Fall Readiness Planning Process

Updated: April 22, 2021

Following the progress of the provincial COVID-19 vaccine program, the Government of Alberta has encouraged all post-secondary institutions to prepare for a full return to on-campus learning in fall 2021. University of Alberta planning is already well underway to safely transition to in-person activities where possible in September. A working group has been established to deliver the university’s initial 2021-22 plan by June and to navigate the university through any additional public health adjustments leading up to September.

Preparing for Fall 2021: An Update from President Bill Flanagan »

Provost Steven Dew on the U of A's planning approach for the 2021-22 academic year »

Fall ‘21 Readiness Working Group

In March 2021, the University of Alberta established the Fall ‘21 Readiness Working Group to guide the university’s safe transition to in-person activities and services this year where possible. They are currently outlining transition guidelines strategies for campus life, teaching, learning, research, logistics & safety, communications, faculty, staff and students. The university will capitalize on lessons learned to enhance operations, sustainability, and service delivery. In planning for the year ahead, the Readiness Working Group and university planners will be guided by the below key commitments and guiding principles.

Key Commitments

  • To protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff above all other considerations.
  • To provide the best possible teaching and learning experience for our students and instructors.
  • To maximize research activities.
  • To continue to propel innovation, efficiency, and relevance in programs and services as a leading global research university.

Guiding Principles

  • Supporting continuity in the delivery method of classes throughout the term(s).
  • Supporting instructors in the development of their courses.
  • Supporting student program completion and program progression.
  • Supporting equity of access for students, regardless of where they are located or the resources they possess.
  • Making sustainable choices.
  • Focusing on the student experience by maximizing in-person learning and continuing to improve online learning experience.

Working Group Membership and Relationships

The Fall ‘21 Readiness Working Group reports directly to the Deputy Provost and has close relationships with the Provost’s Task Force on Remote Teaching and Learning, the U of A’s operational Public Health Response Team, and other existing COVID-19 Response working groups and teams, such as the Campus Safety Measures Working Group and Research Impact Team.

Representatives from the working group will regularly brief and consult various internal and external university stakeholders. This will be accomplished through regular meetings with the General Faculties Council, the university’s faculty, staff and student associations, and other opportunities as they arise.

Co-Chairs: André Costopoulos, Dean of Students, and Shanthi Johnson, Dean, School of Public Health

The committee membership will be flexible according to needs; representation will regularly include:

  • Colleges and faculties
  • Asset Management and Operations
  • Campus Services
  • Dean of Students Office
  • External Relations
  • Finance, Procurement and Planning
  • Graduate Studies & Research
  • Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment
  • Internal Audit and Risk Management
  • Information Services & Technology
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Research & Innovation
  • University of Alberta International
  • Other as needed

Learn more about the structure and scope of the U of A’s response to COVID-19 »

Spring and Summer 2021

University of Alberta courses will be a combination of remote, online and in-person instruction in spring and summer. Further information about the spring and summer academic terms is available on the Campus Life webpage.

Planning for your unit, team or class

Adjustments to your 2021-22 planning should be made in consultation with your unit’s leadership team. They are connected to this planning process and will be able to ensure any concerns or considerations you have are brought forward to the appropriate planning group in a timely manner.


Should you have any concerns or questions about 2021-22 planning, please first touch base with your supervisor, dean, director or chair as they will best be able to address any enquiries specific to your team or situation.

General questions about University of Alberta 2021-22 planning can be sent to phrtinfo@ualberta.ca.

Campus Life in 2020-21

What is life like at the U of A?

Visit Campus Life: Essential student and instructor information for the 2020-21 academic year.

See Campus Life »