Looking forward to Summer and Fall

March 04, 2021

This month we mark the anniversary of the most difficult year in recent memory.These past 12 months we’ve been compelled to learn some powerful lessons while continually innovating. Looking back on the monumental efforts put forth by all of us in the most challenging of circumstances, I’m filled with pride and gratitude. It certainly has not been easy.

Looking forward, there is cause for optimism. It is expected that millions of the most vulnerable Canadians will be vaccinated by early summer. Most Canadian post-secondary institutions are planning for a near-normal return to in-person instruction in the fall. I know we all want to resume on-campus activities as soon as we can – and we also want to do so safely.

As mentioned in VP Academic Catherine Dauvergne’s message to faculty and staff, Simon Fraser University is planning for two scenarios. The first is a near-to full scale return to campus in September 2021. The second is a significant return to in-person activities with many pandemic protocols still in place. As more information becomes available, we will decide which plan to implement, and we are aiming to make this decision by the end of May 2021. Information and updates are available on the COVID-19 FAQ’s page.

In the meantime, I want to acknowledge how tiring the pandemic environment has been for students, faculty and staff. The winter months have been especially challenging. I encourage you to plan for time off between semesters and take the breaks you need to support your wellbeing. Schedule your vacation days when you can. I have scheduled staycation time for this spring and later this summer.

It’s going to take all of us working together to implement the lessons learned from the pandemic and build towards a just, sustainable, and positive recovery. I can’t wait to return to the buzz of activity on our campuses, in our classrooms and in our communities.

For now, please continue to stay safe, and take good care of yourselves.