View in Browser

May 14, 2020

Dear Members of Business and Finance,

I hope this email finds you and your families well. This week, we've heard concerns across that globe regarding uncertainties about reopening colleges and universities for the fall semester. I am cautiously optimistic that UM campuses can open this fall. However, it will be a complicated undertaking with many moving parts. We are collaborating with every department, both academic and administrative, to see the resumption of on-ground activities come to fruition. We must also be cognizant of the need for a Plan B. Overall, everyone is working very hard to ensure the safety of our students. It is not only impressive, but also a reminder of why we do what we do.

In the eight weeks we have been practicing physical distancing, we have become accustomed to the changes that encourage health and safety. There's tape on the floors of our grocery stores reminding us to keep a safe distance from others. There are limits to the number of people allowed in various places, and many individuals are masked and gloved. These, and other similar measures, are the types of new realities we are considering for our campuses.

While hard to accept, until a vaccine is developed or a consistently reliable treatment is identified, our lives will be different even when we are back on campus. Faculty, staff, and students will be asked to take extra precautions while on campus; and campus will look different with the addition of safety signs, wellness shields, and floor markings reminding us to physically distance ourselves from others.

Recently, the Medical campus began reopening in phases. The phased reopening does not mean business as usual before the pandemic. There are strict safety guidelines, including: appropriate physical distancing, use of personal protective equipment, and online screening capabilities for COVID-19. If you are interested in learning more about their phased reopening, please visit the dedicated COVID-19 information website for UHealth and Miller School employees (UM login required).

Similarly, we are developing a phase-in period for the Gables and Marine campuses that will vary by department with telecommuting being the primary mode of work during the first phase. For now, Business and Finance will continue working remotely, so please shelf any concerns you might have had about returning to on-site work next week.

This is a complicated and fluid process, and I recognize that this situation has been challenging. This week, I thank you for your grit and resiliency as we work toward the safest path forward. We can't predict the course of the virus nor the further disruptions it may cause. But, as we have proven thus far, we are resilient and can work through anything. Remember, this is temporary. We will get through this together, and we will soon be on campus together.


Always my best,


Jacqueline A. Travisano, Ed.D.
Executive Vice President for Business and Finance & Chief Operating Officer