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President Mohamed Lachemi announces university’s plans to deal with COVID-19

As of today, March 13, Ryerson classes will move to alternative formats in response to COVID-19
Category:From the President
March 13, 2020
Students sitting on the floor working in a hallway

The week of March 16 will be a week of transition allowing faculty and staff to explore and implement alternate forms of program delivery.

I am writing to the Ryerson community today to share an important update on COVID-19. Since the outbreak occurred, the university has been focused on the health and well-being of our community members and committed to ensuring that our students can successfully complete this academic term.

Staff across the university have been working extremely hard and have been in near constant contact with other universities and colleges, public health and public safety agencies. These are challenging times and I want to share the latest developments and decisions with you.

Effective today, March 13, the university will be shifting all in-person classes to virtual and other alternative forms of delivery.  

As of today, all exams will also be conducted by alternate methods.  

The week of March 16 will be a week of transition for the university, allowing faculty and staff time to explore and implement alternate forms of program delivery. All courses will have these alternate arrangements finalized by Monday, March 23. Students will be hearing from their departments on course delivery during the week of March 16.

The Office of the Provost will be reaching out to all faculties on the next steps in this transition, including learning and technical supports available to assist in offering alternative delivery methods.

Information regarding alternative options for year-end exams is also forthcoming.  

Effective immediately, the university is undertaking the following additional actions:

  • All university-sanctioned international travel by students and staff is cancelled until August 31 or further notice;
  • All university-sanctioned international travel by faculty is to be avoided until August 31 or further notice;
  • All community members returning from outside the country must self-isolate for two weeks upon their return to Canada;
  • All discretionary Ryerson events on and off-campus scheduled from now until May 1, 2020 are being cancelled or postponed, including those planned by student groups. Detailed information regarding the postponement/rescheduling of all events that are not vital to the academic mission of the university will be forthcoming shortly.

For now, Ryerson University and facilities including residences and food services will remain open. Residence students will continue to be supported and will be contacted directly by Student Housing and Community Care with additional information. As the university remains open, employees are required to report to work as usual.

I understand that this is a stressful situation for many people and I want to remind all of our community members – students, faculty and staff – that counselling and health services are available, should they be needed.

Students can learn more about services available to them at the Ryerson Centre for Student Development and Counselling.  

Employees seeking counselling should access the employee and family assistance program for resources and counselling.

As always if you are sick and experiencing cold and/or flu-like symptoms, you are encouraged to stay home and to follow the directives of Toronto Public Health (external link) .  

For more information on COVID-19, including a FAQs with information including what to do if you have flu like symptoms, need to self-isolate, or how to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other flu like illnesses please visit

I want to thank all of our students, faculty, and staff for their patience and understanding as we deal with these challenging times. And I encourage you to monitor your email and our website for additional news and further updates.


Mohamed Lachemi
President and Vice-Chancellor

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