January 21, 2022: Safely resuming in-person activities on campus

Dear Staff,

For those who attended the departmental staff meeting and/or the Coffee with the Dean session yesterday, we want to acknowledge that you may still have questions about what the return to campus on February 7th may look like for administrative staff. As mentioned yesterday, some plans remain dynamic as restrictions change. However, to support the upcoming return to in-person teaching, an increased campus presence and working with the CAO’s office, we are developing a staffing plan that incorporates current best practices and meets the operational needs of the Department. In the meantime, if you have not read the message from the Dean (see below) including the alternative work arrangements, we encourage you to do so. Please also feel free to speak with your manager in the short term if you have questions or concerns.

We will schedule a staff meeting specifically to discuss return-to-campus once we have finalized our process. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more and invite you to send any feedback to our new Director, Administration and Finance at kristin.goodwin@utoronto.ca.

Sincerely,
Ramin Farnood

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To our U of T Engineering community,

You will have received the latest message about the University’s plans to resume in-person activities on campus over the coming weeks. I am writing today to share some key updates and timelines for us here in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering:

Students

  • Undergraduate classes and labs will resume in-person on Monday, 7 February 2022.
  • Graduate courses that were planned to be delivered in-person will resume in-person on Monday, 7 February 2022. Those that were planned as remote delivery for the Winter Term will continue remotely.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students should carefully read all messages from their instructors for details about their specific courses.
  • We understand that some students who travelled for the winter closure may now face challenges in returning to Toronto — for example, some students in China may be subject to city or regional lockdowns. If you expect you will be unable to return to campus in-person due to restrictions, undergraduate students should contact the Registrar’s Office. Graduate students should contact their home Graduate Administrator.

Faculty and staff

  • Faculty and staff who have been working remotely should anticipate a return to campus to support in-person learning.
    • Employees, including faculty members, should discuss specific return plans with their chairs, directors or managers — where business needs allow for hybrid arrangements, where an employee is working remotely for any portion of the week, alternative work arrangements will need to be in place beyond 7 February 2022.

Reminders about mandatory health and safety policies for everyone

  • U of T requires all students, staff, faculty and visitors to campus be fully vaccinated; at this time, additional vaccines or booster doses are not required to be considered fully vaccinated. Ensure your proof of vaccination is uploaded to UCheck. An update is underway to the UCheck system to allow proof of booster doses — this feature should be available around 31 January 2022.
  • Everyone coming to campus in person must complete UCheck every day, and receive a time-stamped green screen, before arriving on site. Spot checks will be conducted around campus.
  • Face masks are required in all indoor spaces on all three University campuses, including classrooms, labs, offices and other shared areas such as lobbies, elevators and hallways. A new update to the University’s guidelines on masking is expected shortly.

We are also working to make more spaces available to study, eat and drink safely in between classes — we will post signage and share that info once we have it. I am optimistic we can complete the rest of the Winter Term in person — and I know that if we do need to pivot again, we will do so with all the resilience, flexibility and creativity for which we are known.

I will update you again if plans shift. In the meantime, please do your best to take care of yourselves — mental health resources are available for U of T Engineering faculty, staff and students. Though it may not feel like it just yet, things will keep improving. Together, we have learned a great deal over the past two years, and I am incredibly proud of everyone at U of T Engineering for doing their part to keep this community healthy and safe. Let’s keep going.

I look forward to seeing you on campus!

Chris

Christopher Yip
Dean
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto


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