June 29, 2021
Good morning everyone,
As we head into the long weekend and well-deserved summer holidays, I wanted to thank our entire community once again for a successful year under truly challenging circumstances. Thanks to our shared commitment and hard work, last week we celebrated the success of well over 6,000 new Carleton degree holders – the largest graduation class in our history! I wish all our new alumni the very best as they tackle new challenges and opportunities.
We are continuing to see encouraging signs that we will eventually emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 30, the province will move into Step 2 of its Roadmap to Reopen plan, and we expect that Step 3 will follow within a month. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to monitor Ontario’s reopening plan and will be communicating any significant changes both through email and on our COVID-19 What’s Open and Closed website.
The vaccination rates across Ontario and Canada continue to accelerate. It’s important that individuals receive both doses of the vaccine to boost their immunity and help everyone return to campus safely. After having my first dose of AstraZeneca in early May, I am looking forward to receiving a second dose, this time probably an mRNA vaccine, in early July. We are planning on additional vaccination clinics in August at our Health and Counselling Services based on vaccine allocations and supply from Ottawa Public Health. In addition, we are preparing to launch a full vaccination campaign in August to encourage all our students to get vaccinated with two doses.
The Return to Campus working group is continuing to plan for units to gradually and safely return to campus starting in August in advance of the fall term. All units in phase 3 are now preparing their return to campus and staffing plans to ensure we can provide face-to-face support for our students on campus starting August 23. We are continuing to prepare our buildings, including ensuring all buildings have updated ventilation systems, signage and traffic flow, and updating our cleaning protocols in advance of units returning to campus.
I am grateful for everyone’s contribution to the complex process of preparing for the fall term in circumstances that remain fluid. I am confident that we will be ready and that as the 2021-22 academic year progresses we will gradually and safely come to once again enjoy the full range of activities that make university life so rich and so rewarding.
I will be away for a few weeks, but will be back with regular communications in August. In the meantime, our Provost Jerry Tomberlin will be Acting President. Please make sure you also take holidays – we all need it!
Have a wonderful day everyone,
President and Vice-Chancellor