A message from President Joanne MacLean:
Over the past 15 months you have overcome the personal and professional challenges imposed by the pandemic. Thank you for all you have done to persevere through this academic year in support of students and their education.
As COVID-19 case numbers trend slightly lower, and as we look to the promise of vaccinations offered to everyone over the age of 12 by July, I’d like to give you an update on UFV’s planning for the Fall.
Safe return to campus
Earlier this spring, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training (AEST) released a public statement based on the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry indicating post-secondary institutions in British Columbia should plan for a safe resumption of regular on-campus activities starting in the Fall 2021 semester.
Scientific modeling from the Provincial Health Office projects September will look dramatically different and much brighter than today.
While some may feel understandably anxious about coming back to our community, UFV is working diligently to ensure your return will be safe, supported, and healthy. We are working closely with AEST, Provincial Health, Fraser Health, and WorkSafe BC to support the safe resumption of on-campus activities.
UFV is planning a phased approach to returning to campus for faculty and staff, and more details will be shared in the coming weeks. Supporting this work, the government will be updating the existing COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for BC’s post-secondary sector in the months ahead.
In the meantime, the province has issued a Return-to-Campus Primer, developed by a team of experts from the public post-secondary sector in partnership with representatives from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, the BC Centre for Disease Control, regional health authorities, and AEST. This document provides high-level guidance to support planning for the return to campus.
A virtual townhall will be hosted by the Provincial Health Office for post-secondary sector leaders and human resource and labour executives on Monday, May 10. UFV is planning to host a townhall for faculty and staff later this spring. I understand you have concerns and our commitment to the UFV community is to provide regular communication and updates as new information becomes available.
UFV Communications will be sending out bulletins on Thursdays to all faculty and staff – or more often if the situation calls for it. This is in addition to the Monday morning UFV Now newsletter, social media, email, web pages, and UFV Alerts as needed.
What you can do
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. You can contribute by:
- Getting vaccinated — vaccine registration is now open to all BC residents 18 or older. Dr. Henry has announced that by July all BC residents will have access to a first vaccine dose. To date, 2 million British Columbians have received their first dose, with the number of available doses expected to double in May.
- Following campus safety plans
- Following public health orders and guidelines both on and off campus
- Wearing a mask as required on and off campus
Thank you for your patience as we navigate this challenging environment together. I encourage you to check email and other channels throughout the summer for updates and bulletins on our plans for a safe return to campus in September.
Dr. Joanne MacLean
President and Vice-Chancellor