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March 18, 2020
Good morning everyone,
I hope this finds you well as classes are about to start again without the familiarity of the physical classroom. I am sure many of you, whether teaching staff or students, are facing the day with a measure of apprehension and that is completely normal and understandable.
To all our dedicated teaching staff, I would like to say that we know you are all deploying extraordinary efforts on a very tight timeline. Our fantastic Deans, who along with their great teams have shown remarkable leadership this week, tell me that everyone’s commitment to the continuity of our academic mission and to our students has been unanimous and unwavering. As we venture into unexplored territory today, trust your expertise as scholars and teachers, your love of knowledge, and the ability of students to adapt and to contribute to facilitating your transition. Compassion and self-compassion will see us through.
To our students, I will start by expressing my gratitude for the calm and composed response you have collectively demonstrated in this challenging situation. As classes resume today, the best thing to do is to take it one day at a time, ask for help as needed, and support each other. The entire Carleton community is mobilizing to ensure that we can maintain required services and see you through to the successful completion of your semester and, for those in your last term, your Carleton degree.
Many thanks to the fantastic team at Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) for helping so many to successfully manage our transition to alternative modes of instruction. As always, teaching staff can reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org or consult the excellent Help to Keep on Teaching resource page. Students should have a look at the brilliant Top 10 Tips to Study Online put together by our Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) David Hornsby and his team.
Our beautiful campus is remarkably quiet with all classes occurring remotely and most people working from home. I do want to extend my most sincere thanks to the great people who are on campus today to maintain required services for our students and our community.
Our three main COVID-19 committees (Steering, Operations, and Academic Continuity) continue to meet daily, following our safe meeting protocols and social distancing guidelines, to ensure that appropriate decisions are made in real time and shared quickly.
Ensuring the safety of our students in residence remains a priority. We are well aware that some of our residents are not in a position to go home and I want to reassure everyone that they will be taken care of not only to the end of the semester but through the summer as well. However, we continue to strongly recommend that residence students who can go home do so as soon as possible. As indicated previously, residents who move out by 4:00 pm on March 22, 2020 will be provided a pro-rated refund for residence and meal plan costs.
Our next major decision concerns the summer term and there is some urgency as registrations are scheduled to open on Thursday, March 26. Accordingly, we will be communicating our plan for the summer term before the end of this week.
Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.
Today as we connect in new ways, as learners and as humans, we reaffirm that our commitment to knowledge and to each other will always prevail.
President and Vice-Chancellor