Friday Futurecast — January 8

Health and safety update for university community members

Welcome to this week’s Friday Futurecast

These updates are archived on the UMaine Spring ’21 website. The University of Maine at Machias also has a Spring ’21 website.

Message from President Joan Ferrini-Mundy:

Dear members of the UMaine and UMM communities,

Welcome to the start of a new year and our ramp-up to the spring ’21 semester. For all members of our communities, the Black Bears Care and Clippers Care principles and pacts remain in effect. Whether you are on or off campus, in Maine or beyond, our guidance for protecting yourself and others, and the communities where we learn, work and live, is as relevant and important as it was last fall. 

With the incidence of COVID cases continuing to rise, please stay vigilant and protect yourselves and those you love with face coverings, handwashing, social distancing and testing. Those practices will be key for the well-being of the UMaine and UMM communities this spring. 

We will share more spring ’21 details next week. Until then, be well.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • Students living on campus in university housing and out-of-state off-campus students with at least one face-to-face class on campus this spring will be tested at designated days and times Jan. 19–22 as part of UMaine’s COVID-19 phase four testing. Phase five testing is Jan. 25–29. Participants have been or soon will be notified by email from More information about phases four and five testing is online. A COVID-19 Testing Guide for Students also is online.

  • At UMM, residential students and off-campus students with in-person classes will be tested Jan. 18–20 as part of phase four COVID-19 testing. Phase five testing is Jan. 25, with make-up test dates available as needed. More information for UMM students is online.

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • A Virtual Budget Town Hall will be held from 2–4 p.m. Jan. 14. The forum, led by President Ferrini-Mundy, will include an update on the UMaine/UMM FY21 budget and preliminary discussion of the planning process for the FY22 budget. The link to the event is All are welcome to send questions to

  • Our Spring ’21 websites are the primary sources of COVID-19-related information for UMaine and UMM. They include the latest university health and safety guidance for students, employees and community partners, and links to University of Maine System updates. As you have throughout these months of the pandemic, please reference the sites for COVID-19 news and information for the well-being of our communities.

In-person, on-campus experiences and other learning modes

  • UMaine deferred students can take advantage of Black Bear Paws, a program featuring online course options, statewide hands-on internship and 4-H STEM Ambassador opportunities, and adventure-based Maine Bound programming. More information is online.

  • Reminder: Memorial Union access is restricted to current UMS/UMaine employees and current UMaine students through Jan. 10. All doors are locked and a MaineCard swipe is available on the northeast exterior door (near the corner of the building, off MLK Plaza). All entrances will be accessible starting Jan. 11. 

  • The Bear’s Den in the Union is open for the UMaine community, including residential students living in Estabrooke and Stodder halls. Hours of operation are online. Anyone with a MaineStreet ID also can place an order for pickup at the Bear’s Den using the UMaine Dining mobile app

  • University Bookstore is open 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday and is accepting textbook reservations from UMaine students. More information is online. UMM students can purchase or rent textbooks from the online bookstore.

  • Fogler Library winter break hours are in effect until Jan. 25. Starting the first day of classes, library hours are 7:30 a.m.–midnight Monday–Thursday; 7:30–10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.–midnight Sunday. Patrons can enter the library with a MaineCard using the card swipe at the east entrance facing the Memorial Union.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • UMaine and UMM first-year students are encouraged to participate in the Make the Grade Student Success Initiative. Eligible students are those who received one F grade in the fall 2020 semester as a first-time, first-year student. They will have the opportunity to repeat a course at no tuition cost for up to four credits during the 2021 calendar year. Eligible students will be notified individually by email and by letter sent to the student’s permanent mailing address. More information and an application are online for UMaine and UMM students.

  • The UMaine New Student Orientation website contains pertinent information for new students and parents in their transition to UMaine. The next Virtual Spring Orientation Session is 6–7:30 p.m., Jan. 13, featuring panel members from Admissions, Navigate, Student Life, Auxiliary Services and Student Financial Aid. Enrollment Management offers online assistant via live chat, and will staff an Orientation Help Desk in the Memorial Union, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Jan. 19–22. UMM also has a New Student Orientation website and will host a virtual orientation session on Jan. 20; look for an email with information about how to join.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed this year with a free webinar, “Being Black in Maine: Lived Experience and Prospects for Change,” 5–6:15 p.m. Jan. 18, offered by the Greater Bangor Area Branch NAACP and the UMaine Alumni Association. More information will be on the Alumni Association webinar website.