UMaine/UMM coronavirus response frequently asked questions, March 12

March 12, 2020 | Coronavirus
We understand that the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic is necessitating constant decisions and revisions of plans as we seek to ensure that our community is safe, and that we do our important part in averting the spread of this virus. I appreciate the flexibility, creativity and efforts at communication in which all of us are engaged. We will update the following pages regularly as information becomes available. Please follow all guidance for health and well-being.

An information line — 207.581.2681 — is staffed around the clock for general guidance questions and will route campus-specific inquiries to staff at the individual universities.

Questions also can be emailed to umaine.alerts@maine.edu.

We are doing our best to answer all questions in as timely a manner as possible, whenever information becomes available.

Take care of yourselves.

President Joan Ferrini-Mundy


Room and board, and other budget questions

Will I be reimbursed for my room and board for the remainder of the semester?

University of Maine System students and their families will not be financially disadvantaged by the university’s move to online classes and residence hall restrictions in response to the coronavirus public health crisis. Students will be able to complete the course of study they have paid for this semester and room and board charges paid through family contributions will be refunded on an appropriate and prorated basis. The University of Maine System will post guidance on requesting room and board refunds on our public health advisory website by noon on Wednesday, March 18. The university is working quickly and responsively to address individual student and family concerns as we take unprecedented steps as a public institution to protect student health and help limit the spread of the coronavirus in Maine.

Will students receive a refund check? Roll over into next semester? 

Adjustments will go on the student accounts. They can choose to leave it there or a check can be issued.

Will we potentially be getting a refund back for the half of the semester we’re not at UMaine? Or could that money be used for next year’s tuition?

There is no refund for tuition. Classes continue this semester with varying modalities.

UMaine, UMM community members returning to campus

What protocols should be followed by faculty and students returning to campus from out of state?

Refer to the University of Maine System guidelines for university travel for business and personal travel for guidance and up-to-date recommendations about return from travel to affected areas and other topics. Should you be returning from a CDC Level 3 area, you may be required not report to work and strongly encouraged to adhere to a self-isolation period of up to 14 days per CDC guidelines. Should you be displaying symptoms after travel, call your health care provider, and follow the recommended self-isolation period while awaiting confirmation of the cause of your symptoms. In both cases, please consult with your supervisor immediately upon return about avoiding presence at work and possible work-from-home options.

If you have been asked to self-isolate by a medical provider in relation to coronavirus and are awaiting test results, please voluntarily contact Richard Young (ryoung@maine.edu; 207.356.2518) the confidential University Health Services liaison to help inform the UMaine or UMM communities. Thank you for your understanding of the extraordinary circumstances this situation presents for all of us.

Student employees

Should graduate research assistants and graduate teaching assistants continue to report to work like other university employees? What about undergraduate student workers?

Graduate research and teaching assistants, and undergraduate student employees should report to work at the direction of their supervisors.

Faculty and Staff

What guidance do you have for employees regarding coronavirus?

To assist University of Maine System employees with workplace policies and procedures connected with the COVID-19 situation, the University of Maine System Office of Human Resources has prepared a resource guide that contains helpful information on well and sick employees, paid sick leave, return to work, return from travel, employees at high risk, telecommuting, critical operations and updating contacts.

Academics

What happens with credits for classes that are not able to be completed online?

Our plan is to make it possible so that all courses can be completed in varied pedagogically appropriate ways, including online and virtually.

What should we do if we have rented textbooks, but still need them for the rest of the semester and, therefore, cannot return them before the deadline? 

If you rented textbooks from University Bookstore, you will be advised on how best to return them at the end of the semester.

If classes will be shifting over to an online format, how will the lab component be handled?

Faculty members will advise students of appropriate completion solutions.

Will summer courses that were to be held on campus still be available? Or will they also be online?

We will provide updates when they become available.

Is there the possibility that class meetings will resume this semester?

In-person classes will not resume this semester.

What should students do when they have senior capstone experiences, including field work, required for degree and licensure completion? 

Faculty members will advise students of appropriate completion solutions.

I will not be able to effectively participate in the online classes because I do not have a computer or stable internet connection at home state. What should I do?

Please contact Dean of Students Robert Dana, rdana@maine.edu.

Residence life

Should students take all their personal items when they leave campus for spring break?

Students must take their belongings. Residential students are asked to move out by March 22 and will not move back in this semester. If that is not possible, arrangements can be made by contacting Andra Bowen, andra.schofield@maine.edu.

Are students moving out permanently for the entire semester?

Yes.

Can students who live and work on campus continue to stay in the residence halls this semester?

Unless there are approved extenuating circumstances, students are expected to move out of their rooms. An exemption request form is available on the Student Life website.

Commencement and other events

Will the Grad Fair and Commencement occur?

The Grad Fair will be postponed. Decisions on Commencement are forthcoming.

Will UMaine Accepted Student Days occur?

Due to the public health concerns associated with COVID-19, the University of Maine is providing virtual Accepted Student Day programs this spring. The University of Maine Office of Admissions is committed to ensuring our students have the information needed to make their college decision, and will continue to remain fully engaged with prospective students and families as they navigate the college selection process. Please contact the Office of Admissions with any questions: 207.581.1561; umaineadmissions@maine.edu.

Ongoing campus life

Are the rec center and library still going to be open?

New Balance Student Recreation Center is open to current members only (student, staff, and current members). Fogler Library and Merrill Library are open at this time.

What is the status of Summer University, summer camps and other events?

Decisions are forthcoming.

Will the University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias close?

The universities have no plans to close at this time.

Are Collins Center for the Arts events occurring as scheduled?

The Collins Center for the Arts is suspending all ticket sales through the month of March. A list of the shows that have been postponed or canceled through March 31, 2020 is online.

What happens if students have packages coming in to the campus Postal Center after March 22?

Student mail/packages will be forwarded to the address listed in MaineStreet, just as we do for the end of semester in May. Students also can make special arrangements with the Postal Center if the package is already en route.