August 3, 2021

Reminder about vaccinations and news about Delta variant

To the campus community:

Please remember to get vaccinated as soon as possible! While the beginning of Fall semester may seem a long way away, it will be here before we know it. With the two-dose protocol (Moderna and Pfizer), you must wait up to four weeks between shots, and you are not considered fully vaccinated until several weeks after the second vaccine. The time to get your first shot is now.

In COVID news, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), along with the CDC, is particularly concerned about the Delta variant, which originated in India. This variant was changed recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from a variant of interest to a variant of concern, and it is expected to become the dominant variant in the U.S. The good news is that the current vaccines are effective at protection from all variants.

The Delta variant is of particular concern because it:

  • Is more easily transmissible
  • Causes more severe illness
  • Is more resistant to proven COVID treatments

REMINDER: Vaccinations are critical for our campus to return to a sense of normalcy. Please get vaccinated if you have not done so already, and upload your vaccination documentation ASAP. Students should upload to the Student Health Center and employees should submit here. By submitting an image of your vaccination card, you are eligible for weekly prize drawings every Tuesday, starting tomorrow. Those who submit by tomorrow will be among entries for next Tuesday’s drawing.

Questions? Email COVIDVaccination@umw.edu.

Web Specialist Needed

The web site is one of the University’s most visible elements. We are seeking someone to take umw.edu to the next level. Please see and share the recent job posting.

Upcoming Postage Rate Increase

USPS has filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) requesting a price increase that, if approved, will apply a 6.8% increase to letters and flats, and would take effect Aug. 29, 2021.

The proposed Mailing Services price changes include:

Product Current Prices Planned Prices
Letters (1 oz.) 55 cents 58 cents
Letters additional ounce(s) 20 cents 20 cents (unchanged)
Letters (metered 1 oz.) 51 cents 53 cents
Domestic Postcards 36 cents 40 cents
Flats (1 oz.)

Outbound International Letters
(1 oz.)

$1.00

$1.20

$1.16

$1.30

 

More information can be found here: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2021/0528-usps-proceeds-with-request-for-postal-rate-change.htm

Death of an employee

It is with great sadness that we report the death of a member of the UMW Public Safety team. Last week, Fire Suppression Technician Alvin L. Holland suffered an apparent heart attack while in his office. Attempts to revive him by colleagues in the UMW Public Safety office, as well Fredericksburg fire and EMS personnel, were unsuccessful.

Holland, employed at Mary Washington since 2017, was a familiar face “behind the scenes” on campus as he performed maintenance on fire safety systems. For several years prior to that, he worked on UMW fire safety systems as a contractor.

Al is survived by his wife Brenda, two children, and grandchildren. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his family.

A viewing will take place next Wednesday, July 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. with another viewing at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 8. The funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday. All will take place at:

Bennett Funeral Home
8014 Lee Davis Road
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mechanicsville Little League. Al spent more than 30 years on the board of directors and volunteered countless hours to the organization. Mailing address:

P.O. Box 482
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

For UMW employees in need of grief counseling, the following resources are available:
Anthem participants: www.anthemEAP.com, 1-855-223-9277
Company code: Commonwealth of Virginia

Aetna participants: www.mylifevalues.com, 1-888-238-6232
Username and password: COVA
Kaiser Permanente participants: 1-866-517-7042

Water outage tomorrow

There will be a brief water outage July 2 beginning from 9 a.m. to noon. The following buildings will be affected:

  • George Washington Hall
  • Brent House
  • Marye House
  • Bushnell Hall
  • Mason, Randolph and The Link
  • Marshall Hall
  • Russell Hall
  • Westmoreland Hall

This outage is required as part of the water line improvements for the campus underground utility project. Please contact Jay Sullivan at 540-654-2033 or dsulliva@umw.edu if you have any questions.

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 Thursday, 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.

Take the Vaccine Survey, You Could Win!

Dear Colleagues:

Want a chance at a reserved parking space for the semester? Or, how about $250 in University Center meals, Bookstore items, or professional development funds?

All you have to do is report your vaccine status by responding to the survey – whether that means uploading a photo of your vaccination card or conveying your intention to not be vaccinated. We need to know your status.

As you are aware, in order to protect the health of our campus community, Mary Washington expects you to be vaccinated before the fall semester or to opt for weekly COVID testing. Widespread vaccination is the best way for us to return to a pre-pandemic UMW experience.

Many of you likely have already completed the vaccine process; all you need to do is upload a photo of your vaccine card. Be sure and click through to the end of the survey where it asks for documentation. This is easiest if you take a picture with your phone, then access the survey via your mobile device. If you have trouble, email COVIDVaccination@umw.edu.

To thank employees for submitting their vaccine records – and, to encourage you to get your information in ASAP – we will hold a weekly drawing to award the winner’s choice of:

  • A reserved parking spot for the fall semester
  • $250 in University Center dining, professional development, or a UMW Bookstore shopping spree

Three names will be drawn each week. If you have already submitted your proof of vaccination and have stopped getting the daily attestation emails – thank you! You will automatically be entered.

Here’s how it will work:

Each Tuesday, beginning June 29, a Human Resources representative will draw a name from the total pool of employee survey submissions. You must have your information in the system by the preceding Tuesday. For the first drawing, make sure you have submitted your vaccine status by Tuesday, June 22.

Each Tuesday from June 29 until August 3, we will pick three winners. You are eligible even if your name has already been drawn. So, the earlier you complete your survey, the more drawings you will enjoy a chance to win.  Any questions? Email COVIDVaccination@umw.edu.

Get vaccinated. Submit your information. Good luck.

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

Action Requested: Future of Work Employee Survey

Greetings UMW Employee,

As indicated in an email earlier this week, the Future of Work Planning Group is inviting you to participate in the Future of Work Employee Survey. In this survey, we ask questions to capture your thoughts and feelings regarding your experiences related to your pre-COVID and current work environments. Also included in the survey are opportunities to express thoughts for the future of work at UMW. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. All data from the survey will be used to inform the ongoing work of the Future of Work Planning Group. 

Your participation in this survey is entirely voluntary, and the survey is designed to be intentionally anonymous. We hope you feel comfortable answering a few background questions to put some context to your responses. No personally identifiable information is captured. If, in any of your responses, you give any identifying information, that information will not be shared beyond the Future of Work Planning Group. If you have any questions at any time about the survey or the process, you may contact the Future of Work Planning Group Co-Chairs, Beth Williams and Julie Smith.

The survey will close at 5 p.m. on June 28, 2021. 

Thank you very much for your time and participation!

Take the Survey

Or copy and paste the following link into your browser: http://umw.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cSV0b0JYSXKp3fw

 

Sincerely,
The Future of Work Planning Group