UMS Community -
Even though the calendar hasn't officially turned to summer yet, the end of the spring semester is already a month past, and we're finally getting outside to enjoy all that a Maine summer has to offer. As I've said before, we couldn't have wrapped up a successful academic year through once-in-a-century pandemic conditions without your hard work and dedication. Thank you. I hope you and your friends and family are getting a chance to take a well-deserved break, including with Fridays off for the extended Memorial Day and 4th of July holiday weekends.
And yet, we have to plan for our fall return to normalcy. Indeed, we've been thinking about this for months already. As we looked ahead earlier this spring, with COVID vaccines finally becoming widely available, we announced that we would return this fall with as normal of an on-campus academic experience as possible. Our students, many of our faculty and staff, and even college-bound high schoolers all want to experience the vibrancy of a college campus in the fall. And as long as public health conditions allow us to do so, we're going to provide that experience.
That means we all need to be prepared to return to the way we used to work before the pandemic -- returning to our classrooms, offices, centers, and research labs at our campuses and across Maine. To be sure, individual arrangements will necessarily vary. If anyone in our community has a reasonable need to continue or alter remote work arrangements or schedules they had during the pandemic, our campus and System HR partners stand ready to help reach and document appropriate accommodations and arrangements, including under our UMS telecommuting policies. We also stand ready to discuss any labor contract implications with our labor partners.
We're releasing guidance on our website today. Please click on this link that invites all of our faculty and staff who've had alternative work arrangements because of the pandemic to begin these discussions with their supervisors, departmental chairs, college deans, and university or System administrators and leaders so we're prepared to return to normalcy this fall. Watch for more information from your HR partners and campus leaders on this as well.
Even as we take our summer vacations, we have a lot to look forward to, and a lot of work to do yet together. I'm glad to be doing this work with you as my colleagues across Maine, and I'm grateful for your dedication and commitment to giving our students the types of higher education experiences they yearn for.