UBC’s approach for 2020/21 Winter Session, Term 2 (Jan – April 2021)

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With the start of 2020/21 Winter Session, Term 1 approaching, UBC’s community of faculty and staff are preparing to welcome our new and returning students.

The last several months have seen us responding to an unprecedented global crisis — one that has affected us all. As a university, with a commitment to high-quality teaching, learning and research, the challenge has been immense.

I am proud of the way we have come together during this time. Our faculty and staff are to be commended for your outstanding work in the transition to online teaching and learning, and remote working. We have also made significant investments to ensure that the delivery of our academic programs for 2020/21 Winter Session, Term 1, will be enriching and engaging.

Many of you may be wondering about 2020/21 Winter Session, Term 2, which begins in January 2021. I am pleased to say that for Winter Session, Term 2, we are keeping a focus on equitable access for all our students, with a blend of program delivery, ensuring we foster an inclusive learning community. We are also continuing to support those students who need our help — whether financially or academically, or through extra advice and counselling.

For Winter Session, Term 2, programming will be delivered online, with face-to-face instruction planned in programs ranging from health professions (for example Medical Education, Nursing, Dentistry, Occupational Therapy) to Creative and Performing Arts programs such as Theatre and Film and the School of Music. Faculties will provide updates on specific programs as planning continues.

We will ensure we adhere to all public health requirements, as we assess ways to expand our in-person classes. We will continue to monitor public health guidance, consult with local public health authorities, and provide further updates as the situation evolves. We also continue to work closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and with other post-secondary institutions within BC to ensure our plans are aligned with health and safety guidelines and WorkSafeBC.

As we look to increase opportunities to provide more on-campus programming, it is vital that we maintain the commitments we have developed over the last few months, prioritizing the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff.

UBC has developed some COVID-19 Campus Rules to ensure the health and safety of our community which include:

  • Assess yourself daily for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Stay home if you are ill.
  • If you have been exposed to someone or have symptoms of COVID-19, complete the BC self-assessment tool https://www.thrive.health/bc-self-assessment-tool.
  • Stay physically distant as much as possible.

You can find information about staying healthy, including advice on identifying COVID-19 symptoms and safety practices such as handwashing, at https://covid19.ubc.ca/health-guidance/. Useful FAQs related to UBC’s response to COVID-19 can also be found at https://covid19.ubc.ca/.

Faculty and staff who are present on campus, at any time, are expected to have completed the mandatory training module and be familiar with their department/unit’s COVID-19 Safety Plan. You can find more information and resources at https://covid19.ubc.ca/re-occupancy-resumption-plans/.

As a reminder, for Winter Session, Term 1, remote work will continue for many UBC faculty and staff. Any changes to your current work arrangements will only be considered after your department/unit’s COVID-19 Safety Plan has been reviewed and received approval. Thank you once again to those of you whose roles required you to continue working on campus.

COVID-19 has demonstrated what we can achieve together, as a university. Our strategic plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century outlines our vision as Inspiring people, ideas and actions for a better world. I can think of no better time for our community to come together once more, whether remotely or in-person, to help bring this vision to life.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

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

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