Bringing vibrancy back to our campuses

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

In just a few weeks we will be welcoming the start of Winter Session. Whether you are transitioning back to campus, or you remained on campus, I would like to thank you for your support over the last year.

On July 1, the provincial government shifted to Step 3 of BC’s Restart plan (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restart). Moving to Step 3 signaled the end of the longest provincial state of emergency in BC’s history. BC’s public health emergency remains in effect to support amended public health orders from the provincial health officer, with reduced requirements:

  • Non-medical masks are now recommended but not mandatory for indoor public spaces.
  • Indoor social gatherings are allowed for up to 50 people or 50% of capacity, outdoor social gatherings are allowed for up to 5,000 people or 50% capacity.
  • Indoor fitness classes, gyms and recreation facilities are allowed to have normal capacity.
  • If the situation continues to improve, we could move to Step 4 by September 7.

On July 5, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training published newCOVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines for all BC post-secondary institutions, (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/post-secondary-education/institution-resources-administration/covid19-return-to-campus-guidelines-web.pdf). The guide was developed by a team of experts from BC’s post-secondary sector, representatives from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the executive lead for BC’s vaccination program, in partnership with Indigenous leaders, student leaders, senior university administrators and others.

According to the guide, experience over the last year has shown that educational activities supporting teaching, learning, research, and student development are low-risk sites for COVID-19 transmission. Therefore, the Provincial Health Officer has indicated that there are no limits on the number of participants for in-class educational activities, and fall classes can be scheduled without physical distancing requirements.

The guide also provides direction for UBC’s streamlined safety planning process. Institutions are not required to manage the flow of pedestrian traffic within buildings or confined areas, or post occupancy limits for spaces, such as elevators or washrooms. UBC continues to monitor provincial health direction and advice from regional health authorities and sector-specific regulators to ensure we comply with the latest orders, notices and guidance. You can learn more about UBC’s safety planning process and access resources at:

You can also learn about UBC’s building ventilation and safety measures at:

The COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines state that post-secondary institutions should not introduce COVID-19 prevention measures into their work and learning areas that are different from those supported by public health professionals. The last year and a half have shown us how important it is to follow guidance from our province’s public health professionals, and this is even more crucial as we transition to the next stage of returning to campus.

The guide also indicates that COVID-19 vaccinations will not be mandatory for post-secondary students, faculty or staff, nor will students, faculty and staff be asked to disclose their vaccination status. Vaccinations are being managed by the regional health authorities and they are accelerating availability of vaccination appointments for both first and second doses.

BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and BC’s health authorities have determined that with the expected number of partially and fully vaccinated individuals, the health risk is low for the return to campus this fall. Current vaccination rates in the province show 80% of all adults have received their first dose, more are registered, and second doses are progressing well. Students travelling from abroad, and who haven’t been vaccinated upon arrival, also have rapid access to the BC immunization program.

We appreciate that many of you may be reflecting on your experiences over the last number of months, and some of you may feel anxious about the next stage of transition. UBC has worked, and continues to work diligently to ensure that the concerns of our community are heard and addressed in as timely a manner as possible. The health and safety of the UBC community is first and foremost in all planning processes, which are informed by the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, the relevant health authorities, and in accordance with BC’s Restart plan and COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines.

I hope you also feel optimistic about returning to our campuses, bringing back the energy and vibrancy that is a key part of the UBC experience. As we continue this transition, it is important to remember some key elements for our success:

Get vaccinated

It is vital that all UBC faculty and staff participate in the provincial COVID-19 vaccination program. Vaccines save lives. They protect those around us. And, they are safe. Now is the time to support each other and raise the rate of vaccination. You can find out more at https://immunizebc.ca.

UBC’s Campus Rules

To ensure we all remain as safe as possible, everyone is required to follow the COVID-19 Campus Rules. You can learn more at https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/ubc-campus-rules-guidance-documents.

COVID-19 mandatory online training

UBC has launched a new campus-specific COVID-19 training course. Whether you have previously completed safety training because you’ve been on campus, or are planning your return, please ensure you complete this online training. You can find training for both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan at https://wpl.ubc.ca.

Being aware of our mental health, and the health of our friends and colleagues

The last year has significantly impacted many of us, as well as our loved ones. I strongly encourage you to take the time to access resources available to support your mental health and wellbeing: https://hr.ubc.ca/health-and-wellbeing/mental-health/faculty-and-staff-mental-health-resources.

Ongoing updates

Useful updates and FAQs continue to be posted to https://covid19.ubc.ca/ and https://ok.ubc.ca/covid19. I encourage you to visit these sites regularly.

Finally, I would like to offer an expression of gratitude to all of you for your contribution to UBC over the last year. Whether you were delivering our courses, conducting research, maintaining essential services, supporting our IT capabilities, taking care of our prospective and registered students, supporting faculty or staff, or any one of countless other roles – UBC could not have navigated this pandemic without you. Thank you.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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Reminder of the requirement to use UBC email systems

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

At UBC, we all have a shared responsibility to protect the personal information of our students, faculty, staff, and other members of the university community.

Over the last year, many faculty and staff have transitioned to remote working, which has resulted in an increased reliance on email and other means of electronic communication. As UBC plans for a return to campus, we would now like to remind you of the requirement to keep data safe by using UBC email systems for work purposes.

Under the “data residency requirements” of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), UBC is required to ensure that personal information in its custody or under its control is stored and accessed in Canada. For this reason, Information Security Standard U3 (Transmission and Sharing of UBC Electronic Information) restricts the use of email accounts hosted outside Canada (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, iCloud) for work purposes, as many work emails contain personal information, such as information about students or personnel information about UBC faculty and staff.

While use of a Canadian-hosted email account (e.g. Shaw) does not contravene the data residency requirements of the FIPPA, such non-UBC email systems must not be used because they do not comply with UBC’s security and records management standards. Also, the use of external email accounts is not consistent with the security measures we have in place to protect students, faculty, staff and our computer systems.

UBC makes an exception for faculty or staff members who also work at another Canadian public sector institution, such as a university or health authority. If you fall into this category, it is acceptable for you to use your other account for UBC work purposes, as long as doing so is consistent with the other institution’s email policy.

For more information

  • Access a fact sheet to learn more about the privacy of our email systems at hxxps://universitycounsel.ubc.ca/files/2015/05/Fact-Sheet-Privacy-of-Email-Systems.pdf
  • Visit hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/

Please note: For added security, we have changed the above links to include an hxxps:// prefix. Simply copy and paste the URL into a web browser and replace hxxps:// with https://. Together we can keep our information secure.

We appreciate your support in sharing the responsibility of protecting the data of our community and our UBC systems.

Hubert Lai, Q.C.
University Counsel

Jennifer Burns
Associate Vice-President, Information Technology
Chief Information Officer


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UBC Vancouver — staying safe during the current heatwave

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As we experience the unprecedented heatwave, please be aware of the following locations that are cooled and available for students, faculty and staff on our Vancouver campus today and tomorrow:

  • AMS Nest — 6133 University Blvd
  • Irving K. Barber Learning Centre — 1961 East Mall
  • Thunderbird Stadium concourse and stands — 6288 Stadium Rd
  • Orchard Commons Open Kitchen — 6363 Agronomy Road, access via west doors off West Mall
  • Mercante — 6488 University Blvd.

For any employees who are working remotely, but who wish to work within an air-conditioned space on campus, please discuss options with your manager. Please also note that working on campus is subject to COVID-19 safety plans, as well as the COVID-19 Campus Rules which can be found at https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/ubc-campus-rules-guidance-documents.

Managers with questions about specific situations should contact Safety and Risk Services (ready.ubc@ubc.ca) to discuss any concerns regarding safety regulations. Please contact the Facilities team for questions related to buildings, and your HR team for advice in situations where employees cannot attend the workplace or work remotely.

Advice for staying cool:

  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible
  • Plan ahead for where you can spend time in a cool or air-conditioned place, and seek shade when outside
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, and sunscreen
  • Avoid strenuous activity and exercise
  • Drink plenty of cool fluids such as water before you feel thirsty
  • Fill up your water bottle frequently at taps and drinking fountains
  • Dampen washcloths, hand towels with cold water to make a cool compress

Recognizing symptoms and signs of heat-related illness and heat exhaustion:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you see someone suffering from too much heat, call 9-1-1 and help them cool off by applying water to their face and neck until emergency services arrive. You can also call 8-1-1 to speak to a nurse. Interpretation services are available on these phone numbers.

For additional information please visit https://srs.ubc.ca/hotweather.


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Update on the Integrated Renewal Program — Student

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Over the past year, the university has completed major renewal projects related to our Human Resources and Finance systems under the Integrated Renewal Program (IRP). This resulted in the launch of Workday last November, which represented a significant step forward in modernizing our learning, research, and working environments at UBC.

Thank you to all those who supported the launch of Workday last fall, as well as to those who continue to support the ongoing adoption of our new systems and processes.

We are now pleased to announce that the Student stream of the IRP has been approved by the UBC Board of Governors to proceed to the next phase, with the target timeline for implementation being the 2023/24 academic year.

The IRP Student ecosystem renewal is a critical investment in UBC’s future. Anchored in Workday, it will enable ongoing improvements in how we support the academic mission of the university and deliver a high-quality digital experience for students. Crucially, it will allow us to ensure our student data is held securely and safely, in line with UBC’s privacy standards.

We continue to learn from the recent HR and Finance implementation and will build upon this experience, using insights gained to enhance and support an effective Student ecosystem renewal.

You can learn more about IRP Student, and view a message from President Santa Ono, at https://irp.ubc.ca/.

Thank you to the many individuals who have contributed their time and expertise to support IRP Student thus far. There is strong and ongoing involvement by academic leadership in this process through an advisory committee comprised of Associate Deans from nearly every UBC Faculty on both campuses. As with the renewal of our HR and Finance systems, our success will come through community investment and partnership.

Over the coming months, you will continue to hear about IRP Student and the UBC renewal journey. We look forward to the future as we take these steps together.

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan

Peter Smailes
Vice-President, Finance and Operations


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Statement on behalf of the Vancouver Senate Tributes Committee

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Further to President Ono’s Statement on the Missing Children of the Kamloops Indian Residential School (https://president.ubc.ca/blog/2021/05/31/statement-to-the-community), the following is forwarded from Dr. John H. V. Gilbert, Chair of the Vancouver Senate Tributes Committee:

Statement of the Vancouver Senate Tributes Committee Regarding Kamloops Indian Residential School and the Honorary Doctor of Laws Granted to the Late John Fergus O’Grady

The Vancouver Senate Tributes Committee expresses its deep sympathies to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and other Indigenous Peoples of Canada. The tragedies of the Canadian Indian residential school system — including the death and disappearance of Indigenous children — have been known for many years; the discovery of specific places with the remains of 215 children at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School has drawn this system to the forethoughts of many in this province, country and around the world. We hope that such thoughts encourage all Canadians to work harder towards acknowledgment of the past and present in this country, and to affirm their support of and respect for the equal human rights of all, including Indigenous peoples.

Last week, many people reminded the university that in 1986 we granted an honorary Doctor of Laws to John Fergus O’Grady, who at the time was the Catholic Bishop of Prince George. Prior to his being appointed a bishop, the then Father O’Grady was a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In that capacity he was a principal at various Indian Residential Schools, including Kamloops Indian Residential School in the 1940s. Bishop O’Grady died in 1998. There have been many calls from both within the university and from the broader community for the honour granted to Bishop O’Grady to be revoked. There have also been calls for any honours granted to anyone associated with the residential school system to be reconsidered.

The Tributes Committee is gathering what information it can on Bishop O’Grady from both institutional and other sources. We join with many others in calling on the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate to release, as soon as possible, whatever information is in its archives on the residential school system in general and Kamloops Indian Residential School in particular. We do not intend to delay our consideration of this matter should that information not be forthcoming.

The Tributes Committee thanks those who have sent comments over the past week. We would also express our sincere appreciation to Chancellor Steven Point who, as a member of the Tributes Committee, has provided wise counsel. We know that to properly adjudicate this matter we will require the knowledge and advice of others, both within the university and beyond. The Tributes Committee is committed to reviewing this matter and making a recommendation to the Vancouver Senate as quickly as possible.

The Tributes Committee understands the Senate must have transparent processes and criteria for reconsidering honorary degrees so that those who were honoured by the university in the past are accorded fairness. The Tributes Committee is committed to working to support the Vancouver Senate in these decisions, collaborating with the Okanagan Senate should it wish to take similar action, and consulting with the university and wider communities — especially First Nations communities — on this important work.

John H.V. Gilbert, C.M., Ph.D., LLD., FCAHS
Chair, Vancouver Senate Tributes Committee
Professor Emeritus


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Faculty and staff — return to campus update

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Following the UBC Broadcast on May 17, I would like to provide further details on planning that is underway to support faculty and staff returning to campus.

With the start of the 2021/22 academic year just three months away, we are excited to welcome back our students, faculty and staff. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those faculty and staff who have been on campus throughout the pandemic, providing key aspects of UBC teaching, learning, research and operations. Together we will bring vibrancy to our campuses, as we see the increased resumption of in-person teaching, learning, and research activity this fall.

This planning update reflects recent guidance from Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Regional Health Authorities and the BC Centre for Disease Control, in the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer and the provincial government’s recently published BC’s Restart plan. The plan details a phased approach to restarting social connections, businesses, and activities. You can read more at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restart.

Dr. Henry has been clear that public health leaders are confident in the safe resumption of on-campus activities by post-secondary institutions. With the progression of the provincial vaccination program and ongoing public health measures, BC is now seeing corresponding reductions in COVID-19 case counts and declining COVID-19 hospitalizations, including in critical care. It is also important to note that the period to receive a second vaccination dose has been reduced from 16 weeks to 8 weeks, with a forecast to have second vaccination doses administered to all by the end of August.

It is vital that all UBC faculty and staff participate in the provincial COVID-19 vaccination program. Every adult in BC is eligible to be vaccinated; now is the time to support each other and raise the rate of immunization. If you haven’t yet received your vaccine, please register and encourage your families and friends to join the ‘This is our shot’ campaign https://thisisourshot.ca.

BC’s Restart plan details a return to normal social contact from September 7, provided more than 70% of the 18+ population has received an initial vaccine dose, along with low case counts and low COVID-19 hospitalizations. In alignment withBC’s Restart plan, and with the health and safety of the UBC community as our first priority, we are taking a phased approach to facilitate a return to in-person teaching, learning, research and other on-campus activities.

At the same time, we recognize faculty and staff may have concerns on different aspects of returning to campus, and on COVID-19 and its variants. We continue to monitor the course of the pandemic, working closely with public health officials and will adjust our approach as required.

The phased approach we are taking reflects listening sessions with faculty and staff on both campuses and other feedback from our community. These listening sessions will be followed by another session on June 15 with Faculties on the Vancouver campus to respond in more detail to questions that have been raised. For staff in our central units, division heads are being supported by Senior HR Leaders in holding discussions over the next few weeks on their return to campus. Student sessions are also being held to provide information and respond to students’ questions.

As faculty and staff return to campus in preparation for the 2021/22 Winter Session, the process for returning will vary according to different parts of the university. This phased approach will allow for the operational needs of each Faculty and administrative unit. Deans, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, department heads, directors and supervisors will be provided with further details to support their decisions on timing for faculty and staff to return to campus. Note that all units will need to have an approved COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and are asked to continue using their current approved safety plans at this point.

Return to campus — phased approach:

  • Phase #1 (June-July): Faculty and staff who are required on campus to support instructional and operational planning or preparation for the 2021/22 Winter Session will be advised of their return date. Deans, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, department heads, directors, and supervisors will determine which employees are required to return to campus during this phase.
  • Phase #2 (July-August): Faculty and staff who are required on campus to prepare for direct, in-person teaching, learning, student support and other activities for the 2021/22 Winter Session will begin to transition back to campus. Deans, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, department heads, directors and supervisors will determine those employees who are required to return to campus during this phase.
  • Employees who are not required to return to campus as part of Phase #1 or #2 — but who wish to return earlier — should discuss this with their Deans, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, department heads, directors and supervisors, who will be responsible for making these decisions.

For those employees associated with UBC’s research activity, decisions around a return to campus will be made in line with respective Faculty and/or administrative unit planning.

Resources will be made available by mid-June to assist Deans, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-President, department heads, directors and supervisors in determining who will need to return to campus within each of the transition phases. More information on UBC’s Remote Work approach will also be shared later this month. As a reminder, useful FAQs can be found at https://covid19.ubc.ca and https://ok.ubc.ca/covid19.

With safety as a priority, a revised COVID-19 Safety Planning Framework is being developed to align with the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer and BC’s Restart plan. This revised framework and accompanying guidance documents will allow us to maintain a safe learning and working environment, reduce administrative burden, and ensure compliance with Provincial Health Officer Orders and WorkSafeBC regulations. As noted, all units are asked to continue using their approved safety plans. The framework will be available for implementation by July 1, following updated guidelines from the provincial government. If you have questions regarding your safety plan or require a new or revised plan, please email ready.ubc@ubc.ca at UBC Vancouver or ready.ok@ubc.ca at UBC Okanagan.

In recent listening sessions, we heard feedback from faculty and staff around areas of concern as we return to campus. One example is building ventilation. A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) working group is currently assessing building ventilation systems and forming recommendations based on information from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, WorkSafeBC, and the BC Centre for Disease Control to ensure a high standard of safety and to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We will continue to update you on progress around this topic, as well as other areas that are raised within the listening sessions.

While our campuses are safe for our return, in alignment with public health guidelines, there may be some members of our community who have medical conditions affecting their transition back to campus. There are existing processes to address these concerns, and we will continue to support faculty and staff who are affected by these situations. In addition, those faculty and staff who may be experiencing anxiety can access support for mental health and wellbeing at https://hr.ubc.ca/health-and-wellbeing/mental-health/faculty-and-staff-mental-health-resources.

For more than a year now, faculty and staff have stepped up to the challenges presented by COVID-19. Thank you for your ongoing patience and adaptability, and for continuing to provide the high quality of teaching, learning, and research that UBC is known for. We look ahead to the fall with a continued commitment to the health and safety of our community, and with hope and excitement for welcoming back our students.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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Join the National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism

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I am pleased to invite all our students, faculty and staff to participate in UBC’s National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism — a two-day virtual event on June 10 and 11, 2021, to address the ongoing crisis of escalating anti-Asian racism in Canada.

We are convening a diverse group of people to support a robust national conversation about this ongoing crisis, including community organizers, scholars, and public intellectuals, along with key figures in government, health care, media, journalism, the private and not-for-profit sectors.

This national forum will include open discussions about anti-Asian racism in our country with the aim of articulating bold and concrete recommendations for action. We will also discuss anti-Asian racism within the broader context of racism against Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities.

The first day of the Forum will be open to the public, with sessions focusing on issues impacting Asian Canadians, coalition building across Asian Canadian communities, and advocating for systemic change.

The second day will be a closed working session to start, with sector leaders, informed by the outcomes of day one. The Forum will culminate in a public session; this will be an opportunity to share bold actions and key priorities as next steps.

RSVP before June 7: https://ubc.ca/antiasianracism

We all have a role to play in the fight against pervasive and enduring anti-Asian racism. I hope you will join me for these crucial discussions.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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Update — planning our return to campus

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Following my message on April 20, I would like to provide further updates regarding UBC’s planning for a transitioned return to campus.

As you know, we have been watching the course of the COVID-19 pandemic carefully and continue to work closely on our plans with public health officials at the provincial and regional levels. The clear indication from Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, is that there is reason for optimism and that we will continue to see positive improvements, particularly given the progression of the provincial vaccination program, ongoing public health measures, and increased understanding of the virus that causes COVID-19.

A virtual town hall was recently held, in which Dr. Henry responded to questions from senior post-secondary leaders. During this event she answered questions on subjects ranging from mask wearing to classroom safety, to HVAC systems, medical accommodations and more. I encourage you to view it athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM1UIAm6nbA.

The provincial government also recently published the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/post-secondary-education/institution-resources-administration/return-to-campus-primer.pdf). This document provides information about the key public health planning assumptions and safety measures necessary to safely guide our planning over the coming months. New revised COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector will also be made available to the post-secondary sector in early summer for implementation by August.

The primer reflects the position of the Office of the Provincial Health Officer that we can expect to see lower COVID-19 transmission, and a significant reduction in serious cases, in the coming months. Although COVID-19 is unlikely to be eliminated from the population, it can be managed in the same manner as other common respiratory infections. It is anticipated that all adults in BC will have had an opportunity to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the week of June 21, and most will have received two doses by the end of August. International students who haven’t been vaccinated upon arrival will also have access to the BC immunization program.

As conditions improve throughout the spring and summer, it is expected that some of the more restrictive public health measures affecting our personal and professional lives will be relaxed while other prevention and control measures remain in place. Given these assumptions, we feel optimistic that UBC will be able to safely welcome our students, faculty and staff back to campus.

We appreciate that many members of our community will have questions, and some of you may be uneasy about a potential return to campus. It is important to reiterate that the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff remain our first priority. As we continue to take guidance from the provincial government and public health officials, we are also prepared to update our approach as required.

In-person teaching, learning, student housing and the student experience

The COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer sets out guidance to support UBC in planning for substantially increased in-person instruction and student housing occupancy. Faculties are currently finalizing the fall course schedules, assuming primarily on-campus instruction, with selected flexible options for continuity of learning where feasible, ahead of the course registration periods beginning in June. Key to this work will be our ongoing safety planning processes, and further updates will be provided.

Student engagement and campus experience is also an important component in supporting student success. Over the course of the next several weeks and months we will be sharing more details regarding the student services and programs to support a return to increased on-campus activity.

Faculty and staff — transitioning back to campus

We are developing guidance for heads and directors, supervisors, and managers to help identify and support those faculty and staff who will transition back to campus over the summer months to prepare for the arrival of students and the start of classes in September — supporting in-person instruction and other key activities and services. UBC’s research activity will also continue to increase. We will provide more details about the transition plan shortly, including ways for faculty and staff to have input into this process. We will also provide updates on how this transition will continue throughout the fall.

Faculty and staff — longer term remote work approach

As previously indicated, we are developing guiding principles to inform a new remote work approach. These are intended to support faculty and staff, recognizing that COVID-19 has presented an opportunity for UBC to be innovative in how it approaches remote work in the future, while continuing to support the student experience and academic mandate of the university. Further updates are expected in the new few weeks.

Supporting the provincial vaccination program

As a reminder, it is vital that members of our community support and promote the provincial vaccine program and I urge you to register for vaccination. Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. As BC continues to roll out its provincial vaccination program, the provincial government has announced that employees can have up to three hours of time off, without loss of pay, to get each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine. The provincial government has also been clear that all people in BC can be vaccinated for free, regardless of length of stay or status, even if they will be here for only one dose. This includes international students.

Safety planning

Key to our approach for returning to campus is a robust safety planning process — in order to ensure the health and safety of our community. The COVID-19 Safety Plan process will be informed by the recent primer document, as well as newCOVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector. We also anticipate that the following measures will remain in place:

  • Completing a daily COVID-19 self-assessment and not attending work or school when ill;
  • Following handwashing and hygiene protocols;
  • Continuing daily cleaning protocols in indoor settings and on high touch surfaces; and
  • Requiring non-medical masks in indoor common areas, depending on the rate of COVID-19 transmission.

Thank you once again to everyone who has supported the university over the last year. Many have continued to study and work on campus and others have studied and worked remotely. Wherever we have been located, we have all been enormously challenged. Further updates will be shared over the coming weeks. As a reminder, you can find the latest updates and useful FAQs at https://covid19.ubc.ca/ and https://ok.ubc.ca/covid19/.

We are seeing a brighter road ahead, and I am confident that together we will successfully, and safely, transition back to campus for the fall academic term. In the meantime, please know that your dedication to UBC and to our commitment to pursue excellence in research, learning and engagement, and to advance a sustainable and just society, is sincerely appreciated.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor


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Participate in the new Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey

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You are invited to participate in the new Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey (CCWS) for employees. The CCWS is a comprehensive, voluntary and confidential survey that assesses the health and wellbeing status of staff and faculty in the post-secondary sector.

The survey takes under 15 minutes to complete and responses will be anonymous and confidential. Results of the survey will be reported in statistically aggregated form only, and it is not possible for UBC or CCWS to identify individual employees. The deadline is May 31, 2021.

You can access the survey at: https://pair.ubc.ca/surveys/ccws-staff-faculty/.

Please note: student employees are asked not to take this survey as they received the separate CCWS for students survey in March.

Why should faculty and staff participate?

Your wellbeing impacts your experience as a UBC employee and it is a significant priority for UBC. This survey is one way in which the university can monitor progress in implementing our goals related to promoting health and wellbeing.

Your participation will also provide important feedback that will help shape the programs, services and initiatives that support you at UBC and beyond. It will also allow us to compare UBC employee experiences with those at similar universities across Canada.

Your data will be collected anonymously and combined with anonymous results from other Canadian institutions and stored in a data registry. Since data collected are anonymous, your data cannot be withdrawn. The data registry is solely under the custodianship of the Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey (Principal Investigator: Dr. Guy Faulkner, 604-822-2990) and may only be accessed through case-level datasets prepared by Canadian Campus Wellbeing Survey analysts for approved researchers and third-parties for research purposes (H19-02720). Data stored as part of the research registry will be encrypted and password-protected and stored on a computer in a secure UBC location.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact the local principal investigator Dr. Stephanie McKeown, Chief Institutional Research Officer at stephanie.mckeown@ubc.ca. More information about the CCWS is available at https://www.ccws-becc.ca/.

Thank you for taking the time to provide your valuable feedback.

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources

Ainsley Carry
Vice-President, Students

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan


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UBC Alert test notification this week

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.

At UBC, we have systems in place to support your safety and security. One of them is UBC Alert, the university’s mass notification system to send alerts to the community in urgent situations that pose an immediate safety or security risk, so that you can make informed decisions that prioritize your personal safety.

As part of our regular testing program, UBC Alert will be sending out a test notification to students, faculty and staff via a phone call and text message, as follows:

  • UBC Okanagan: Thursday, May 13
  • UBC Vancouver: Friday, May 14

The test will also run on our campus-wide digital signage systems.

As the test notification will be sent to your mobile number on record, it is important to take these few steps to update your contact information.

Students

  • Log in to the UBC Student Service Centre.
  • Click on ‘Contact Summary’.
  • Check that you are registered for UBC Alert and have included your mobile number.

Faculty and staff

  • Log in to Workday.
  • Go to your profile and click on ‘Contact’.
  • Check that you have included your mobile number in your contact information.

If you follow these steps but don’t receive the test notification via a phone call or text message, please do the following:

  • Students: Go to the UBC Student Service Centre and click on ‘Technical support’ under ‘Need help?’.
  • Faculty and staff: Submit a ticket to the Integrated Service Centre.

As part of our commitment to prioritize your safety and security, I urge you to complete these steps before the test is run on your campus and ensure your contact information is up to date, so that you are registered to receive alerts in the event of an emergency.

For more information on UBC Alert, please visit:

UBC Vancouver: ready.ubc.ca/ubcalert
UBC Okanagan: alert.ok.ubc.ca/ubcalert

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.

Peter Smailes
Vice-President, Finance & Operations


This message was sent to faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

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