Welcome to Issue 06 of Recap, MICA’s regular communication on the College’s progress and planning around the return to campus for Spring 2021 and beyond.

Welcome to issue 06 of Recap, MICA’s regular communication on the College’s progress and planning around the return to campus for Spring 2021 and beyond.

Recap is also a place for dialogue, so we encourage you to use the Comment on This Topic button at the end of each story. We use your feedback to help build our shared understanding as One Team MICA.

And as always, some information may not apply to all programs and constituents, such as Open Studies. For specific information, please use the departmental directory at the end of this issue.

In This Issue:

  1. On Track: Spring Reopening Decision Timeline

  2. Recap Revisit: Upcoming College Closure

  3. Return to Campus Checklist: 5 Things You Need to Know

  4. More Info: Campus Testing Protocols

  5. What If: Portable Practice Grants and Fall Deferrals

  6. Recap Revisit: Staff Survey Results

  7. Transparency Report: Comments from Community

Spring Reopening Decision + Timeline
This will be the last issue of Recap before the start of the new year, so it’s important we all have a shared understanding of our current reopening timeline and the factors affecting it.

As mentioned previously, the planned opening dates are:

  • MICA’s Spring Semester is scheduled to begin on January 25 with all classes being held remotely.
  • Residence hall move-in is scheduled to start the week of January 18.
  • Studios and shops are scheduled to open with limited access for graduating seniors and graduate students on January 25.
Final Decision Date
Remember, this timeline is based on a planned opening in Operational Mode 3. As the current rise in nationwide COVID-19 cases continues, we’ll be monitoring our defined Operational Mode metrics closely in the coming weeks to determine if any adjustments are necessary.

The final decision on the College’s opening Operational Mode will be made in consultation with MICA’s epidemiologists on January 8.

Physical Opening and Classes
While the physical reopening of the campus (residence hall move-in and shops/studio access) may be delayed depending on that decision, it’s important to note that, as the primary mode of instruction is remote/online, classes will be unaffected by any decision and still start on January 25 regardless of the College’s Spring Operational Mode.

Physical Opening and Furloughed Employees
If MICA opens as planned on January 25, most furloughed staff are scheduled to resume work on January 11. If the dates of physical reopening of campus are delayed, the return date for staff will likely be delayed accordingly. Letters to all furloughed employees detailing this information have already been sent.

Upcoming College Closure and Taking Unpaid Leave Days
In Recap 05, we provided details on the upcoming College closure between Christmas and New Years, which provides a potential avenue for employees to take a portion of the ten unpaid leave days that are a part of this fiscal year’s measures. This is part of the College's COVID-19 financial measures. Employees can apply for unemployment during this time and many readers had questions about how that works, and what they should expect. Below you’ll find some information and resources that should help.

Where to apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits: Claim for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits at or by calling Claimant Information Services 1-667-207-6520.

What you’ll need to apply:
  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security number
  • Residential and Mailing addresses, telephone number, and e-mail address.
  • The name, address, telephone number, and dates of employment for each employer covering the 18 months prior to the date you file your initial claim.
  • The reason you became separated from each employer (note: you do not need documentation stating that you have been furloughed; the State of Maryland will contact MICA’s Human Resources Department to determine your eligibility for UI benefits).
  • If you claim any dependents: their names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth. Only one parent may claim a dependent in a year, so you will also need the other parent’s name, Social Security number, and birth date.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or national, you will need your alien registration number.
  • If you worked for the federal government, you will need a SF-8 or SF-50 form.
  • If you are separated from military service, you will need Form DD-214, member copy.
  • Documents showing proof of income like paystubs, W-2, etc.

*The full list is available here.

How often do you need to file a claim?
You will need to file a weekly claim certification for each week you are requesting benefits.
Click here to file your weekly claim certification or call  (410) 949-0022 or 1(800) 827-4839, toll free.
  • Calling from the Baltimore area or out of state - (410) 949 - 0022
  • Calling from Maryland but outside of the Baltimore area - 1(800) 827 - 4839
  • For Hearing Impaired Only - For Maryland Relay dial 711

How will you receive unemployment payments?
If you are eligible to receive UI benefits, you may request payment via a debit card or paper check.

Useful Links

5 Things You Always Need to Do
The flow of information about reopening has been intense. With so many details and so many variables, you’ve asked us to break things down to the essentials. We’ve gotten lots of suggestions around creating a simple checklist, and have put together this 5 step checklist that is also available for download here.
On campus testing and protocols
As mentioned in Recap 05, an FAQ regarding MICA's COVID-19 notification protocols has been posted which should answer most of your questions regarding what happens after you received a test result. But there have been several questions regarding who needs to get tested, when, and where. To answer this, we spoke with Mike Patterson and Dr. Judith Kinney. Here’s a TL;DR version of their answer:

  • You do not need to have taken a COVID-19 test before arriving on campus. All testing will be performed by MICA after you arrive on campus. This is a change from our previous thinking, but has been recommended by MICA’s epidemiologists, and has officially been adopted as policy.

  • Only students, faculty and staff who will be on campus regularly, defined as once or more a week, will need to be part of MICA’s weekly testing program. Stopping by campus for curbside pickup, or a non-regular, brief visit to your office with no plans to interact with others is allowed without a test. All on-campus safety policies and protocols must be followed in all cases. See the On-Campus Checklist above.

  • Any student, faculty, or staff member visiting campus regardless of frequency is required to sign the MICA Social Agreement.

  • MICA’s on-campus testing program is planned to begin the week of January 11, and will be based out of BBOX in the Gateway building. More detailed information will be shared in early January.

  • Individuals coming to campus infrequently but who will engage with other community members while on campus will be required to have a test. They will be asked to schedule those engagements far enough in advance that they can be tested by MICA during the week leading up to their campus visit.

Additional details regarding visiting and testing schedules will be presented in the next issue of Recap as well as the Reopening website.

Portable Practice Grants
As a reminder, What if? Is an ongoing feature of Recap intended to help create a shared understanding of what the 2020 - 2021 academic year will look and feel like by posing real-world "what if" scenarios submitted by the community.

I’ve heard that the portable practice grants provided in the spring are an annual grant for the full year. What if I deferred my fall semester but am returning this spring? Am I still entitled to at least part of the portable practice grants given out in the Fall?

Great question. To answer we asked David Bogen, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost:

The answer is yes. In the fall, MICA provided portable practice grants to all students in the amount of $300 for the year. For any new students or students who took a leave of absence in the fall and are returning in the spring, you will receive a portable practice grant of $150 for the semester. Funds will be disbursed directly to students through the Office of Financial Aid.

Staff Survey Results
Recommended by, and in collaboration with, SEC, HR released a survey intended to better understand the needs and concerns of MICA staff regarding reopening. The raw data has been shared with SEC, and we are now presenting a summary of the information with a download to a full presentation of the survey.

The results of the MICA staff survey show there remains concern around the safety measures in place for the Spring Semester. In the next issue of Recap, we’ll more fully outline measures that will be in place on campus in a “By the Numbers” feature, and, additionally, will provide more information around a Town Hall-style virtual gathering, which will be held in early January, where employees will be able to bring up questions and concerns.

Download a summary of the Staff Return to Work Survey Results (pdf).

Comments from the Community
Please address specific questions to an appropriate departmental contact.
Graduate Studies:

Undergraduate Studies:

Student Affairs:

Open Studies:

Finance and Operations:


Strategic Communications:

Human Resources:

Strategic Initiatives:



Parent Relations:

That’s it for this installment of Recap. Thank you for your engagement in this ongoing dialogue and building of shared understanding. If there are any topics you would like to have addressed in future installments, please provide your ideas here.

Stay safe and be well.

Coming Up in Issue 07: We’re back!

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