New today: Updates on virtual classrooms, research and campus operations
As the McMaster community works together to deal with the COVID-19 situation, what’s top of mind is how students are going to complete their year successfully.
Students have been assured that the university is doing everything possible to help them finish the academic year in a way that is fair and equitable.
When in-person classes were cancelled at end of day Friday March 13, students were told that they would hear from their instructors by end of day Wednesday March 18. Faculty members, academic leaders and staff undertook the complex task of modifying courses and determining how the remainder of their courses will be managed online and final grades assessed. The March 18 deadline to inform all students has been met. The solutions vary from course to course.
In a message to students, Vice-Provost, Faculty, Kim Dej, said: “McMaster takes your academic success, your health and your emotional well-being seriously, and we recognize the stress that many of you are feeling in these uncertain times.
“Please be assured that instructors and program coordinators have carefully considered the revised course plans so that they are clear, equitable and align with our shared academic expectations.”
Details of the guidelines to instructors as they reconfigured their courses are available on the provost’s website.
McMaster’s Research & Innovation website has new information to guide the research community as they navigate this changing situation.
The new site includes FAQs, forms/templates to guide researchers in requesting approval to continue critical research or shutting down their labs if needed.
The province’s declaration of a state of emergency and other rapidly developing circumstances around COVID-19 has a significant impact on research at McMaster. Acting Vice-President, Research Karen Mossman issued a letter to researchers confirming that while McMaster’s research is not closing down, the university does need to think about what research needs to continue at this time.
The university-wide movement to social distancing measures has increased and resulted in a number of operational changes on campus.
- All of the university’s parking lots have been opened to provide free parking to support university employees whose roles require them to be on campus.
- Buildings on campus will be closed at 7 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.
- With the reduced number of students and employees on campus, only Centro in the Commons Building remains open for food services. Centro is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week.
Building an inclusive community
McMaster is a diverse community that deeply values inclusion and respect. As the world manages the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important to remember that the virus is not connected to race but to geography.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC) would like to reinforce President Farrar’s message to “take care of each other and our communities” and reinforce and expand on the university’s call for inclusion and accessibility.
COVID-19 Updates, Faculty and staff, Students