April 13, 2021

What Happens When an Employee Tests Positive for COVID?

The university typically becomes aware of a COVID-positive employee either from positive results of a voluntary on-campus test or a self-report from the employee. We realize it can be unnerving to receive a COVID diagnosis and employee outreach is conducted promptly and with concern for the employee’s overall wellbeing. The notification of an employee with COVID puts in motion the process described below.

  • Counsel: The employee is informed that they must not come to campus for a specific period of time, typically 10-14 days depending on various factors, and they are put in touch with Human Resources to discuss available resources and leave options.
  • Contact Tracing: In addition to the contact tracing conducted by the Virginia Department of Health, UMW conducts its own internal contact tracing as described below.  A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period within two days before symptoms appeared or two days before a positive test. With the MMDC protocols in place, an employee should have few, if any, close contacts at work. Physical barriers in the workspace, such as plexiglass are also a mitigating factor when determining close contact.

o   The employee is contacted by one of three designated UMW employees, all of whom have received training in the contact tracing process and ensure appropriate confidentiality is maintained throughout the process.

o   Individuals who the employee identifies as an on-campus close contact are notified and must quarantine for 14 days. These employees are informed that they’ve been identified as a close contact, but are not given the name of the employee who tested positive.

  • Communication:  The UMW community is kept informed of aggregated positive cases via the COVID-19 Dashboard. The University has a responsibility to protect its employees’ privacy. It does not inform other members of the university community of specific positive cases unless contact tracing efforts indicate that they are a close contact, which should rarely happen if employees are following MMDC protocols.
  • Cleaning: The cleaning supplies used by Facilities, and those provided to each department, have been approved for use against the coronavirus. The Building Attendants follow a regular daily cleaning schedule, and the protocols currently in place for individual cleaning should continue to be followed.  It is no longer a recommended practice to close office buildings for specialized, third party cleaning when an employee tests positive.
  • Compliance: Health and safety are a community effort. Employees who are not following MMDC protocols should be gently reminded about the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding gatherings, and eating with others. If a gentle reminder does not elicit an appropriate response, employees should inform their supervisor or submit their concern through the Report a COVID Concern link on the UMW COVID-19 website.

Beth Williams
Executive Director for Human Resources
University of Mary Washington
540 654-1294

Announcement about Interim Provost Search

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Timothy O’Donnell accepted the offer to serve as UMW’s Interim Provost beginning July 1, 2021. Tim, Professor of Communication, has served as UMW’s Associate Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Success since 2014. Before that he served as the University Reaffirmation of Accreditation Director (2010-2013), Director of Debate (1999-2013), and Interim Director of the Speaking Intensive Program (2001-2002). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and B.A. and M.A. from Wake Forest University.

After Dr. Nina Mikhalevsky announced her intention to retire at the end of this academic year, I consulted with the University Faculty Council, academic department chairs, members of the Academic Affairs Council, University Staff Council (formerly the Staff Advisory Council), and Cabinet to seek feedback on identifying the next provost. I appreciate the wide-ranging input of these leaders as they offered their perspectives on the optimal course of action during the extraordinary demands of a global pandemic and decennial re-accreditation process. One consistent point that emerged was the need to select a principled leader who knows and values UMW deeply and is already immersed in managing the University’s response to COVID-19, as well as guiding it through a seamless SACSCOC re-accreditation process over the next two years.

It became clear that Dr. O’Donnell is the ideal internal candidate to serve as UMW’s Interim Chief Academic Officer. He has an impressive record of administrative success that demonstrates his commitment to diversity, inclusion, student success, faculty advocacy, staff support, and cross divisional cooperation and collaboration. He has served as the university’s co-COVID-19 director alongside Dr. Jeff McClurken, and he helped lead UMW’s last SACSCOC re-accreditation process. I am grateful that he is willing to help lead UMW through this critical time.

I would like to thank the dedicated search committee that helped conduct this internal search:

Angela Pitts, Chair and Professor of Classics
Justin Wilkes, Director, Student Transition Program
Robert Rycroft, Professor of Economics
Jennifer Barry, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Courtney Clayton, Associate Professor & Associate Dean, College of Education
Andrew Dolby, Professor of Biology & Chair of the University Faculty Council
Charles Tate, Director, Transfer Advising
Kimberley Gower, Assistant Professor of Business Management
Marcel Rotter, Associate Professor of German & Chair of Modern Languages & Literatures

The committee not only did an excellent job of offering advice, feedback, and guidance, they provided the valuable service of seeking input from the broader UMW community. They provided recommendations to enhance collegiality, trust, and communications across the three-college system, academic and non-academic divisions, and leadership structures. Dr. O’Donnell and I look forward to addressing and engaging the entire UMW community on these opportunities for improvement in the months to come.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. O’Donnell and thanking him for his willingness to take on this arduous, essential role.




Seeking concept papers for Quality Enhancement Plan

Hello everyone,

I am writing in my new role as Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Compliance Certification Coordinator to remind you of the upcoming deadline for the submission of concept papers for consideration as our new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

The QEP during our last reaccreditation focused on the development of first-year academic programming within the first-year seminar. New SACSCOC guidelines stipulate that our next QEP must be unique to our specific institutional needs and be based in our institutional planning and evaluation processes. What that means to us is that our QEP should have its foundation in UMW’s strategic vision and plan. These documents (UMW Strategic Vision and UMW Strategic Plan 2020) can be found on the President’s website if you need a refresher on the priorities and goals we are working toward as a University.

As you are preparing your concept paper, be sure that you (a) describe the topic or issue of student learning and/or student success to be addressed in the QEP; (b) list the plan’s goals; and (c) explain how this issue derives from our institutional planning and evaluation processes.

Submit your two-page concept paper as a PDF to Tim O’Donnell (todonnel@umw.edu), SACSCOC liaison, by March 31, 2021.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of your ideas for the QEP and working with you through this SACSCOC reaffirmation process.



Nicole Crowder



A message for Student Employee Supervisors about graduating seniors

A message for Student Employee Supervisors:

The Office of Student Activities and Engagement has opened up the graduation cord nomination process for this year’s graduating seniors. As an update from past years, thanks to sponsorship from the Inter-Club Association/Finance Committee and the area of Student Involvement, we are able to provide seniors their involvement cords for free as a gift. This likely won’t be possible in future years, but we thought it would be a nice gesture this year.

Graduating seniors who have worked on campus for at least one year are eligible to receive an orange Involvement cord and/or a green Leadership cord (if they have been in a manager/leadership position as a student employee). In order for them to be eligible to pick up a cord from SAE, we ask that you fill out this form with the names of any graduating seniors in your department. Additional information about graduation cords can be found here.

Click here to complete the form.

Later in March, eligible students will receive an email notifying them to come pick up their cord(s) from SAE. If possible, please complete this form by Wednesday, March 17.

Questions can be directed to ssutphin@umw.edu.

Virginia Retirement System Virtual Education Sessions

Registration is now open for upcoming virtual education sessions provided by the Virginia Retirement System. See attachments for more details and instructions for registration.

VRS DC Seminar Schedule – June – August 2021

VRS Hybrid 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: 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.

2021 – Annual Security Awareness Training

The following is a message from Information Technology. 


The Commonwealth of Virginia Security Standard SEC501-11.3 requires all agencies to establish and manage a cybersecurity training program and that all employees, contractors, and account owners complete security training annually. It is time again for UMW’s annual security awareness training.

This year the training will be delivered using a new training platform called Litmos. The training content will be the same as last year but presented through the Litmos service.

You will soon receive an email notification(s) from Litmos regarding your required UMW Annual Cybersecurity training.

NOTE: Some people are required to take additional training courses, depending on the data handled and processed in their department. If this is true for your department, you will see multiple course(s) to complete in the training dashboard.

You can use your UMW NetID and password to log into the training system, and the training should take about an hour to complete. It is not necessary to complete all the training modules at one time. You can save your progress and continue later.

You must complete your training by Sunday, March 28, 2021. If you do not complete the training on time, your UMW NetID account will be disabled.

If your account is disabled, you will have to contact the IT Help Desk during regular business hours to request your account to be re-enabled. You will then have up to a week to complete your training. If you do not complete your training within the allotted time, your account will be disabled again. This process will repeat until you have completed your training.

If you have technical questions or problems when taking the training, contact the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@umw.edu or call at 540-654-2255.

If you have questions about the cybersecurity training policy or process, you can contact me directly.

Thank you.

Mike Townes
Director of Information Technology Security/ISO
University of Mary Washington

EagleOne Money Uses for Faculty and Staff

Whether on or off campus, there are still a number of ways for faculty and staff to use their EagleOne money! A few of these options include:

  • Order online through the Bookstore: Items can be shipped to your house or picked up in store. Select “Faculty” at check out (applies to staff as well) to receive any faculty/staff discounts.
  • Use the GrubHub app: you can use either EagleOne or credit card as payment when you use GrubHub to order from campus dining facilities. See UMW Dining’s website for details.
  • Off Campus Merchant Partners: our off campus merchants still accept EagleOne! Visit the EagleOne Card website for an up-to-date list.
  • Send personal mail and packages through the UMW Post Office: stamps and other mailing supplies are available for purchase as well.

University Seeking Feedback

There have been many changes in UMW campus life due to COVID-19 and the resulting increase in virtual learning and teleworking. To better serve the UMW community, University Dining would like to learn whether the faculty and staff are aware of the current dining options (especially those that are designed exclusively for the faculty and staff); whether these options are being used; and whether there are new or different options that might better meet dining needs and expectations.

Members of UMW’s faculty and staff are invited to complete the online feedback form in order to give their views on these and any other aspects of University Dining services. For additional information contact Rose Benedict, University Dining Marketing Manager, at rbenedic@umw.edu.

Eagle Awards 2021 — Submit Your Nominations Now!

Eagle Award Nominations are now open! Help us recognize outstanding students and programs that have continued to persevere this year. You can find out more information about the Eagle Awards on our website.

The nomination form will be open through Sunday, March 14. Please submit nominations here.

We are also currently looking for faculty, staff, and students to serve on the selection committee. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Sandrine Sutphin at ssutphin@umw.edu.

The virtual award ceremony will be air in late April through SAE’s YouTube channel.


COB Events

The College of Business is hosting its Money Matters series every Wednesday for the next three weeks. Each session focuses on financial responsibility, and is held virtually via Zoom

Upcoming Money Matters events include:

02/17 @ 7 pm: Credit Cards, Loans, and Credit Scores with Dean Lynne Richardson
02/24 @ 7 pm: Insurance with Rob Whitt ’93
03/03@ 7 pm: Saving and Retiring Planning with Chris Fines ’99

The COB welcomes all students to attend these events. To register, please email Lucy Quann at lquann@umw.edu.