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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.

September 2021

Positive COVID-19 Case Confirmed On Campus

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

The University was informed Friday, September 10th that a student has tested positive for COVID-19. Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) is currently conducting contact tracing and we will be following their guidance on next steps.

PHSD has classified the case as low risk and also confirmed that the student had limited interaction with individuals outside of their cohort. This week’s return to campus has been successfully implemented thanks to the dedication of our entire community. We have no reason to believe this positive test will result in an outbreak, but we need to remain extremely vigilant.

It is important to reiterate that a crucial element of our ability to remain on-campus will be the degree to which our community adheres to the protocols that are in place. This means following our face covering policy, our vaccination policy, as well as the guidance of health and safety professionals.

Please remember that the Public Health Sudbury & Districts website provides information on daily vaccination clinics and that our own Health Services team is able to offer vaccinations. The Mobile Vaccination Bus will be on campus again on October 5th from 9am - 5pm in front of the main entrance to the Parker Building.

With the return to campus, and increased face-to-face learning in classrooms, laboratories, and libraries, we will all need to continue to follow health and safety guidance including, getting vaccinated, wearing a mask indoors and outdoors when we are unable to physically distance, practicing good hand hygiene, and staying home when sick.

Together, ensemble, maamwi we can do our part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

 

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

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Update

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

With the first week of in-person classes now underway, I am pleased to see the arrival of students, faculty, and staff, who are all bringing life back to our campus. We have worked towards this date for quite some time, and the return to campus has successfully been implemented thanks to the dedication of our entire community. 

A crucial element of our ability to remain on-campus will be the degree to which our community adheres to the protocols that are in place to keep us safe. This means following our face covering policy, our vaccination policy, as well as the guidance of health and safety professionals. 

At the moment, we are encouraged to see that over 92% of our university community who have visited the secure portal have indicated their full vaccination status and another 4% have confirmed partial vaccination. I wish to thank all those who have taken the time to do so, and further, I would like to encourage those who have not yet uploaded the proof of their vaccination status to do so immediately at https://my.laurentian.ca.

Along with our student leaders and our leadership, we request that you complete this process as soon as possible. Those who choose not to complete the attestation process will be locked out of our IT systems by the end of day on September 13th.

Please remember that the Public Health Sudbury & Districts website provides information on daily vaccination clinics and that our own Health Services team is able to offer vaccinations.

We truly are all in this together, and I realize that the vast majority of our campus community wants to remain on-campus, as does our leadership team, for the benefit of students. We are determined to deliver an excellent student experience in a safe and secure environment. We can support each other by wearing our face coverings, maintaining physical distance when possible, and encouraging that all community members get vaccinated as soon as possible.


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

Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination 

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Today, I am pleased to be able to provide the highlights of Laurentian’s Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination. This Policy will support existing measures to safeguard the health and safety of our community. 

This Policy will take effect on September 7, 2021. Laurentian’s vaccination Policy continues to align with Provincial Framework, including the most recent memorandum from the Deputy Minister of Colleges and Universities, Ms. Shelley Tapp on August 31, which issued the Postsecondary Education Health Measures Framework for Fall 2021. 

Key Aspects of Laurentian’s Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination 

  • Proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 will be required for all individuals involved in any in-person activities on campus. 

  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated by September 7, 2021 will have until October 15, 2021 to obtain their second dose and, until their vaccination course is completed, will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hour period in order to enter campus.

  • Individuals who are not able to be vaccinated for medical or other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code will be required to complete and submit an exemption form. In addition, those individuals will be required to also provide on an ongoing basis proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours prior to entering campus. 

  • Effective October 15, 2021 all individuals who wish to enter the University campus, and are eligible to be vaccinated, must provide the University proof that they are Fully Vaccinated against COVID-19. Individuals with a permitted exemption will continue to require a negative COVID-19 test in the previous 72 hours in order to  enter campus. All others, who are not fully vaccinated will no longer be permitted to enter the University campus.

  • Beginning next week, faculty, staff and students will be able to attest to their vaccination status and upload proof via a secure portal. More information on the portal will be communicated in the coming days.  If you have not already obtained your proof of vaccination, you may obtain it here

  • Additional details of how this Policy will apply for students in residence and varsity athletes will be communicated directly to those community members. 

As a reminder, we will have multiple opportunities to receive your vaccination on campus, however, I recommend that you take action today and learn about where you can receive your vaccination as soon as possible

Vaccination opportunities on campus:

  • September 4: 12pm - 7:30pm, Parker Entrance 

  • September 7: 9am- 7pm, West Residence W-132

  • October 5: 9am - 5pm, Parker Entrance 

 

Members of the Laurentian community that require a COVID-19 test are able to make an appointment with the Health and Wellness clinic by sending an email to vaccineclinic@laurentian.ca

We are steadfastly committed to delivering the exceptional on-campus experience that Laurentian students expect. I look forward to seeing students, faculty and staff on campus for the start of the Fall semester. 

Thank you, Miigwech, Merci,


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

August 2021

Vaccination Policy Highlights

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Since the start of the pandemic, Laurentian University has demonstrated that the health and safety of our community is of utmost importance. We are committed to delivering the exceptional on-campus experience that Laurentian students expect, and we will do so while maintaining a safe campus environment.

On August 24 all University and College Presidents received a letter from the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (COMOH) recommending mandatory vaccinations in all postsecondary institutions in the province. Based on this direction, Laurentian University will issue a full update to its vaccination policy early next week. The policy will be effective September 7 and will require all attending campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a permitted exemption due to medical or other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code. 

We recognize that this does not allow for much time for our community members to request an exemption. Therefore, between September 7 and October 15, those attending campus who are not yet fully vaccinated, or who have not yet received an exemption, will be required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test regularly. This testing protocol will be in place until October 15 when two doses of approved vaccines, or an approved exemption, will be required to attend campus.

Information on how to provide proof of your vaccination status or submit for an exemption will be shared next week. In preparation for this, if you have not already obtained your proof of vaccination, you may obtain it here.

For persons who still require a vaccination, we will have multiple opportunities to receive your vaccination on campus, however, I recommend that you take action today and learn about where you can receive your vaccination as soon as possible.

Upcoming vaccination opportunities on campus include the following with more opportunities to be communicated soon:

  • September 4, 2021 from 12 pm to 7:30 pm
  • POP-UP clinic on September 7, 2021 from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Mobile Bus Clinic on October 5, 2021 from 10 am to 6:30 pm


Vaccination against COVID-19 is the single most effective public health measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Its inclusion among the other public health measures (including physical distancing, capacity limits, and indoor mask use) is essential in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together, as a community, we must make the difficult choices that are necessary to keep each other safe. Our leadership team is steadfastly committed to the safety of our campus community and of Greater Sudbury.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Laurentian University to require COVID-19 vaccine on campus 

Recommendation from PHSD taking effect September 8, 2021


Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Last week, Laurentian University announced a significant step in protecting the health and safety of our campus by requiring students in residence and student athletes to be fully vaccinated. Today, we are announcing that we are taking the additional step to require all persons attending campus to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

This additional measure is being taken based on the strong recommendation from the Medical Officer of Health for Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD), Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, and after consultation with labour groups and student association leaders. Our colleagues at other institutions in Ontario, as well as locally at Cambrian College and Collège Boréal, were an important part of these discussions.

With increasing infection rates caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant, Dr. Sutcliffe, has strongly recommended a vaccination policy which requires all individuals attending in-person activities on campus to report their immunization status. Preventing COVID-19 will continue to be a community effort and I strongly encourage all who are able to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible. 

This policy will take effect September 8, 2021 and any person attending campus after this date that is not fully vaccinated will be subject to measures such as testing and screening.  Individuals who cannot be vaccinated based on medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code can request an accommodation. We will be engaging with our community groups at the University as we develop the details of this plan and additional information on the implementation of the vaccination policy will be shared. 

With the support of PHSD, members of the Laurentian community will be able to access vaccines on campus. Over the next few weeks the mobile vaccine bus will visit campus and a pop-up clinic is scheduled before classes start. Vaccine appointments can also be scheduled at the Health and Wellness clinic on campus.  

Furthermore, Laurentian will continue with other health and safety measures (click here) including wearing face coverings indoors, maintaining physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning. 

In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to the faculty, staff and students that have been engaged in developing our Return to Campus plans and all of you for your ongoing compliance and commitment to doing what is required to support a safe return to face-to-face learning this fall.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Vaccination required for residents, varsity athletes

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Following the recommendation of Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the Medical Officer of Health from Public Health Sudbury & Districts (PHSD) Laurentian University will require COVID-19 vaccinations for students living in residence, as well as varsity student athletes, as of September. 

This decision is being made to prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community members. Important concerns raised by PHSD contributed to this decision, such as the low vaccination rates for people aged 18-29 in our region, the Delta variant of COVID-19, and the congregate living setting in residences.

Students living in Laurentian University residences and varsity athletes will be required to have at least one dose of an approved Health Canada or the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use list, by September 4, 2021 and a second dose by October 15, 2021. Residence students and varsity athletes who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons will be able to submit a request for accommodation through Accessibility Services.

We encourage all of our community members to receive their vaccine as soon as possible. To support vaccination efforts, we will be hosting multiple on-campus vaccination clinics for which the details will be communicated, however, we encourage people not to wait for these and to receive a vaccination as soon as possible.  

We will be communicating directly with students with more information in the coming days. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

July 2021

Registration Opening

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

We are pleased to announce that as of yesterday, registration for the fall 2021 semester is now available to students. This highly anticipated event has been enabled by the herculean efforts of many around campus, our Deans, faculty members, staff in Student Success, Continuing Learning, and of course the Registrar’s Office, just to name a few. 

Students are encouraged to visit their student portal at my.laurentian.ca and register for classes. 

You are not alone through this process, our dedicated staff of the Student Success team are here to help. We are currently offering Registration Clinics, available to all students in order to support registration and orientation. 

A reminder to our community, as of August 16, all student-facing services will be delivered in-person and on campus. We are all looking forward to supporting students through the registration process and welcoming everyone back to campus, or in their online programs, this fall. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Laurentian community hard at work

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

With only 60 days until we begin the fall semester on September 8, our staff, faculty, students and community members are busy preparing for our return to campus. I would like to share some positive updates on enrolment, return to campus planning, and the future of Laurentian University. 

First, it is important to recognize the grief and sorrow felt by so many in our community. The steady stream of news related to the shocking discoveries at former Residential Schools across Canada has been devastating. As we are still only beginning to discover the full magnitude of the atrocities committed at Residential Schools, we must reflect on this history and stand with Indigenous communities through this time of grief. We will continue to bring light to the unpleasant truths and history of our country - we do this in order to learn, share, and grow. 

There is support available to assist with the overwhelming grief you may be experiencing. If you feel like you would benefit from speaking to someone, please consult The Hope for Wellness Help Line.

It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer counselling and crisis intervention. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.

 

Welcoming our students

Laurentian University students are a vital part of the North and make vital contributions that develop and shape our community. The Sudbury community cares deeply about the future of our university and have asked me for an update on enrolment levels.

As anticipated by the CCAA process, we have experienced a decrease (relative to 2020 levels) in first year students who are confirming their offers of admission. Yet, we are encouraged by some of our nationally recognized programs where student demand has remained consistent for many years. We are seeing higher-than-expected interest from international students as global mobility has increased and we are able to welcome them on campus once again. A drop in confirmations was to be expected, but we have planned for this and are seeing encouraging signs that the recovery has begun. 

We would like to thank the students and families who have placed, and continue to place, their trust in us and we are looking forward to welcoming you and kicking off another great academic year. Students who are still unsure or have questions about Laurentian, please know that we are available to answer your questions.

 

Return to Campus

Our return to campus plans are well underway, thanks to the excellent work of the Operational Resumption Committee. We continue to plan for a full return to campus on August 16 and we are encouraged by the positive feedback we have received thus far. We have distributed the preliminary list of courses which will be available this fall, along with their proposed delivery format. This list of over 2,000 course offerings is one step in the process to opening registration to all students, which is currently planned for July 20. We are also offering many Student Success Sessions and Course Planning clinics available to all students in order to support this process of registration and orientation. These will begin as early as this week. 

We are continuing to consult with our community to finalize the details of these plans and we will communicate updates as they become available. The safety and wellbeing of our community is our priority and we will continue to follow the guidelines set out by Public Health agencies. 

 

Future of Laurentian 

Although we have seen a tremendous amount of change at our institution in a very short period of time. Laurentian’s future is bright. I continue to be impressed and encouraged by the resilience, dedication and passion that exists within our community. 

We remain steadfastly committed to our tricultural mandate. This commitment to postsecondary education extends beyond our 33 Francophone programs, our 73 Anglophone programs, our focus on Indigenous content, and can be seen in the very fabric of our identity as an institution for Sudbury and the North. 

I have begun speaking with community leaders across the North about our mandate to listen to their views about how we can strengthen our communities and provide opportunity for our young people. Thus far, everyone has expressed their strong desire to support Laurentian University, a proven catalyst for Northern Ontario, for the province and for the world at large. 

A strong Laurentian contributes to a strong Northern Ontario, which we are building together.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

June 2021

Reflections for Canada Day

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

On this upcoming July 1, Canada Day, I would like to share some reflections ahead of this day which celebrates the anniversary of Canadian confederation in 1867. 

While Canada Day is a day to celebrate, and take pride in the many achievements of the Canadian community, we must also understand the history and significance of the events of the past. Specifically, understanding that for Indigenous community members, Canada Day signifies a colonial celebration that does not reflect the history of the Indigenous Peoples who were here long before 1867. 

As many of the Indigenous Community leaders in Northern Ontario have recommended, Canada Day is an opportunity to learn more about the history of the Indigenous Peoples and specifically about the atrocities that were committed within Residential Schools. 

It is my hope that you take the time to learn about Residential Schools, about the history of Indigenous Peoples, and about how you can make a difference for our future, for Canada. 

If you feel like you would benefit from speaking to someone immediately. Please consult The Hope for Wellness Help Line, which offers immediate help to all Indigenous peoples across Canada.

It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer counselling and crisis intervention. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Celebrating Francophonie on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day 

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24) is an opportunity to celebrate Francophone culture throughout Canada.

Each year, in Sudbury we are proud to welcome our many francophones and francophiles in celebrating this occasion. While we are not able to do so in person this year, we invite you to celebrate this day virtually. In that spirit, our Marketing Department has prepared celebratory backgrounds for the occasion

We are proud of the contributions of our francophone students, as well as the contributions of the thousands of francophones who are now alumni of Laurentian University. These francophone graduates contribute to their communities as teachers, volunteers, health care workers, administrators, and in many other important roles. 

Our commitment to francophone education is resilient and we will continue to ardently celebrate our students, faculty, and staff, as well as francophone culture.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Commemorating National Indigenous Peoples Day

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Today, we commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day. A time of celebration, to be sure, but also an important time for reflection. 

This year’s commemoration is muted for a number of reasons, particularly the distance necessitated by the pandemic. Usually we would be able to celebrate collectively; this will have to wait a while longer. We all look forward to the day where we can safely gather to mark this occasion.

This year’s National Indigenous Peoples Day also comes in the wake of recent painful revelations. They are reminders of how damaging the events in Canada’s history have been to Indigenous peoples. We must continue to do more, not out of guilt or blame — but in deciding to take an active role and be a part of the solution.

It is in that spirit that I encourage you to view a message from Eli Lorney Bob as he reflects on what this day means to him. Additionally, take a moment for your own self-reflection and share your thoughts via the Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter social media platforms (#reflectionsonNIPD). We must all do our part to support Reconciliation. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Campus reopens to community on August 16

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Today, I am pleased to inform our community that as of August 16, 2021, our campus will once again be open for students, staff, faculty and community members to access. 

As we return to campus, the safety of all our community members will remain the highest priority and we will continue to fully comply with guidance from Public Health Sudbury and Districts.  While many of us are eager to return, we must do so safely and in a stepwise manner and be prepared to modify our return schedule if required by public health guidelines. 

Many of the services students have come to expect on campus will be available, including access to:

  • Student services, such as myLaurentian Hub and others
  • Food services
  • Library 
  • Residences
  • Student Recreation Centre and Ben Avery gymnasium 
  • IT Service Desk
  • Full details on the services available will be provided to you as we finalize plans within each area. Our goal is to make as many services available as possible while respecting public health guidelines. The COVID-19 resources available on Laurentian.ca continue to be updated regularly. 

As we ramp up to a successful return to campus, many activities and events have been planned to prepare all of our students for a smooth transition back to class for Fall. I encourage students to participate fully in Orientation 2021 activities held from June through to September. 

Personally, I am eager to return to campus and to welcome our new and returning students, both online and in person, to one of Canada's most picturesque campuses.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Congratulations Graduates

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Each year, the first week of June brings with it one of the most memorable occasions on the university calendar - convocation. This year’s convocation allowed us to virtually celebrate our graduates who have completed their studies at Laurentian University. This group of graduates has been tested more than most, as they have finished the final year of their experience in a fully virtual environment

To our graduates - you are exactly what this world needs right now. 

People around the world have seen their lives altered, their sense of safety stressed, and face-to-face social interactions restricted. You are a collective force of newly educated, and ambitious individuals who will be joining the workforce at a time where your skills and ability to adapt will be most important. You have prepared for this.

You have demonstrated commendable resiliency in the face of new challenges that no graduating class before you had faced - that the world had not faced. Yet, you overcame them all to achieve great things. 

You have likely had exceptional people around you to help along the way. Whether it is parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents or friends. Today, I wish to acknowledge - and urge you all to acknowledge -  the support of these individuals whose support and encouragement has been important to your success. You are instrumental in the success of our students and deserve a heartfelt congratulations as well.

Once more, I am proud to say - congratulations graduates.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

May 2021

Vaccinations becoming widely available

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, we have anticipated a time when a vaccine would become available to the general public. Presently, after months of patience, we have reached a point where most people in Ontario will be eligible to receive a first dose of the vaccine. 

This turning point in the fight against the pandemic is significant. I strongly encourage all students, staff, faculty, and community members who are able to receive their first dose of the vaccine, to do so as soon as possible. Based on the provincial rollout plan, we anticipate that by September, most of our community members will have had the opportunity to receive their first dose of the vaccine and many will have received their second dose. The potential for high vaccination rates increases our ability to deliver the in-person experiences that we all miss at Laurentian University. 

Finally, to our students and parents of students, I would like you to know that we will do all we can to create a safe environment for the Fall Semester and beyond. Our teams are diligently planning how we will be able to do this while providing the excellent student experience you all deserve.  

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

April 2021

Stay-at-home order in place

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

On April 8th, 2021, the Ontario government entered a state of emergency, which includes a stay-at-home order effective at 12:01 am this morning. As a result, access to campus will be further restricted. With record numbers of cases of COVID-19, fueled by the spread of variants, this new provincial stay-at-home order is scheduled to last 28 days.  

Laurentian University’s approach to campus access and plans for gradual resumption of on-campus activities has been based on procedures developed using governmental resources and best practice information - putting the health and safety of our community members first. 

As has been practiced during phase 1 and 2 of our Return to Campus Plan, staff and faculty should work remotely as much as possible during the provincial stay-at-home order. Previously approved research activities and critical on-campus staff activities may continue, but all efforts to work remotely are encouraged.   

Due to increased health and safety considerations under the stay-at-home order, all staff, faculty and students accessing campus for the above mentioned previously approved activities must check-in upon arrival by calling security at 705-673-6562. In addition, further scrutiny will be afforded to requests for temporary access to campus and will only be approved in urgent circumstances through the regular process and submission of the online request form

Our intention is to maintain the best possible level of services and course delivery for students while ensuring the health and safety of our community. All remote and online course delivery, as well as exams, will proceed as previously planned. 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at covid-19@laurentian.ca.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

March 2021

A “welcoming, unifying and supportive” Francophonie

Celebrating International Francophonie Day at Laurentian

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

“Let me just say how crazy I am about Francophone culture,” writes Baba Idriss Fofana.

Editor-in-chief of L’Orignal déchaîné – Laurentian University’s French-language student newspaper – and student in the francophone School of Education, Baba is an ambassador of Sudbury’s Francophonie and a young pillar of our community recently profiled on Laurentian’s Instagram account to celebrate Francophonie Month.

Francophonie Month and International Francophonie Day are worldwide celebrations of Francophone culture rallying 29 independent nations that have adopted French as an official language, as well as hundreds of millions of Francophones and Francophiles around the globe.

“We have a duty to protect and promote this shared asset handed down to us by our ancestors," adds Baba. “If we believe that we have the right to exist, then we must raise awareness of our Francophone culture through our words and actions.”

In the same spirit, Maryssa Kozlowskyj, an Education student, expresses that “Laurentian University’s Francophonie is a gold mine, not only because of its rich history, but also because it provides an environment full of potential for future initiatives aimed at promoting the vitality of Franco-Ontarian language and culture.”

As explained by Mireille Mangana, student in the Master of Social Work, it is a culture of various origins unified as a collective, “Francophone culture at Laurentian, in my view, increases and promotes greater visibility and unity of all Francophone students from all backgrounds.”

“French is a colourful language punctuated by tone and pitch that isn’t just spoken, it is also welcoming, unifying and supportive,” says Baba Idriss Fofana, in closing.

Welcoming. Unifying. Supportive.

Together, Baba, Maryssa and Mireille tell the story of Laurentian’s Francophonie: a community that is proud of its achievements, and asserts and acknowledges its history. Together, these students pledge to experience the prosperous future of the Francophonie at Laurentian and beyond.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

New Protocols Now in Place

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

As the spread of COVID-19 increases in our community, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has recently  modified our regional colour-coded level to Grey-Lockdown. The move to Grey-Lockdown was effective Friday, March 12, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. It is important that we remember the health and safety measures as we navigate the current stage of the pandemic

To protect our communities, we are closing the study spaces in the Parker Building Atrium and the Student Centre. Further, any classes that were offered in a hybrid setting will revert to remote delivery effective immediately. Please avoid non-essential travel and limit the number of outings, when possible. We all have a responsibility to do the best we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Researchers and highly qualified people who have approved research resumption plans will continue to have access to their research spaces. 

  • However, research and scholarly activities should be done remotely if doing so does not significantly compromise the efficiency and integrity of the work.
  • Research and scholarly activities that require access to campus or field sites, that have been previously approved under Phase 1 or Phase 2 of Laurentian University’s Research Resumption procedures, are permitted to continue in accordance with the approved plans. 
  • Access to the Animal Care Facility and Perdue Central Analytical Facility is permitted in accordance with approved Phase 1 and Phase 2 research resumption plans.
  • Researchers with previously approved plans to conduct face-to-face research with human participants will be contacted directly with further instructions. 

 
Laurentian University continues to adhere to a variety of measures to control potential exposure to COVID-19.   

  • Face covering policy: Everyone who is permitted to enter, or remain in, an enclosed space must wear a mask or face covering.
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection of surface: Laurentian is committed to providing a safe environment for those currently on campus by ensuring all common touchpoints are disinfected throughout the day. 
  • Screening: Supervisors on campus must screen workers for COVID-19 before they begin their work each day. Individuals accessing campus on a one-time or temporary basis are also required to complete self-screening. Records are to be maintained and may be requested by the local public health unit to support case and contact tracing.


Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Life at Laurentian, Mining Games Podium Finish, Mois de la Francophonie and International Women’s Day

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

For many, the phrase “Life at Laurentian” may engender thoughts of a quiet campus or empty classrooms at this time, however, the reality is that there is much “Life at Laurentian” taking place! Our classes continue, our sense of community thrives, and our commitment to students guides us every step of the way. It is in this spirit that our team within the Liaison Office has planned many activities for our prospective and confirmed incoming students under the banner of “Life at Laurentian”. These include preparing students for their first-year studies, introductions to student services, and both virtual and in-person tours of our campus. These activities run throughout the month of March and I encourage you to view the calendar of events

We are now looking towards our Spring Semester, which is scheduled to begin on May 3rd. Registration is now open for nearly 100 courses, including new courses in Environmental Remediation: Global Lessons From the Sudbury Story and Indigenous Ways of Learning (asynchronous delivery). The semester will be delivered via remote delivery and students are encouraged to view the course offerings

We will celebrate two significant events this month - International Women’s Day #IWD2021 (March 8) and “International Francophonie Day” (March 20).

This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge, an opportunity for each one of us to call out gender bias and inequality. On Monday, let’s gather together to celebrate women's achievements and commit to a culture of full inclusion. Please consider how you can contribute to that culture of inclusion, not only on March 8th, but throughout the year and in your everyday actions.

The “Mois de la Francophonie” is a month-long celebration of Francophone culture, highlighted by the March 20th date which is celebrated around the world. This global celebration brings together the 29 independent nations who list French as an official language, as well as the hundreds of millions of Francophones and Francophiles the world over.

As our classes continue, so do our stories of student success. The latest comes to us from our students in the Bharti School of Engineering who recently competed in the Canadian Mining Games. The students added to the university’s long history of success at this competition by finishing in second place nationally. Please join me in congratulating these students and their accomplishments. Among the students who claimed this honour are: Tommy Adair, Xavier Beneteau, Cat Biskupski, Jessica Bronicheski, Milton Chateauvert, Jay Chenier, Michael Chevalier, Sarah Cholewinsky, Tylor Gmehlin, Johnathan Hutteri, Bryce Jones George, Jonathan Leroux, Jack Miteff, Reid Murray, Scott Villeneuve, and Connor White.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

February 2021

Winter Semester midway point, COVID-19 risks, and Black History Month

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

With the resumption of classes after last week’s reading week, we have now reached the midway point on our Winter Semester.  With the ongoing proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), I want to thank our faculty, staff, and students who have pressed on throughout the semester. Everything we are doing as a community is aimed at providing the best possible experience and outcomes to our students. In the coming weeks, we will continue to focus on ensuring that the student experience remains uninterrupted and that mediation with all stakeholders continues towards a successful resolution. 

For our students and community members who may have been required to travel over the break, I would like to remind you that any asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff are all eligible to undergo COVID-19 antigen testing at Health Services. Testing is available by appointment at G19 - Residence Street, Monday to Friday from 9:00AM to 4:30PM. 

For students who are on campus, some good news to share with you as the Parker Building atrium is now open for your use as a study space from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, from Monday to Friday. This is as a result of the change in restrictions, but please remember that physical distancing, wearing a face-covering, and other COVID-19 specific regulations are in place for your safety. 

As we close out the month of February, I would like to highlight the community stories which have been shared to celebrate Black History Month. These stories come to us from many community members who have agreed to share their experiences and aspirations. On behalf of our community, I would like to thank those who have dedicated their time to sharing these stories and encourage everyone to learn about these experiences. 

Finally, I would like to applaud the efforts of our Laurentian Online team. University Magazine has ranked Laurentian University amongst the top universities to study online. The magazine, which operates at universitymagazine.ca, performs rankings of various educational institutions and named ten institutions in this ranked list. This result has been realized thanks to the dedication of many faculty members, staff, and students who have contributed to the experiences.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

REDress: Honouring the Lives of Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirited People

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

A red dress on a winter tree. 

It is an idea seeded by Métis artist Jaime Black, an expression of grief for the thousands of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited People (MMIWG2S) across Turtle Island. An idea that has inspired communities to come together in an act of remembrance and in advocacy for needed action. 

This week, red dresses adorn trees across the Laurentian campus, calling on us to remember the lives and the legacies of MMIWG2S. We come together this week to affirm that their lives mattered. That they brought light and love to those who cared about them and to their Nations and communities. That they are missed. 

We have an opportunity this week to learn more about how we might contribute to building safe, inclusive, and supportive communities that include Indigenous peoples, reflecting on our colonial history, our relationship to the land, treaties and fundamental human rights.

I encourage us all to engage in the REDress Project by Jaime Black. Read the National Inquiry’s Final Report, Reclaiming Power and Place. Join the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre as they welcome Fallon Farinacci, a Laurentian student, survivor, and advocate for MMIWG2S, who will speak at a public event on February 12, 2021 at 10am. We are honoured to welcome Fallon, an important changemaker, as she shares her story with current and future generations. I also encourage our community to participate in the Virtual Moose Hide Campaign 2021 on February 26, a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys who are standing up against violence towards women and children.

We remember, we honour, and we work together to create a better future for the next generation.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

January 2021

Celebrating Black History Month

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

On Monday, we mark the start of Black History Month, a time to celebrate Black excellence on our campus and in our communities. A time when we reflect on the powerful voices and legacies of Black creators, thinkers, and innovators, pausing to take stock and recognize the formidable contributions these leaders have made to our communities across Canada and here in the North.

In what has been a year of profound societal transformation, Black leaders from Laurentian shone bright in our community. Professor Melchior Mbonimpa triumphantly published his seventh book, Au sommet du Nanzerwé il s'est assis et il a pleuré. Likewise, Professor Amadou Ba is preparing the launch of the English version of his book Forgotten History of the Contribution of Black Slaves and Soldiers to the Building of Canada (1604-1945). Professor Amélie Hien led the community towards last September’s Scholars Strike, before taking on the important role as Special Advisor to the Provost in matters of equity, diversity and inclusion. 

Alumni and former staffer Isak Vaillancourt recently launched amplify, a short documentary that elevates the voices of Black women. Alumna and Laurentian staff member Ra’anaa Brown led the co-creation of a bilingual street mural in downtown Sudbury affirming that BIPOC Lives Matter. Alumni Hediyeh Karimian, Kadre Gray and Litha Ncanisa, the founders of ULU (Ultuntu, Lunginsa and Usawa -- humanity, justice and equity in three African languages), broke trail by propelling forward important dialogue on racism in Sudbury, including in local classrooms.

I would also like to pay tribute to the important work of Laurentian student Tamerra London, whose life was tragically cut short last November. In her 22 years, Tamerra volunteered her vision and her time to ending sexual violence and upholding the dignity of Black lives while in pursuit of her studies as a biomedical student. She leaves behind her a powerful legacy of change in Sudbury, a legacy we have a shared responsibility to honour and celebrate.

As we mark the beginning of this important month of reflection, I encourage each of you to consider how engaging with Black History Month discussion panels, films, concerts, exhibits, and literature might strengthen our bonds as a broader community as we work towards equity, diversity and inclusion. Read, watch and listen, educate yourself, and contribute to building an inclusive, diverse community where we all belong.

Be sure to follow us this month on Instagram as we celebrate the contributions of Black leaders on the Laurentian campus.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Consent Week, Mental Health, and a look towards Black History Month

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

While the pandemic and news of vaccines have drawn much of the attention this week, there are other significant events taking place for our campus community. This week, from January 25th to 29th the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Office (EDHRO) held Consent Week 2021, a series of virtual events and discussions. I was pleased to see that many of our community members have raised awareness for this week with the #iask Zoom backgrounds, which can be downloaded from the EDHRO website. 

Today’s Bell Let’s Talk Day 2021 has also become an important part of January’s calendar over the past few years. This day, dedicated to raising awareness for mental health, will see many of us using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag and many students in residence will receive the popular blue tuques provided by Bell. This day serves as a reminder to take the time to listen to a loved one, or encourage a friend to ask for help, we can all have a positive impact on those around us. 

Looking ahead to next week, February 1st will represent the start of Black History Month, a time during which we celebrate Black excellence on our campus and in our communities. Next week, I will be dedicating my President’s Update to this very important time of the year. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Spring semester update and an inauguration to remember

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Earlier this week, we witnessed history unfolding south of the border with the celebrated inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. There is a Canadian connection for Vice President Harris, who pursued her studies as a young student in Montreal. The first Black and South Asian woman to shatter this glass ceiling, Kamala Harris is a shining beacon of hope to all of us who work towards inclusive and equitable societies. 

As inaugural poet Amanda Gorman said in her poem during the ceremony “We are striving to forge a union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.”  

Likewise, there is important news coming from Laurentian’s Senate this week: the Senate voted in favour of offering the Spring 2021 semester via remote delivery. The discussion focused first and foremost on providing the best possible education for our students while safeguarding the health, safety and wellness of students, faculty, and staff. While we all have hope for the expeditious rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is prudent to modify this upcoming academic semester to remote delivery.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Individual isolating in residence tests positive for COVID-19

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

We currently have a second case of COVID-19 affecting an individual in residence who has been in quarantine. This case is not linked to a confirmed positive case from last week. As always, if Public Health identifies any close contacts of cases they are in touch with them as soon as possible.

The University continues to work with Public Health Sudbury & District as the health and safety of our community is our top priority.

With the province having declared a state of emergency, I would like to remind our community that our critical services continue to operate. While some of our staff and faculty were able to begin working on campus, they are now working from home once again, however the commitment to student success remains the same. Fortunately, the way we have adapted our processes over the course of the pandemic have enabled us to transition to remote work more effectively. For staff and faculty who may have questions regarding on-campus work requirements, please communicate with your supervisor.

As a reminder for those who remain on campus in residence, and may be exercising outdoors, please wear a face covering if physical distancing of 2-meters cannot be maintained. This commitment to public health is a shared endeavour and we all play our part. 

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Individual in residence tests positive for COVID-19

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

As the number of COVID-19 cases have risen across the province, Laurentian University has also been affected. We currently have a case of COVID-19 affecting an individual in residence who is now self-isolating. Public Health Sudbury and District has completed contact tracing. 

The University has worked, and continues to work, with Public Health Sudbury & District as the health and safety of our community is our top priority.

We remind you that as a community, we have a shared responsibility to continue to strictly adhere to public health regulations – through frequent hand-washing, physical distancing and wearing face coverings.  

With our continued focus on remote learning and the vigilance by those members of our community required to be on campus, I am confident we can continue to minimize the risk of cases.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Significant efforts to ensure the safety of our campus residents

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour,

With classes beginning anew this week, I would like to thank the many faculty and staff who have worked over the holidays to provide the best possible instruction and support for our students this winter term. The many hours spent modifying course content, responding to student requests, and welcoming new students into residence, have all been critical in delivering the excellent academic experience to which we are committed. 

Since announcing last week that we are now offering Rapid COVID-19 Antigen testing on campus for our campus residents, we have begun testing asymptomatic students at their request. This option is available to students in order to help protect not only our campus community, but the Greater Sudbury community as a whole. Since returning, many of our students have elected to be tested. Should any of these rapid tests return as a preliminary positive, a “gold standard” PCR COVID-19 test would then follow within 24 hours and the individual would self-isolate while awaiting the results. Naturally, we will collaborate with Public Health Sudbury & Districts in the event of a positive test to implement our isolation protocols.  The ability to test asymptomatic individuals is above and beyond what most campuses are able to provide, and we expect that it will help us detect positive cases more quickly. 

With the spread of the virus happening faster than ever, we are aware that it may simply be a matter of time until we have a positive case on campus, however, we are confident that we have the right protocols in place to limit the spread. We will continue to work closely with Public Health Sudbury & Districts while doing everything we can to support our students and ensure the safety of our community.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Welcoming in 2021 

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Happy new year and welcome to our winter semester for 2021. I hope that each of you have had the opportunity to recharge and are looking forward to the year ahead. As 2021 begins, it brings reason for optimism as we now have vaccines for COVID-19, even as we continue to face the challenges of the pandemic and the lockdown. Indeed, the pandemic persists, as does our resolve. 

We, as a community, had every hope that the lockdown would end as scheduled on January 9th 2021, however, it has been extended another two weeks. Here’s what this prolonged lockdown means for our community:

  • All classes will be offered remotely with the exception of some clinical labs. Affected students will be contacted directly. Please visit the website for a complete list of changes. 
  • Residences will remain open to welcome back students for the new winter semester. 
  • As no indoor organized public events and social gatherings are permitted, except with members of the same household, we ask that students remain aware of all relevant requirements that apply to them in residences. 
  • The myLaurentian hub is available online or over the phone only.
  • The SGA Pub will be open for takeout only.
  • Facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities will be closed (including the gym in W132). 
  • Researchers and highly qualified people who have approved research resumption plans will continue to have access to their research spaces during the lockdown. 
    • However, research and scholarly activities should be done remotely if doing so does not significantly compromise the efficiency and integrity of the work.
    • Research and scholarly activities that require access to campus or field sites, that have been previously approved under Phase 1 or Phase 2 of Laurentian University’s Research Resumption procedures, are permitted to continue in accordance with the approved plans. For example, on-going studies that require regular care, conditioning or inspections (e.g., maintenance of cells, animals, breeding colonies, or tissues), or time-sensitive research activities are permitted to continue. 
    • Access to the Animal Care Facility and Perdue Central Analytical Facility will also be permitted in accordance with approved Phase 1 and Phase 2 research resumption plans.
  • The Library’s curbside pickup service will be in operation from January 11th.
  • Study spaces will remain closed. 

Before classes begin, I would also like to welcome our new cohort of students, who will begin their university journey on Monday. I am particularly cognizant of the group of 8 international students who have now joined us in person and are isolating in residence. Our staff have gone to great lengths to make sure their arrival has been welcoming as well as safe for both them and the community. They are benefiting from their individual dedicated spaces, regular check-ins from our team members, and on-site testing which is available in Health & Wellness Services on campus

On the topic of testing, thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario, rapid testing has been made possible on-campus as of January 6th. This testing will be available to asymptomatic individuals. Laurentian was one of only three campuses in Ontario to receive this grant, thanks to the committed efforts of Lyne Rivet. As always, we must continue to be vigilant, ensuring our public health measures are respected. Should anyone on-campus experience symptoms, please contact Health & Wellness Services, and for those off-campus, your local public health agency. 

Lastly, I would like to somberly recognize the one-year anniversary of the events of January 8th, 2020, when Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down over the skies of Tehran in Iran. Our thoughts are with the friends and families of the 176 victims.

I wish you all a prosperous start to the academic year.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

December 2020

An update on Ontario’s holiday lockdown

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

Yesterday, the Ontario government announced that the province will enter a lockdown on December 26, 2020. The lockdown is scheduled to last 14 days in Northern Ontario (scheduled to end at 12:00 am January 9, 2021), and 28 days in the rest of Ontario.  

The University plans to resume post-lockdown operations on January 11th, 2021, as long as permitted by the provincial directives. Our intention is to maintain the best possible level of services and course delivery for students. 

All remote and online course delivery will proceed as previously planned in early January.

However, there are some implications of the lockdown restrictions for our community including (with apologies for the density):

  • The outdoor adventure leadership program had planned in-person courses beginning prior to January 11th. These courses will now be delayed, and students registered in the courses will be informed of the changes. Students will be contacted by the School regarding the updated schedule. 
  • Residences will remain open to welcome back students for the winter semester. 
  • As no indoor organized public events and social gatherings are permitted, except with members of the same household, we ask that students remain aware of all relevant requirements that apply to them in residences. 
  • The SGA Pub will remain closed during the lockdown.
  • Facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities will be closed (including the gym in W132). 
  • The Laurentian University Health & Wellness Services remain available to all students, faculty and staff requiring essential primary health care from 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m. starting January 6, 2021. We encourage Laurentian University’s international students to access the keep.me.SAFE program by downloading the app (My SSP or by calling 1-844-451-9137). 
  • Researchers and highly qualified people who have approved research resumption plans will continue to have access to their research spaces during the lockdown. 
    • However, research and scholarly activities should be done remotely if doing so does not significantly compromise the efficiency and integrity of the work.
    • Research and scholarly activities that require access to campus or field sites, that have been previously approved under Phase 1 or Phase 2 of Laurentian University’s Research Resumption procedures, are permitted to continue in accordance with the approved plans. For example, on-going studies that require regular care, conditioning or inspections (e.g., maintenance of cells, animals, breeding colonies, or tissues), or time-sensitive research activities are permitted to continue. 
    • Access to the Animal Care Facility and Perdue Central Analytical Facility will also be permitted in accordance with approved Phase 1 and Phase 2 research resumption plans.

As we receive more information and clarification around this new lockdown, we will keep the community updated on important developments. In the meantime, follow public health guidelines, wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing and proper hand hygiene. 

As we face this new challenge at the end of what has been an already eventful year, I urge you to take the time to take care of yourselves and your loved ones, wishing you all the very best during this holiday season. Let’s continue to come together for the health and wellbeing of all in our community.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Best wishes for exams and the holiday season

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

As we approach the final days of our fall semester’s exam period, I would like to recognize the many efforts that have been put forth by the Laurentian community to bring us to this point in time. Each and every one of us has in some way changed, adapted, or even transformed, our routines and our work. We have operated at a feverish pace and it has certainly taken a toll on us all. This holiday season comes to us at a time where many are exhausted and in need of a rest. 

I would also like to recognize the many staff, faculty, volunteers, and students, who will continue to work throughout the holiday break. There are indeed many departments who we count on throughout the holidays and we recognize their efforts while others are away. We appreciate all that you have done and continue to do - thank you.

Throughout the holidays, it will be critical that we follow the public safety measures that we have become accustomed to practicing. We have to minimize travel as much as possible, though I understand the desire to visit family during this time, we must keep our contacts to a minimum. Naturally, we must also continue our efforts to maintain physical distancing, use of face coverings, and proper hand hygiene. With the recent news of record levels of positive COVID-19 cases across the province, the risk of contracting the virus has never been higher. Please be vigilant and follow the guidelines, not only for your own safety, but for the safety of those in our community. 

This holiday season, I hope that we are able to take a collective pause for self-reflection. In some ways, to acknowledge the many successes we've had this year, but also to look ahead to the challenges and opportunities that 2021 will present. I will look forward to seeing many of you once again, either on January 6th, or on January 11th when classes resume. 

I sincerely hope that each of you will be able to make the most of this very unique holiday break. We have certainly earned a rest from our daily challenges. 

I would like to wish the best to you and your families during this holiday season. Let us bring in this new year with hope, optimism and togetherness.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Compassionate Grading to support students

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

After a robust conversation on Tuesday, the Laurentian University’s Senate voted in favour of a motion that will provide for equitable and compassionate outcomes for all students, particularly those who have experienced the full force of the pandemic. This motion, brought forward by our student association leaders, enables students to choose whether they would like to be assigned a “pass” or “fail” designation on their final transcripts for individual courses, rather than having their specific grade listed. 

Students are at the core of our decision making, and this decision will offer flexibility at a time where they need it most. It is an unusual step, and one that we feel will have a positive impact on student success.

As you may recall, last month the Laurentian University Senate had also decided to delay the start of the winter semester classes to January 11, 2021, in order to provide more time to decompress, relax, and prepare for the semester ahead. In recognition of the dedication of our staff and faculty throughout this past year, the University will be closed as planned on December 24, 2020 and will now resume normal business hours as of January 6, 2021 (as opposed to January 4, 2021), allowing for two additional days of time off. 

In the spirit of giving, every year, Laurentian University’s United Way fundraising campaign is among the most successful in the region thanks to the generous and continuous support of volunteers, faculty, staff and retirees. Over the past 35 years, the Laurentian University community has raised over $1,093,475 for the United Way in support of community initiatives. I would like to encourage all community members to consider their donation either through the online portal or through payroll deduction. Each donation of $120 or more (before January 8, 2021) will be entered into a draw to win a day off with pay or free parking for one year. Our participation truly demonstrates the amount of care and engagement the people of Laurentian University have within our community. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

Supporting our students in the season of giving

Hello, Aanii, Bonjour, 

This past Tuesday, our community celebrated Giving Tuesday with a focus on raising funds for Laurentian University students facing the many hardships during this global pandemic. Our University Advancement team was supported by staff, faculty, students and especially alumni as they collaborated to raise a record amount of $131,656.27. This is the highest total ever raised on Giving Tuesday since our participation began six years ago. Even though the day has passed, you may still join me and contribute to the fund here. A very successful day that will surely have a positive impact on our students. 

Another event that will drive positive outcomes for students is this year’s Exam Wishes campaign from December 7-10, which sees the Laurentian University Alumni Association supporting students by fulfilling their requests during the first week of the exam period. In past years, this was done through on-campus deliveries of pizza, coffee, and food to students who were studying for exams. This year, the event will take place virtually as gift cards will be electronically distributed to students. I would like to encourage our community members to send their well wishes to students through this campaign’s online form. To our students - we are here to help and wish you the best of success during this exam period. 

As we begin the month of December, a very significant date will be recognized on Sunday December 6th as our communities will mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. This is a day where we remember the violent murders of 14 women in an anti-feminist attack at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. Let us take a moment to reflect on the lives and legacies of these women, and remember them alongside other survivors and victims of gender-based violence. As a community, we must take action in fighting all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination. This tragic anniversary occurs in the middle of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (November 25 to December 10), which strives to end all forms of violence based on gender.

Thank you, Merci, Miigwech 

 

Robert Haché, Ph.D.

President and Vice-Chancellor

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.