September 28, 2023

39th annual Ghostwalk, Oct. 27 and 28

The 39th Annual Ghostwalk takes place Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, from 5 to 10 p.m. James Monroe Museum, 908 Charles Street, Fredericksburg. Join the Historic Preservation Club for a hauntingly good time in downtown Fredericksburg for haunted ghost tours on October 27th and 29th! Tours leave from the James Monroe Museum every fifteen minutes from 5-10pm both nights.39th annual Ghost Walk

Cheer on the Eagles at Homecoming 2023, Oct. 28

UMW Athletics will again host tailgating at the Battleground Athletic Complex as part of Homecoming festivities on Saturday, Oct. 28. This exciting aspect of Homecoming, reintroduced in 2013, bridges a gap to the past when tailgating on game day was an annual tradition at the University.


Starting at 12:30, limited parking for those without a pass can be purchased for $20 per car on Saturday upon arrival.

FREE parking is available along Hanover Street, as well as the student lot at the corner of William Street and Sunken Road, and the Alvey Parking Deck.

Find more information on the UMW Eagles website.

Message From the Provost

Dear colleagues,

As you know, over the last few weeks, colleges and departments have been having conversations about the way we are organized. I am writing this morning to share the news that I have asked Deans Kelly, Mellinger, and Tabak to co-lead an effort to craft recommendations for how we might more effectively organize Academic Affairs to address the challenges that lie ahead and to accomplish our many goals. They will be joined by six members of the teaching faculty (Jackie Gallagher, Dave Henderson, Brooks Kuykendall, Lynn Lewis, Angela Pitts, and Jennifer Walker) in a working group on organizing academic affairs.

This work comes at a critical time for the University. As the four-year institution situated in Virginia’s fastest growing region, we have a vital role to play and must continue to adapt and evolve to meet current and future workforce needs. This is important work and it will require us to peer into the future, eschew self-interest and disciplinary identity, and create space for innovative and creative thinking. There are several objectives which should guide this effort:

(1)   Revitalize our curriculum to offer programs that students will find attractive, and to create a nimble environment that more easily navigates future changes in our faculty and student body. Consider ways in which we are organized (and even geographically arranged on campus) to create the space and support to reduce silos and revitalize programs in ways that are uninhibited by traditional disciplinary boundaries.

(2)   Maximize what is distinctive or what could become distinctive, leveraging the wide array of expertise among our faculty and our strategic location.

(3)   Reduce the imbalance of the current faculty distribution across the three colleges to strengthen shared governance, reduce the service burden, and provide a more even distribution of administrative support and efficiency.

(4)   Bolster recruitment, retention, and fundraising efforts.

This working group begins immediately and their recommendations should be submitted to me by December 1. Many offices, units, and individuals are logical and appropriate resources for this work and the working group is encouraged to take advantage of these resources and perspectives. There should be multiple and multi-method opportunities for input and engagement with programs as well as regular outward communication. The working group’s process should be both transparent, and inclusive. Deliverables should include:

1)    Recommendations for adjustments to our current organizational structure that would support our efforts to achieve these objectives.

2)    Recommendations for implementation tasks to be initiated in spring 2024 so that we may begin to take advantage of these recommendations in fall 2024.

3)    Recommendations about processes to facilitate curriculum changes that will flow from organizational changes. This process will clearly require additional time.

I am grateful for the time, effort and energy being invested in this task, look forward to supporting this effort and am eager to hear and learn from the many ideas and conversations that will take place in the coming weeks.


Tim O’Donnell

Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program

Dear Colleagues,

In 2022, UMW first offered a Faculty Early Retirement Incentive Program (FERIP), and the decision has been made to offer the FERIP again in 2023.   Such plans are intended to be utilized strategically by the university, and are offered when business needs dictate and resources allow.  It is likely this will be the last offering for several years. The approval letter and the plan document are available for viewing.

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 today, September 18, 2023 until November 2, 2023, with a required retirement date of June 1, 2024 (last day of work will be contract end date, May 15, 2024).

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.

Participation in the 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. Live virtual sessions with VRS and the Social Security Administration will be offered via Teams in October, session dates will be announced once finalized. Please visit the Human Resources website for important details about the program, the application and approval process, and to find other helpful information and resources.


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

Campus Rec Group Fitness Classes

Campus Rec offers a variety of group fitness classes to everyone no matter what your skill level is! From relaxation yoga to strength training, we offer students an escape from day-to-day business. Classes are every day and group fitness passes are only $25 for the entire year! If you’re interested in teaching group fitness click here!

Datapalooza Webpage Launches

Hello everyone!

Again, thanks to you for making Datapalooza 1.0 such a success.

We now have a webpage dedicated to the August event at You should log in with your UMW Net ID and password to see the talks archived there.

A few of the individuals did not use a power point during their talks, but have said they will be happy to answer questions about Datapalooza if you ask them!

As always, let me know if you have questions or need data.

Debra SchleefAssociate Provost for Institutional Analysis and EffectivenessProfessor of Sociology

Conversations With the President, Nov. 6

Dear UMW Faculty and Staff,

President Paino invites you to join him at a Conversations with the President session, offering an informal opportunity to share insights and engage in candid discussions that are aligned with our community values and in support of making University of Mary Washington the best it can be.  Occasionally, the sessions may focus on a particular issue facing us or may include other leaders who represent areas critical to institutional progress.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 26                 3:30-4:30 p.m., in Monroe Hall, Room 116
  • Monday, Nov. 6                    3-4 p.m., Virtual option

Thank you.

Office of the President

Upcoming Safe Zone Events

Safe Zone is excited to share we have numerous upcoming events. Below you can find information on each of them.

Safe Zone will be hosting a table on Wednesday, October 11 in the Cedric Rucker University Center lobby from 11-2pm in recognition of National Coming Out Day and Pronouns Day. Please come out and say “hi!” We always have fun swag to give out!

We are hosting our Faculty/Staff ally training on Wednesday, September 27 from 3-5pm. During that workshop, participants will learn about and discuss ways to be stronger allies and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. At the end of the workshop, participants will have the option of signing our ally form and receiving our ally rainbow eagle sticker. Registration is required to participate. Please email to register.

Our most popular event every semester is our Faculty/Staff book club. We will be reading “Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story” by Jacob Tobia ( this semester. We ask that participants just read as much of the book as possible and attend a single session where we informally discuss the book. It’s always a good time! The discussion of the book will happen at Red Dragon Brewery on Wednesday, October 11 from 4:00-5:30pm. We picked this date because it is National Coming Out Day. Sitting around chatting about this fantastic book with fun colleagues seemed like a perfect way to honor that day of awareness and celebration. Registration is required to participate. Please email to register. I also have a few free books that I will give out on a first come first serve basis for people who RSVP.

Return of Thursday Poetry and Prose

What’s new at UMW?  Something old!  This academic year sees the return of a longstanding events series brought to you by the Department of English and Linguistics (with a little help from our friends in Modern Languages and literatures).  Thursday Poetry and Prose invites all members of the university community to attend short 30-minute weekly readings of great literature by various faculty (and sometimes their students).  All you do is show up to Combs 139 at 5 p.m., sit back, relax, and enjoy some literary inspiration and/or respite from the daily grind.

Here’s the Fall lineup:

September 14:     Kate Haffey reads from Lorrie Moore’s How to Become a Writer


September 21:    Chris Foss reads from the poetry of Charlotte Smith


September 28:     Jonathan Levin reads from Gary Snyder’s Mountains and Rivers without End


October 05:        Brenta Blevins (& friends) read Banned Books


October 12:        Antonio Barrenechea reads from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


October 19:        Ana Chichester, Brooke Di Lauro, and the students of MDFL 201M: Afro-Caribbean Literature and Culture read Poetry in French and Spanish with English translations


October 26:        Terry Kennedy reads from the poetry of John Keats


November 02:     Gary Richards and the students of ENGL 357: Southern Lit read from As I Lay Dying


November 09:      Marie McAllister reads “First Feminists” (early pro-woman poems)


November 16:                  Marcelo Fajardo-Cárdenas and the students of SPAN 312: Intro to Lit Studies in Spanish, read poems in Spanish and English translation

JFMC Presents Latino Identities Month Events

The James Farmer Multicultural Center Presents Latino Identities Month Events

Manos Latinas: Giving Through FoodFriday September 15 – Friday October 13 | James Farmer Multicultural Center, Cedric Rucker University Center, room 319

LSA is sponsoring a month-long food drive with a local nonprofit organization to support local Latino families and their needs for food security. You are invited to help us make a difference for these families by contributing culturally appropriate non-perishable foods and goods. Together, we can help combat hunger while celebrating their heritage. We strive to embrace diversity, build connections, and foster unity as we create a stronger, more inclusive and supportive community. Change begins with us! You may bring your donations to the James Farmer Multicultural Center located in the University Center, room 319. The JFMC is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Latino Melting Pot DinnerTuesday, September 19 | 5 p.m. | Dining at the Top of the CRUC, Cedric Rucker University CenterCost with Campus Meal Plan: 1 meal swipe. For other prices, please check the Dining website at by University DiningJoin the students of the Latino Student Association and the University Dining team for a premium dining experience with the annual Latino Melting Pot Dinner, where you will meet the LSA Executive Board, learn about the diverse cultures, and taste a variety of delicious Latin and South American dishes.

Latino Identities Month Major Speaker: Dr. Rachel Gomez: Thursday, Sept. 21 | 7 p.m. | Chandler A/B, Cedric Rucker University Center

Dr. Gómez studies the influence of race and ethnicity in urban education and youth development. Her work investigates the significance of critical pedagogies on the critical consciousness and sociopolitical development of adolescents, with particular focus on identity, race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender and culture on educational experiences. From a practical and theoretical perspective, her research draws from Critical Race Theory and Indigenous ways of knowing, sociopolitical development theory, community cultural wealth and Participatory Action Research (PAR).

Fiesta de Culturas: Celebrating Latino Heritage through a Museum Exhibit and the Fiesta DC Parade | Sunday, Sept. 24 | 8:30 a.m. | Meet at GW Parking Lot

UMW students are invited to join LSA members on a trip to visit the exhibit of “¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States.” This exhibit is at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. After the visit to the museum, we will watch the annual Fiesta DC parade on Constitution Avenue that begins at 1:00 pm. If you are interested in attending, you must register here and pay a $10 fee to cover the metro fare. Spaces are limited, so register early.

For more information, contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at (540) 654-1044 or You may also visit Please email us at if you have any questions regarding disability-related accommodations.