Dear Graduate Student Colleagues,
As you know our community is being challenged in many ways by the local and global effects of the COVID-19 virus and the situation is evolving significantly from day to day. I recognize how the spread of this virus and the uncertainty it has introduced is creating worry and stress – not only about your campus life but also about your family members and friends, here and elsewhere. In the coming days and weeks, I hope that sharing some information about our plans for helping you complete your degree here will reduce a little of that anxiety. We don’t have all the answers right now, but we will work hard to see that you know what we know, and have planned, as early as possible.
You have no doubt already seen the letter from President David Farrar declaring that face-to-face classes (both undergraduate and graduate) will cease effective the end of day today. I call particular attention to this portion of President Farrar’s statement:
” … The overall number of people on campus will be reduced, but students will continue to have access to their residences, libraries will be available and our research enterprise, services including food services and offices will continue to function.”
It is anticipated that most of you will continue to work on-campus and interact with your departmental colleagues in the usual way. Research in the community and in hospitals can continue, but students should bring their concerns to their supervisors who can review them on a case-by-case basis.
Aside from the day-to-day interactions in your group or lab, here is some guidance about other matters that are likely on your mind:
I am certain that this list is incomplete, but my Associate Deans and I will be working daily to fill in missing information on other issues that are brought to us.
We will get through this together. Indeed, the need to introduce additional flexibility into our processes and rethink how they are delivered may improve how we best support you going forward.
All the best,
Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies