Warhawks Return

WARHAWKS RETURN

Prioritizing the safety and success of our university family for the Fall 2020 semester

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is planning to return to a modified normal at both our Whitewater and Rock County campuses beginning with the fall 2020 semester. The first day of classes is Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Our fall instruction will include a mix of in-person, hybrid and online course delivery options. The expectation is that everyone at UW-Whitewater — including students, faculty, staff and visitors — will wear face coverings on campus, indoors or outdoors, unless they have a health condition that limits their ability to wear a mask or are in a situation where they can be fully socially distant such as in a private office or single residence hall room.

UW-Whitewater cares deeply about the health and safety of our community. Our Facilities Planning and Management crews have completed extensive plans for the frequent cleaning of our buildings and are installing signage to encourage safe behaviors. We also are working with health experts in Walworth, Rock and Jefferson counties and the University of Wisconsin System regarding testing and contact tracing and what to do should the virus be detected on campus.

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, university leaders have met and will continue to meet on a regular basis regarding pandemic planning in order to ensure that all steps necessary to support the safety of the campus are implemented. The university will continue to monitor coronavirus developments both domestically and abroad and will provide the campus with key updates as appropriate.

COVID-19 is not specific to an ethnicity or race — disease does not discriminate. Please remember our campus values as you interact with others. Racist behaviors, discrimination or stereotyping are not tolerated at UW-Whitewater. If you experience harassment or discrimination, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to file a hate bias report.

This website is intended to serve as a resource for the Warhawk family and our campus community, and we urge people to monitor it regularly for updates.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Prioritize student and employee health and student academic progress in planning and delivering our mission.
  • Maximize in-person instruction.
  • Offer open and available housing for students.
  • Offer flexibility for employees, particularly in high-risk categories, to work remotely to the extent practicable.
  • Maintain public and stakeholder confidence through frequent and transparent communications in a variety of modalities.
  • Monitor the impact of decisions on our financial viability.

Upcoming Town Hall Events

Chancellor Dwight C. Watson and members of the senior leadership team will host a series of Webex events on Thursday, July 9, to update faculty and staff, the greater Whitewater and Rock County communities and students and their families on returning to the university. The events will be recorded and posted to this website for those unable to join during the scheduled times.

Watch the July 9 Webex events »


Warhawks Return Practices, Fall 2020 [PDF] »
face covering

Wear a face covering

Practice social distance

Practice social distancing

Wash hands frequently

Wash hands frequently

Stay home if you're sick

Follow new directional signage

Follow directional signage

One person in an elevator at a time

Limit number of people in elevators at one time

Stay informed

COVID-19 Self-Check Survey and Information Hotline

In keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, UW-Whitewater has implemented a self-check survey to be completed by every employee who reports to campus in person for work or other needs. The survey is to be completed each workday before reporting to any campus facility. This survey is not required for those employees who are working remotely and are remaining off-campus.

COVID-19 Self-Check Survey »

If you are not able to access the online survey, you can call the COVID-19 hotline at 262-472-1362 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday-Friday to have the survey filled out verbally.

Call the COVID-19 hotline with any questions on university operations related to Warhawks Return or COVID-19. You can also email covid19info@uww.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Classes will begin as planned on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Beginning Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, all courses will move to a fully online course modality for the remainder of the fall semester. Final exams week is Dec. 14-18 and will also be remote/online. A decision about any changes to the winter or spring terms will be made at a later date.

Warhawk Athletics, in conjunction with the NCAA, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) and UW-Whitewater, continues to monitor the latest CDC guidelines related to COVID-19. The safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff is of the utmost importance. At this time, fall sports will proceed as normal with protocols in place to protect the health and well-being of student-athletes, coaches and staff. Student-athletes are scheduled to report to campus starting Aug. 10. The Williams Center remains closed to all patrons until further notice. Students looking to access the Williams Center for recreational purposes should visit the Recreation Sports and Facilities website or call 262-472-1145 for the latest information.

Organizers of meetings, programs and events will use judgment when determining whether these activities can be held successfully while abiding by social distancing and personal protection guidelines. All university-led activities conducted on and off campus require reasonable efforts be made to ensure compliance with six feet of separation between individuals. This may include limiting the number of attendees by offering multiple event times or multiple event locations. However, virtual or hybrid events are highly encouraged to minimize face-to-face interactions.

Academics and Classes

A safer environment will be provided by:

  • Requiring a 6-foot minimum distance between individuals
  • Requiring face coverings at all times while in classroom
  • Equipping classrooms with cleaning stations including sanitizing wipes, disposable face coverings and hand sanitizer

Deans and department chairs will determine any additional safety measures needed for faculty within their respective areas to maintain safety using these guidelines.

Faculty and instructional staff are expected to accommodate students who may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 or have other conditions that make them unable to attend face-to-face classes. Additionally, we are encouraging all faculty and staff to create flexible attendance and excuse policies that encourage sick students to stay home and that do not require a documentation of illness.

Field trips or off-campus labs will be conducted using the same guidelines as other courses. Face coverings, social distancing and other current recommendations will be maintained to provide a safer environment.

All study abroad and travel study programs are canceled for the fall 2020 semester. The reasons for cancelation include rising infection levels, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State travel warnings, passport and visa processing delays and partner universities canceling programs.

Students are encouraged to defer their program to a future semester, or consider virtual study abroad programs or courses being offered by many of our partners and providers.

Decisions on study abroad and travel study programs scheduled for January 2021 and beyond will be announced this fall.

Employment

Yes, student employment opportunities currently are and will remain available.

Future Students

We will be offering small, in-person campus tours for the UW-Whitewater main campus throughout July and August. These tours will be guided by a student or admissions staff member and will cover a wide range of information. However, not all areas of campus traditionally seen on a tour will be available as some campus facilities are closed. Tours will have a maximum of 10 individuals and follow CDC guidelines to ensure safety of our guests, students and employees. Visit our tours of UW-Whitewater web page to schedule.

We have a variety of virtual options where one can learn about the university, ranging from a virtual campus tour to an interactive information session with one of our admissions counselors. Please check out our tours of UW-Whitewater web page for details.

Interested in visiting our Rock County campus? Please inquire about a visit through the Warhawk Solution Center at 608-758-6541 or take a virtual tour to learn more.

For incoming new freshman at both campuses, an admission policy is now in place that allows you to apply for admission as test-optional applicants. We still encourage you to take the ACT and/or SAT standardized tests when possible. If you think your scores are an accurate representation of your ability, please send them our way and we will consider them along with your other materials during our holistic review process. If you do not believe your test scores represent your abilities, feel free to utilize our test-optional process and we will review your admissions materials without your test scores.

Visit our Admissions web page to review the admissions steps for each applicant to UW-Whitewater.

Health and Safety

While the university is currently planning to distribute one mask per student, additional face coverings may be needed and students should arrive to campus with additional face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for their personal use. Students are also advised to bring a digital thermometer.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will need to move into isolation. The number of days in isolation depends on several variables that will be considered along with health department guidelines; generally, from 10 to 14 days. A student who tests positive will be asked to return to their home to isolate, as this helps prevent potential further spread to other students and may provide greater support to the affected student. For students who live in a residence hall and are not able to return home, there will be designated space on campus to move into isolation. Students in isolation would still be able to “attend” class online.

University Health and Counseling Services operates and is staffed as a primary care clinic, not an urgent care or walk-in clinic or emergency room. Healthcare delivery will include telehealth visits. Precautions will be taken when students visit in person, including screening questions, designated entry points or appointment times for ill students and direct entry to exam rooms to avoid sitting in the waiting room.

UHCS will have a limited number of COVID tests that will be used for students who show signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or are asymptomatic with recent known or suspected exposure to the virus. The university is partnering with local public health agencies and hospital organizations in order to provide services to students on both the Whitewater and Rock County campuses.

Housing and Dining

Extended Drop-Off Only will take place Aug. 21-29. This will replace the traditional Move-In Day and has been created to help ease the move-in process for students and their families and to allow for social distancing. The number of time slots that will be available during each period will be limited for each building. This should reduce the long lines waiting for key pick-up, parking in unloading zones, and any congestion in stairwells and elevators. Everyone will be required to bring and wear a face covering. Students will receive detailed information on the Extended Drop-Only process from University Housing in late July.

Operations and social practices

  • Students will be required to wear face coverings when they are not in their residence hall room or using the bathroom.
  • Furniture will be spaced out and social distancing will be expected in common areas.
  • Front desks will have protective barriers in place.
  • Residence hall programming and other community development activities will be restructured to respect social distancing, accommodate smaller numbers and increase digital and virtual offerings.
  • Stairwells and elevators will include signage to prioritize/minimize traffic.
  • All drinking fountains will be converted to water fill stations only.
  • Computer labs will have various protective measures implemented.

Extensive cleaning procedures

  • All residence hall buildings will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before the arrival of students.
  • Hand sanitizers will be installed at all front desk areas.
  • Extra soap dispensers will be installed in bathrooms.
  • Gloves and disinfectant cleaning supplies will be provided behind the front desks.
  • Bathrooms and showers will be disinfected daily, and other high-touch areas such as bathroom sinks, and handrails and door handles will be disinfected twice per day.

University Housing is working on other practices and procedures that will be in place as well.

Things-to-bring checklist for your stay in the residence halls

  • Microwave (900 W max)
  • Dishes
  • Food/Snacks
  • Mini refrigerator (4.7 cubic ft. max)
  • Utensils
  • Storage containers

Bathroom items

  • Shower shoes
  • Towels
  • Bath robe
  • Shower caddy

Electronics

  • TV
  • Alarm clock
  • Laptop
  • Stereo/soundbar

Miscellaneous

  • Address book
  • Bed linens
  • Dry-erase board
  • Umbrella
  • Stamps
  • Laundry bag
  • Fan
  • Calendar

Dining Services is working to enhance its safety and service methods to provide meals for students across our campus dining locations. We are working closely with the university, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments to ensure we are following all proper guidelines to safely provide food on campus.

Here are some of the changes you will see upon your return:

  • Expanded to-go options in all retail locations
  • Added to-go options in residence dining (all-you-care-to-eat locations)
  • Served food/drink only, as no self-serve options will be available
  • New social distancing queueing procedures with traffic controls in each location
  • Seating areas adhering to social distancing guidelines
  • Increased cleaning protocols and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Barcode scanners at registers to eliminate exchange of a person’s HawkCard

Yes — residence halls and dining services will remain open for students who prefer to remain on campus.

Students with Disabilities

The Center for Students with Disabilities is committed to maintaining the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our center will be operating under the university’s guidance, which will require face coverings unless health restrictions do not permit. We will require scheduled appointments (no drop-in meetings), limit student in-person appointments, continue virtual meetings as much as possible, and provide some fee-based services in a remote model.

The Center for Students with Disabilities works with students who have a documented disability, health condition or immunocompromised condition that could be exacerbated by COVID-19 who need related support or accommodations, including an exemption from wearing face coverings. Students should reach out to the center as soon as possible regarding transitioning back to campus life and the classroom.

If you think you may need on-campus housing accommodations, please contact the Center for Students with Disabilities immediately.

Accommodations and Work Flexibility

The option to work remotely depends on the work needs of your unit and requires a discussion with your supervisor.

The same process from the spring semester will be followed — employees who need assistance because of school cancellations or closings will be required to file for the extension of Family Medical Leave Act, now called E-FMLA.

If the employee or family member in the same household has underlying health conditions, the employee will be required to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act and request an accommodation to work remotely.

Campus Life

Dining Services is working to enhance its safety and service methods to provide meals across campus dining locations. We are working closely with the university, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments to ensure we are following all proper guidelines to safely provide food on campus.

Here are some of the changes you will see upon your return:

  • Expanded grab-and-go options in all retail locations
  • Served food/drink only, as no self-serve options will be available
  • New social distancing queueing procedures with traffic controls in each location
  • Seating areas adhering to social distancing guidelines
  • New catering menus to eliminate the buffet style method of service
  • Increased cleaning protocols and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Barcode scanners at registers to eliminate exchange of a person’s HawkCard

To save money and time and to reduce the risk of cash exchange, we encourage you to check out our Faculty/Staff MyMeal meal plan options.

Health and Safety

Yes, face coverings will be provided to employees and hand sanitizer will be available in multiple places, especially in high-traffic areas.

The university has and will continue to practice the safety precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Wisconsin, county health departments and the University of Wisconsin System. Detailed practices can be reviewed in the Warhawks Return plan.

COVID-19 testing for faculty and staff will come from that employee’s primary care physician. University Health and Counseling Services does not provide services for faculty and staff. There will not be mandatory testing, but employees who are sick are asked to stay home, and to get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19 infection. The UW-Whitewater COVID-19 hotline (262-472-1362 or covid19info@uww.edu) has information on free testing sites.

Instruction and Classroom

A safer environment will be provided by:

  • Requiring a 6-foot minimum distance between individuals
  • Requiring face coverings at all times while in classroom
  • Equipping classrooms with cleaning stations including sanitizing wipes, disposable face coverings and hand sanitizer

Deans and department chairs will determine any additional safety measures needed for faculty within their respective areas to maintain safety using these guidelines.

The university is exploring the purchase of amplification devices for instructional staff and faculty.

Disposable face coverings will be available in the classrooms to offer if the student does not have their personal face covering. Instructors are suggested to use the opportunity to remind the student of their role as a member of the community and their role in protecting each other.

The university will follow current health department guidelines. At this time, quarantine is required if someone is within 6 feet distance, for 15 minutes or more, of a person who tests positive. Classrooms seating configurations will be arranged so that individuals will be at least 6 feet apart. While social distancing is most important, face coverings also help protect each other and decrease the need for quarantine.

Field trips or off-campus labs will be conducted using the same guidelines as other courses. Face coverings, social distancing and other current recommendations will be maintained to provide a safer environment.

Warhawks Return Planning

Governance leaders have been participating in Chancellor’s Cabinet meetings to share their voices and provide other perspectives on guidelines. In addition, deans and other department chairs have been working with their faculty and instructors to coordinate how the safety guidelines in each unique discipline need to be addressed.

Visitors and community members are expected to follow the practices described in the Warhawks Return plan, including wearing a face covering, maintaining social distance, following directional signage and practicing proper health hygiene. Do not come to the university if you are sick.

From the early stages of the pandemic, UW-Whitewater has been actively planning and responding to keep our university and our local communities as safe as possible. To ensure consistency in our efforts and to coordinate resources, university leadership is in regular contact with our partners including UW System, county health departments and the State of Wisconsin. The Emergency Operations Center Resource Support Team includes representation from the City of Whitewater and the campus is also a member of Rock County's emergency communications group. UW-Whitewater's Perkins Stadium served as a COVID-19 test site on May 27-30, offering community members a local opportunity to be tested. The university continues to follow federal, state and local guidelines to promote the health and safety of our communities.

How We Planned for Warhawks Return

Emergency Operations Center/Resource Support Team

The Emergency Operations Center/Resource Support Team (EOC/RST) was activated during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and has broad-based representation across the university. The Chancellor’s Cabinet tasked the EOC/RST with developing a plan to include instructional scenarios, aspects of student life, impact on facilities, managing virus transmission and cases and the financial impact and communication of these recommendations. Any recommendations from the EOC/RST are sent to the Cabinet for approval or adjustments. The Cabinet, led by Chancellor Watson, is the decision-making authority. Additional committees and subcommittees are working across the campuses to perform this critical work.

Feedback and Updates

This plan is fluid, based on the current behavior of COVID-19, federal, state and local guidance, financial viability, and employee capacity to implement and maintain the plan. We will continue to evaluate the plan and update as necessary. The plan is the result of months of research, planning and implementation. The draft document below shows the amount of detail and considerations for successfully carrying out university operations under multiple scenarios.

Read the June 12 Warhawk Ready DRAFT plan [207-page PDF] »

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns as we return to campus and the plan is implemented, please contact Chief Matt Kiederlen, EOC chairperson, at kiederlm@uww.edu.

Dwight Watson, Chancellor
Greg Cook, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Grace Crickette, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs
Artanya Wesley, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Greg Rutzen, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
Ryan Callahan, Interim Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Kenny Yarbrough, Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Sara Kuhl, Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Marketing and Communications
Lynsey Schwabrow, Chief of Institutional Research and Planning
Kari Heidenreich, Chief of Staff and Government Relations

Matt Kiederlen, Chief of Police, EOC chairperson
Jeff Angileri, Director of University Marketing and Communications
Trisha Barber, Assistant Controller
Frank Bartlett, Director of University Housing
Jason Burt, Police Lieutenant and Emergency Manager
Taryn Carothers, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs
Patricia Clasen, Interim Dean of College of Integrated Studies
Janelle Crowley, Chief Human Resource Officer
SueAnn Farnsworth, Assistant to the Chief of Police
Lance Fredrick, Director of Risk Management and Safety
Steve Hillmer, Intercollegiate Athletics
Brad Marquardt, City of Whitewater
Julie Martindale, Director of Health Services
Angela Meldonian, Interim Executive Director of the University Center
Kristin Plessel, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Connie Putland, Assistant Chief Human Resource Officer
Aaron Raap, City of Whitewater Police Chief
Eric Radkowsky, Director of Buildings and Grounds
Matt Schwartz, Assistant Chief of Police
Terry Tumbarello, Director of Residence Life
Jody Wentworth, Whitewater Student Government President
Brian Zobel, Director of Plant Management