Notice from Julie Potter, Associate Director, Community and Government Relations, University of Victoria:
I wanted to share with you some information on UVic’s recent response to the evolving pandemic. As you know, you can find up to date information at uvic.ca/covid-19; however, I thought I would just highlight a few pieces of information, in the event your associations finds them of interest. If you have specific questions, please do just reach out.
- Emergency bursary fund for established for students: We have recently created a COVID-19 Emergency Bursary available to all students—domestic or international, undergraduate or graduate—who are experiencing emergency financial need as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here.
- Grading options for students this term: UVic is offering flexible grading options for students this term, in an effort to help ensure academic quality and support student success, as well as to alleviate stress during these challenging times. More information can be found here.
- Spring 2020 convocation: The convocation ceremonies previously scheduled for June 8 to 12, 2020 have been postponed. The university is working on an alternative way for graduates to celebrate this momentous occasion. We will provide an update once the details have been confirmed.
- Summer session offerings (May-August, 2020): We are working to move summer session course offerings online, allowing students to continue to progress through their degree programs.
- Campus closures: The campus remains open, but in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, protect the vulnerable, protect our community and protect the health care system, UVic has closed and/or modified some services. All closures can be found here.
- President Cassels extends term: Last year, President Cassels announced plans for his retirement this summer. Last week, the Chair of the Board of Governors shared that President Cassels has agreed to stay on in his role beyond his planned end date of June 30, 2020. President Cassels will provide some continuity right now and until the university is in a better position for the transition to new leadership
- UVic contributing supplies and research: We are constantly trying to find ways in which we can support the community during these unprecedented times. Recently, UVic’s Engineering Department began 3D-printing parts to build face shields for frontline care workers on the island. In addition to 3D printing of supplies, projects and research areas that are addressing the COVID-19 crisis include digital technologies, biomedical and biochemistry, genome research, proteomics, nursing, law, mathematics, social sciences and exercise science.
- ‘The Great Indoors’ project (uvic.ca/thegreatindoors): To help ease the struggles of social isolation, we have introduced ‘The Great Indoors’ project. This is a virtual place to experience the vibrancy of UVic’s active academic community from the safety of home. Through online means we will be sharing stories and engaging content that inspires, educates and entertains. If you have ideas on content you think would be of value, do let me know.
- What’s Next?: We continue to monitor the provincial, national and global situation and evolve our response as we work with other institutions, public health officials and all levels of government. We are committed to meeting the immediate needs created by this global challenge, while planning for a time when we can return to our normal work routines.
I hope you and all those you know are staying well. If there is anything we can do to support your association’s efforts please do let me know. If you have any questions either from yourself or from members of your community, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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