Principles guiding our decision-making for fall and beyond: President’s letter
April 30, 2020
Dear Members of the McMaster community,
I would like to begin by thanking McMaster’s faculty and staff. I appreciate everything that you are doing to continue to serve our students, to advance our research wherever possible, and to maintain the campus and the vital services we and others rely on. I would especially like to thank those of you who are active members of our healthcare community performing vital work within the hospitals and our health clinics.
These have been extraordinary times and McMaster is extremely fortunate to have innovative and dedicated people who are rising to meet the challenge. Together we are working to support our University through the needs of today, while also focusing on planning for the future and the opportunities of the days and years to come.
I would like to share with you a framework the President and Vice-Presidents’ group has developed that should be used to guide decision-making across the University. There are many questions that we cannot yet answer and much that still needs to be determined. While we know that there will be a fall term, we don’t yet know if it will be online or in-person. We have asked our faculty and staff to be ready for either scenario, so planning is now underway to ensure that we are able to develop and support a dynamic and high-quality student experience whether this takes place in-person or remotely.
McMaster Guiding Framework for Planning Decisions for September 2020 and Beyond
- For the 2020/21 academic year, we will continue to deliver on the academic and research mission of the University, while prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of all members of our community.
- In doing so, we will remain focused on supporting and enabling the success of our students, delivering a high-quality learning environment and overall student experience.
- Our goal is to welcome new and returning students back to campus as soon as this can be done safely and in accordance with Public Health guidance and government protocols. Priority will be given to those programs where physical access is necessary in order to complete academic requirements and enable students to complete their courses and graduate.
- We will maintain our focus on research excellence and on supporting the work of our researchers across all disciplines, as well as enabling and advancing our long history of creativity and innovation.
- We will continue to uphold our core University values, principles and policies, including our focus on inclusivity, accommodation and respect for one another, and our collegial decision-making processes. Any revisions or updating of policies will continue to be developed through the University’s pre-existing governance processes.
- We will continue to make fiscally prudent decisions that support our ongoing stability and success as an institution, balancing risk with opportunity.
- We will continue to work together as a community to support our students, faculty and staff across the University and will ensure that information, plans and decisions are communicated clearly and promptly.
We will, of course, continue to keep the McMaster community updated as decisions are made and the future becomes clearer. In the meantime, I hope that the framework will serve as a useful guide as you consider issues and make decisions within your own areas.
David FarrarMessages from leadership