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COVID-19 - Updates

In these unprecedented times, information evolves and changes rapidly. Please reference the documents in chronological order starting with the most recent for the most up-to-date information.

November 2020

Looking ahead to the holiday season

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

With only a few weeks left of this fall’s academic semester, our students, faculty, and staff have all earned a welcome rest to follow the exam period. I would like to encourage our community to complete the year with courage and perseverance. As communicated recently, Laurentian’s Senate has decided to push back the start of the winter semester classes to January 11th, 2021, in order to provide more time to decompress, relax, and prepare for the semester ahead. While the pandemic’s rate of spread has increased across the country, and in our area, we must also increase our vigilance, ensuring physical distancing, use of face coverings, and proper hand hygiene. 

Recently, we received the welcome news that Laurentian University has been added to the Government of Canada’s Designated Learning Institutions list, which allows international students to enter Canada and study at Laurentian. This has been eagerly anticipated by our staff, faculty and of course, our international students. 

We have also updated the list of courses that will be delivered on campus this winter, similarly to the fall semester, there are only a small number of courses that will hold an on-campus component. 

Lastly, I would like to invite our community members to participate in both the upcoming Giving Tuesday fundraising on December 1, as well as the community conversations that will take place in the coming weeks.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Delayed start to the winter semester

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

I am sharing a short message today to update you on an important decision that was made at Tuesday’s Laurentian University Senate meeting that highlights Laurentian’s collegial governance and commitment to our students. A motion to delay the start of the winter semester from January 4th to January 11th, 2021, which was initiated by Eric Chappell (President, Student General Association) and supported by student and faculty senators, was passed.  As a result, classes for the Winter Term at Laurentian will now begin on January 11th, 2021. The start of the exam period in April will be delayed accordingly to reflect the new winter semester start date. The Winter Reading Week will take place as scheduled and instruction will continue to be delivered primarily through remote delivery.

This change has been made with students, faculty, and staff at the centre of considerations. While we have not yet determined the many procedural changes involved with this decision, we will be communicating the details as they are resolved. In particular, there will be follow up with academic programs that may have specific requirements that might otherwise be impacted by this shift in timing.

I fully support this decision knowing that it was truly made in the best interests of our students in these unusual times. I look forward to working with the entire Laurentian community to ensure its seamless implementation.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

International Education Week

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

This week, we observe International Education Week (November 16-20), an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable contributions of Laurentian’s international students, who number in the hundreds, and who bring so much spirit, dynamism, and energy to our community. While international students seek to study in Canada to expand their experiences and worldview, their presence also benefits our domestic students who learn from their international peers through cultural experiences and exchanges. 

There will be many activities, including an intercultural communications workshop (Nov 18 at 10 A.M.), an international trivia event (Nov 19 at 9 A.M.) and the “world conversation cafe” (Nov 20 at 9 A.M.) where we have opportunities to learn about new cultures. To add to all of this, on November 18th at 7 P.M., we will also virtually host the Dr. Andreae Distinguished Presidential Lecture Series on Living in Healthy Communities presents - Making the play: A panel discussion on the importance of allyship and inclusion in sport. I would like to encourage you all to take part where possible and view the full schedule of events.

On the topic of international students, of particular importance to these students is our pending status on the list of Designated Learning Institutions that allow them to enter the country. While we are not yet on the list, we expect to be added soon and will inform our community once we are added. I would like to recognize the efforts of many campus leaders who have created our Campus Readiness Plan, which is a multilayered, comprehensive plan that has been developed collaboratively with support from nearly all areas of the university and which ensures the safety of our entire community. This plan ensures that we have space and logistical support for students to be able to quarantine upon arrival. For example, our team members create a personal plan for each individual student which ensures they will have a fully stocked fridge, regular food deliveries, and check-ins from our staff. 

This endeavour would not be possible without support from our staff in residence, health & wellness, cleaning services, campus safety, marketing, facility services, the print hub, and of course, international student services. Ensuring the success of the arrival of these students is key to beginning their academic and student journey with a positive experience of our community. 

Another group of students who have a unique academic journey is our Academic All-Canadian/All-Conference varsity athletes, who were recognized by Laurentian Athletics last week. These students not only maintain excellent academic standing, but do so while competing at a very high level in their respective sports. This national honour was bestowed upon 130 of our student athletes, a major point of pride for them as well as our coaches and athletic staff. 

In closing, with the rise of COVID-19 cases in our community of Greater Sudbury, I would like to remind everyone of the importance of limiting social gatherings to your household, physical distancing, wearing a face covering, as well as hand hygiene. We are living through an historic pandemic, precautions and sacrifices are all necessary, and we must all do our part. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Special COVID-19 Update

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

I am writing to our community tonight to provide everyone with assurances: at this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within Laurentian University residences. In the event of a confirmed positive case on campus, we will follow our procedures and collaborate with Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

With the rise of COVID-19 cases in our community of Greater Sudbury, I would like to remind everyone of the importance of limiting social gatherings to your household, physical distancing, wearing a face covering, as well as hand hygiene. We are living through an historic pandemic, precautions and sacrifices are all necessary, and we must all do our part. 

We remain committed to updating the community with timely information on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our campus.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Remembrance

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Pandemic or not, November 11th is a day where many Canadians reflect and remember the sacrifices of those who have served our country both at home and abroad. It is a day, at least this year, where poppies will adorn both coats and zoom backgrounds. One where we recognize the more than 2,300,000 who have served throughout our nation’s history, and the over 180,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice in the process. 

Personally, I have dedicated my “digital poppy” to my father, who served in the Canadian forces for 25 years, including in the Korean War. I encourage you to visit mypoppy.ca to dedicate a poppy or to place a donation through your local legion. 

Today, we remember.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

October 2020

Celebrating our students

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

There are rare moments in the lives of our students that most, if not all, students remember. Their first class, perhaps their last exam, but nearly all alumni will remember crossing the stage to receive their degree from Chancellor Steve Paikin or past Chancellor, Aline Chrétien. 

Our alumni will remember feeling nervous and maybe even worried about missing a step up to the stage or how their friends and family felt as they proudly welcomed them at the end of the ceremony. As I look towards Saturday’s convocation video release, I encourage everyone who will be officially convocating this weekend to make plans to visit the campus at a future convocation to receive their degree from the Chancellor. It is a memory that you have earned, and though it may be delayed, it should be experienced. 

Another experience that has been delayed for some international students, is the entry to Canada. Fortunately, the Canadian government has eased travel restrictions to allow for international students to enter the country in order to study at a Designated Learning Institution. Our team has been working with the ministry for some time now and we expect to be added to this list of institutions shortly. Laurentian University is home to 593 international students, and each year, we are fortunate to have that number increase as students from around the globe choose to study in Sudbury. 

On a more concerning note, our Greater Sudbury community has now experienced an increase in confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and our team continues to support our students, staff, and faculty through the increasing threat of the virus. With our stress levels increasing it is important that we are empathetic. Our students are faced with concerns of testing and some of our faculty and staff have children in schools with positive cases. We must continue to work together and be considerate to our collective challenges. 

As far as health and safety on campus, we have done everything within our control to protect our community, however, it is possible, even likely, that the virus will eventually appear on campus. We have the necessary protocols in place and will follow the guidance of Public Health Sudbury & Districts in the event of a positive case. For everyone’s safety and security I would like to encourage everyone to review our health and safety guidelines and continue to practice physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and limiting travel.

We are fortunate to be where we are and we must remain vigilant to maintain safety. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Empathy for our student athletes

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Our Laurentian University student athletes received the unhappy news last week that Ontario University Athletics have suspended their winter sports seasons. Coupled with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the immediate future of competitive sport, Laurentian University has made difficult decisions with regards to the operation of our athletic programs, in particular as it relates to reducing the hours of coaching staff and impact on recreation and athletics staff. These decisions were made with consideration to how best to balance mentoring and support for our athletes and follows our decision to close the Ben Avery Complex to all but our student athletes. 

This news is very difficult for our athletes and I would like to ask our community to extend their empathy to our student athletes who have lost their seasons. Athletics are a significant part of our student life and are beloved by our student athletes. We must come together to support our athletes during this period and hope that they can return to their sports as soon as it is safe to do so. 

But it is not only our student athletes, this is a difficult time for all students, we appreciate that. It seems the protocols and information are changing on a daily basis, which is challenging, and it causes concern in a time in your life where there may be other stresses related to school. For all students, I would like you to know that the Laurentian University community is here for you. Remember that our teams are here to help, whether with academic support, health and wellness support, or mental health support, we are dedicated to helping you succeed. 

In the same way that the University has been through many successes and challenges over the past sixty years, we will persevere through this situation.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Being thankful through adversity

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

This time of the year is an important time for many of us. A time to reconnect with family members, give thanks, and in the academic world, pause for our fall study week at this midway point of our unique semester. This is an important opportunity academically, as well as for self-reflection. 

During this pause, I would like to highlight the importance of showing empathy for each other. We have all made efforts to press on during the pandemic and should be thankful to each other for all we have achieved so far and for the plans and measures that are in place to enable our success going forward. Our faculty members have turned their teaching worlds upside down, our students have doubled their efforts to continue learning, and our staff members have gone above and beyond to support the aforementioned groups. Every day, my confidence in our ability to move forward together is reinforced by reflection on how far we have already come.

We are all in this together, and I am very thankful to be a part of this team. Many of you have heard me speak of this before, but the sense of community at Laurentian University is unlike any other institution I have seen. I am truly grateful to have the pleasure of learning from and working with you all. 

I wish you all a restful and productive study week.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Precautions for the second wave of COVID-19 and collective bargaining

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

I hope that the fall semester has started off well for you all. Thus far, it has been inspiring to hear multiple examples of the positive academic experiences that arae taking place virtually between our faculty and students. 

Although many of us continue to study and work from home, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the province increases daily. Later this month, the Laurentian University Senate will vote to determine the academic delivery method for the Winter and I look forward to this decision. Even though our region has a low number of these cases at this time, they are increasing and it is incumbent upon us to reinforce existing public health messages and guidelines. I would also ask our residence students who plan to travel for Thanksgiving to consider foregoing those plans, as the safest option at this time would be to stay in the region. I know this will be challenging, but I share this recommendation as it comes from our public health authorities and it is in our best interest.

As a reminder to our community, private social gatherings must be kept to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. These guidelines continue to evolve and I ask that you review the latest information from the University and public health. Unlike social circles, in social gatherings we must maintain physical distancing or wear a face covering. If someone is not in your social circle, you should not be within two meters of each other. If it is required, both people should be wearing a face covering. It is also important to remember that if you are experiencing symptoms, please, communicate with an assessment centre and for those on campus, communicate with health services

We continue to operate in Phase 2 of our Return to Campus plan, though progress towards further stages of our plan is on hold until this increase in cases subsides. Additionally, we will not hesitate to return to Phase 1 of our plan should the circumstances necessitate it.  We all have a shared responsibility in reducing the spread of this disease, we can only get through this by working together.

Another area in which I am receiving multiple questions is the topic of collective bargaining. As you may know, Laurentian is currently engaged in collective bargaining with members of faculty, a regular activity we undertake every three years. We are committed to building and maintaining collegial relationships with faculty and the union that represents them and to reaching a negotiated settlement. 

These are challenging times as the University looks to support our students' experiences, while also addressing the financial challenges brought on by the global pandemic and our pre-existing structural deficit. We want to recognize the efforts of staff that have led to almost $10M in savings towards our structural deficit -- we remain grateful to you for your support of our University. 

To our students: be assured that Laurentian has a robust long-term sustainability plan in place, and that we continue to work together to address our challenges. Classes continue as scheduled, and services remain available on campus and through remote delivery.

In closing, I would like to thank each of you for the sacrifices you have made, and are making, as we continue to strive for success through this pandemic. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

September 2020

Positive signs on enrolment, supporting student success

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Heading into this academic year, there were many questions around enrolment at Laurentian University. Uncertainty has been one of the few constants for much of 2020, and this has led to a higher degree of planning variance than in previous years. This, teamed with the financial circumstances of the University have proven to be stressful for all as we plan not only our academic year, but look to find creative solutions for Laurentian’s fiscal health going forward. 

That being said, there is some hopeful news to share in that the enrolment for this academic year as of the first day of class numbers are on target. This is an important sign that students continue to seek out and trust Laurentian University for advancing their academic pursuits. 

This slight increase to enrolment can be credited to an increase in our student retention rate, now at 89% for 2020, up from 83% in 2017. This is equal parts the result of many years of hard work and dedication by staff and faculty, as well as the steely resolve of our students who have persevered through the pandemic. 

Truly, remarkable progress! 

This news also comes at a time where students will require more support than in previous years as social networks and support structures are challenged to operate through remote learning. Our adaptation to this new teaching medium must continue to prioritize student success. I would like to applaud and congratulate the many staff and faculty who have adapted to our circumstances and will continue to face this challenge as our semester progresses. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.
President and Vice-Chancellor

New beginnings and recognizing efforts

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

I still remember my first day as an undergraduate student at McGill University, downtown in the big city in my first class with more than 800 other students for first-year biology. As a new or returning student, you are excited and anticipate great things, but you cannot help but be intimidated by your surroundings. This can be particularly true when you are the first in your family to pursue higher education. 

When you add navigating a pandemic on top of everything else, I expect that all of our first-year students will express some combination of excitement and trepidation, depending on their own lived experiences through their journeys that have brought them to Laurentian. To those students, I say that with support from your existing networks, and new networks that you will develop over the coming days and weeks, with optimism, determination and a certain amount of resilience, be assured that you can and will succeed in these challenging times.

Whether the education we deliver is remote or in-person, the goals of our students remain the same, as does our commitment to supporting them. That commitment has been exemplified by the efforts of our faculty, staff, and students as we have been preparing for this unique semester for quite some time. From the laudable efforts of our Health & Safety team, the welcoming hospitality of our Residence Office, and the teaching innovation shown by our faculty and staff, we are ready for this semester.

That said, we all have an important role to play in campus safety. These exceptional efforts must also be accompanied by diligence and a commitment to safety. I have already heard reports of gatherings on campus, where physical distancing has been not respected, and face coverings were not worn. These types of actions put our very limited progress at risk and I would urge all of our campus community members to follow the guidelines, not just for your own safety, but for those around you, out of respect for each other and for our community.

We keep hearing about unprecedented times, and they are, but most importantly, these times require unprecedented efforts. May we rise to the occasion and celebrate the beginning of this new academic year. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor 

Orientation activities to begin the academic year

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

September 1st - already. The eagerly anticipated month of September has finally arrived, along with the beginning of a new academic semester. Early this week, we welcomed the first of many students who will be living in our residence buildings this year, and, in approximately one week’s time, our first classes of the Fall Semester will begin. 

Some of the most significant moments in the student journey are taking place right now as students begin orientation activities and continue the transition to university life. Our teams have prepared a wide array of orientation activities that will help with this transition, as well as the return to academics for our upper year students. I would like to use this opportunity to highlight a few of the many activities taking place: 

  • September 2, Career & Employment Centre question and answer session, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. 
  • September 8, Academic orientation day for both undergraduate and graduate students. This will feature multiple zoom sessions throughout the day. 
  • September 15, 16, & 17, Virtual Campus Services Fair from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM. 
  • Read more about all orientation activities

I would also encourage staff, faculty, and students to participate in “Hello 2020”, our welcome to the academic year, which will take place from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM on September 3rd via Zoom. At the conclusion of this event, if your schedule can afford it, please take time to encourage one another. Send messages to some of the many people who have been working tirelessly this summer to make this academic year special for our students. We have all been challenged to innovate and I am proud of the many new ideas and actions our community has put forward in order to rise to this occasion. 

As student success is our success, we can achieve it “ensemble, together, maamwi.” 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

August 2020

A safe and welcoming residence move-in process

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour,

In the coming days, many of our students will travel to Sudbury from many corners of the world to begin, or resume, living in residence. These students will once again be welcomed by our community and residence leaders. Naturally, the safety of our students continues to be most important as we navigate the effects of COVID-19 and this will mean that life in residence will be unlike previous years.

More specifically:

  • A scheduled, appointment-based, move-in process will begin on August 31st
  • Masks will be worn in hallways/common areas (as well as during the move-in process)
  • Students will live in single occupancy bedrooms and use unidirectional staircases
  • Increased cleaning and focus on high-touch areas
  • Events will still take place but will ensure physical distancing/limited capacity
  • Food services will be available as of August 31st in residence, at the Great Hall, and Tim Horton’s (Arts building, September 8th)


Additionally, for students traveling from outside of Canada, we will be providing them the opportunity to complete their 14-day quarantine on campus while being safely isolated from others.

Finally, as some of you will be returning to campus, it is important that we continue to practice physical distancing, hand washing, and wearing face-coverings. I realize this will feel uncomfortable, however, we must remember that we continue to experience the effects of the pandemic and we must prioritize safety over social norms. For more information on our plan to return to campus, please visit our website.

 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

Recteur et vice-chancelier

Support for students and faculty, suspension of certain admissions and status of the pool

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

In just a few short weeks, we will begin our highly anticipated, 2020 Fall Semester. Ahead of this, I would like to encourage our students and faculty members to view and take advantage of the many supports available to them during this semester of primarily remote learning. Our team in the Centre for Academic Excellence has gone to great lengths to ensure that you have access to any support that may enhance your teaching and learning. 

I would also like to encourage all of our community members to review the available Health and Safety information which has been developed by our staff in consultation with our community and Public Health Sudbury & Districts. This information is relevant for all community members, but especially important for anyone who will be on campus.

 

Academic Program Admission Suspensions 

On July 30th 2020, the Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost issued a memo to the Laurentian Senate subcommittee responsible for academic planning, announcing the suspension of admission for a small number of programs with chronically low applications All students who are impacted have been notified.

We want to assure you, our returning students, that all those among you studying in these programs will be able to complete your programs and will not be affected by these changes. We will work closely with you, and all affected students, to ensure that you are well supported and provided with all available options.

 

Jeno Tihanyi Pool

As a reminder to our community, the Jeno Tihanyi pool will remain closed until the development of safety protocols can be completed and implemented. We understand that many of you depend on our pool for athletic training, personal health, as well as mental health.

In this COVID reality, our first priority must be to prepare our community for teaching and learning. We recognize, however, that wellness is part of a vibrant student life experience: to that effect, we will be announcing further wellness services on campus, including updates on campus recreation activities in the upcoming days and weeks. The reopening of recreation facilities on campus, as well as additional ancillary operations, will follow as soon as reasonably and responsibly possible.

 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech, 

Robert Haché, PhD

President and Vice-Chancellor

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

We are counting down the days to the start of fall term, with our students safely and productively engaged in their coursework. As we prepare your welcome back to campus, we are determined to provide you with a quality education, all while delivering an unparalleled student experience beyond the classroom and the laboratory.

Last week, we continued our commitment to communicate with you regularly, holding two Community Conversations, the fifth and sixth of such public discussions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These conversations were attended by hundreds from across our community. We shared the very latest information on Phase 2 of our Return to Campus Plan and answered dozens of questions from the live Zoom audience.

During these conversations, we shared the following:

  • Campus leaders have submitted over 60 departmental plans;
  • Our print hub has printed and installed thousands of navigational signs on campus;
  • Our learning technologists have held over 200 individual meetings with faculty members to support their remote and online course delivery.
  • More services will open on campus to support students.
  • We will also increase the number of researchers on campus and;
  • Later this month, we will welcome nearly 500 students in residence.

As we safely and gradually move into Phase 2 of our Return to Campus plan, we want to emphasize that our plans will continue to shift over time, adapting to provincial and local public health guidelines. We also want to assure our community that we will not hesitate to return to an earlier stage should circumstances in the community, region or province change for the worse.

We ask you to remain vigilant and watch for COVID-19 symptoms, and stay at home if you are feeling unwell. Speak with your supervisor, our Health Team on campus, or Public Health Sudbury and Districts, to report illness or suspected symptoms. Stay safe and put yourself first: think of your health, both physical and mental, and reach out for support whenever you feel yourself becoming run down or feeling unwell. Stay within small groups while on campus; wash, wash, wash; and above all, stay at least 6 feet apart from each other.

To that effect, Laurentian is also working on developing an app that will help keep our community safe. The app, along with other great features, can be used to access the screening questionnaire, helping to keep our community safe. We will update the community once this app is ready to be rolled out to staff, faculty and students.

Lastly, I also wish to remind our community that the University has implemented a face covering policy, providing an inspiring Laurentian mask to each student, staff and faculty, which we know you will wear with great pride. As always, stay safe and healthy! And have an excellent week!

Thank you, Miigwech, Merci

 

Robert Haché,

PhD President and Vice-Chancellor

Returning to Campus and a look towards the fall

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

It is with pleasure that I am addressing our campus community today as we begin Phase 2 of our Return to Campus Plan on August 12th. With great thanks to the staff, faculty, and students that have supported the planning, we are now able to enter this phase with great care for the safety and security of our campus community. Campus leaders have submitted over 60 departmental plans, our print hub has printed and installed thousands of navigational signs on campus, and our learning technologists have held over 200 individual meetings with faculty members to support their remote and online course delivery.

As of next week, we will have more services open on campus to support students, we will increase the number of researchers on campus and, later this month, we will welcome nearly 500 students in residence. These are welcoming signs, however, we must continue to be vigilant as a community. We all have a role in ensuring that we are able to maintain this momentum. The safety of the community remains our primary concern. Thus we will not hesitate to return to an earlier stage should circumstances in the community, region or province change for the worse.

For many, the month of August signals the incoming school year, and while this year will be unique, it will also be a critical moment for our students, and especially our first-year incoming students. As a result, our teams have been organizing many remote orientation activities for students who will begin their academic year and I would invite our community members to learn more about those very important activities.

Finally, I would like to invite you all to join me in a live community update on Friday, August 7th where I will be joined by other senior leaders to answer any questions you may have about our return to campus.

Community Update -- Staff and Faculty
Friday, August 7th
10:30 - 12:00 pm

Community Update -- Students
Friday, August 7th
1:30 - 3:00 pm

 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech,

Robert Haché, PhD

President and Vice-Chancellor 

June 2020

Presenting the Return to Campus Plan

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Nearly one year ago, I began my role as President and Vice-Chancellor of Laurentian University. At the time, I often said that I had accepted this role because of the great potential I believed existed at Laurentian. Now with having worked with so many of you, my belief has been cemented and I am inspired daily. Through this pandemic, we have come together to surmount great challenges and deliver on our commitment to the student experience, our community, and our research. 

Our next challenge is in physically bringing you back to campus. In order to do this, our Return to Campus Committee (made up of over 50 campus leaders representing students, staff and faculty) has been working tirelessly to prepare our Return to Campus Plan. The details of this plan have now been added to the COVID-19 Resources webpage and I invite you to read it thoroughly. While most courses will be delivered remotely in the fall, we are now working to bring people (faculty, staff, researchers) safely back on campus. This plan will evolve over time to ensure that our return to campus is done safely and that it is compliant with public health regulations. 

I would like to thank the many campus community members who have submitted their questions through their leaders, this has allowed us to put together a plan to address many facets of campus life. There may also be some questions that may not be addressed and I encourage you to follow this same process for raising additional questions. 

Finally, like many of our staff and faculty, I will be taking time away from the university this summer to spend with my children and grandchildren. In my absence, Serge Demers (July 2 - July 11, July 19 - 25) and Lorella Hayes (July 12 - July 18) will each take on the role of Acting President and Vice-Chancellor. I wish you all a happy Canada Day and hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors this summer. 

Thank you, Miigwech, Merci

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President & Vice-Chancellor

Senate meeting outcomes and best wishes to the class of 2020

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

The past week saw us celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) and recognize Juneteenth (June 19) while enjoying record levels of sunshine and warm weather across Greater Sudbury. As many of our community members enjoyed the outdoors, our Senate and Board of Governors were hard at work making several decisions which have implications for our university community. 

At Senate, on June 16th, the future of our academic programming was shaped as senators voted to approve the four-year Laurentian University Academic Plan. This plan was the product of nearly two years of consultations and collaboration with multiple stakeholders. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Academic Plan Committee for their dedication and perseverance in creating this document that will be at the center of academic decision making and success. 

Additionally, our senators approved a motion which will see us be able to communicate the fate of our winter semester’s academic delivery methods by October, 2020 at latest. This was done primarily in an effort to allow our community to have more time in planning for the January start of the winter semester. I would also like to thank the senators and observers who remained online as late as 7:00 PM to convey their comments and feedback - this is, once again, proof of the unparalleled dedication I have seen during my nearly one year on campus. 

During the Laurentian University Board of Governors meeting, we saw approval of Laurentian’s preliminary budget, changes to our board membership, and approval of the President’s objectives for 2020-2021. I wish to welcome our new board nominees, thank our renewing board members, and to congratulate the three outgoing board members for their many years of contributions. 

Perhaps the most significant event on Friday was the ratification of a new collective agreement for our Laurentian University Staff Union. This agreement, which was signed one year before it was set to expire, is a testament to the dedication and commitment from our staff union. Everyone in our community has been affected by COVID-19 and the resulting challenges to the University. I continue to be impressed by the willingness of our community to do our part and meet these challenges with relentless drive. 

Finally, I would like to congratulate our graduating class of 2020!

Each of you has completed a major milestone in your education journey and done so in a way no other class has before. For the class of 2020, many challenges have been presented to you, however your perseverance and dedication will surely benefit you in your future studies and careers. A further congratulations is owed to the support networks of those students, without whom, their success would not have been realized to the same extent. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

Recteur et vice-chancelier

Support for our new and returning students

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Today’s update is fully dedicated to our new and returning Laurentian University students. 

As you look ahead to your Fall Semester, I want to acknowledge that we have heard from many of you who are anxious, nervous, and eager to get back to campus. This is undoubtedly a difficult time for you. Our staff and faculty are here to help you. 

While we all know that these measures are temporary, it is important that we are able to persevere and continue to offer the exceptional student experience that you deserve. Yes, things will look different when you return for the fall semester, but many things will be the same - the unique sense of community, the highly personalized learning environment, and the dedication of staff and faculty towards your success. These constants represent the fundamental values of our student experience and they will last well beyond our pre-occupations during this pandemic. 

We will offer a full semester this fall, a small number of our hands-on and experiential courses will be offered in-person, but the majority of our courses will be delivered remotely. We realize this leaves you with many questions, and the goal of this update is to address these questions. Please take the time to read through each item and learn more about how we can help ensure you have an excellent start, or return, to your university studies. 

View the full list of FAQs for Students

Thank you, Miigwech, Merci, 
 

Robert Haché, PhD

President and Vice-Chancellor

Senate’s approval, resuming research on campus, racism and inequities

Hello, Bonjour, Aanii 

On Monday, June 1st, we received approval from the Laurentian University Senate to move ahead with our plans to offer remote delivery courses for our Fall Semester. This approval was accompanied by a beneficial discussion which raised questions about the implications for our students, staff, and faculty. We are aware that there are unanswered questions about the implications of this decision and our leadership team is working diligently to be able to answer these questions. Informed by the questions asked during our Community Update on June 4th, our teams will be updating the Student FAQs and I will be sharing an update on June 15th which will cover many of the implications for registration, academic requirements, and student services. 

Laurentian University is planning a phased ‘return to campus’ approach, providing flexibility to adapt and comply with public health and government protocols. We are committed to communicating the full list of face-to-face classes by the end of June. We are aware that making these decisions within this timeline will create challenges for our community. For students, this creates challenges in finding appropriate living arrangements and other logistical issues. Students should know that we are continuing to accept applications to residence and will be providing this service in the fall. For faculty, determining a course’s delivery method and potentially modifying its delivery takes time. These challenges are significant and we will do everything we can to support both students and faculty through this transition. As we look forward to the Winter Semester in January, we expect to have a decision on the modalities for delivery by October’s Senate meeting.

Our new and returning students will also have the opportunity to take summer courses, either to better prepare for studying at the university level or to support their transition to remote learning. More specifically, new students can take part in a Science Prep program for a refresher in math & chemistry, and join our “Smart Start” academic transition course and workshops. Returning students can participate in a new “Bounce Back” program to ease the return to their Fall studies, and help them manage stress and build skills for upper year success. To learn more, or to sign up, please contact orientation@laurentian.ca.

As shared earlier this week with faculty and staff, parts of our campus will be reopening as some of our researchers are returning to their labs. The labs identified for the pilot project include the Vale Living With Lakes Centre, the Harquail School of Earth Sciences, and the Perdue Central Analytical Facility. Research activities are at the core of our university and we are now certain that these activities can resume safely. We are pleased to begin implementing step one of our plan to reopen campus.

On June 4th, I hosted another in our series of community conversations, this one aimed at informing and answering questions from the community on the resumption of instruction in the fall and the return to campus as will be piloted first for graduate students and research. Again over 700 members of the broader Laurentian community participated in the event. I thank everyone who participated and contributed to a conversation that continues to be positive and forward looking. I continue to be so impressed with the dedication and commitment of our entire community to a return to a new normal and to the ongoing and future success of Laurentian. In the coming days, we will provide answers to the questions that we were not able to address during the meeting. Additionally, we will be updating the frequently asked questions lists on our COVID-19 resource websites to reflect the topics discussed during our meeting.

Finally, I would like to thank our community members who have been participating in the online conversation about racism and inequities. As stated in my message from earlier this week, we all have a responsibility to support the resilience and advocacy of equity-seeking groups. Embracing our values which give power to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we will move forward together - ensemble - maamwi. Laurentian is committed to action to ensure that every member of our community can enjoy the same positive experience with us.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor


 

Related Resources

The Equity, Diversity, and Human Rights Office (EDHRO) is a resource for all members of the Laurentian University community including students, staff and faculty, which can assist with concerns, questions and/or complaints with respect to discrimination and/or harassment. The EDHRO staff are working remotely and are able to provide consultations through online/video or phone appointments. Please contact edhr@laurentian.ca to arrange an appointment, or visit https://laurentian.ca/human-rights to learn more.

May 2020

Our Plans for the Fall Semester, Agreement Reached with LUFA

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour,
 
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is about the status of our fall semester. Today, we can confirm that we are working towards a mix of in-person courses and online courses this fall. 
 
Led by our Interim Provost, Dr. Serge Demers, we have worked with the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) to sign a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, May 27th, regarding the delivery of fall courses. This agreement details the specific modalities and working conditions for professors. With this agreement now signed, this plan will be brought to a special meeting of the Laurentian University Senate on Monday, June 1st, for approval of the proposed instructional modalities as they apply to Laurentian’s fall offerings. A senate committee is expected to rapidly evaluate and make recommendations on the requirement and feasibility of in-person delivery for individual programs and their courses.
 
The committee will determine whether a class is offered in-person or online by evaluating factors such as:

  • The number of students, staff, and faculty involved
  • The available classroom facilities and their ability to facilitate physical distancing
  • The course requirements 

 
Personal protective equipment, physical distancing, and monitoring will be in use as required and prudent, for faculty, staff, and students. 
 
We will have students in classrooms and labs only if it is safe to do so. We know that some physical spaces on campus will be able to support physical distancing and teaching simultaneously. We also know that we will not be filling the lower bowl of the Fraser Auditorium with 250 students for our first year classes. 
 
Spring & Summer

Our spring session has seen strong enrolment and has been progressing well, now into its fourth week of teaching through remote and online modalities. Teaching and learning has continued throughout this semester, thanks to the resolve of our students, faculty and staff. 
 
Looking forward to the summer, we are working towards a staged reopening of our campus and this will begin with pilot activities as early as the week of June 8th. We will provide more details on these activities in the coming week. Further, a live community update will be held next week for all students, faculty and staff and an invitation will be forthcoming.
 
Lastly, I wish to emphasize the need for continued physical distancing practices. We have received reports of many people gathering on the Laurentian beach and although we all want to enjoy the outdoors, we must always respect public health guidelines. The health and well-being of all our students, faculty and staff continues to be our foremost priority. 
 
Thank you, Miigwech, Merci,
 
Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

Hello, Bonjour, Aanii 

Provincially, with the announcement at the end of last week by the provincial government of moving to a first phase of reopening the province, we are finally beginning to see steps in a positive direction to reopening our communities. While we still have a long way to go, Laurentian is fully immersed in planning our eventual return to campus in the coming months. Plans are also underway to phase-in additional approvals for on-campus and field research activities critical for the advancement of graduate students research projects. The Vice-President Research, Dean of Graduate Studies and members of the Laurentian University Operational resumption committee will have more information on the research resumption plan to share very soon.

We have committed - and remain fully committed – to offering a full suite of courses and programs for the fall, and the health and well-being of all our students, faculty and staff continues to be our foremost priority. 

The exact modalities for course delivery are currently being finalized in work that our Provost is leading with the Laurentian Senate and our labour partners. However, like most Universities we are fully committed to a safe and orderly return to campus and to providing the highest quality delivery of our courses through remote learning and online mechanisms during the transition.

As we reach agreements on program delivery modes and expectations in the coming days, I look forward to soon being able to make a detailed announcement with respect to the delivery of fall programming at Laurentian.   

The Senate met on Tuesday, May 19th, and held a passionate and rigorous debate on a range of issues. We heard impassioned testimonials from our community members who have been affected by the closure of Thorneloe University’s Theater Arts and Motion Picture Arts programs. I was moved by the dedication of our Senators and community members and applaud them for sharing their comments with the Senate. Senate has a very important role to play in ensuring the academic integrity and continuity of this University and this was reinforced at Tuesday’s meeting. Further, the Arts hold an essential place at Laurentian and are crucial to the future of the University. Laurentian remains fully committed to all students affected by the recent changes in programming at Thornloe to ensure that they have the opportunity  to achieve their academic and career aspirations. 


Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 


Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

Hello, Bonjour, Aanii

 

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated that 2020 would be recognized as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honour of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. As we now celebrate National Nursing Week in Canada, I am thankful for the tireless efforts of nurses around the world. Locally, our community is exceptionally proud of the 3,195 nurses that have earned Laurentian University degrees since 1971. Thank you for everything you do.

 

As our province has begun to allow more businesses to open, our leadership team has increased the pace of our planning in order to begin a stepwise return to activities on campus, as soon as it is safe and permitted. We’re now in our third month of preventative measures and are working on the development and implementation of comprehensive plans to return to campus.  We are encouraged by the very low number of active COVID-19 cases in the Greater Sudbury region, and hope that we will begin to welcome our community back to campus in the near future.

 

We have several groups now working on plans and interfacing with local and provincial health officials. Our initial focus will be to enable a return of graduate students in thesis-based programs, fellows and faculty to their research and scholarly activities that must be performed on campus. Our second focus is on preparing for the fall term, so as to be able to communicate expectations to all of our students as soon as possible.

 

While it is still too early to look to a specific date, or predict the degree of face to face activity, Laurentian will be prepared to be as proactive in the reopening of campus as we have been in our initial response to COVID-19.  As always, safety and security will be the primary concern in anything and everything we do.

 

For our students who've applied to graduate this Spring, we have been re-imagining how best to recognize your efforts and those of your supporters. Though we will not be able to host you on campus for a traditional convocation ceremony, you deserve to be celebrated.

 

To that end, we are conducting a survey to those of you who have applied to graduate, seeking feedback on how best to celebrate your achievements on campus when it is safe to do so. Additionally, we will create a video focused on the conferring of degrees that will be dedicated to you, our graduates. The video is expected to be released in mid-June, following the conferral of degrees at the June meeting of the Laurentian University Senate for the spring convocation. Over the course of the summer, you will also receive your degree parchment and a welcome package from your alma mater.

 

While this will be a different approach to acknowledging your efforts for the short term, we remain committed to celebrating your successes as a graduate.

 

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the many efforts of our leaders within the Faculty of Arts who have been working diligently to support students who have been affected by the program closures at Thorneloe University. We are ensuring that all affected students can meet their academic and career aspirations, and that we provide them with an outstanding experience at Laurentian.

 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, PhD

President and Vice-Chancellor

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

On Monday, May 4th, our spring semester officially began and it marks an especially unique time in Laurentian University’s history. For our students, you have been determined to continue the investment in your future through advancing your studies and we are here to support and encourage you. For our faculty members, you have pivoted teaching practices and have been resolute in delivering your courses. For our staff, you have supported both our students and faculty members in their respective challenges, all the while evolving your own processes. In all three cases, I recognize your efforts, applaud your resolve, and draw inspiration for my own work.

Looking to the immediate future, we have formed an Operational Resumption Committee, which has been meeting regularly to plan our return to campus as soon as it is practical and safe. They are using a new lens to assess our physical space, to adhere to potential provincial requirements, and evaluating the manner in which we return to campus. Further, as we continue to monitor the situation closely, we have decided to postpone or cancel all scheduled events on campus through June.

Academically, we are encouraged by the increased course enrolment levels for our current Spring semester when compared to last year, though we will not have our final registration numbers until next week. Further, our Strategic Enrolment Management Committee is evaluating the potential of additional remote delivery of courses, opportunities for microcredentials, and the best ways in which to deliver our fall semester.

Finally, to our students who’ve completed their studies with us, congratulations! Our teams are working on how we can best celebrate your achievements in lieu of our traditional convocation ceremony this spring. I hope to provide more details on this in the coming days, this is important to our faculty, our staff, and to me personally.

Thank you, Miigwech, Merci, 

 

Robert Haché, PhD

President and Vice-Chancellor

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour,

We are just days away from the Spring semester, an opportunity for a fresh start and a new outlook during these challenging times. For our part, we are pleased to be offering a full suite of courses to all our students this Spring, and are committed to doing the same this fall. Moreover, we continue to plan our welcome of new and returning students for the Fall semester and look forward to the day where we will safely cross paths with you on-campus. 

We are fully committed to providing our students with an outstanding university experience, despite the challenges presented byCOVID-19. On April 29th, we announced that Laurentian University is taking steps to address significant COVID-19-related financial difficulties. As we navigate these trying times, we are implementing plans to allow us to emerge from the pandemic as strong as possible as a university, maintaining our 100 percent focus on students and providing the best possible learning experience.

COVID-19 is a generational challenge, one which Laurentian is meeting by ensuring that our students have every opportunity to start, continue, and finish their education on time. We remain committed to you, to your dreams and ambitions, and to welcoming you back to campus in face-to-face classes as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Finally, I would also like to encourage each of you to share our online and remote learning opportunities with your social networks. These courses have been made possible by the dedication of our staff and faculty and it is my hope that many current and future students benefit from these offerings. 

In the meantime, please keep safe and well during our continued self-isolation. We are all in this together-ensemble-maamwi.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech,

 

Dr. Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

April 2020

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour,

Let me begin this update by again taking the opportunity to assure everyone that Laurentian University is fully on track to provide a complete suite of offerings for the fall semester, according to our original timelines for the fall. As the COVID-19 situation is continuing to rapidly develop, it is not yet possible to say in exactly what format fall classes will be in. However, we are committed to a return to on campus, in-class activities just as soon as it is safe for everyone and is feasible.

I’d also like to share a few updates of developments over the past week with respect to the Academic Plan, support for our students, and of course, more good news stories

Laurentian’s Senate met yesterday, April 21st, to consider a number of important academic issues. The lively discussion, led by Provost Demers, during our Senate meeting on the topic of the draft of Laurentian's new Academic Plan was reflective of the great passion I’ve seen from our community members for the future of the University. We are fortunate to have such dedicated students, staff and faculty members who provided thoughtful feedback and who challenged us to realize our potential within the Academic Plan. I look forward to further discussions on the topic and am appreciative of the many contributions of our colleagues. 

For our students, the current circumstances have produced unique challenges, both academic, financial, and emotional. We were pleased to see the Canadian Government announce a fund which will financially support students and we encourage each of you to read more about it. In addition to this, our leadership team is committed to our students, and to helping you start, continue, and finish your education on time. We are therefore accelerating the distribution of a $1,000 fellowship for all eligible graduate students and deferring late fees and interest payments on Spring/Summer tuition payments for undergraduate and graduate students until July 1, 2020.

This week’s good news features a generous donation of personal protective equipment to Health Sciences North on behalf of the many departments within Laurentian University. This donation includes more than 74,000 pieces of medical supplies, including gloves, surgical and N95 masks (as well as the 8,000 masks from our partners at Jiangxi University of Science and Technology), sterile cotton swabs and safety goggles. Thank you to Tom Fenske for collecting this equipment and to Tom Matheson for delivering it.

Additionally, thanks to the generosity of our community, the Student Emergency Support Fund has now supported 312 students in financial need with $92,473 in funding. Our Advancement team continues to collect funds for this purpose in order to respond to the 40 outstanding applications towards the fund. 

Thank you as well to our labour partners (LUFA, LUSU, CUPE) for their collaboration in the planning and decision making regarding the financial stewardship of the university. We all benefit from this collaboration and we are appreciative of your efforts.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone to stay safe and to practice social distancing when you are out in public. In this regard, I would like to reiterate the importance of safe behaviours on campus: on our walkways, in parking areas, in buildings and outdoor areas which remain accessible.  

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech,

 

Dr. Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

As our alternative exam period continues, I’d like to offer an update with some of the good news stories coming out of our community, recently recognized students and faculty, and the status of our academic delivery.

I continue to be impressed and inspired by the many great things taking place in our community. We have collaborated with our local partners to produce 3D printed face masks for Health Sciences North. We have faculty members and staff at the Perdue Central Analytical Facility working with FORTAI to produce a product that can sanitize personal protective equipment (PPE) or other devices used by front-line and essential workers. Additionally, we have faculty members sharing their expertise to help our community, such as Dr. Diana Coholic who provided strategies to practice mindfulness while at home

Among the multiple news items, I was proud to read about the successes of our Voyageur athletes and coaches, who were celebrated virtually last week. Additionally, Dr. Diana Luele-Colilli from the Faculty of Arts was celebrated as a recipient of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance’s Teaching Excellence Award. Please take a moment to read more of our Good News stories and submit a video of your own words of encouragement or recognition for a planned video tribute. 

Academically, our teams continue to support the delivery of courses, both the completion of this exam session, as well as the planning for our May 4th start to the Spring semester. Spring courses are available fully online, as well as through alternative delivery, which may mean a combination of online material with opportunities for discussion through D2L and Zoom. Our staff and faculty are working diligently to ensure that students are aware of these opportunities and can continue their degree completion. 

Once again, I would like to acknowledge the many efforts being put forth by our students, faculty and staff to ensure our academic success as an institution. We continue to play a key role in our community, to recognize each other’s successes, and to support one another through challenges. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

Hello, Bonjour, Aanii 

This week marked the beginning of what will be a unique exam period for Laurentian University - one without scantron sheets, without brown paper lining the flooring of the Ben Avery Gym, and without students writing exams on campus. Truly, a first for us, and this has only been made possible through the great efforts and understanding of our community. 

I wish to emphasize that, with a long weekend upon us, it will be an important time for those that are not studying, to rest and recharge. Be mindful of your well-being, call your friends and family, and make time for yourself. 

We have all been under a great deal of stress over these last four weeks. We have been worried about our health and the health of our families, we have stressed over our courses, and we have put forth unusual efforts to keep up with the rapid pace of change. All of this can take a toll and it is important that we recognize this. 

Our leadership team has been focused on ensuring our academics move forward, that our students’ concerns are heard, and that we plan for our immediate future - both operationally and financially. 

At the provincial level, we have received word from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities that the deadline for signing Strategic Mandate Agreements (in this case, SMA3) with the ministry has been deferred until Ontario has “reasonably moved past” the current COVID-19 outbreak. A final draft had already been submitted to the Ministry, together with a number of questions surrounding how the impacts of COVID-19 will factor into the metrics and potentially impact funding. We look forward to completing the conversation with the ministry in the coming months to ensure that we are as strongly positioned as possible for provincial grant support covered under SMA3.

I’d also like to invite our faculty and staff to join me and the leadership team for a virtual conversation with respect to the communications that have been issued on the financial stewardship of the University during the COVID-19 emergency.  This video meeting will take place, April 17th at 10:00 am. This is an opportunity to ask questions and be part of the dialogue.

In closing, I hope that each of you will take the opportunity to rest, focus on yourselves, and spend time with those closest to your heart. I, for one, am very much looking forward to seeing my children and grand-children, even if it’s through the screen of my iPad. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 


Dr. Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

Hello, Bonjour, Aanii 

Today’s update brings news of changes to our academic regulations, a look towards the fall term, and an emphasis on the importance of our financial stewardship of the University. With thanks to a special meeting of the Laurentian University Academic Senate, a motion was passed to provide students more options with respect to their academic grades this semester. This change was made in order to help reduce stress for students and reflect changes enacted by our peer institutions. 

Specifically, this Senate motion allows students the option of choosing a “pass/fail” grade for their courses taken during Fall-Winter 2019 and Winter 2020 terms instead of their assigned grade. The Interim Vice-President, Academic and Provost, Dr. Serge Demers, will share an update with our community to detail the deadlines and implications resulting from this motion.

In addition to this, our leadership team is devoting planning time towards our readiness for the fall academic term. While we have an uncertain future, planning for multiple scenarios is underway to ensure that our academic term may move ahead. Our commitment to students is our utmost priority and I applaud the adaptability that everyone in the community continues to display with respect to this commitment. 

Our leadership team has also put forth significant cost reduction measures to adjust to our decreasing revenues in several areas including ancillary services. We will continue to steward the financial viability of our institution under all circumstances - even as we do not understand the full impact. 

As activities on campus remain reduced to only critical functions, we continue to encourage your patience and compliance. In particular, respecting the access limitations and ensuring that doors are closed and secured at all times. It is imperative that we also maintain physical distancing, both indoors and outdoors. 

Lastly, we have been keeping track of the many good news stories that are taking place in our community and have dedicated a section of the Laurentian.ca website to share these stories. These stories are often brought to us by observers, who witness others going above and beyond to help us all during this trying time. To those that are featured, I thank you for your commitment and spirit. 

Through these past few weeks, I have seen a great deal of innovation, empathy, and determination from our community. I continue to be inspired by each of you, and hope that you also can take a moment to appreciate those around you and the efforts of all of our colleagues.  I wish everyone, as best you are able, a relaxing, happy and healthy weekend. 

Dr. Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour,

As the current term comes to a close, our leadership team has been turning its attention to the University’s intermediate and long-term future. In a continued commitment to keeping you informed, I am sharing this update to provide information on the measures we are taking for our community.

First, I am pleased to share with the community that Laurentian has received initial support of $793K from a $25M fund from the provincial ministry of Colleges and Universities for post-secondary institutions for institutional priorities related to the impact of COVID-19. This is an important first step in keeping our post-secondary institutions financially stable during this crisis. However, this funding will only cover a fraction of the lost revenues and additional expenses that we are accumulating in response to the pandemic.

We are working to bring you the most up-to-date information during this pandemic. Shortly, we will be providing the community with details on the immediate actions necessary to ensure the financial stewardship of the University during the pandemic.

We remain committed to supporting our students through the end of this semester, to begin our online Spring semester (May 4th), and to preparing for an eventual return to campus when it will be prudent to do so. We remain committed to our community and we are thankful for the efforts of all students, faculty and staff throughout these new challenges. It is my hope that through these experiences, we will learn, grow, and emerge stronger and more resilient.

Thank you, miigwetch, merci,

Robert Haché, Ph.D. 
President and Vice-Chancellor 

March 2020

Hello, Bonjour, Aanii 

With each passing day, we adjust to our current reality, gradually changing our routines to establish a new normal. As individuals, the changes we make help contribute to pushing the university forward to best support students. Yesterday afternoon, March 26th, Laurentian University’s Academic Senate approved a series of motions that will allow for courses to continue for the spring term :

WE

  • The 2020 Spring Academic Term will move forward with online and alternative delivery. Students may continue to register for courses through my.Laurentian.ca and view many of our online courses available through Laurentian Online
  • Students who have applied to graduate and completed degree requirements will be able to graduate. However, Laurentian University’s Senate has postponed the Spring 2020 Convocation ceremonies, scheduled for June 1st to June 5th 2020. We recognize that convocation ceremonies hold great importance to our students, and we are committed to finding a way to celebrate with you. We will announce plans for 2020 convocations in the coming weeks and will consult with students in our deliberations.
  • Designated staff, including Security, Facilities and cleaning staff, continue to ensure the integrity and safety of all our buildings. We also continue to clean all touch points in our buildings to ensure the health and wellness of the community.

I would also like to highlight and recognize the many efforts our Laurentian University community members are putting forth to help our Greater Sudbury community and beyond. We have staff members who are helping with 3D printing, we have professors and graduate students who are helping create hand sanitizer fluid and we have many people contributing to our student emergency fund, to name just a few. Furthermore, we should also highlight, and be thankful for, the efforts of our colleagues who still come to campus daily to support our students remaining in residence and maintaining our campus and ensuring safety.

It is challenging, but we are adapting to our new normal and doing everything we can to help our students, our community, and the world we live in. As our circumstances are beginning to have slightly more predictability, the frequency of my updates will decrease. As we move towards another weekend of social distancing, I wish that everyone stays safe, stays healthy and maintains a positive outlook.

Thank you, merci, miigwetch

As a result of the directive by the Province on Monday March 23, ordering the closure of all non-essential business in Ontario, Laurentian University and its federated partners (University of Sudbury, Huntington University and Thorneloe University) will be taking further measures to limit access to campus, effectively locking and closing all facilities, but remaining open online and digitally.

At the same time, we remain committed to the success of our students and the completion of term through the continuation of remote and alternative teaching delivery. We also remain committed to supporting means to complete end of term assignments and evaluations, in the absence of face-to face methods.

All Faculty and Staff – unless explicitly told otherwise by their Dean (faculty), Federated President or direct supervisor (staff) – are to work remotely effective Wednesday, March 25. If you have not already done so, please ensure conversations about how this applies to your work take place immediately. Employees deemed as required for current operations will be contacted directly by Lorella Hayes, VP, Administration or Tammy Eger, the VP, Research. If you have not been contacted as such, you are not allowed on campus until further notice. This also applies to the general public and any student not in residence. Please note that as permitted by ministry guidelines, contractors will be on site completing work required to ensure safety and reliable operations of infrastructure.

Effective 8:00 pm, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all university buildings will be closed, with only limited access to employees deemed as required for current core operations. If you need to retrieve any work-at-home supplies or personal items from the campus, you must do so by 8:00 pm, Tuesday, March 24. If you are requesting access to campus buildings after March 24 to retrieve articles, arrangements will need to be made. To make arrangements please email covid-19@laurentian.ca. Note that we cannot guarantee access will be granted to requests and anyone seeking access will need to provide valid identification.  

 

For Students in Residence: 

We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of those students who cannot leave campus and return home. The following changes are being made to allow for proper social distancing for those that need to remain in a Laurentian University residence:

  • We will be moving expeditiously to ensure that all students will have living arrangements that provide for proper social distancing.
  • This may require that students be relocated from their current arrangements into rooms that provide for appropriate distancing and individual access to washroom facilities. 
  • All common spaces that allow for student interaction will continue to be closed.
  • Students who are requiring access to food options or other supplies can still connect with residences@laurentian.ca for support. 

 

To the community:

I continue to be so impressed by the optimism, resilience and unabashed dedication and commitment by everyone associated with Laurentian at this particularly challenging time. Together we will overcome this daunting challenge. To all faculty, staff and students and your families and loved ones, please take precautions, stay safe, knowing that Laurentian will do everything it can to support you.

As we move into our third week of remote class delivery, I am thankful for the many faculty and staff who have dedicated their time to overcoming these logistical challenges and enabling courses to continue. Further, our faculty and staff members have been working diligently to modify their end of term exams towards remote delivery, this can be even more challenging and there has been much progress. 

This afternoon, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced plans for non-essential businesses to close across the province within the next 36 hours, but said food, medicine and “essential products” would remain available. The order, issued under the province’s state of emergency powers, would come into effect Tuesday at 11:59 pm and last for 14 days. We do not yet know what impact this may have on university operations but will update the community further as soon as information becomes available.


Updates:

  •  Thanks to the generosity of our community, donations to the emergency support fund for students has reached nearly $70,000 with additional pledges being submitted daily.
  • Our deans have been receiving a high number of plans from faculty members about alternative exam delivery and these plans will be communicated to students as soon as possible through faculty members.
  • Our residence team has been working tirelessly to ensure that students who remain on campus long-term (approximately 115) are supported and have resources available to them. They have also developed a food bank which is available for students living in residence.
  • Our food services on campus are currently limited to the central Tim Horton’s location.
  • The university remains open for instruction, but closed for most other services.


As a reminder, support is available for staff, faculty and students:

We will continue to provide information as soon as possible and are committed to updating the community on a regular basis, recognizing that as we go forward, with most of the transition to the present state now achieved, that daily communication may not always be necessary.

Robert Haché, Ph.D.
Recteur et vice-chancelier

Aanii, Hello, Bonjour

More than 700 members of the community participated in our Town Hall meeting via Zoom this afternoon. Thank you for your participation and for your questions. Let me add that while there were several members of our team in the room with me, we have been careful at all times to practice social distancing. 

As you know, we are navigating unprecedented times so the opportunity for feedback is essential. We will continue to review and answer questions, and take suggestions and concerns under advisement. As our primary concerns are the safety and security of our entire community and ensuring our students can meet the requirements of the academic term, we are listening and responding accordingly. We thank everyone for the very strong, proactive response we have seen from across the community over these past ten days.

You will have noticed over the course of the last week that most of our operations have shifted to remote services. Many of you have been working hard to make this monumental task possible over such a short period of time. Everyone is going above and beyond, and I am most grateful.  

Now for today’s updates to the community:

  • Firstly, I would like to reassure our international students that, through Universities Canada, our government is aware of their concerns relating to online delivery of courses as it relates to immigration. The government is reviewing this and is communicating their decisions to best support international students.  
  • As our students in residence have been encouraged, where possible, to move back home, our Residence Office is providing additional support for move-out as well as continued-stay, as applicable. Refunds for those that have left residence will be processed as of March 22nd, 2020. 
  • Yesterday, we announced the suspension of all on campus lab-based research effective Monday, March 23rd, 2020 at 4 p.m. A process of review, for those individuals with critical research activity they feel must continue, has been established. Individual researchers can apply for special consideration through the Research Office.
  • To enable members of our community without access to a personal computer to pursue their studies or continue working from home, a limited number of Chromebook laptops will be made available. We ask that students contact bibdesmaraislib@laurentian.ca to request borrowing arrangements. Faculty and staff members are asked to contact IT@laurentian.ca with their requests. 
  • Subway will be closing as of 2 p.m. today until further notice. A decision on the status of Tim Horton’s operations on campus during this period of self-isolation is pending.
  • As services shift to remote delivery, be aware that the University may consider closing physical buildings at a later date.
  • A mental health 4-part webinar is being finalized by our partner Morneau Shepell and will be available and distributed to the Laurentian community shortly.

On this final point, I encourage everyone to take care of your personal wellbeing and that of your family members as a top priority. Mental health considerations are critical to your overall wellness in these difficult times. Engage in activities that will lift your spirits and continue practicing the social distancing directives of Public Health. Let’s be considerate of others and especially, of ourselves.   

A good weekend to all.

Dr. Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

Aanii, Hello, Bonjour,

It occurred to me today that it is the first day of Spring. And it also occurred to me this morning, that this is the first time since the announcement of the global pandemic that the emergency team was able to take a collective deep breath, and start to more fully map out our mid- and long-term strategies. While they have been on our radar all along, the rapidly evolving developments for COVID-19 have kept us on our toes with emerging challenges. 

Let me share the latest updates and wrap them up in some good news: 

  • Tomorrow, Friday, March 20, 2020, at 2:00 PM (EST), I will be hosting a virtual community update to address any questions from students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19 and the recent measures taken by the University. We encourage participants to join by accepting the calendar invite which was sent this morning. Questions can be asked ahead of time or during the live stream by emailing questions to: COVID-19@laurentian.ca.
  • We continue to emphasize that students, faculty and staff must not congregate and must respect the social distancing directives of Public Health.
  • We are pleased to announce that remote Spring courses will be available to students. We will further be asking Senate to ensure that Laurentian Online courses for the Spring/Summer semester will be offered, with the proviso that any face-to-face evaluations or exams be converted to a remote format at the discretion of the instructor. A decision will follow soon on courses typically offered on campus for the Spring/Summer term.
  • At this time, we feel confident that all students should have the opportunity to complete their current academic term requirements. Our Centre for Academic Excellence continues to provide support to faculty in the transition to alternative delivery assessments. Tools and resources are also readily available.
  • Following consultations with LUFA and the VPR, VPA, and Dean of Graduate studies, the particulars of research activity suspension will be distributed to researchers today.
  • We will be moving to remote counselling to ensure safe access to supports and resources for both clients and staff. We will be sharing details and coordinates very shortly.
  • All libraries on campus are now closed for walk-in traffic including the music resource centre. Students and faculty can still access resources by contacting: bibdesmaraislib@laurentian.ca.
  • The Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre is now closed but we continue to support students remotely via email or through Zoom. We are reaching out to students through social media with contact information. 
  • Conference facilities bookings will remain suspended up to and including 
  • April 30, 2020, until further notice. 
  • Ending on a positive note, our Student Emergency Support Fund is established and an appeal to our community requesting donations in support of our students went out today. To date, we have already received substantial donations from our Alumni Association, LUSU, as well as many gifts from members of the Laurentian community. A generous donor has agreed to match all contributions to this fund up to $20,000. An application process is being determined and students (domestic and international) will be able to apply for emergency funds through the Student Awards Office. Kudos to everyone involved in launching this initiative in a relatively short period of time. Check your inbox for the email and please join me in donating. 

In these trying times, I urge you to stay positive and to seek balance in your day-to-day activities. It’s also critically important for us to support one another and to be ever conscious that we’re all in this together. Stay positive. Stay healthy.   

Dr. Robert Haché
President and Vice-Chancellor

Aanii, Hello, Bonjour,

Following several updates last evening provided by the Vice-President Academic and Provost and myself, the following are the latest items to report:

  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump have agreed to closing the border between Canada and the U.S. Non-essential travel across the border will be restricted to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Assurances have been extended that key supplies will still flow between the two nations.
  • Prime Minister Trudeau is expected to make an announcement today on economic actions, and tax changes by the end of the week.
  • Prime Minister Trudeau stated that National Parks and historic sites will be closed as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
  • Alberta has also declared a State of Emergency.
  • Reported cases of COVID-19 in the Sudbury area are limited to two individuals, who remain in self-isolation.

 

Recent Laurentian Updates:

  • Senate meeting decisions yesterday were communicated at large with the Laurentian community. These decisions include:
    • no face-to-face exams to take place but alternative methods of evaluation for individual courses to be communicated by faculty to students by March 25, 2020. These evaluations will respect the original exam schedule communicated by the Registrar in February
    • face-to-face classes will continue to be replaced with remote delivery alternatives in order to allow students to complete their academic term.
    • The President’s and Provost’s update from the March 17, 2020 Senate meeting can be consulted at: Communications with decisions.
  • PrintHub operations have been suspended as of end of day March 18, 2020 until further notice. Remote printing capability and options will be communicated to students, faculty and staff shortly.
  • A Student Emergency Fund is being established. Those interested in contributing are encouraged to donate online at: laurentian.ca/give.
  • Researchers are encouraged to suspend research that occurs physically on campus and transition research activities off campus where this is possible.  LUFA and the VPR, VPA, and Dean of Graduate studies are working together to determine how this can be done with the least impact on scholarship while working to minimize research activity on campus.  Further information will be provided March 19, 2020
  • We continue to emphasize that students, faculty and staff must not congregate and must respect the social distancing directives of Public Health for social distancing.
  • Finally, this Friday, March 20, 2020, at 2:00 PM (EST), I will be hosting a virtual community update to address any questions from students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19 and the recent measures taken by the University. We encourage participants to join by accepting the calendar invite which will be sent shortly. Questions can be asked ahead of time or during the live stream by emailing questions to: COVID-19@laurentian.ca.

I will continue to share relevant information on our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and thus ensure every precautionary measure is taken for everyone’s wellbeing. I look forward to engaging with you and answering the questions you may have on Friday.

Dr. Robert Haché
President and Vice-Chancellor

March 17, 9:30 PM

Today, Senate approved a series of motions in order to provide some clarity for next steps for the rest of the academic year in light of COVID 19.  A separate message will be sent to faculty members.

As per Senate decisions today, the following will occur:

  • Courses for 2019FW and 2020W will continue to be offered in an alternative delivery mode (online, D2L, Zoom or other) for the remainder of the current academic year. Instructors are to advise their Dean and students of the approach that will be taken to continue courses in this new format by March 25, 2020
  • Instructors may modify the format of remaining tests or assignments (found in the course outline/syllabus) for all 2019FW and Winter 2020 courses. In doing so, every effort will be made to avoid negatively impacting students. Instructors will contact students and advise them of the approach for each course by March 25, 2020.
  • All face-to-face final examinations (whether for on-campus courses or for Laurentian Online courses) for the 2019FW and 2020W terms that were scheduled to be held in the Ben Avery Gym, in a classroom setting, or at a Laurentian Online examination centre will not be held in those settings. An alternative evaluation method of assessment (for example, a take home exam, an essay, etc.) will be communicated directly to students by the individual course instructors, respecting the original examination period as set out by the Registrar’s Office. So, for example, if a final exam was scheduled for course ABC in the Ben Avery Gym on April 15th, the alternative evaluation method, if any, will be due on April 15th.  The specific alternative evaluation method will be communicated to students by March 25, 2020.
  • For the moment, students are to remain in their clinical or education placements, as well as in their co-op or internship settings. Students  continue to be asked to respect the guidelines of their placement site in terms of social distancing, precautionary measures, or the like. Many of these placements are required because of the accreditation requirements of specific programs or disciplines. Students are asked  to communicate any concerns with their placement coordinator. Departments or Schools will determine if alternative methods can be applied, while still respecting accreditation guidelines. Alternative methods, if approved, will be communicated to the students in those settings. It should be emphasized to all that the situation for this type of courses is evolving quickly, and we will message students as soon as possible, should changes occur.
  • For the completion of labs, capstones, studios, performances, theses and other learning methods of the sort, instructors are to determine whether the existing approach to evaluation continues (e.g., oral defense), so long as it follows Public Health guidelines, or if alternative methods will need be used. Instructors will communicate these alternative methods to students directly before March 25, 2020.

I fully understand that the last week has been very trying for all involved, – students, faculty members, staff, with a lot of uncertainty.  I want to thank you all for your patience in this ever-evolving situation.  I will continue to send updates as they are available.

I would also invite students, as a first step, to reach out to their instructors if they have particular concerns. I would then invite them to reach out to their Chair/Director and later their Dean if their preoccupations are wider than a single course.

Aanii, Hello, Bonsoir

As we continue to keep our community informed of the latest developments in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 with certain and/or potential impacts on our many stakeholders, today’s update includes the following decisions and advisories:

  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday that Canadian borders would be closed to most foreign nationals except Americans, by end of day March 17th, 2020.  The Government of Canada’s Global Travel Advisory states that all countries are now at a state of level 3.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency in the province this morning, announcing the temporary closure of day-cares, private schools and restaurants and bars (with the exception of take-out and delivery). As well, groups of 50 or more individuals in public places are now banned. As a result, food services on campus will be limiting service to take-out only. As well, operations at both day-cares on campus have been suspended.
  • Public Health has issued an updated measures advisory on social distancing which the Laurentian community is encouraged to consult and put in practice.
  • The Laurentian campus remains open. We encourage students to work remotely if they can, and remain committed to providing students with access to the facilities to complete their academic term.
  • In the University Senate this afternoon, a number of motions were passed to enable the completion of the term in the absence of face-to-face classes. Details on the measures to be put in place will follow shortly from the Vice President, Academic and Provost.
  • Students in residence are encouraged to return home if they are able to. Those students who need to remain on campus will be accommodated. Details are being communicated at this time as to the move-out schedule and access to services for those remaining on campus.
  • In order to reduce population density and the spread of COVID-19, alternate work arrangements, upon directive and approval from supervisors, continue to be encouraged. This may include, where possible, working remotely, staff rotations, modified hours, etc. As we attempt to reduce density and the spread of COVID-19, we will continue offering services which support our students and ensure our long-term success.
  • The myLaurentian Hub counter will remain closed for in-person counter service. The Registrar’s Office will continue to operate remotely and will be available by live chat, email, telephone as well as virtually through Zoom meetings when required as students remain our number one priority. 
  • The Desmarais and Architecture Libraries will close as of 4:30 p.m. today. The resource centre at the Alphonse Raymond Pavilion will be open for limited access to computers. Reference services are still available via electronic platforms (email, live chat, etc.) or virtual appointment with a librarian. Patrons can request materials through email at : bibdesmaraislib@laurentian.ca.
  • Some computer labs will remain accessible across campus, including at the McEwen School of Architecture. While we will be vigilant in ensuring proper and thorough cleaning procedures within the lab, we encourage all users to respect appropriate social distancing and hand washing protocols established by Public Health. The following are accessible labs: AR201, AR102, F213, F228, F441, SA-219.
  • All business travel is suspended until August 31st, 2020 until otherwise notified, for students, faculty, researchers and staff, as communicated on Monday, March 16, 2020. At this time, reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, including and particularly in remote locations, is a top priority. The only exception at this time is if it involves COVID-19-related research.


We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate these unusual circumstances. Stay safe and continue practicing all precautionary measures recommended by Public Health.

Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

March 16, 2020

As we continue to monitor the Government of Canada’s travel advisories and those of the various health authorities, and in keeping with concern for the wellbeing of our community, we have made the following decisions:

All business travel, international and domestic, is suspended until August 31st, 2020 until otherwise notified, effective immediately. This applies to faculty, staff, students and researchers.

Returning to Canada from Travel Abroad
We are requiring that all members of the Laurentian community returning from travel abroad, whether personal or professional, respect the federal recommendation and undertake self-isolation for a period of 14-days. Returning travelers are asked to contact their supervisor to confirm arrangements. Your supervisor and our human resources office will provide guidance through this process. 

 

Helpful Links:

Information on Public Health recommendations and protocols to self-isolate, self-monitor for symptoms as well as to seek medical follow-up can be found by accessing the links below:


On March 13, Health Sciences North in Sudbury announced the opening of a COVID-19 Assessment Clinic on Walford Road, with rigorous stipulations on process and protocol. Please consult the link below:

Aanii, Hello, Bonjour,

Developments on COVID-19 are coming in at an accelerated pace and this weekend was no exception. As of March 16, we can share the following updates with respect t

o our operations and the safety of our community:

  • A second case of COVID-19 in Sudbury was confirmed by Public Health Sudbury and Districts on Sunday, March 15. The individual was in close contact with the first confirmed case of COVID-19 and remains in self-isolation. At this time, there is no evidence that the virus is circulating locally.
  • Health Sciences North has recently established a COVID-19 Assessment Centre at the Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI) on Walford Road and a strict protocol for reporting.
  • The Federal government is now closing of Canadian borders to most non-citizens. 
  • We expect the Provincial government to be in meetings today with further advisories and we will communicate any updates relevant to our operations as soon as they are available.
  • All travel relating to Laurentian University business is suspended until August 31st, 2020 or until otherwise notified, effective immediately. This applies to faculty, staff, students and researchers. Full details will be communicated shortly.
  • We will be requiring all members of the Laurentian University community returning from international travel to self-isolate for 14 days. Returning travelers are asked to contact their supervisor to confirm arrangements.
  • If international students would like to make arrangements to return home, they may do so. We will communicate the decision on exams with all students late in the day Tuesday, March 17, 2020 following a meeting of Senate. Students remaining on campus will be kept current with special arrangements as they relate to move-out and meal plans. Further details will follow.
  • Necessary arrangements for research continuance are being arranged through the Research Office and will be communicated shortly. 
  • The campus Bookstore operations are suspended, as are LUCERT’s operations until further notice. 
  • The Recreation Centre facilities will remain closed until at least April 5, 2020. Contracted physiotherapy services through Healthy Living remain open at this time.   
  • The Willet Green Miller Centre building reopened this morning following a thorough disinfection. Employees are advised to follow building protocols and to continue exercising social distancing and Public Health precautionary measures. 
  • Following the cancellation of the Open House on Saturday, March 14, March Break Mega Tours of campus have also been cancelled. Liaison is actively following up with applicants to offer virtual tours.
  • We have updated FAQs on our website with the information shared on Friday and over the course of the weekend.
  • Information on exams will be communicated late in the day, Tuesday, March 17 following the meeting of Senate. 
  • Lastly, our Human Resources Office has issued a Pay Continuance advisory today for reassurance and clarity around continued employment guidelines at Laurentian for the period of March 15 to April 3, 2020. This advisory includes details around flexwork and working from remote locations. 


Our focus continues to be on the completion of the academic semester and minimizing the impact on our students while remaining vigilant in our efforts to prevent the spread of the virus within our community. We remain open and continue to monitor provincial and federal advisories. The situation could change at any time.    

We encourage all members of the Laurentian community to continue exercising social distancing, regular hand washing and Public Health protocols. 

We will continue to provide regular updates as decisions and relevant information become available. 


Robert Haché, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

Update - Willet Green Miller Centre Building Re-opens

Following extensive disinfection throughout the building, we have been informed that the Willet Green Miller Centre will reopen and operations will resume on Monday, March 16th, 2020 at the site. As a precautionary measure, we ask that all members of the Laurentian community continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and to practice social distancing protocols recommended by the Public Health Unit.
Students wishing to access lab space where projects, equipment and/or software are located should reach out to their program coordinator or faculty member for approval and access.

Hello, Bonjour Aanii, 

As our community continues to take precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we are also working diligently to preserve the integrity of the academic semester and to continue to deliver a quality education to our students. These two elements are the pillars of our decision making. As of March 13, we have made the following updates with respect to our operations:

  • Course delivery will remain remote until further notice
  • The Laurentian University Senate will meet on Tuesday, March 17, and will consider how best to facilitate completion of the academic term
  • On campus events have been cancelled up to and including Tuesday, March 31
  • We are suspending international travel for business purposes and are highly recommending that our community follow federal travel advisories for personal travel. We highlight that provinces are increasingly requiring self-isolation for returning international travelers. 
  • We are working with our students who are currently abroad to bring them back to Canada
  • We are recommending that our staff and faculty members currently outside the country also return to Canada
  • Library hours have been reduced to the hours of 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • The Student Recreational Centre will be closed from 4:00 PM Friday, March 13, to Monday, March 16
  • March Break Camps operated by Recreation Services will be cancelled and registrants will be notified
  • Anyone with room bookings (until March 31st) on campus have been, or will be, notified of their cancellations. We are encouraging web-based meetings wherever possible.
  • Campus tours are suspended, however, liaison will continue to engage with prospective students

The threat level in Canada remains low, and we want to assure everyone in our community that those who remain on campus are being fully supported through all preventative measures. 

We will continue to update the community regularly as more information becomes available as we focus on preventing the spread of the virus and working towards the completion of the academic semester.

Hello, Bonjour Aanii, 

In an effort to keep our campus community informed, I am sharing this update with you to continue to provide information as we receive it, as well as the measures we are taking to support our campus. 

There remains only one confirmed case of COVID-19, while this case was not a student or an employee of Laurentian University, they did access campus and we are closely monitoring this evolving situation. Our goal continues to be to preserve the academic term and we are determining how, and if, we will return to in-person delivery. We will provide a minimum of 48 hours of notice before issuing a notice that in-person course delivery will be resuming. Information for our students on placements will be delivered tomorrow. Additionally, considerations for our exam period are being discussed and decisions will be communicated as soon as possible. 

On March 11, we cancelled existing events up to and including March 13th. That has now been extended to March 15th and we will re-evaluate events on campus for the week of March 16, tomorrow (March 13th) as more information becomes available. 

 

Health 

As we have moved to remote course delivery in an effort to avoid large gatherings, we are encouraging all community members to follow prevention practices as outlined by Public Health Sudbury & Districts (PHSD). We are working very closely with our partners at PHSD and Health Sciences North. We recommend that everyone follows preventative measures such as hand washing, avoiding large gatherings and keeping two metres between people as outlined by Public Health Sudbury & Districts

Additionally, we have taken action in adjusting our student services to follow health guidelines, such as:

  • Modified food services to remove buffet options, redistribute the layout of available food
  • Modified myLaurentian hub service counter to increase distance between people
  • Increased strength and use of cleaning products

 

Instructions and support for campus community

We are continuing to roll out more information throughout the day, at this point, we have issued a number of specific communications and are doing what we can to target these messages where relevant and post them to our webpage specific to COVID-19. Below is a list of messages that have been issued, in order of their delivery:

Additionally, further messages will be issued as soon as possible for:

  • Information for student groups, updating the FAQ 
  • FAQ related to Information Technology
  • FAQ for staff and faculty 
  • FAQ for residents

Collaboration is paramount to our success in overcoming the challenges that we currently face and we all play a part in reducing the spread of this virus. Lastly, I want to acknowledge the efforts that our faculty, staff and students are all undertaking to ensure our safety and completion of the semester.

The university has been monitoring the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and as a precaution, we have determined that all classes as of 12:00 PM today, March 11 will be suspended. As of tomorrow March 12, all classes will now be moved to remote delivery until further notice. We are also suspending in-person activities such as laboratories. Information for remote classroom delivery will be distributed shortly.

Additionally, while the university will remain open, events that were planned to take place on campus between now and March 13th, inclusively, are cancelled. We are considering the cancellation of further events and will communicate further shortly.

With a known-case of the virus in our community, we aim to take proactive measures to prevent the spread of this illness. We understand that changes in our day-to-day operations will create challenges and disruptions, however, we believe the risk of not taking action is of greater concern to our community.

We continue to align our recommendations with and follow guidelines from the health authorities as well as Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

Hello, Bonjour, Aanii,  

Like many of you, our leadership team has learned that Sudbury's first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed. Our partners at the Public Health Sudbury & Districts (PHSD) have confirmed that this case involves someone who attended the Prospectors and Developers conference (also known as PDAC). 

As with every year, Laurentian had a major presence at the PDAC, including many members of our community who attended. Laurentian University’s foremost concern is the health and well-being of its students, faculty and staff.

As per the guidance from PHSD, people who attended PDAC are asked to monitor for symptoms and reach out to health authorities if they are symptomatic. We are working closely with public health authorities to ensure our COVID-19 preparedness and protocols are aligned with their recommendations.

Please also note that the Willet Green Miller Building will be closed today; however, classes elsewhere on campus remain on schedule. Preventative measures such as immunization and handwashing are the best defense against spreading illness.

University leadership is considering how this will impact our day to day activities. We will be issuing more email messages later today.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the PHSD web page.