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Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

Return to this page for regular community updates on the University of New England’s response to the current novel coronavirus outbreak, known as COVID-19. Our COVID-19 FAQ page is updated daily, and below is a listing of announcements that have been sent to the UNE community.

The University is monitoring this evolving situation and is committed to supporting the health and safety of our students, professional staff, faculty, and the broader community.

For general information visit the Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus website and view the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories.


Update on Reopening of Research Operations
This letter is intended to provide an update on the plan to ramp up research operations in a phased manner. Our efforts are focused on ensuring the safe, phased re-opening of research operations, including laboratories, field research activities, human subjects research, and other scholarly activities that were paused or closed due to emergency operations directives associated with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The Office of Research and Scholarship, in collaboration with Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is reviewing a three-step plan for resuming research operations.

Read the full Research message from May 28, 2020 (PDF).


Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF): University of New England 30 Day Fund Report

Read the 30 Day CARES Act Report.


Announcement of Virtual Graduation Events for Individual Colleges
I am pleased to announce that UNE will hold virtual graduation events for each college during the weekend of June 12 to 14. More information about the individual online College Graduations will be forthcoming. Details will be posted to the UNE Commencement webpage as they become available.

Read the full Community announcement from May 18, 2020 (PDF).


Announcement of Federal CARES Emergency Funds
As part of the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the University of New England has been approved for a one-time, limited allocation of funds designed to assist degree-seeking students in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruption of campus operations. At this time we would like to share with you the process for applying for relief funding.

Read the full Student announcement from May 8, 2020 (PDF).

Update to UNE Community: May 4, 2020

Announcement of Fall Reopening of UNE’s Maine Campuses
I am writing to let you know that our Committee on Contingency Planning for AY 21 has been hard at work exploring if, how, and when we will be able to safely welcome students back to our campuses. Based on the committee’s findings and analysis to date, I am happy to report that the University of New England will reopen our Maine campuses in time for the fall semester.

Read the full Community announcement from May 4, 2020 (PDF).

Update to UNE Employees: April 14, 2020

Announcement of Creation of Contingency Planning Committee for AY 21
Over the past month, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed almost every aspect of life at UNE. I thank you for pulling together and making this transition go as smoothly as possible under the circumstances. Now, as we enter the final weeks of the spring semester with the course of the pandemic still uncertain, we must turn our attention to planning for the various contingencies we may face in the fall. Toward that end, tomorrow, April 15, I will charge an Ad Hoc Committee on Contingency Planning for AY 21. Our colleagues on the committee will work to bring as much insight as possible to a number of specific questions related to how we may best fulfill our educational mission under various future scenarios.

Read the full Employee message from April 14, 2020 (PDF).


Extension of Temporary Telework/Flexwork Policy Until Further Notice
We appreciate the efforts all of you have made to adjust to the current situation by modifying your work life. While we look forward to the days when we can all return to campus, we are still not able to do so at this time. For the health and safety of those who must remain living or working on campus, limiting the physical presence of others remains a top priority. To that end, and in compliance with executive orders issued by Governor Mills and recommendations by the Maine CDC, UNE’s temporary telework/flexwork policy will remain in place until further notice.

Read the full Employee notice from April 11, 2020 (PDF).


Notice of UNE’s Decision Not to Increase Tuition, Fees, Room, and Board
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event impacting our world, nation, and the University of New England. This pandemic surfaced quickly and has introduced financial uncertainly into the lives of our students and their families. With this in mind, the University of New England’s Board of Trustees and senior leadership of the University decided to not increase tuition, fees, and room and board costs for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Read the full Tuition message from April 6, 2020 (PDF).

Update to graduating students: April 3, 2020

Notification of Process and Timeline for Requirement Completion and Degree Conferral
As you know, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, UNE has made the difficult decision to postpone its College graduation celebrations and its University Commencement ceremony, which will be held at some point in the near future. We are in the process of evaluating our options for when these events can take place based on the continually evolving coronavirus situation, but please be assured that we will hold these events as soon as practical so that we can all celebrate your achievements. In the meantime, we wish to share with you the process and timeline by which you will complete your requirements and be officially graduated and provided with your UNE diploma.

Read the full Graduation message from April 3, 2020 (PDF).

Update for Employees: April 1, 2020

Notice of UNE’s Compliance With State Stay-At-Home Orders
Yesterday, Governor Mills issued a statewide stay-at-home order effective until at least April 30. Although some recent media reports have not listed colleges and universities as essential businesses, they have been designated as essential by the federal government, whose guidelines are incorporated into the governor’s order. Therefore, UNE’s current telework/flexwork policy (PDF) is in compliance with this order. If employees who do have to report to campus should be questioned by authorities during their commute to or from campus, they should show their University ID and explain that they are commuting for work at UNE to perform duties deemed necessary to be on-site by the University.

Read the full Employee message from April 1, 2020 (PDF).

Update on Commencement: March 30, 2020

Notice of Postponement of Commencement Events
It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that we have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the University’s commencement events. This is not a decision we make lightly, but the safety of our students, their loved ones, and our faculty and professional staff must be our highest priority.

Read the full Commencement message from March 30, 2020 (PDF).

Update for Employees: March 24, 2020

Notice of UNE’s Compliance With Maine and Portland Business Restrictions
Today, the state of Maine and the city of Portland announced further restrictions on businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19. This executive order and proclamation follow similar actions taken by several municipalities and states across the country. Faculty and professional staff who are working remotely should continue to do so, and employees who have not yet requested remote work through UNE’s temporary telework/flexwork policy, if appropriate, should work with their supervisors to submit those requests. Employees who are working on campus to maintain essential University operations should do so using social distancing practices and in measured capacity.    

Read the full Employee message from March 24, 2020 (PDF).

Update from President Herbert: March 22, 2020

Notice of Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in the UNE Community

During a public health crisis, it is vitally important that information be shared with the community in a timely fashion while protecting patient privacy. In keeping with that commitment, I am writing to inform you that a UNE employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

Read the full Community message from March 22, 2020 (PDF).

Update on Library buildings and library services: March 19, 2020

Library Buildings Closed; Library Services Still Available
Following the recent statewide guidance of Governor Mills and the Maine Centers for Disease Control, the Ketchum Library Building on the Biddeford Campus and the Abplanalp Library Building on the Portland Campus will close their physical spaces starting March 19 until further notice. However, the vast majority of library resources are available online and are available 24/7 at

Read the full Library message from March 19, 2020 (PDF).

Update to alumni and other community members: March 19, 2020

Notice of Giving Day Cancellation

While the tradition of celebrating our community by supporting students during our annual Giving Day has become one of my favorite days on campus, my team and I are acutely aware that the priority for many is recalibrating their lives as we adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we have decided not to hold our annual Giving Day next week.

Read the full Institutional Advancement message from March 19, 2020 (PDF).

Update to Research Community: March 18, 2020

Guidance on UNE Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Office of Research and Scholarship (ORS), including the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Research Integrity, are available to help researchers in their research endeavors during the pandemic. We must remember that it is vitally important that we work to lower the risk of infection in our community by promoting social distancing and limiting the size of community gatherings. Therefore, we need to severely reduce the number of face-to-face interactions among our faculty, students, and professional staff and find new ways to pursue our research goals during the pandemic. For research-specific guidance, please see the following information.

Read the full Research Community message from March 18, 2020 (PDF).

Update to UNE Employees: March 17, 2020

Update to Temporary Telework/Flexwork Policy
The attached updated temporary policy is designed to help you, our employees, work through this difficult situation, allowing for continuity of operations while helping you balance your responsibilities to your families and the health of the community. In the attached documents, you will find guidance for best practices, instructions on how to work with your direct manager or supervisor to make a plan, and a form to guide that process.

Read the full Employee message from March 17, 2020 (PDF).

Update on Student Support Services: March 17, 2020 

Master List of All Student Support Services
As you adjust to working distally and the other challenges and changes in academic delivery that are a result of the coronavirus outbreak, please know that all of the student support services you are familiar with while on campus will continue to be available remotely. Outlined below is a list of all these student support services and details about how to access these going forward.

Read the full Student message from March 17, 2020 (PDF).

Update to UNDERGRADUATE, GRADUATE, AND PROFESSIONAL students: March 15, 2020

Outline of Online Academic Structure
You will be receiving communications directly from your academic program leader (dean, advisor, department chair, or program director depending on your program) in the coming days regarding the instructional and testing methods they plan to employ for the remainder of the semester. You are likely already familiar with many of these methods. However, we thought it might be useful to provide some instructions about how to access and use the instructional and testing tools in one easy to access location at Here you will find information about how to access and use Blackboard, Zoom, and various other teaching and testing tools. You will also find contact information for numerous people and resources should you need help with any of these tools.

Read the full Student message from March 15, 2020 (PDF).

Update to bodywise members: March 15, 2020

Notice of Suspension of Campus Center/Bodywise Community Memberships

Read the full Community Member message from March 15, 2020 (PDF).

update from president herbert: March 13, 2020

Instruction for UNE undergraduate programs moving online (exceptions: advanced Dental Hygiene and advanced Nursing students)

Read the full UNE Community message from March 13, 2020 (PDF).

Update: March 14, 2020

Information for Faculty and Professional Staff about Online Educational Resources

Read the full Faculty message from March 14, 2020 (PDF).

Update for Faculty and Professional Staff: March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty and Professional Staff
University of New England leadership continues to monitor the developments of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19. To ensure a safe and healthy workplace, all UNE employees must increase their commitment to preventing the spread of this respiratory disease.
Employees are asked to review the following workplace FAQ and to direct questions to the Office of Human Resources.

Read the full Faculty and Professional Staff message from March 13, 2020 (PDF).

Athletics Update: March 13, 2020

All competitive play for athletics is canceled for the remainder of the spring season.
All competitive play for the remainder of the spring semester and spring season is canceled. This includes varsity and club sports. We will evaluate subsequent scheduling depending on how the current outbreak unfolds.

Read the full Athletics message from March 13, 2020 (PDF).

Past Updates

View previous updates to the UNE Community that due to the evolving nature of the situation may be out of date or no longer relevant.

COVID-19 Information