Dear members of the McGill community,
From its very beginning in March, the goal of the COVID-19 lockdown was to “flatten the curve” in order to lessen the strain on critical health care services. Throughout this period, the University has been proactive in developing plans to prioritize the health and safety of the community, as well as to ensure the successful continuity of our academic mission.
Although the global pandemic is certainly not over, we are now living in a period of learning to co-exist with COVID-19. The government has been adapting to this new reality and has continued to lift restrictions allowing various sectors across Quebec to gradually reopen, bringing back workers in businesses, shops and other spaces. We have seen that safely re-opening our physical spaces is possible through a combination of careful and controlled institutional measures and individual efforts to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
Starting in August, McGill will take significant steps toward increasing the resumption of activities across its campuses. Just as we have been carefully and gradually resuming on-campus research over the past several weeks, the University is now deeply engaged in safely re-establishing the vibrant campus experience for which McGill is known. Although fall courses will be primarily delivered remotely, our planning teams are collaborating with all Faculties on implementing in-person teaching activities through teaching hubs, safely designed study and learning spaces, and other innovative opportunities for student engagement.
Our planning teams are also working with unit heads to have back-to-campus transition plans properly implemented to support our community as we get ready for the fall semester. These will include taking all the necessary precautions to enable employees gradually to come back to work on campus and, as individual unit needs allow, to alternate between working on-campus and working from home.
The safety and well-being of our students, staff, faculty, instructors and researchers remains our utmost priority, and the ongoing implementation of these plans will depend on how the Montreal and Quebec health situations continue to evolve.
Over the past months, we’ve heard many times that “we’re all in this together” — and it’s true. McGill was able to remain operational during the earlier stages of the pandemic thanks to our community’s ability to adapt quickly and effectively during this time of uncertainty and urgency. Our staged resumptions on the research front have gone very well, allowing research life to resume on campus in a safe and proficient manner. Everyone involved is to be congratulated on successful collaborations that have ensured the safety of our community and the community at large.
We look forward to increased physical presence on campus, especially as we anticipate with excitement the return of our students to McGill this September. Just the same, health and safety must remain our paramount consideration. Each member of our community has a responsibility in this regard, and we must all consistently bear in mind that our individual actions will have a direct impact on the well-being of the McGill and wider communities.
Thank you for all your hard work in ensuring that the University can continue to deliver its outstanding academic programs and advance McGill’s mission.
Prof. Yves Beauchamp, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)
Prof. Christopher Manfredi, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)