Interim Dean Community Update - December 02, 2021

Date: December 02, 2021

Dear OISE Faculty, Staff and Students,

As the 2021 fall term nears completion and as we approach what will be a much-needed holiday break, I want to provide a further update regarding the Winter term 2022.

OISE remains committed to delivering high-quality instruction and programming, whether on-line or in-person. This commitment relies on the efforts of our faculty and staff across departments, units and programs. While we recognize that there is always room for further creativity and improvement, we also appreciate how much we are collectively doing to deliver our best amidst the ebb and flow of a pandemic.  As circumstances continue to evolve in ways that are sometimes unexpected, we plan accordingly, adjust as warranted, and ultimately together deliver on our commitments.

As we consider our plans for the Winter term 2022, let us reflect for a moment on this past term. Even as we offered programming online, we also experienced an increase in in-person activity within the OISE buildings, all carried out in adherence with current public health measures and institutional protocols. This enabled us to closely examine our essential systems and processes in preparation for further in-person activities. This fall term also provided extra opportunity for departments and units to carefully balance program plans while allowing faculty, staff and students to safely and gradually revisit our OISE spaces to work, study, learn and connect.

In looking ahead to the Winter term, we have encouraged departments and programs to continue to make decisions regarding the most effective modes of course delivery and complementary staffing arrangements given the current context. As plans continue to evolve, we anticipate further gradual increases to in-person activities on campus within OISE buildings into the Winter term 2022. To support these efforts, in the November 16th community update, we shared a number of principles designed to help guide the planning and associated transitions. Department and unit plans have been further developed that will allow for a continued safe, flexible and gradual return to on-site work for staff and faculty.

As mentioned previously, these plans support our commitment to service excellence and restoring our on-campus spaces. Individual Departments and units will be communicating these plans directly to their communities as they evolve. I encourage you to stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 information as it relates to building procedures and policies by regularly visiting the Chief Administrative Officer's community information page at https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/covid-19 to ensure we are all compliant with the University and Provincial public health directives and practices.

I appreciate the goodwill and resilience of all OISE community members as we continue to work together to prioritize the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty. I look forward to being together and sharing our OISE physical spaces for the benefit and well-being of our academic community.

 

Thank you,

 

Normand Labrie, Ph.D., FRSC
Professor and Interim Dean