May 28, 2020

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

Q&A Addressed Employee Concerns

Faculty and staff tuned in yesterday afternoon for a Q&A session livestreamed on Zoom. During the hourlong video chat, Chief of Staff Jeff McClurken, Provost Nina Mikhalevsky, Vice President of Student Affairs Juliette Landphair and Executive Director of Human Resources Beth Williams answered an array of questions about their respective areas.

“I just wanted to say thank you for all you’ve done,” McClurken said at the start of the session. He pointed to moving pieces – state budget calls, fall enrollment figures, government health orders and SCHEV suggestions – that will inform future decisions.

Grades are in, and face-to-face education is still the plan for the fall, McClurken said, reminding participants of President Paino’s task force designed to wade through the uncertainty and decipher how the details of in-person learning might play out.

“We know our students want to be here,” said Landphair, who stressed that UMW’s academic mission and its responsibility to maintain safety on campus are inextricable. Departments like dining, athletics and housing, she said, are already drafting plans for multiple scenarios in the fall.

The past few weeks have revealed the strengths of our community, said Landphair, who shared examples of parents’ positive feedback on University-issued communications.

Mikhalevsky praised faculty. “You all have done an absolutely incredible job and we have the data to prove that,” she said, referencing an upcoming open forum for faculty members.

Williams echoed that positivity, adding that she has found it “inspiring” to be part of the UMW workforce, with employees who have been “adaptable and flexible,” during this time of turmoil due to COVID-19. She issued reminders about the May 15 open enrollment deadline for health benefits; Employee Appreciation Day on Monday, May 11; and ongoing open Staff Advisory Council chats on Thursdays at 11.

Q&A participants raised questions about the ability to revamp course descriptions as circumstances become more clear, the status of funding for travel and its impact on tenure-track faculty, and how furlough and salary-reduction situations could play out if they become necessary. Other inquiries delved into current enrollment numbers, where branding efforts stand and the availability of personal protection equipment (PPE) .

The panelists addressed questions to the best of their ability. McClurken’s response to the question about PPE could have been applied to many inquiries. “I promise you, we are exploring the options,” he said. “I absolutely understand your concern, and we will bring that info to you as soon as we have it.”

Learn more by viewing the May 6, 2020, Q&A session on YouTube.

Alumnus Shelters in Honduras to Save UMW-Born Nonprofit

2007 alumnus Shin Fujiyama inaugurates a school built by his nonprofit, Students Helping Honduras, which he started at UMW. SHH has built 55 schools in the impoverished country, which is currently on lockdown. While much of his staff have been evacuated, Fujiyama stayed behind in Honduras to care for 24 orphaned children. Photo courtesy of SHH.

2007 alumnus Shin Fujiyama inaugurates a school built by his nonprofit, Students Helping Honduras, which he started at UMW. SHH has built 55 schools in the impoverished country, which is currently on lockdown. While much of his staff have been evacuated, Fujiyama stayed behind in Honduras to care for 24 orphaned children. Photo courtesy of SHH.

Phoning it in isn’t an option for Shin Fujiyama ’07. At UMW, he threw himself into every assignment, task and responsibility – from serving hungry students in Seacobeck to organizing a thousand-person walkathon.

Now, living in Honduras in the midst of a global pandemic, Fujiyama is focused on rescuing the nonprofit he started at Mary Washington, Students Helping Honduras (SHH). While his American and European staff were evacuated due to the coronavirus threat, Fujiyama stayed behind to care for 24 orphaned kids at a children’s home he founded. To keep his dream alive of building schools across the impoverished country, he is relying on support from former professors and fellow alumni.

“My conviction to see this through has always been strong,” said Fujiyama, who started SHH 14 years ago with sister Cosmo, then a student at William & Mary. Since graduation from UMW, he’s lived in Honduras and oversees the nonprofit, which has over 50 chapters nationwide and has seen thousands of volunteers over the years.

Then came COVID-19.

“There’s a chance Honduras will face food shortages, civil unrest and massive outbreaks of the virus,” he said. “We need to confront those challenges together.” Read more.

On campus activities suspended through June 30

To the campus community:

As noted earlier, guidance from the state and from public health officials – including the Governor’s stay-at-home order into June – has meant that summer school instruction will take place remotely, and we are now in the process of letting incoming students know that orientation will be virtual as well. In addition, all in-person campus-based or sponsored events and programs at Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Dahlgren are cancelled through June 30.

Paul Messplay
VP for Administration and Finance

Jeff McClurken
Chief of Staff, Office of the President

McClurken Interviewed by The Chronicle of Higher Education

UMW's Chief of Staff and Professor of History and American Studies Dr. Jeffrey W. McClurken

UMW’s Chief of Staff and Professor of History and American Studies Dr. Jeffrey W. McClurken

UMW’s Chief of Staff and Board of Visitors Clerk Jeff McClurken was recently featured on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “What I Wish I Had Known” series. In the video titled ‘Teaching Gives Me Credibility with Students,’ McClurken, a Professor of History and American Studies, spoke about how continuing to teach complements his role as an administrator. It leaves him “better equipped to participate in the strategic and tactical conversations about the institution,” he said.  View the video here.

 

‘Teaching Gives Me Credibility With Students,’ Says an Administrator (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Reserving Event Space at UMW

To: All Faculty and Staff

From: Jeffrey McClurken (on behalf of the Space Utilization Committee, the Office of Events and Conferencing, and the Registrar’s Office)

As part of our movement to a single centralized scheduling system, 25Live is our new system of record for all scheduled rooms on campus. In addition to creating a unified place to find and reserve rooms at UMW, using the system will provide a one-stop location for room reservation, as well as supporting our emergency services personnel and our analysis of space usage. Here is how Faculty and Staff will reserve rooms going forward for events.

Reserving Event Space at UMW

25Live is UMW’s university-wide scheduling system. This system provides a centralized tool for scheduling events and requesting room reservations throughout the university.

There are two parts to the system. By default, all users will have access to the Express Scheduling tool for booking short meetings and study sessions in select spaces up to 30 days in advance. Approved users can also access the Event Wizard to submit requests for events all over campus.

Express Scheduling

Book conference rooms and study spaces for up to two-hour sessions.

All faculty, staff, and students can reserve meetings rooms and study space using 25Live Express Scheduling (max of two hours per session in select rooms, up to 30 days in advance). Use of this system requires no additional training, and reservations are approved immediately.

Express Scheduling can be used on any computer using the Chrome or Firefox web browsers (the system will not work in Internet Explorer) or on a mobile device.

Learn more about the 25Live Dashboard and Express Scheduling here.

 

Event Wizard

Approved users (faculty and staff) can request space for longer or recurring reservations using the 25Live Event Wizard. Most requests using the Event Wizard require review by a space manager, so may not be immediately approved. Events can be requested up to one year in advance.

The Event Wizard works best on a computer using Chrome or Firefox web browsers (the system will not work in Internet Explorer).

Faculty and staff can request access to the Event Wizard. Contact the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@umw.edu for more information.

To access the information in this email, go to umw.edu/reserve

To access the 25Live scheduling system directly, go to https://25live.collegenet.com/umw/scheduling.html#/home

A Final Note

This is a new process and there will be some issues as the university gets used to being on a centralized system. Please be patient as we work through these issues together. For general questions and technical issues with the system, contact the IT Help Desk. Academic course scheduling questions should go to Academic Deans or Evie Sherlock. Event scheduling questions for fac/staff should go to Sue Lafayette. Student group scheduling questions should go to Sandrine Sutphin.

McClurken Presents Multi-day Workshop on Digital Liberal Arts Pedagogy in Beirut

McClurken leading off the workshop with a set of shared resources

From May 3rd to 5th, UMW’s Chief of Staff and Professor of History and American Studies Dr. Jeffrey W. McClurken ran a workshop on Collaborative Digital Liberal Arts Pedagogy: Integrating Projects and Methodologies into Your Course at DHI-B (Digital Humanities Institute — Beirut) held at the American University of Beirut. The participant group of 25 faculty, librarians, and instructional technologists came from AUB or other AMICAL schools with the goal of collaborating on using Digital Humanities tools in a course, in particular in the undergraduate context of international liberal arts institutions. Participants brought syllabi (or at least the idea for a syllabus) and left with clear plans to integrate digital projects and/or methodologies into their courses.

McClurken Presents on Digital Humanities and Southern History at University of Alabama

Professor Jeff McClurken, Department of History and American Studies.

Professor Jeff McClurken, Department of History and American Studies.

In early March, Professor of History and American Studies Jeff McClurken, who also serves as the Chief of Staff and Clerk of the Board of Visitors, was invited to present on Digital Humanities and Southern History at the University of Alabama, as well as to talk with graduate students about how to integrate digital tools into their teaching and research.

See https://cw.ua.edu/51322/news/mary-washington-professor-lectures-on-southern-history-digital-humanities/ for more.

Mary Washington professor lectures on Southern history, digital humanities (The Crimson White)