April 14, 2021

Brief Vaccination Survey and Form to Register for Vaccination

If you are willing to voluntarily share the news of your vaccination with the University, please complete this brief survey. It’s important for us to have an idea of how many folks in our community have been vaccinated.

If you haven’t been vaccinated, please fill out this form to get vaccinated even if you have already registered at vaccinate.virginia.gov, but not if you have already been scheduled for or have received one or two doses of the COVID vaccine. We will submit this to RAHD and you will be contacted to schedule your appointment.

Some things to point out:

    • Not all of us are on computers all day. Supervisors of employees who have limited online access should collect names, phone numbers, and email addresses of all who want to be vaccinated.
    • Access to the vaccine is because of your employment at UMW, so even if you live in another health district, you can come to Fredericksburg to get vaccinated.
    • Encourage your current student workers to complete the form. Our rough estimate is that about half of our student workers have already gotten at least one shot.
    • As more students start becoming eligible for the vaccine, they might end up scheduling it during finals week. Please remind student to mark their final exam time slots on their calendars now so that they do not encounter a scheduling conflict.
    • Please check your spam/junk folders and take calls from unknown contacts on the phone number you submitted. Be aware that you may need to be prepared to go and get the shot the day you are notified. The vaccine supply is being distributed as soon as it arrives, and at least some of the sites are only scheduling 24 hours out.


Plans for 2020 and 2021 Commencements

A message from the Provost.

Dear Colleagues,

Today, the University of Mary Washington is making the announcement that our 2020 and 2021 Commencements will take place in person over as many as four days: Thursday, May 6, and Friday, May 7, for the Class of 2020, and Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9, for the Class of 2021.

To accommodate the expected numbers and to comply with the Governor’s updated health and safety guidelines, instead of a single ceremony on Ball Circle, we will need to provide multiple smaller ceremonies in a new location. The only feasible on-campus venue is the recreation field next to Route 1; this the site that will allow for the most graduates and guests and provide readily accessible garage parking with minimal interruption to campus. The format of each ceremony will be modified and shortened, and the platform party will be reduced to the smallest representation possible – again, to ensure more space for graduates and guests. We hope to have a faculty representative on the stage for each of the ceremonies; otherwise, only those faculty and staff who happen to be family members of graduates or those specifically supporting the logistics of the event will be in attendance. It will be a priority to limit  the number of individuals in attendance at each ceremony, as well as those moving around on the campus, in order to observe our COVID protocols and to avoid impact on final exams.

Because the major activity, parking, and visitor flow will be along Sunken Road, Route 1, and the parking garage, we hope to avoid undue noise or disruption while students are taking their final exams. Residence Life is working on plans for move-out that should also lessen impact on student finals. Before the event, additional information will be shared about alternative parking for those who would normally utilize the garage during this time.

While you are strongly advised to plan to be away from campus those four days doing your end-of-semester work remotely, and we continue to encourage departments, programs, and Colleges to conduct end-of-semester student activities virtually, we will be in critical need of volunteers. Please watch for the email call for volunteers; your service will be welcomed and appreciated.

Although a number of Commencement plans had been developed, this new opportunity to hold an in-person event on campus is by far the most meaningful option for students and their families. It is also the most intensive and challenging. Thus, many details clearly need to be resolved, and we appreciate your patience. Please refer to the Commencement website for periodic updates.


Nina Mikhalevsky



Tuition Reimbursement Enrollment

The following message is from the Office of Human Resources.

Dear Colleagues:

Open Enrollment for Tuition Reimbursement for courses starting July 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021 has begun and will end on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (courses outside of UMW) The complete policy and procedures are posted online but some important and key provisions are listed below. You may contact Denise Frye at dfrye2@umw.edu with any questions.

Program Purpose:

Eligible employees enrolled in a degree seeking program at other accredited institutions of higher education will be provided with tuition reimbursement up to a specified amount for courses after completion of the course and submission of proof of grade.


This policy applies to classified, wage, administrative professional faculty, and other non-faculty part-time employees. Graduate Assistants who are required to be enrolled in UMW graduate programs are not eligible for this program. Eligible employees must be continuously employed by the University for a minimum of one year prior to their application for reimbursement and job performance must be satisfactory or at the “contributor” level. Tuition up to the approved amount will be reimbursed upon receipt of proof of completion of approved courses. Employees who receive tuition reimbursement must remain employed at the University of Mary Washington during the term of the courses taken and for one year after receipt of tuition reimbursement for those courses(s) or be subject to terms for repayment as described in the written agreement.

Important Information to Know:

  • The open enrollment period is for courses taken July 1 2021 – December 2021 (The open enrollment period for courses taken January 1 to June 30 will be in October 1 – October 21)
  • The program’s funding will be limited to $50,000 per calendar year; $25,000 will be budgeted for each period  January-June and July-December.
  • Each eligible employee may receive up to $2,500 in assistance each period. The amount of assistance will vary depending on the number of requests and the  available funds for that period i.e.  where $25,00.00 is available, 20 requests may each be awarded  $1,250.
  • A Tuition Reimbursement Request form is required to be submitted to Human Resources during open enrollment for courses starting July 1 2021- December 2021. (Link to the form is on page 3 of the policy and forms may be scanned)
  • The Finance office will notify the employee the Tuition Reimbursement Request Form has been approved within 2 weeks of the open enrollment timeframe closing and request the following:
  1. a) Proof of enrollment  in a degree granting program
  2. b) Schedule of the institution’s fees
  3. c) Proof of payment
  • The assistance awarded will then be reimbursed to the employee upon submission of evidence of course completion with a minimum grade of “C” or “PASS” if a Pass/Fail course.  Submission of grade must be within 30 days of semester end.  The employee will receive reimbursement within 10 business days of grade submission to the Finance Office.


Thank you,

Denise M. Frye
Benefits Manager
Office of Human Resources
University of Mary Washington

Banner maintenance this week

Banner Downtime:

Starts: 6:00 PM, Friday, 4/9
Ends: 6:00 AM, Saturday, 4/10

Impact To You: Banner SSB (Self-Service Banner for students, faculty, and staff), Banner 9 (for administrators) and Reporting (for administrators) will be unavailable during this time while scheduled maintenance is performed. This means that actions like registration and student payments through Banner via EaglePay must wait until the maintenance is complete and the system is returned to active status.

Updates: If needed, will be posted to our UMW System Status page http://status.umw.edu and our Twitter account https://twitter.com/umwIT

Thanks for your patience as this work is completed. Please contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions or concerns.


Phone: 540-654-2255
In Person: HCC Room 112
Email: helpdesk@umw.edu
Website: http://technology.umw.edu/helpdesk


Announcement of Campus Display Project Manager

A Message from the Chief of Staff:


I’m happy to announce the selection of Professor of Art Carole Garmon as the inaugural Campus Display Project Manager. As I indicated when I announced the call for applications, this special assignment will support efforts of the University to encourage members of our community to propose and create long term and permanent public art and public history installations and exhibits. Such displays will reflect Mary Washington’s history, current community, and vision for the future.

I’ve included the position description below; in short, Carole will serve as manager and facilitator for a variety of projects, starting with the Dr. Venus Jones display (initiated by Biology Professor Andrew Dolby and with a committee), and working with the Standing Campus Environment Committee, the Office of the President, and the Vice President for Equity and Access, as well as people who have ideas for new installations and exhibits.

I know many of us are looking forward to working with Carole in this important work.


Special Assignment:
Campus Display Project Manager

To ensure that the University of Mary Washington’s campuses help the institution fulfill its ASPIRE values by providing all members of our community with a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment, UMW is initiating a program to encourage members of our community to propose and create long term and permanent public art and public history installations and exhibits that reflect the university’s history, current community, and vision for the future.

A 12-month special assignment position for a Campus Display Project Manager is needed to support this program. This position is open to a faculty or staff member who has skills in project management and experience with public art and/or museum displays. Tasks will involve guiding a major new display project dedicated to Dr. Venus Jones from initial proposal to installation. In addition, the Campus Display Project Manager position will work with the standing Campus Environment Committee and the Vice President for Equity and Access to outline plans for other new campus display projects over the next three years. Finally, the person filling this role will be expected to help define the future role of the Campus Display Project Manager as UMW continues to install new public art and history displays.

The Campus Display Project Manager will report to the Office of the President and would be expected to work in partnership with the Standing Campus Environment Committee as it encourages and reviews proposals for new displays as part of its charge to promote an inclusive and welcoming environment on UMW’s campuses.


Assigned Tasks;

  1. Oversee the development and installation of a display about Dr. Venus Jones in Jepson Hall.  This includes:
    1. Meeting with the existing Jepson Hall committee planning the installation to review the current state of the project
    2. Meeting with faculty involved in the project’s design and the chair of the Campus Environment Committee
    3. Coordinating actions among stakeholders involved in the project
    4. Identifying vendors to provide professional design and installation services
    5. Estimating costs of materials, design, and installation
    6. Working with Jepson Hall committee, President’s Office, and other stakeholders to identify funding sources
  2. Creating three year plan for public art and history displays reflecting UMW’s diverse history, communities, and future vision. This includes:
    1. Working with the Campus Environment Committee and the UMW community to identify and prioritize themes for displays on UMW’s three campuses.
    2. Identifying spaces for new long term and permanent public art and history displays
  1. Defining the future role and status of the Campus Display Project Manager position including:
    1. Working with the Campus Environment Committee and the President’s Office to define tasks.
    2. Consulting with UMW’s museums, galleries, and other relevant offices to determine if the position should remain a special assignment or be converted to a separate full or part time position

TIAA Participants – Schedule a Counseling Session!

Virtual appointments are available for our Participants with TIAA (ORPHE or 403(b) participants).  We have scheduled virtual appointments for April 15 and June 9.  Register for one of the sessions at www.TIAA.org/schedulenow.  Please see Learn How to Save With Your VRS Defined Contribution Retirement Plan for details.

UMW update on outdoor crowd size gatherings

The following message is from the Dean of Students:

As students at UMW continue to diligently practice our risk-mitigation guidelines and as the Governor of Virginia begins to increase allowable crowd capacities, we have decided to expand from 10 to 25 the number of people who can safely gather in an outdoor setting. Of course, masking and social distancing still will apply. Also, indoor gathering capacity remains at 10.

We are calling this MMDC 10/25. Our hope is that, as the weather improves, this will lead to more fun activities outside with friends. We also are looking at some organized entertainment, such as outdoor movies. We’ve all been cooped up too long!

Even so, it is imperative to remember that this pandemic is still rampant. Although the number of vaccinated individuals is on the rise, it remains critical to continue wearing a mask, maintaining a six-foot physical distance, and limiting indoor gatherings to no more than 10 people.

Our seniors who are on track to graduate are counting on the entire community being ultra-vigilant in the weeks ahead so that there will be the opportunity for in-person commencement events in May. To do this, we must avoid any spikes in COVID cases. Please commit to MMDC 10/25.

Thank you, and enjoy the balance of this semester.

Dean Rucker

A message regarding the violence in Atlanta

A message from the Office of the President. 

Dear UMW Community,

I am saddened by, and we as a community mourn, the mass murder of eight people – six of whom were Asian-American women – in Atlanta last Tuesday. These horrific killings have increased the fears and concerns of our Asian communities. Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans (APIDA) and Asian individuals have endured persistent acts of discrimination in American society for decades, but these communities have increasingly become direct targets of racism and xenophobia this past year.

The murder of these six women is a terrible reminder of this long history of anti-Asian violence in our society, as well as the tragic scapegoating and other racial and ethnic violence that has escalated, particularly during the pandemic.

We stand with our APIDA and Asian students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and we stand against the hate, discrimination, and intolerance these murders and other recent acts of violence against these communities represent.


Troy Paino

COVID Vaccination Interest — Sign up now!

A message from the COVID Co-Coordinators. 

All UMW Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for your patience. We have great news. Our local health district (RAHD) is getting ready to move into phase 1c and so has just asked us for a list of all UMW employees who are willing to get the COVID Vaccine, something we strongly encourage. Please fill out the linked form even if you have already registered at vaccinate.virginia.gov, but not if you have already received one or two doses of the COVID vaccine. Note that this access to the vaccine is because of your employment at UMW and so RAHD will offer a vaccine even if you live in another health district.

Please fill the brief form out ASAP so that we can go ahead and share this information with the Rappahannock Area Health District.

Jeff and Tim


Double Drive restrictions next two weeks

UMW Landscape & Grounds has scheduled the annual trimming of the Double Drive hollies for two weeks, beginning Monday, March 15, and continuing until March 26. 

Because of this, parking along Double Drive will be limited; please plan accordingly. This work entails large equipment and the blocking of all parking along the left (median) side of the inbound lane of Double Drive as well as the left (median) side on the outbound lane. Parking along the right side of the inbound lane will also be progressively restricted, but there will be signs, cones, and barricades; parking will open up each day as the work progresses.

Please contact Holly Chichester, Landscape and Grounds Manager, at hchiches@umw.edu or at extension #2088 with any questions or concerns.