Dear faculty, staff and students,
Earlier today we received a message from U of T President Meric Gertler with an update on the University of Toronto’s emerging plans for the Fall 2020 semester. In particular, the message outlines three guiding principles that form the foundation of planning:
- Health & Safety: The University of Toronto is committed first and foremost to the health and safety of our entire community. To that end, we are following the advice of public health authorities in all of our planning.
- Academic Excellence: A University of Toronto education will continue to be characterized by the elements that have come to define it: intellectual stimulation, rigour, collaboration, and discovery.
- Our Community: We will continue to work together, to collaborate, and to help one another adjust and adapt. We will dedicate ourselves to making sure that, regardless of any hurdles we face individually, every member of our community will be supported for success.
Education and research at the University of Toronto
Regarding the format of education delivery, plans are being developed at the University level for a fall term that mixes smaller, on-campus seminars, labs, and experiential learning, with larger online and remote courses and lectures. Similarly, the University’s research mission is expected to return in full force by fall with laboratory and library spaces to be adapted to the requirements of physical distancing. I encourage you to read the full message from President Gertler available online here.
What’s happening at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy?
Within our own Faculty the restart planning process is underway, led by our three planning groups: Research, Education, and Operations. Many of you have already been engaged with one or more of these groups as we continue to work toward establishing processes in coordination with the University’s guiding principles and the needs of our community. Progress is being made in key areas including increased signage to help maintain physical distancing and the development of a new workspace booking system. There are many other areas in which we require guidance from central U of T planning tables and we anticipate these guidelines will be available in the coming weeks.
Who is permitted onsite?
While our restart planning work is progressing, please remember that only research and other work activities deemed essential are permitted to take place onsite. Please continue to connect with Tina Harvey-Kane, Director of Facilities Management, if you need access to the building for specific reasons.
Over the past few weeks I have been part of numerous discussions about restart planning. Many people have voiced the sense that the challenges we face ramping back up are more complex than the rapid transition to conducting much of our work virtually. It is important to acknowledge this reality and also to continue to support one another through the restart phase. Since early March, I have witnessed a renewed depth of collaboration across our faculty as well as numerous innovations spurred on by the need to maintain our academic mission while responding appropriately to the pandemic. We will continue to work together and deliver high quality, impactful education and research as we move collectively toward a more thorough restart.
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto