Dear members of the UFV Community,
As the official start of the 2021 fall term approaches, UFV is committed to providing a safe return-to-campus environment as we scale up the level of on-campus activities and learning environments across all our campuses. While the pandemic has impacted all of us in a number of different ways, a recent report from the BCCDC entitled Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults in British Columbia highlights the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on youth aged 18-29 and calls upon all Post Secondary Institutions (PSIs) in BC to “enable safer return to in-class post-secondary instruction” as critical to redressing the pandemic’s long-term impact on our young adults.
UFV is very grateful for the strong leadership demonstrated by Dr. Bonnie Henry and her team at the Public Health Office and by the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, Honourable Anne Kang and her team at AEST for supporting a safe Return to Campus plan. The PHO and AEST have prioritized the health and safety of our PSI communities across BC and Dr. Henry’s recent health orders requiring mandatory masks and mandatory vaccinations for certain activities (e.g., residence, athletics, campus recreation) also add another layer of protection to ensure our campuses are safe while vaccination rates continue to increase. We also welcome Minister Kang’s support to enable PSIs to add additional health measures should they be deemed to be supportive at the local level.
We also want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our faculty and staff over the past 18 months for continuing to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students. UFV faculty and staff are known for their commitment to teaching excellence and student-centered supports and this commitment has been demonstrated time and time again despite a number of challenges during the pandemic.
Earlier this year, Faculties, Departments, staff, and faculty members were asked to create a fall timetable that represents the best pedagogical mode of delivery for their courses. The result is a fall timetable that includes 70% of classes with a face-to-face component and 30% being delivered online. This balance of delivery modes once again demonstrates our faculty and staff’s commitment to teaching excellence and accessible learning environments for our students.
Following discussions with representatives from the Faculty and Staff Association and with the Student Union Society, we have decided to add an additional layer of assurance for members of the UFV community by instituting a mandatory confidential self-disclosure of vaccination status of UFV students, staff, and faculty. This self-disclosure is necessary to help inform whether additional health measures are needed on our campuses and to assist with our continued use of evidence-based decision making. Details and logistics on the self-disclosure process will be forthcoming in the very near future and we appreciate your patience and participation as we continue to ensure that our campuses are ready to safely welcome back our students, staff, faculty, and community members.
High rates of vaccination continue to be the clearest path to safe campuses and safe communities. We strongly encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to register today. There are many clinics in our region and UFV is hosting a number of Fraser Health pop-up clinics on campus in September.
Dr. Joanne MacLean
President and Vice-Chancellor