May 15 Update from the President on University operations and fall term
A message to the Mount Allison community;
It has been two months since the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted our winter and summer terms, along with many highlight events of the University calendar, such as the Last Lecture, Reunion, and Convocation.
It is time to look forward to the upcoming academic year. I am writing to share some details of decisions made thus far, and to provide a sense of how our plans will take shape in the coming weeks.
Our priority remains the health and safety of every member of the Mount Allison community. Mount Allison is planning a phased approach to returning to campus, consistent with the province’s recovery framework and public health measures the government requires. The plan focuses on employees and students; for the foreseeable future, campus will remain closed to other visitors.
The first group to have the option to return to campus will be researchers who require the use of on-campus facilities: this includes faculty members and others involved in the research and/or creative enterprise (graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral fellows, assistants, technicians) and any students doing research related to their own academic program requirements. We are targeting a return date of May 25 for this group.
Other employees now working remotely from home are requested to continue to do so for now. Deans and directors will be reviewing scenarios with their employees, with a view to providing flexible options for employees to return to campus in the coming weeks, while maintaining a healthy workspace for all.
Details regarding specific procedures and protocols that must be followed by anyone returning to campus will be shared by May 20.
Any employees who need to come to campus briefly for a specific reason should continue to make those requests through their dean or director; students can request access by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academic planning for 2020-21
Beginning in the fall term, the University is planning to offer a blend of on-campus classes and online / alternate delivery. Classrooms, labs, and studios will undergo a number of adjustments consistent with public health guidelines, and the continuing need for physical distancing. Additional planning around the specifics of course delivery is also underway, led by the Provost and with the input of academic department heads, program directors, and numerous faculty and librarian members. More detailed information about academic offerings and course delivery for the Fall term will be communicated to students, faculty, and staff by June 1.
Residences will be open this fall to accommodate students. Residences, the dining hall, and food services on campus always operate with a central focus on the well-being of students. Over the summer a number of new health and safety measures will be put in place for the fall term, all designed to support student health upon arrival and throughout the academic year. Additional details about plans for supporting student health in residence will be shared by June 1.
There is no blueprint to manage through the impacts of COVID-19. Many groups at Mount Allison are working behind the scenes to ensure the safest and smoothest possible return to campus this fall.
Our goal is that our students continue to receive the best educational experience and the supports they need, even if these have to be done in a different format than what we’ve offered in the past.
I offer my thanks to the entire Mount Allison community for their work and patience as we navigate this new territory, and am looking forward to connecting with people on campus in the coming weeks.
If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Stay safe and healthy.
President and Vice-Chancellor