Posted: March 23, 2020
Since Laurier made the decision on March 13 to move the remainder of the winter term online, Ontario has declared a pandemic and intensified its response through closures and enhanced social distancing measures. Over the past few days, it has become clear that we will not be in a position to resume normal face-to-face instruction by May 1. Laurier, like all universities, has been considering how to deliver courses in the spring, intersession and summer (“sprummer”) terms.
Over the weekend, the Senate Executive and Finance Committee, in accordance with its authority under the Academic Disruption Policy (2.5), approved the continuance of remote and online learning for the sprummer term. Given that sprummer registrations include a high proportion of Laurier-UW double-degree students, the adjusted sprummer academic dates are designed to match those established by UW. This includes a one week delay to start the term (starting on May 11 instead of May 4) to allow additional time for planning.
We are fortunate that a large number of sprummer courses are already planned to be delivered online. I recognize that modifying the remainder to adapt to the current situation is a significant effort, but I am confident that our whole community will continue to demonstrate the resilience and flexibility that this extraordinary situation demands of all of us. Support, assistance, and guidance in this endeavour can be accessed on Connect for faculty and wlu.ca/coronavirus for students.
The faculties have been hard at work on planning for a shift to remote/online learning for the upcoming term. As you can appreciate, there remain a range of details and issues related to course instruction to be addressed in consultation with WLUFA and with a number of other offices, including Teaching and Learning, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and Enrolment Services. We remain committed to working with each faculty to ensure the maximum possible extent of academic continuity for students. We will also be working with areas across the university to address the service and fee implications of this change. More information will be provided as plans proceed and decisions are made. Immediate questions and concerns should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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