UMaine/UMM community update — March 16

To all in our University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias communities:

With the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation affecting all of us, I want to take this opportunity to thank our students, faculty and staff, and all in our communities for your understanding, flexibility and responsiveness. We are facing an unprecedented public health crisis and are making decisions for our campuses.

Our first priority is to protect everyone’s health and safety. People across the university are making extraordinary efforts to do all that they can for our collective welfare.

I want to extend special thanks to the faculty and staff who are transforming their instruction — online and in other modalities — so that all of our students can complete their semesters with educationally sound experiences. Thanks, too, to all who are supporting those efforts with technological and pedagogical advice. We are seeing some very creative and helpful ideas coming from our faculty.

To our students: I know that these actions and decisions regarding major changes midway through the semester are presenting all of you with challenges and disappointments. I hope that you will have the best educational experiences under these new circumstances. We are here to help you complete your coursework, field work and other academic pursuits this semester. We need to hear from you when you face obstacles and difficulties, and when you have successes, great ideas and accomplishments to report.

For student-athletes, the very prudent decisions by the NCAA and our conferences are especially disappointing to you and, indeed, to all of us. We understand that and will be finding ways to support you. And for all who cannot participate in clubs, activities, student life events, recreational sports, the arts and all that make us a university, we, too, are disappointed. We urge your creativity in finding ways to connect virtually and to share those ideas.

To all of our staff, your roles are critical in this transition, providing steadfast caring, support and vision, as well as much-needed technical and operational help and continuity. Thank you.

We do not have answers to all of your questions, but we are regularly updating our FAQs with the most current information. Look for the latest information online at You can always call the hotline at 207.581.2681 or email

Be safe over spring break, wherever your travels take you or if you plan to be nearby. Our primary concern is safety and welfare for all. We look forward to the resumption of the “virtual” spring semester, which we are already constructing and implementing with our best Maine ingenuity and innovation.

The UMaine and UMM communities — students, faculty, staff, alumni and neighbors — make us what we are. Make us special. Define us. For many of us, this is home. We appreciate your love of UMaine and UMM, and your resilience, feedback and actions. Watch for regular updates, answers and information.

Together we will get through this very challenging time.

Please take care, and I wish everyone all the best.

Thank you.