Message to Students, March 15, 2020

From: Rita Dunston (rdunston) <>
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2020 4:55 PM
To: Rita Dunston (rdunston) <>
Cc: Nina Mikhalevsky (nmik) <>; Tim O’Donnell (todonnel) <>
Subject: Important Message from the Provost – Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dear Students,

As we begin remote instruction tomorrow, I wanted to talk to you directly and let you know that remote academic resources and support are available and to share some important news and information.

But first, I know that you are extremely disappointed and anxious about the loss of the face- to- face classroom and the daily personal interactions you have with faculty, coaches, staff, and friends. You are frustrated by the challenges of our new reality and worried about what lies ahead. These feelings are to be expected and we are also feeling them along with you. At the same time, your faculty and staff are committed and dedicated to supporting you through this period – and we when do come through this, we all will have learned from each other and grown in some unimaginable and positive ways.

Over the past few days, faculty and staff have been working hard to transition to remote instruction. Faculty are making on-going and necessary changes to their courses to ensure that you have the opportunity to complete the semester successfully, and that seniors and graduate students remain on track to graduate as planned and receive their degrees.

To support you, academic units have updated their webpages with information and links to other resources and staff are available to continue providing many of the services with which you are already familiar. Faculty and staff are committed to providing you with the best possible learning experience even if things may be bumpy while we all teach and learn in new and different ways.

Below is a list of areas available to provide to support for you:

As always, if you have any questions about the courses you are taking, changes in assignments, access to course materials, how your grade will be determined, etc. please be in regular contact with your faculty. They will be working through these questions with you.

In the next few days you will receive more information about academic advising, advanced registration, and other academic policy adjustments to support you during this time.

Finally, some advice as we go forward this coming week:

  • Create your learning space (free from distractions).
  • Check (and read) your email often.
  • Connect with your faculty, ask questions, and reach out for help; stay connected.
  • Keep to a schedule and keep your schedule free during class times if your class meets synchronously (at the same time).
  • Go to the right, authoritative sources for information and check the accuracy of what you hear or read—whether about what is happening at UMW or anywhere else; do not pass on rumors—rumors in our current environment are destructive and harmful. Get the facts.
  • Use your newfound free time do those things that will foster your well being and that of others—be caring to yourself.

At UMW, we are all focused on you, our students. That does not change as we transition to this new modality of instruction and campus environment. Stay healthy, safe, and focused on completing the semester. If you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help, please let us know.


Nina Mikhalevsky