May 28, 2020

A Message from the President

A message from the President. 

To faculty and staff:

While the conclusion of our spring semester was one none of us could have imagined in January, through the talent of our faculty and staff, resilience of our students, and hard work of all, we were able to bring our academic year to a successful conclusion. This semester was a testament to the vital role each person plays in providing a university of this quality and a mission of this significance. As we return to work following Employee Appreciation Day, I want to extend my and my cabinet’s deepest gratitude to every one of you. I hope yesterday served as a reminder that you are valued as a person and professional.

The virtual celebration of graduates this past weekend provided a joyful reflection, as well as a vantage point of what it means to be an Eagle over a lifetime. I encourage you to watch it and be reminded of how timeless our work is. To me, the video also points to how nimbly and agilely the whole campus responded when put to the test. I believe we can face the future with a sense of confidence in ourselves and each other, as well as our collective ability to navigate well if pressed into a new path.

As we look to the summer, we realize that this season will be different than any we’ve experienced. With online summer school and virtual orientation, faculty and staff are being asked to again find new ways to do their work. Success will demand our best effort, as it is critical that students’ experiences lead them to a deeper relationship with the University and commitment to return in the fall.

Students will have every right to expect us to prepare for multiple contingencies and to enhance our offerings, whatever form they may take. This spring we had to react, but now we can proactively plan for myriad possibilities. To that end, I have assembled a Task Force charged with the responsibility of considering all the options before us in terms of reopening. The Task Force is comprised of seven subgroups that have begun to examine operational issues in areas that touch every member of the University community: Public Health, Work Life, Academics, Student Life, Residence Life, Dining, and Technology.

As you may imagine, comprehensive planning in the face of so much uncertainty is enormously complex. The subgroups will look at issues both broadly and in specificity. However, each one of you understands your role in a way that no one else can. I ask you to think deeply about the issues that may not be obvious to others. If ever there was a time for anticipatory planning and thinking ahead, this is it.

I ask each supervisor to ensure that every employee not only learn about this communication, but that all be informed about the issues that will be shared in the months to come. For employees without direct access to digital communications, managers should help ensure a means of regular communication to and from them.

It is our hope to have most twelve-month employees return to campus as soon as possible. The task force subgroups will be working on this plan; however, the earliest that I anticipate a gradual, tiered return to be possible will be once the state begins Phase II of the Governor’s plan to reopen Virginia. Until then and perhaps beyond, the University will provide weekly updates about our planning and decision making. Some communications will be related to the task force and the subgroups, while others may be more general updates. In the first weekly update later this week, task force members Jeff McClurken and Tim O’Donnell will share a more detailed overview of the purpose of each subgroup.

The University is also providing weekly livestream opportunities for various groups through the month of May. This week, I will participate in the UFC meeting on May 13. On May 20, enrollment management staff will share a fall recruitment update, and on May 27, you can learn more about virtual orientation. The May 20 and 27 events will be broadcast through Zoom and YouTube, and they are open to all employees. My Cabinet and I are committed to communicating frequently and transparently so that you are aware of and understand the state of the University.

Financial matters are among your most frequently expressed concerns. This past Friday, the Board of Visitors met virtually to address University business. Citing the rising unemployment rate and financial uncertainties for families, the Board unanimously approved a tuition and dining cost freeze.  Housing will increase by 2% and the Auxiliary Comprehensive Fee will be raised by 8%. The total increase of $498 for a full-time, undergraduate student living on-campus and subscribing to a meal plan reflects a 2.1% for in-state students and 1.2% increase for out-of-state students.

These rates were set in March, prior to the impact of COVID-19. The University is working to more closely align room and board charges to the full cost of delivery for these services, while still ensuring its affordability and student success. Although this rate increase will be insufficient to meet the larger costs of operating in a COVID-19 environment and to balance UMW’s 2020-21 budget, the modest financial adjustment may help more students enroll this fall.

As I shared previously, we intend to have students on campus in August, assuming that we can do so in a way that is prudent and meets state guidelines. The Task Force groups are working to identify potential issues and establish protocols to allow us to return to on-campus, in-person classes, as well as the alternatives we must consider, from hybrid models to virtual ones. We know we won’t get every decision right nor be able to address every concern, but we will try to anticipate and plan for the ones that are most crucial. We’ll endeavor to prepare and be ready to pivot as needed.

Finally, I thank you again for all you do to make Mary Washington such an extraordinary University. Like a UMW education, the impact of its employees is greater even than the sum of its parts. It’s a powerful equation, and I am humbled to lead this University and community.


My best to all,


A Message from the Task Force

Good afternoon,

This is the first of weekly communications with the campus community from the Task Force that President Paino has initiated to answer questions about what resuming face-to-face education in the fall might look like.

As we’ve gotten beyond the initial discussion of the overarching issues, President Paino has added to the Task Force to include representatives from the University Faculty Council (UFC) and the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), as well as a number of other units and areas of expertise. The Task Force has divided its efforts into seven subgroups: Public Health, Academics, Student Life, Residential Life, Dining, Work Life, and Technology. Each of these subgroups has membership beyond the core Task Force and is focused on the many different issues that we must work on in order to be prepared to open. Subgroup topics covered include, but are not limited to, the following:

Public Health: alignment with federal and state guidelines; testing, contact tracing, isolation capabilities; sufficiency of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as policies and legal analysis of PPE requirements; regional preparedness including the adequacy of area health care facilities and relationship building with partners.

Academics: faculty development and support for remote/online instruction; governance and approval of remote/online instruction; planning for a variety of alternative ways to provide instruction; analysis of classroom limits and social distancing requirements; sufficiency of academic support services and resources; academic policies and procedures; guidance and plans for remote/online laboratory, studio, and experiential classes; cleaning of academic facilities; classroom policies.

Student Life: protocols for remote/online student support services; planning for behavioral issues; redevelopment of co-curricular events and activities in accordance with social distancing; alterations to the campus infrastructure to reduce large gatherings; athletic team competition; fitness facilities.

Residential Life: adequacy of isolation spaces; evaluation of reasonable student density and placement within residence halls; policies and procedures to support social distancing in residential spaces; move-in plans; staff training; closure and cleaning protocols.

Dining: design and implementation of plans to promote social distancing in dining facilities; development of plans for quick pick-up, delivery and takeout; processes to ensure delivery of meals to students in isolation; policies and procedures around personal protective equipment (PPE) for Sodexo workers and patrons.

Work Life: adequacy of the University’s infectious disease preparedness and response plans; implementation of infection prevention measures; policies for prompt identification and isolation of sick employees; development, implementation, and communication about workplace flexibilities and protections, including PPE; implementation of workplace protocols to encourage safe practices.

Technology: assessment and remediation of gaps in student and faculty access to computers, internet access, and specialized software (especially focused on addressing the digital divide and the equity imperative); adequacy of telecommunications and infrastructure to continue to support remote instruction and work.

See the membership lists and chairs below for the Task Force and these subgroups. We encourage you to contact members of the subgroups to share your ideas and suggestions.

Currently the Task Force is raising and beginning to answer questions about all the areas that we would need to address to be ready for the fall. The work is framed in four primary scenarios:  1) reopening campus, 2) monitoring the health conditions to detect infection, 3) containment to prevent the spread of disease if/when detected, and 4) return to remote operations if that becomes necessary. The Task Force is also identifying the needed resources to improve our readiness in all of these areas (for example, how much PPE and how many masks we would need to acquire and how). Again, the prevailing goal is to move forward on fulfilling our educational mission while addressing the safety needs of staff, faculty, and students.

The work of the Task Force is influenced by research and guidance from a variety of agencies, offices, and organizations, including Governor Northam’s “Forward Virginia” plan, the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins, the Harvard/Rockefeller Foundation “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience,” theOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American College Health Association (ACHA) and the Report of the Higher Education Subcommittee to Reopen Connecticut, among others. The Task Force is also looking forward to further guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). 

As President Paino announced in his email two days ago, in addition to a weekly email from the Task Force, you can expect to see a number of interactive sessions going forward, including the UFC meeting yesterday and more Zoom/YouTube Q&A sessions with campus leaders. We will also be setting up a web page for the Task Force with a place where you can submit your ideas and suggestions.

Our hope is to provide information to you regularly, quickly, and transparently as the Task Force and its subgroups examine complex issues and identify solutions to allow the University to move forward safely and successfully.


Jeff McClurken, Chief of Staff

Tim O’Donnell, Associate Provost


Task Force Membership

Troy Paino (chair)
Lisa Bowling
Audrey Burges
Andrew Dolby
Dave Fleming
Sabrina Johnson
Pete Kelly
Juliette Landphair
Lynn Lewis
Jeff McClurken
Keith Mellinger
Nina Mikhalevsky
Mike Muckinhaupt
Tim O’Donnell
Christy Pack
Anand Rao
Lynne Richardson
Jerry Slezak
Debra Schleef
Stuart Sullivan
Nancy Wang
Beth Williams
Kimberly Young


Public Health Subgroup

Jeff McClurken (co-chair)
Mike Muckinhaupt (co-chair)
Anna Billingsley
Lisa Bowling
Patrick Catullo
Dave Fleming
Melissa Jones
Juliette Landphair
Sue Lafayette
Lynn Lewis
Paul Messplay
Nina Mikhalevsky
Tim O’Donnell
Chris Porter
Stuart Sullivan
Nancy Wang
Beth Williams
Susan Worrell


Academics Subgroup

Nina Mikhalevsky (chair)
Andrew Dolby
Pete Kelly
Jeff McClurken
Keith Mellinger
John Morello
Tim O’Donnell
Anand Rao
Lynne Richardson
Debra Schleef
Kimberly Young


Student Life Subgroup

Juliette Landphair (chair)
Dave Fleming
Melissa Jones
Brittanie Naff
Cedric Rucker
Kelly Shannon
Nancy Wang
Tev Zukor


Residence Life Subgroup

Dave Fleming (chair)
Nolan Akau
Matt Brooks
Megan Brown
Cece Burkett
Michelle Brooks
Lee Roy Johnson
Jessica Machado
Mike Muckinhaupt
Hunter Rauscher
Stuart Sullivan
Mary Taylor
Nancy Wang


Dining Subgroup

Juliette Landphair (chair)
Dave Fleming
Mike Greenfield
Roy Platt
Chris Porter
Cedric Rucker


Work Life Subgroup

Beth Williams (co-chair)
Christy Pack (co-chair)
Rosemary Arneson
Terri Arthur
Mike Hubbard
Sabrina Johnson
Melva Kishpaugh
Mike Muckinhaupt
Michelle Pickham
Stuart Sullivan


Technology Subgroup

Jerry Slezak (chair)
Hall Cheshire
Jeff McClurken
Keith Mellinger
Tim O’Donnell
Anand Rao
Debra Schleef

Be Aware of Phishing Scams

The following message is from UMW’s Office of IT Security.

Don’t Fall for That Phish!

Email is an essential part of our everyday communications. It also is one of the most common methods that hackers use to attempt to gain access to sensitive information. More than 90% of data breaches start with a phishing attack. Phishing uses fraudulent email messages designed to impersonate a legitimate person or organization.

Please be aware of new phishing scams attempting to take advantage of COVID-19 uncertainty. Our peer institutions have reported an increase in phony messages using COVID-19 themes to grab attention. They will try to scam you, or launch phishing attacks that attempt to get you to click on malicious links or open infected email attachments. Scammers also use phishing emails to get access to your computer or network then they install programs like ransomware that can lock you out of important files on your computer. Some attackers go to great lengths to make their scam emails look legitimate by including the logo of UMW or other businesses.

Here are some of the most common indicators that the phone call or email you received is probably a scam or attack:

  • Any messages that communicate a tremendous sense of urgency. The bad guys are trying to rush you into making a mistake.
  • Any message that pressures you into bypassing or ignoring our security policies and procedures.
  • Any message that promotes miracle cures, such as vaccines or medicine that will protect you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be very suspicious of any phone call or message that pretends to be an official or government organization urging you to take immediate action.
  • Be suspicious of emails offering part-time or work from home opportunities.

If you’re unsure if an email is legitimate, or if you know for certain it isn’t, DO NOT RESPOND to it or click on any links in it. Please report it directly to Information Security at Should you have any questions or concerns regarding a suspicious email, feel free to send an email to

Thank you for helping spread the word. We appreciate your attention to this matter, and for all you do to keep UMW secure.

CommonHealth Announces Free WW Wellness Program with Oprah

A message from the Office of Human Resources.

CommonHealth, the Virginia Employee Wellness Program, has just announced a free wellness opportunity for Virginia employees.

The WW (formerly Weight Watchers) series is available to ALL EMPLOYEES (you do not have to be a WW member).

The live series is presented on Saturdays. They will also be available on demand.

Register here.





Employee Leave Options

A message from the Office of Human Resources.

To: All Staff and Faculty

The UMW community has done an amazing job responding to the challenges we’ve faced as a result of the coronavirus.  Over a short period of time, the majority of our workforce transitioned to telework and has since been finding new and creative ways to serve our students and provide excellent institutional support.

This is a reminder that, even while teleworking, there may be times when taking leave becomes necessary.  Below are some guidelines regarding leave types that are available and their appropriate usage:

Regular leave (sick, vacation, annual leave, etc.)

  • Use your regular leave for your own illness (non-COVID-19) or if you just need to take some well-deserved time off (use your department’s usual approval process).


State and Federal leave options are available for different COVID-19 scenarios:

Virginia Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) – applies to all employees including wage and adjunct positions

Under the Virginia’s revised State Public Health Emergency Leave policy you may be eligible for Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) if you:

  • Are an essential, on-campus employee and have been required by public health officials to self-monitor during the incubation period
  • Are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are caring for someone who has been diagnosed
  • Are in a job that is not conducive to telework and no other work arrangements can be made.  Every effort is being made to keep employees in a working status.
  • Are unable to work onsite due to high risk category or underlying health condition.

Leave hours available:

Full-time employees are eligible for up to 160 hours;

Wage employees are eligible for up to the maximum normally worked in a four-week period

Process for supervisors to request this leave on the employee’s behalf:

1)      Complete the online MyTime Supervisor Form for each employee, indicating the total number of PHEL hours

2)      Once approved, you will key into MyTime the total number of PHEL hours for the pay period.   A special leave code is added to the timesheet.

Please contact Denise Frye at with any questions about PHEL.


New Federal Leave: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)  

Click here to view the federal FFCRA poster.

Overview:  Additional paid leave for full time and part time (including wage) employees and expanded family and medical leave for specified COVID-19 issues that affect you and your family members. This is in addition to the State Public Health Emergency Leave described above.

Effective Date:  04/01/2020 to 12/31/2020

Two Components:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act 

If you are unable to work or telework for the following reasons, you will be provided with two weeks of paid sick leave for full-time and pro-rated for part-time employees:

  1. To self-isolate due to diagnoses with positive COVID-19;
  2. To obtain a medical diagnosis/care for symptoms of COVID-19; or
  3. To comply with recommendation of health care provider that you need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 concerns

If you are unable to work or telework for the following reasons; you will be provided with two weeks of paid leave that will pay 2/3 of your regular pay up to $200 for full-time and pro-rated for part-time employees:

  1. To care for an individual who is quarantined or advised to self-isolate;
  2. To care for a child if the school or child care provider has been closed or the provider is not available due to COVID-19;
  3. Who are experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

As a reminder, Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) participants WHO ARE ILL with COVID-19 symptoms must file a short term disability claim by calling Reed Group at 1-877-928-7021. DO NOT file a claim simply because you have been exposed but have no symptoms or are self-isolating.


Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (FMLA)

Paid leave time for the last 10 weeks of the Family Medical Leave Act Period at 2/3 of your regular rate of pay; maximum pay is $200 per day. (previous periods of 2020 FMLA usage is included).

This leave may be used intermittently and when returning to work from the emergency period you still have your job protections thein the same manner as FMLA affords you.

To be eligible:

  1. You must have worked for at least 30 calendar days.
  2. You are unable to work, including telework, due to the need to care for your child under age 18 because school or your child care provider is closed or the provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 (documentation is required).

Please contact Denise Frye at for more information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.


Thank you for all you’re doing to keep UMW moving forward while keeping yourselves and your families safe.


Beth Williams
Executive Director for Human Resources

Tuition Assistance Programs

A message from the Office of Human Resources.

As President Paino stated in his recent email, UMW is facing unprecedented financial challenges due to COVID-19, and we must make difficult decisions in order to ensure we are able to continue to serve our students.

As a part of the larger effort to reduce expenses and prepare for the coming impact to revenue, UMW has decided to suspend the Tuition Waiver and Tuition Reimbursement programs for the academic year, beginning with summer classes. This is a difficult decision for us as an educational institution, and we appreciate your understanding as we make these hard choices. We are hopeful the University will be in a position to restore these programs in the next academic year.

Thank you for your continued hard work and flexibility as we navigate these challenging times together.

Thank you,

Beth Williams
Office of Human Resources

A Message from the Staff Advisory Council

To all faculty and staff:

Please note there is a change in the time for the weekly SAC chat sessions. The meetings will now be held weekly at 11 a.m.

The Staff Advisory Council invites you to join their weekly check-in calls. Each Thursday at 11 a.m., the SAC spends up to 30 minutes sharing staff-related updates, connecting with one another, and discussing your questions or concerns.

Please join these meetings from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.

United States: +1 (786) 535-3211

Access Code: 278-321-885

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:

New Student Orientation

A message from the Office of Student Affairs and Office of the Provost.

Dear Colleagues,

For the University of Mary Washington, New Student Orientation is a special and significant time. Over the summer, orientation typically welcomes new students to campus with a program that is educational, practical, and energetic, allowing them to learn about UMW’s academic expectations and institutional values while planning for fall classes and meeting peers in an overnight visit.

This summer, we plan to deliver New Student Orientation virtually. While students and their families will not be on campus physically, they will experience UMW in an engaging and innovative way that highlights our distinctive strengths and enfolds students into our community. For 2020, the Orientation planning team has created a schedule distributed throughout the summer that utilizes both synchronous interactions and self-paced asynchronous components. It will be personal, emphasizing one-on-one advising meetings with faculty and small group interactive sessions with peers as well as offering numerous opportunities for enrichment, engagement, and fun. And finally, it will emphasize the proposition that we need to orient students for a future now understood to be indeterminate, rapidly changing, and requiring an adaptability that is illustrative of the liberal arts experience.

You will soon hear more about how to participate in the 2020 New Student Orientation. We are particularly grateful to the Orientation planning team members for their hard work, innovative spirit, and commitment to the student experience as we welcome new students to UMW. Feel free to contact or either of us with questions or concerns.



Juliette Landphair, Ph.D.

Nina Mikhalevsky, Ph.D.

Staff Advisory Council Nominations

The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) is currently accepting nominations to fill eight positions. So that our representation reflects all parts of the UMW community, we invite you to nominate a deserving colleague(s) or yourself.


  • 5 Administrative Professional (3 year term)
  • 1 Wage (3 year term)
  • 1 Classified (3 year term)
  • 1 Classified (1 year term)

SAC is an elected body of classified, wage, and administrative staff whose purpose is to:

  • promote collaboration and ensure open communication throughout all levels of the University;
  • provide an avenue for employee input and feedback and a means of participating in the design, development, and implementation of University programs, projects, and services;
  • strengthen employee awareness of critical issues and provide a valuable perspective for the University community and administration on matters of significant concern to wage, classified, and administrative staff.

Please visit the SAC’s website for more information (

Nominations will be accepted through April 24, 2020.  To nominate someone for the SAC, visit the SAC Nominations Page or paste the URL listed below into your internet browser:

Thank you for your participation.

SAC Elections Committee
Paul Boger –
Maureen Aylward – maylward@umw.edup
Pam Lowery –

Follow this link to the Nomination Form:
SAC Nominations

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:

Office of Gift Planning Spring 2020 Newsletter

The Office of Gift Planning recently released its spring 2020 newsletter, Planning Matters, which includes features on Sue Tillery ’81, whose planned gift will create the third Tillery family scholarship, as well as Lillian Lester ’20, a first-generation college student who was the recipient of the Franklin E. Tillery scholarship for three years. 16