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UMaine System to resume classes remotely, offer student rebates

ORONO, Maine — Beginning Thursday, March 19, all University of Maine System employees who, based on the nature of their work, are able to work remotely are being asked to work away from campus.  

Classes via distance instruction and other modalities will resume Wednesday, March 25.  

According to UMS Executive Director of Public Affairs Dan Demeritt, employees should work with their supervisor regarding arrangements and expectations.  Employees who are required to continue to perform duties on campus will receive instructions from their respective supervisors.

The system is also prohibiting group gatherings of 10 or more people and banning all university-sponsored domestic travel with narrow exceptions for limited travel within Maine.  The steps are being taken to protect student and employee health and help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

Demeritt said Wednesday that the system is planning to pay federal work study students who have been actively employed in the last six weeks and who are not able to work via remote arrangements.  For many students work study employment is critical to financing the cost of their college education and living expenses.

There are no other adjustments being made to the semester calendar at this time.  Decisions on commencement ceremonies are expected by April 15.  

“The University of Maine System is not stopping operations,” said Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “We will meet our teaching, research, and public service missions to the State of Maine which now include coordination with the Maine CDC and our healthcare systems to protect public health.

“Never in the history of the System have we seen a challenge such as that before us now.  I am immensely proud of how we are rising to meet it together,” Malloy said.

The system has committed to providing room and board adjustments for students who have vacated residence halls as part of the University effort to limit campus occupancy following spring break travel.  

Approximately 90 percent of the University of Maine System’s 5,800 residential students will have moved out of their residence hall rooms by the end of spring break.  Campus officials have been reviewing requests to remain in the residence halls after spring break on a case-by-case basis and subject to self-isolation requirements based on travel history.   

The adjustment and rebate guidance posted to the UMS Public Health Advisory webpage provides for an adjustment to students’ accounts based on the effective date of March 13, 2020.  Adjustments will be posted to the students’ existing account and will reduce the amount owed. If the adjustment results in a credit balance, refunds will be processed and disbursed to students.  

The room and board adjustment process is expected to be completed by March 31.  Students are urged to read the complete guidance and use the tools provided to enroll in direct deposit to expedite the receipt of refund dollars.

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