Microsoft Update This Weekend

Dear Friends,

This is the first Microsoft Update weekend since working remotely. Please save any work you may have open and log off the VPN or just simply reboot (not shut down) your computer at the end of the work day today. This will ensure updates to be applied smoothly. Thank you!

-Development Help Desk

Newest “Grace of Giving” with Mike Brown!

Check out the newest episode of “The Grace of Giving” featuring Athletics Advancement Regional Director Mike Brown! This is our first episode of the podcast to be recorded in three different locations, and we plan to continue improving our remote sound recording quality in the future. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and fill out this form to appear as a guest!

Development April Birthdays

Happy Birthday to all our Development colleagues celebrating in the month of April! Though we won’t be able to celebrate with you in person, we hope you all have great birthdays and happy, healthy years ahead!

April 1 – Amy Plotkin
April 1 – Jessica Rizzo
April 1 – Steven Sollmann
April 1 – Tara Reilly
April 3 – Michael Connaughton
April 3 – Noell Stohler
April 6 – Austin Gammage
April 6 – Cindy Karpovs
April 6 – Conor Montijo
April 11 – Matthew Rombalski
April 12 – Joe Dietz
April 12 – Katy Orenchuk
April 15 – Amy Mason
April 18 – Dean Ernzen
April 18 – Jeff Faust
April 19 – Kristina Machalleck
April 19 – Rose Michalski
April 20 – Mark Helmke
April 22 – Darlean Vance
April 22 – Rachel Parks
April 23 – Kat Gardner
April 24 – Angie Dennig
April 27 – Katie Kerby
April 27 – Marie Labosky
April 27 – Ryan Brennan
April 27 – Sheila McMahon
April 28 – Mary Frank
April 30 – Andrew Fry

Donor FAQs

We’ve set up a form to submit your frequently asked questions in an effort to provide clarity to our generous donors who are seeking answers about the University’s response to COVID-19 and other happenings on campus. Stu and the UR Leadership team will investigate your question and provide a University-approved response here on the University Relations blog.

Please use this link to submit your question. We will post questions and answers below as they become available.

Are any faculty members doing research on COVID-19 that we could share?

University of Notre Dame faculty members in both the College of Science and College of Engineering are working on all aspects of COVID-19 research, from diagnostic testing for infection, to vaccine identification and development, therapeutic drug development, community-wide measurements of infection, transmission modeling and mapping, and the social media and societal response to this pandemic. Each of the scholars listed below are among the top faculty researchers at the University; put another way, our best and brightest faculty have stepped up and are doing all they can to help in this time of need. Please see below for more details:

Community-Wide Measurement
Norm Dovichi (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Matt Champion (Chemistry and Biochemistry), and Kyle Bibby (Civil Engineering) are all monitoring COVID-19 in the Mishawaka regional sewage system as a community-wide measure of infection. Measuring the amounts of COVID-19 in sewage systems allows for a better understanding of disease spread within a community and also could be a predictor of outbreaks to come. The easy way to look at their work is that one test of sewage potentially shows the amount of COVID among thousands of people, versus the 1:1 testing of individuals. It could also alert a community to a possible outbreak as the COVID starts to show up in feces prior to symptom onset and subsequent hospitalization and testing.

Diagnostic Testing
Chia Chang (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and his team are working on a rapid pretreatment technology that can reduce the false negative rates of COVID diagnostics, which is estimated to be as high as 30% with the current tests. Their technology isolates the viruses from the other debris in the sample that reduces the sensitivity of the detection. Their technology works fast, about 15 minutes, and it works well with any downstream diagnostic platform. The usual time for the diagnostic part is 1 hour. While the most mature technology is for sample preparation, they are also working on direct testing technology.

Drug Discovery
Shariar Mobashary (Chemistry and Biochemistry) and his team are going after everything that this virus has. The 29 genes produce both enzymes critical for the viral lifestyle as well as proteins that serve the structural functions (how the virus is assembled). The structural genes will be useful for vaccine development. Brian Baker is interested in that aspect, see below. For them, the enzymes will be targets of drug discovery.

Brian Baker (Chemistry and Biochemistry) is working on viral immunology and potential therapeutic SARS-CoV2 therapeutic vaccines. Right now he and his team are identifying potential sites in the various SARS-Cov2 structural proteins that are likely to elicit strong antiviral immune responses, with an emphasis on identifying those that are resistant to viral “escape” as it mutates (which it is, albeit slowly). This is currently being done computationally, and we are using our network of various collaborators to find mouse and then other non-human models to test immunogenicity.

Transmission Mapping
Alex Perkins (Biological Sciences) works on predictive modeling of disease transmission and spread, transmission dynamics and mapping. The goal of his research is to attain a predictive understanding of where and when this disease occurs, what the impact of interventions will be in curtailing its burden, and how the distribution of the disease and the response to interventions will change over time as a result of changes in its underlying drivers

Society’s Reaction to the Pandemic
Nitesh Chawla (Computer Science and Engineering) is collecting social and digital media data as it relates to society’s reaction to news and data on progression of the pandemic. Not sure where the data will take him, but he is excited to find out.

How will students retrieve their belongings?

The following is a link to the letter that Erin Hoffman Harding sent on 3/31, plus below is an excerpt from that letter.

With the State of Indiana under a stay-at-home order until at least April 7, many states under similar or more stringent regulations, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending against any large gatherings well into May, we realize and truly regret that move-out options will be less than ideal for students and families.

Within these constraints, we have worked hard to prepare options that will provide opportunity for travel planning and consideration for unique circumstances. Thank you for your patience.

  • As you know, the residence halls are currently closed. To honor public health guidelines, please do not return until instructed.
  • We will offer students the opportunity to sign up in advance for a move-out appointment in the Home Under the Dome system.
  • The quantity of move-out appointments available each day will be based on public health guidelines and limited accordingly. We will offer as many appointments as we can as quickly as possible while honoring relevant recommendations about crowds.
  • Based on current information, we anticipate the earliest move-out appointments might take place in late May. May move-out appointments, if feasible, would limit the numbers of individuals returning to campus each day.
  • We anticipate some students, potentially international students, may be unable to return to campus to retrieve their things. In these limited situations, students or families could select an approved packing service.
  • Packing services would occur after the move-out appointments.
  • The Office of Student Enrichment is available to assist students for whom a return trip to campus might present a particular financial hardship.
  • The Office of Residential Life will be in touch with further details, and you can direct any questions to

Please note that teams from Student Affairs, Building Services, and Maintenance are in the process of emptying and unplugging refrigerators, securing windows, and attending to other maintenance matters to ensure student belongings remain safe until they can be retrieved.

How is Admissions handling the recruitment of admitted students given the fact that yield events on campus have been cancelled?

Admissions has been communicating more extensively with admitted students online. They are sending out a weekly newsletter and have organized three informational webcasts to date (4/2/20).

How is Gateway student recruitment being addressed given the cancellation of on campus Gateway visits?

Admissions will be hosting a couple of online panels and other points of contact for the gateway group.

The panel layout is to offer a Welcome from ND (Erin Camilleri. in our office) and Mike Griffin (EVP at HC) for the first ten minutes and then we’ll pivot to the students (current and previous Gateways) to share their experiences. We will then field questions for the next 30 minutes. We plan to cover :

  • Academics at ND versus HC
  • How to get involved on both campuses
  • How to understand why they were offered Gateway and what is the spirit of the Gateway Program
  • How was the transition to ND for the upperclassmen

The students were all sent invitations, so they should easily be able to register. Additionally, all of the students have already been connected with current Gateways and prospective parents have been connecting with other previous Gateway parents.

Would the University consider extending funds raised in the student relief fund to help the families of students in need whose parents have had a loss of employment and other financial difficulties due to Coronavirus (outside of financial aid for tuition and room and board)?

The purpose of the Student Emergency Relief Fund is to solely provide financial aid for students whose lives have been upended by this health and economic crisis.  The University does not want a single student to withdraw from Notre Dame because of financial duress or to put an undue burden on their families to ensure their child graduates.

What is the timing on the refund for prorated housing and meal plans?

The Office of Student Accounts will be communicating with students on the prorated refunds by the end of next week (w/o 4/6).  Scott Clyde shared that the refund process is not as straightforward as one would think. It is a very detailed process due to the numerous variables that need to be considered with how each student pays for these expenses — ranging from students/families paying the full bill to zero (which are easy) to everything in between (think almost but not quite full need students, study abroad unique amounts, merit awards that cover some of these costs, other outside funds that cover some, athletes, etc.).

The NCAA just passed a resolution today 3/30 that approved another year of eligibility for all spring sport athletes due to the cancellation of all spring sports. Will Jack Swarbrick be able to share an analysis of how this will impact the total cost of athletic grants-in-aid for the 2020-21 academic year for the students who choose to participate in their sport for another year?

While the NCAA passed this resolution to grant another year of eligibility for spring sport athletes, they also left the decision to pursue and implement this policy up to the individual universities/colleges. As such, Jack is using this week to work through his recommendation with Father John and will report out to our coaching staffs likely by week’s end or early next week. At that time, and based on that decision, the discussion around future costs and the impact to the scholarship bill can be analyzed.

Will the football season be affected?

There have been no decisions made yet as to the football season. We are proceeding as planned for now and will continue to monitor the national climate for making any changes.

I brought up the question in this morning’s Sport mtg regarding the potential for an abbreviated offering a Notre Dame Day-style celebration for our alumni, friends, and family. This could serve our constituents, in light of the postponed official ND Day events, to celebrate our ND family using some material from last year’s ND Day, messages from our leadership, visit the Grotto for a virtual group prayer. It could be a short program of 60-90 minutes of pre-recorded vignettes similar to the Elton John concert that took place last evening on tv. Just thinking of a way to bring “campus”‘ into homes through a YouTube livestream.

The Storytelling Team continues to explore ways to effectively connect donors to campus and has worked with University partners to reach out to the Notre Dame family through the use of technology. With the postponement of ND Day, we are aware that we lost a special day to communicate all that is unique and inspirational about the Notre Dame family. Jim and his team appreciate the recommendation and plan to review this and several other options after Easter. Once plans are confirmed, we will notify the team. In the meantime, please continue to use the stories and resources contained in the Alumni Association’s weekly email update.

Will students have the option to receive a Pass/Fail grade for spring semester courses? What if it is a course for their major?

The following is an excerpt from Provost Burish’s letter to students on COVID-19 issues sent on March 27.

Changes to Undergraduate Student Grading for the Spring 2020 Semester.  This semester undergraduate students will have the opportunity to view their final course grades at the end of the semester, and then choose whether to accept their letter grades or elect a pass/no credit option.  Those receiving a letter grade of A through D can choose to receive a pass (P); those receiving an F grade can choose to receive a no credit (NC).  Pass and no-credit grades will have no effect on a student’s grade point average.  Undergraduates may make this choice for any or all of their courses.  The Registrar will provide in the near future administrative instructions for choosing the pass/no credit option.  This grading option does not apply to courses completed prior to spring break.

What is the status of summer sessions?

The status of summer session has not been confirmed as of 3/30/20. You should expect an announcement sometime in the next few weeks.

If commencement is postponed, is there a chance a virtual commencement will take its place? Or would the primary option be to gather on campus for regular commencement activities at a later date?

In a letter today (3/30/20) to the Class of 2020, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced that the University Commencement Ceremony on May 17 will be held online rather than in Notre Dame Stadium, and that an on-campus celebration has been scheduled for the spring of 2021.

In order to ensure that the graduates’ degrees are conferred and certified in May for the purposes of employment or further studies, Notre Dame will live-stream a ceremony May 17. The commencement speaker, His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, and others will be asked to record remarks for the graduates.

After speaking with Class of 2020 officers, Father Jenkins also announced that the University plans to bring this year’s graduates back to campus on Memorial Day weekend 2021 to, in his words, “spend time with your friends, classmates, faculty and others who have been part of your Notre Dame experience … and celebrate your accomplishments.” Details will be announced in coming months.

Travel Cancellations due to COVID-19

The University’s existing policy on payments/reimbursements for travel cancellations remains in effect, with one policy exception noted below due to the unusual circumstances of COVID-19.

Per existing policy, travelers who have purchased tickets or incurred expenses for travel events which are subsequently canceled are encouraged to rebook unused airfare and cancel lodging reservations and conference bookings, whenever possible. Credits from canceled flights booked through TravelND (Anthony Travel or the Concur Booking Tool) will be tracked by the University.

If an individual paid for a flight personally that was subsequently canceled due to COVID-19, reimbursement can be requested even though the flight was not taken. This policy departure is allowed for COVID-19 related cancellations with the understanding that the airline ticket will be reused for University purposes in the future. The employee and/or their department will be responsible for keeping track of the unused flight ticket and ensuring it is used at a later point in time for University purposes.

To request reimbursement for canceled travel, the traveler will file an expense report and document that the flight/conference/trip was canceled due to COVID-19 and therefore the ticket could not be used. Please fully document the issue and utilize the activity code 11019 “COVID-19 Related Costs”, which the University has established for tracking purposes.

Once the ticket credit is finally used, the employee will include the previous reimbursement when documenting the “full trip” on the future trip expense report. Any change fees associated with rebooked flights will be reimbursed, regardless of booking method.

Any remaining out of pocket expenses incurred for travel cancellations will be reimbursed at the discretion of the department. Please be sure to use activity code 11019 “COVID-19 Related Costs”, when applicable.

Note that refunds received by a traveler (in the form of credits issued or cash reimbursements) for other University prepaid travel items (e.g., conference fees), whether paid by the University directly to the vendor or via reimbursement to the employee, are to be repaid to the University when received by the traveler. If this step is not followed, the budget unit may incur double costs and the traveler receives double reimbursement.

Student Employment Communication

Greetings from the Office of Student Employment!

As we continue to work through next steps related to the University’s COVID-19 response, we want to take this opportunity to address our student workers. These students provide important services to our offices, and their compensation is often integral to how they pay for their Notre Dame education.

With that in mind, we are encouraging all departments to make remote work available, if possible, for current student workers. This will not be possible in all cases, but we ask for your creativity in trying to make this option available.

Our current policy for student workers is as follows:

Undergraduate Students:

  • No undergraduate students may work on campus.
  • No undergraduate students will be allowed on campus to perform research. Department chairs/PIs should make efforts to reformat the research to be done remotely, if possible.
  • Undergraduate students who were not employed prior to spring break are not eligible to begin new work (this is consistent with HR policies around the hiring freeze as well as the practical issue of processing I-9’s).
  • Undergraduate students can work remotely if a department has a need for the work and the student chooses to work.
  • The employing department will be responsible for paying the students’ wages, per usual practice.
  • Student workers are responsible for entering their hours in Ultratime and supervisors must verify the accuracy of the entered hours. If a student worker does not have online access to Ultratime, this access can be established by contacting Payroll Services at or 631-7575.
  • Non-Notre Dame undergraduate students are either temp or part-time employees and must follow guidance from HR.

Graduate Students:

  • Research Assistants should continue to work on their projects and continue to be paid. There are many activities that can continue if physical access to labs is not possible, including manuscript writing, data analysis, etc. Students should be in contact with their faculty/Principal Investigators for guidance.
  • Teaching assistants should be teaching via distance and should continue to be paid.
  • Graduate students on fellowship/stipend will continue to receive their stipend.
  • Graduate students with hourly jobs can work remotely if a department has the need for the work and the student chooses to work.

There will be situations where remote work is possible but the student decides not to continue working, we ask that you let the Student Employment office know of these “vacancies”. Because there may be situations when a student wants to work and needs the resources to support themselves, but cannot because the job they previously performed cannot be performed remotely. In these situations we’ll encourage them to find another “vacant” student job.

If the student finds themselves in the situation where:

    1. their existing student job is unable to be completed remotely, and
    2. they cannot find another “vacant” student job,

then the student can reach out to the Office of Student Employment at to see if they might qualify for wage replacement. Consideration for wage replacement will be given to students who have a demonstrated pattern of work and who demonstrate a certain level of financial need.

The above policies were developed jointly with representatives from the Enrollment Division, Student Affairs, Finance Division, Human Resources, Graduate School, ND Research and General Counsel. This policy will be noted on the site and will be communicated to Undergraduate and Graduate students via a newsletter from the Division of Student Affairs.

For questions regarding these policies, please reach out to one of the following individuals:

Yolanda Teamor, Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid or 631-5119

Jason Little, Associate Controller or 631-3579

We hope this information allows you to move forward with your decisions on student employment. Please note this email will also be sent to Business Managers and Student Worker Supervisors; however, please forward as appropriate.

Student Employment

Best Wishes to Andrew Whittington

Dear colleagues,

It is with mixed emotions I share that Andrew Whittington will be leaving the Annual Giving team to take a new role within the University as a Program Director with the Center for University Advising – an initiative here at ND dedicated to accompanying and forming our students as they grow into fuller versions of themselves.

During Andrew’s time in Development, he has been an incredible partner and leader in growing the ND Loyal volunteer program. We will certainly miss Andrew, but know he will bring his professionalism, integrity, and commitment to excellence to this new role and continue to serve and better the University.

Andrew’s last day is this Friday – please join me in congratulating Andrew!

-Ellen Roof

Utilize 5-9 Digital Communities

During these times of remote work and social distancing, it can be hard to maintain a sense of community and connection to one another. We want to remind you that the 5-9 platform is a great tool for virtually engaging with one another. Whether you want to organize a digital event, such as an informational webinar or a video-chat coffee, or want to post and discuss articles you’ve found helpful, such as tips for working from home or keeping young kids occupied, 5-9 is a great resource to explore and share. For example, feel free to add your dog/pet pictures to this thread! If you need help setting up your account or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Grace Prosniewski.