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In-Person Teaching and On-Campus Activities this Fall

Category:To: All faculty and contract lecturers
June 24, 2021

Dear colleagues,

In response to President Lachemi’s June 9th communication regarding our transitional fall semester, many of you have asked for further details about what this will mean for in-person teaching and on-campus activities this fall.

We are very encouraged by the progress being made in Ontario, particularly in regard to increased vaccination rates and the Roadmap to Reopen framework, external link. With the situation improving daily, Ryerson University is planning a gradual return to campus over the next several months; this will include some in-person teaching this fall.

As we all begin to readjust to campus life, we look forward to welcoming our students back and to offering them the in-person learning opportunities, community and interaction they have surely missed over the last 15 months. Though it will take some time to feel normal again, it is important that we start preparing ourselves now for a full return in January 2022.

Some In-Person Instruction will be Necessary as of September

As Deans continue to plan for a partial return, they are identifying which classes can be taught on campus in September and which will continue to be offered remotely. Classes that require in-person instruction, such as labs and studios, will be prioritized – this will look different Faculty to Faculty. As this process unfolds, you are encouraged to discuss planning with your Dean or Chair/Director; once Deans have mapped out the semester, you will be advised of which classes are to be taught in person.

Should you have medical limitations and restrictions that prevent you from returning to campus and/or in-person teaching this fall, please reach out to Workplace Wellbeing Services.

For other accommodations, faculty members may reach out to their Dean, and Contract Lecturers to their Chair or Director with a request. All accommodation requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, as per existing procedures.

Deans and administrative leaders have been asked to assess on-campus staffing needs thoroughly in order to support the increased faculty and student presence. Staff who are needed to support in-person activities will be required to work on campus.

In keeping with a recent update from Human Resources, staff who are not required to support on-campus activities in the fall will continue to work remotely during the fall semester. This approach enables us to support physical distancing requirements put in place to keep everyone safe, while gradually phasing in increased in-person activity. Human Resources will be releasing further communications to leaders and staff shortly.

Health and Safety Continues to be Our Top Priority

While many of us are looking forward to a more active and lively campus this fall, it is understandable that returning may cause some anxiety for others. We are committed to ensuring that our campus will be safe in order to offer increased on campus activity as soon as we are permitted to do so by Toronto Public Health and the Province of Ontario. The university is reviewing and updating many practices and protocols to make our campus a safe place to learn and teach. These considerations include:

  • Masking protocols
  • Physical distancing protocols
  • Contact tracing
  • Available classroom and programming spaces given gathering limitations and existing physical distancing guidelines
  • Ventilation and air purification
  • Increased cleaning and disinfection
  • Access to campus, including the use of public transit

A detailed update on health and safety measures to support increased in-person activity will be shared in Ryerson Today in the coming days.

Resources Available to You

As we approach the fall semester, the university is committed to keeping you informed of planning and decisions as they are made. For your reference, all communications regarding Ryerson’s response to COVID-19 are posted on ryerson.ca/covid-19 under the Updates tab.

Thank you for your continued support and collaboration as we navigate the impact that COVID-19 has had on our community, as well as what it means to learn and teach during a global pandemic. We know that the ongoing uncertainty has been challenging and we appreciate your efforts in continuing to offer the exceptional education our university is known for.

Should you have any questions about the information above, please do not hesitate to speak with your Dean or to reach out to my office.

With my best regards,

Saeed Zolfaghari
Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic