of the situation from a professional policing perspective. University Police are important individual members of the UMW community, and the department has been accredited nationally for meeting rigorous policing standards. I felt strongly that their views, just like those demanding police reform or abolishment, should be a part of the process and conversation.

I charged CAP (1) to provide a full and open accounting of the events surrounding the May 31 protest in Fredericksburg and the role played by the campus police, (2) to identify lessons learned and what reforms, if any, need to be made to ensure that the policies, practices, and procedures of UMW police align with UMW’s community values, and (3) determine if we need to reframe the role of campus police in light of the current climate.

CAP met weekly over the summer, fall, and winter, to listen, to research, to discuss, and to debate. While I was not a part of these meetings, I understand many were long, emotional, contentious, and exhausting. It took its toll on these individuals who committed to the process, and we should all be grateful for their service. Last month we shared the CAP’s final report with the UMW community and asked for feedback. Now that I have considered both the report and the community’s feedback, I am prepared to announce the following action steps as it relates to campus policing:

  1. Establish a Campus Policing Advisory Council (CPAC). This Council will be comprised of students, faculty, staff, administration, and University Police to serve as a bridge between the Campus Community and University Police. The Council will recommend reforms to reflect best practices in bias-free, inclusive policing and develop a process to continuously review and assess the effectiveness of campus policing policies and procedure, while also actively working to ensure alignment with accreditation standards.
  2. Assess the University’s existing Mutual Aid Agreements to ensure that they are compliant with state law and follow best practices in the promotion of campus safety.

  3. Review the General Orders, Mission Statement, and Code of Conduct for our University police. These documents govern policing operations at the University, and they should reflect ASPIRE values and recent changes to Virginia law.
  4. Create a More Transparent System of Information Sharing. We will enhance the University Police website to include the following information:
    • Updated General Orders, Code of Conduct, and Mission Statement
    • Department policies
    • Department demographics, as well as officer identification and training credentials, where possible without infringing on individual employee rights and safety
    • Reports on department activity, including calls for service, reason for the call, response times, and resolutions

      5. Restructure mental health crisis response. I will ask Dr. Juliette Landphair, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dr. Tev Zukor, Director of the Talley Counseling Center, to form a working group that includes University Police, those on staff responsible for mental health crisis response, and interested students, to develop a timeline and plan for reform that might include:

      • 24/7 availability of clinical professionals for student support
      • Changes in UMW Police protocols during a mental health crisis
      • More Residence Life staff training and communication responsibilities to proactively inform students about student support options
  5.   Create more opportunities for University Police to build relationships with UMW community members. As stated in the preamble to these reform efforts, UMW Police officers are also valuable members of the UMW community. Successful policing depends on officers actively building relationships with the community members they serve. To accomplish this goal, I will ask Residence Life, the James Farmer Multicultural Center, interested student groups, and University Police to form a working group to create a plan for more positive and informal interactions among community members and police in non-policing activities.
  6.     Integrate University Police more intentionally in our efforts towards inclusive excellence. In 2019, UMW adopted its community values of ASPIRE, which includes our aspiration to be a welcoming and nurturing environment for all. With the state’s recent launch of One Virginia, UMW will initiate a strategic planning process “to sustain an environment that fosters inclusive practices in all its daily operations, as well as accountability in achieving the University’s DE&I goals.” The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC) working group will include UMW Police representation to continue our efforts to build trust and collaboration across our community.

In addition, as a member of Virginia’s Council of Presidents and of the Presidents’ Equity in Action working group, I will initiate a conversation with my colleagues to discuss statewide campus policing standards for all Virginia public universities.

Again, I would like to thank the members of CAP and all of those students, alumni, faculty, and staff who engaged in this process. It is important to note, CAP found UMW Campus Police acted in accordance with current UMW policy and procedures the evening of May 31, and no UMW police officers were engaged in the use of tear gas. It is also important to note, however, that members of the UMW community involved in those protests were traumatized by the events of that night. The presence of UMW police amid the broader response to the protests added to their hurt, anger, and confusion. The misperceptions about the evening and the loss of trust suggest a need for reform.

The above steps are a beginning and not an end. These measures are intended to create a system of governance and culture that ensures ongoing transparency, accountability, and reform to build the trust needed for University Police to do its job effectively while preserving our community members’ ability to find and use their voices.

 

Sincerely,

Troy D. Paino
President

QEP Update from the President

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier this semester, we launched a call for concept papers for our next Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is an important part of our 2023 reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Our QEP proposal will be submitted to our peer reviewers in January 2023 in advance of our scheduled March visit.

This is a plan that should meaningfully impact our students and be focused on enhancing student learning and/or achievement. It must follow from our institutional planning and assessment processes and be within our institutional capacity to deliver effectively.

In response to the call, we received four proposals and they were all excellent. Anand Rao and Adrienne Brovero focused on civility, engagement, and argumentation through debate-centered pedagogy. Leslie Martin, Sarah Dewees, Betsy Lewis, Kelli Slunt, Julia DeLancey, and Joe Romero advocated for further realizing our aspirations around community engagement through a cohort-based program. Kelly Shannon, Jennifer Walker, Hunter Rauscher, Angela Pitts, Sandrine Sutphin, Marion Sanford, and Tevya Zukor outlined a comprehensive plan centered around well-being. April Wynn and Paul Binkley presented a vision for career development grounded in life design and the liberal arts experience. I am so grateful to each of these individuals for their contribution to this process.

As these concept papers were discussed by the Provost’s Academic Affairs Council and the Cabinet, consensus emerged around a few key ideas. First and foremost, our energy, focus, and resources should be concentrated in our capacity to recruit and retain students. Second, we should pursue and implement some of these ideas, regardless of the QEP. For example, as we recruit our next class who will be joining us in 2022, we should be doing so having created a cohort program focused on community engagement. That work should begin immediately and should not be delayed. And third, we should focus on what is possible within our current financial and human resource realities. We are not, for example, in a position to launch a new wellness initiative that would involve multiple courses and new infrastructure including the establishment of a new office.

The more we considered these proposals, however, something else emerged. The authors were telling us something important about what they hope for our graduates. They hope for our students to be able to engage in and navigate difficult conversations, particularly in these tumultuous times. They hope for our students to find spaces to do what they love and are passionate about. They hope that our students are resilient in the face of life’s challenges.And, they hope for our students to be able to translate their liberal arts experience to the world of work and life after Mary Washington.

So where does that leave us? If our last QEP focused on the first semester and the skills we believe necessary for college success (speaking, writing, and research in the first-year seminar), our next QEP should build on that effort in a student’s second semester. It should create the foundation for students to make the most of their remaining time here as they prepare for and transition to purposeful lives after Mary Washington. This means helping students learn to navigate difficult conversations, figure out what they love to do, stand resilient in the face of adversity, and have the capacity to plan and then adjust those plans as circumstances change. These are the things we talk about when we point to the virtues of a liberal arts education. They do not, however, just materialize by happenstance. We need to be intentional about how they are manifest in the college experience. To that end, we will form a summer working group that will return in the fall with a fully formed plan for realizing this vision for our students.

Thanks to all those who submitted these excellent concept papers. They have brought into sharper focus what is possible and practical in our next QEP. You will hear more about the final plan once the working group does its work.

 

Sincerely,

Troy