Interim Dean Community Update - November 16, 2021


Dear OISE Faculty, Staff and Students,

I write this update recognizing that our learning and work experiences over this fall term have continued to evolve. Our collective resilience is evident as we have responded to changing circumstances. I thank everyone for all that has been done and want to reassure you that at the heart of our efforts is the health, safety and wellbeing of our community as we carry out the important activities of OISE.

In this update you will find the following:

  • Principles of Return to On-Site Work
  • OISE Wellness Activities
  • OISE Convocation - Sign the Virtual Card
  • Teaching Excellence Awards
  • Multi-factor Authentication


Principles of Return to On-Site Work

On November 4th, we shared with the community the OISE Winter 2022 Program Statement, which confirms our optimism in returning to some in-person activities in January. Recognizing this may produce a change in demand for in-person services and staff and faculty presence on campus, a set of principles has been developed to help guide decision-making that puts the safety of the community at the forefront, while upholding our deep commitment to service excellence.

In developing and implementing processes and decisions related to a healthy and safe return to on-site work, we will:

  • Comply with University principles and guidelines, public health directives, applicable provincial regulations and legislation, Memoranda of Understanding and collective agreements;
  • Work collaboratively with the OISE Community, non-OISE building occupants and the University to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all building users;
  • Determine requirements for on-site and off-site work that promote service excellence, leverage technology, and meet the needs of current and prospective students, staff, faculty and partners;
  • Support off-site work, and emphasize flexible, gradual and staggered return to on-site work, that will allow a smooth transition in consideration of employee and community wellbeing;
  • Apply principles of equity and inclusion to ensure plans are fair, unbiased, and non-discriminatory; and
  • Communicate clearly and broadly all return plans, information, and processes to all community members well in advance.

We look forward to updating the community in the coming weeks as our plans are further developed. Faculty and staff with suggestions or questions are encouraged to speak with their chair/manager.


OISE Wellness Activities

Building on the popularity of our annual Winter Wellness Day for OISE Staff and Faculty, we are pleased to announce our first ever Fall Wellness Day.

This year’s OISE Fall Wellness Day will take place on Wednesday November 24th. Similar to last year’s Winter session, it will be offered remotely. We invite you to reserve some time in your calendar from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to participate in as many activities as you wish.  We will be offering a range of wellness activities, including yoga, group online gaming, healthy cooking/eating, a photo contest, and additional workshops.

We encourage you to take this time to practice self-care and promote your individual wellness. 

In addition, throughout the year, OISE Wellness offers students, staff and faculty a range of weekly practice and special sessions.  Please also feel free to access the OISE Wellness archive of recorded sessions including yoga and mindfulness practice.


OISE Convocation – Sign the Virtual Card for the Class of 2021

The Class of 2021 will be celebrating their convocation this week on November 18. Please RSVP to attend online and also be sure to leave a message of well wishes by signing this virtual card for the graduates, which will be sent to them after the OISE Convocation Virtual Celebration event.

You may also wish to send your congrats via social media. If this is the case, please don’t forget to use the hashtag #OISEGrad21 — this will ensure that your message will appear on our OISE Convocation Hub Website.


Teaching Excellence Awards

The Call for Nominations has been sent to the community for OISE’s Teaching Excellence Awards—an important opportunity to recognize excellence in this central area of our work. Please take the time to consider nominating a teacher who has made a difference in your academic program. The nominations submission deadline is January 28, 2022. More information regarding the awards criteria, and the Guidelines for Preparing an OISE Teaching Award Nomination Package, is available.


Multi-Factor Authentication

The enrolment deadline of December 3, 2021 is fast approaching for UTORMFA (University of Toronto’s multi-factor authentication).  This solution adds an extra layer of security to your login when at off campus locations by verifying your identity using a second factor, such as a mobile device or hardware token. This added protection will help safeguard your account from being used to phish and from other cyber-attacks. In order for you to maintain continued access to UofT programs and systems, it is critical that you enrol at your earliest convenience.

Please enroll in UTORMFA program by following the instructions at Education Commons is looking forward to assisting you with this process and is available for one on one consultations or at if you require further assistance.


Thank you,


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