President Loreman’s Wednesday Update, April 22, 2020Posted on: Apr 22, 2020
Dear CUE Community,
Hang in there as we approach the end of our Winter semester. This of course has been a very difficult time for all of us, but in amongst all of that it has also been a successful time. That is not to say that it has been good for everyone – no semester ever is – but overall we have navigated the rough waters very well indeed. We have worked collegially with our Student Associations to address concerns as best we can, most often coming up with reasonable compromise solutions to issues. All of this is due to the responsiveness of our faculty, sessional instructors, and staff, combined with the forgiveness, forbearance, and understanding of our students. Thank you!
In what amounts to very good news for students, the Government of Canada today announced a number of significant measures designed to assist students financially as the nation addresses COVID-19. This support will be critical as many of our students face a summer without employment and other means of financial support. Details regarding the announcement can be found here.
As you are aware Concordia’s administration is now planning for three potential scenarios for the Fall, and we hope to have this work completed by early May. Unfortunately, the least likely scenario is that we will be back face-to-face in class in September. The most likely scenario is that we will be starting the semester off online and moving to face-to-face at some point, or even remaining online for the entire semester. The ‘experts’ (and nobody is in this situation) are tending to predict that post-secondary institutions will be amongst the last places to congregate again in person once we have vanquished COVID-19. My crystal ball is not working so I do not know what position we will be in come September, but I do know that we should all be prepared for the very real possibility that classes will commence online in the Fall. Every post-secondary institution in Canada is facing this same scenario. We will be making a final decision as to which direction we will need to go over the summer, but please be prepared for anything. Safety is the first consideration.
Do I have any news on Convocation 2020? No. However, an announcement can be expected early next week. We are not forgetting our grads this year, and the need to celebrate their achievements in a special and meaningful way, face-to-face.
Our community may be interested in the newly launched e-Learning Digital Skills Development Programs. This 100% online program is specially designed to respond to the COVID-19 impact on education. Concordia’s Office of Extension and Culture, Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence, and Centre for Innovation and Applied Research have all been involved in the design.
Students should know that services from our Student Life and Learning team remain available at all times during the spring and summer. The services they provide are outlined on our website which is worth checking out.
There is no change to our situation on-campus. We are still open but our entire community is strongly encouraged to access services online. If you do need to come to campus the only entry and exit point is through the main doors in the Hole Academic Centre. You will be asked for the reason for your visit and will need to sign in and out. You will be required to have your CUE ID with you at all times, and anyone without a CUE ID is not permitted on campus. When on campus please limit your movements only to places you need to visit, and leave as soon as you are able. Following these rules will help to keep our campus safe and COVID-19 free.
Stay safe, stay home, stay healthy.
Tim Loreman, PhD., President and Vice Chancellor
P.S. In last week’s Wednesday Update video I suggested that a theme song might be required. I had a number of good (and funny) suggestions. No spoilers as to the final selection, though. That will be revealed in my video update next week.
Robert sent a Top 10 list. My favourite was this one.
Aalt suggested this one. How we all feel most days, lately.
Tuong came through with an international take, suggesting this.
Christian suggested this. Love the outfits.
Catarina suggested this. James Bond…sort of.
Ron suggested this. Kinda catchy, I must admit.
Carmen suggested this. It ain’t no Pet Sounds, though.
Vivian’s suggestion took me back to the 70s. Enjoy all 10 hrs.
Andrew suggested this. Love that 80s vibe.
Angela’s suggestion took me back to my 20s in the 1990s when no one told me life was gonna be this way.