What to expect in Winter 2022
Dear members of the McMaster community,
Whether you have been joining us virtually this fall or have been on campus or at another McMaster site, we have been so excited to see the activity levels increasing and to have the chance to spend time with students and colleagues. My greatest thanks for all that you have contributed and for the support you have shown each other as we have dealt with the challenges of the pandemic.
As we move past the middle of the fall term, we are focusing our attention on Winter 2022 and continuing our plans for what learning, teaching and work will look like beginning in January.
As I announced at our Back to Mac town halls in June, McMaster is currently planning to resume in-person classes in the winter term with very limited exceptions. Teams across campus are also planning to ramp up on-campus student life activities so they are closer to, if not meeting, pre-pandemic capacities. This includes services and resources, events, and student study and social space.
Staff will continue returning to the office throughout the remainder of the fall term and into the new year to collaborate with colleagues, provide services and support the student experience. Students, faculty and staff should expect to be on campus or at their McMaster-affiliated site as of January 2022. Ongoing discussions regarding workplace flexibility will continue in many teams.
The health and safety of our community will remain our top priority. Though we are planning for an in-person term, we will be ready to pivot if necessary and will continue to closely follow all public health mandates. Your continued compliance with all public health guidelines in place on campus is very much appreciated. Please also note that completion of Back to Mac COVID-19 training is mandatory for all students, faculty and staff who have not previously accessed campus.
I would like to thank everyone who uploaded their proof of vaccination to MacCheck. We have had an extremely strong response from across our community, and this widespread uptake of vaccination has allowed us to plan for in-person learning opportunities, meetings, events and activities in the winter term.
If you have not yet uploaded your proof, please remember that you are not permitted to access campus or any McMaster-affiliated site until you do so, unless you have an approved exemption. There is additional information available on our Back to Mac website about potential impacts on course progression for students and employment status for faculty and staff if you have not yet uploaded your proof of vaccination.
We have all learned a lot during the pandemic. We have learned the important role technology plays and the opportunities it creates to think differently about how we work, teach and research. We have also learned that kindness, empathy and diversity strengthen our ability to learn, to do our work, and to strive for excellence.
I will be hosting a virtual State of the Academy address on November 18 at 1:30pm ET. I hope you will be able to join me as we look at where we are and where we’re going, including the advances McMaster has made throughout the pandemic and how we can work together to fulfill our Teaching and Learning Strategy and the university’s Strategic Plan. More details about the event and how to join will be shared soon.
Once again, thank you for all that you contribute to the university and our students. Please stay well and I hope to see you on November 18.
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)