Community Update #31 - Update on Return to Campus Planning

In my last update about our plan to safely return to our campuses this fall, I promised to share more details with you as they became available.

We recognize that the public health situation as it pertains to the ongoing pandemic continues to evolve, and that many of you understandably have questions about Fall 2021 planning. We continue to actively plan for a safe return to on-campus activities, while carefully monitoring public health guidance and the ongoing rollout of vaccines.

Our academic planning for the Fall term is well underway, with the goal of providing our students with greater access to curricular and co-curricular activities on our campuses. We understand that remote learning will still be necessary for some courses due to physical distancing precautions and other factors. Some students may also have travel or health restrictions limiting their access to campus. At the same time, we appreciate how challenging it has been for our students, including our first-year students, who have been with us for a year without yet having been on campus.

We look forward to providing more specific guidance about what this will look like in the coming weeks.

As we anticipate the arrival of more students, staff, faculty and instructors on our York campuses later this year, next week we will be sharing our new Transitional Remote Work Policy with you, which will provide eligible staff with an opportunity to engage with managers about the return to campus plans and options for ongoing remote arrangements.

The gradual return to campus for all staff and managers is expected to take place beginning in late summer to early fall, in accordance with Toronto Public Health Guidelines.

We are also instituting a special York Wellness Day on Friday, July 2nd to provide an extended 4-day long weekend. We recognize that not all staff will be able to have this extra day off given the required nature of their role with the University. For those staff who are required to work, compensation will be arranged following our collective agreements or terms and conditions of employment for non-unionized staff.

It is exciting to look ahead with optimism for when we will be able to gather safely on our campuses once again. I would like to take this opportunity as well to thank faculty and staff who have been on campus throughout the pandemic for their hard work delivering required courses in-person, and keeping our campuses safe and accessible to those who need it. I look forward to sharing more details about our plans with you in the coming weeks and in the meantime, I encourage you to continue to visit YU Better Together for ongoing updates.

Rhonda Lenton
President & Vice-Chancellor