An update on planning for the fall term from Catherine Dauvergne and Wade Parkhouse

February 18, 2021


Dear colleagues,

We know our students, faculty and staff are keen to be back on our campuses, and our plan is to make that possible as soon as it is safe. We are writing today to let you know about our planning processes as we work towards returning to in-person teaching, research, and community engagement.

The centrepiece of our planning work is to plan for two scenarios. The first is a near-to full scale return to our campuses in September 2021. The second is a significant return to face-to-face interactions with many pandemic protocols still in place. As more information becomes available over the coming months, we will make a decision about which of these plans to implement. We are aiming to make this decision by the end of May 2021.

We want to learn from our large scale spontaneous experiment with remote delivery and ensure that we hang onto whatever benefits these difficult times have yielded. Part of our planning involves paying attention to useful innovations of the past year that we want to build into our future.

Our planning processes

  • The Fall 2021 Planning Committee meets weekly and directs academic planning.
  • The COVID-19 Management Team also meets weekly and takes the lead on operational issues across the university.
  • The Deans’ Council held a Fall 2021 planning retreat last week and will be regularly working on fall planning going forward.
  • Human Resources has struck a working group to look at how our staff and faculty will return to work as our learning and research work moves back to being predominantly in person.

What’s next

We are planning a series of townhallls for staff and faculty to both share and gather additional information. More information about these will be available soon. We are launching an undergraduate student survey next week.

We continue to balance making decisions when we have enough information with giving our community time to plan ahead.

We are committed to communicating about our planning work on a regular basis between now and September. Look for another update from us soon.

If you have questions, check out the COVID-19 FAQs. If you would like to access one of our previous updates, have a look at the COVID-19 Updates for staff and faculty. If you have questions, send them to

Yours truly,

Dr. Catherine Dauvergne, QC
Vice-President Academic and Provost

Wade Parkhouse
Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic