From the President’s Desk: U of A will move to remote delivery on Tuesday

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, President Turpin provides update regarding class and exam delivery.

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With the increasing global spread of COVID-19, the health and safety of University of Alberta community members is our top priority. The university is closely following the preventative measures and advice of Alberta Health Services and Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Global Affairs Canada and other public health and travel authorities.

While the risk to all Albertans remains low and there are no confirmed cases at the University of Alberta, circumstances can change quickly.

Today I announce that the University of Alberta will be moving classes and exams to remote delivery, effective Tuesday, March 17. All in-person, online, and alternate classes and exams will be suspended for one day on Monday, March 16 to prepare for the change.

Detailed information on how we will be making the transition and what to expect has been emailed to all students and employees. You can also find it on our COVID-19 website.

Our campuses and residences will remain open in order to support our students and ongoing research. All other university business will carry on as normal.

Making the transition from in-person classes to remote delivery will ensure that our students can complete the academic term and meet their academic goals. I want to thank all instructors for working quickly to adapt course materials and resume the winter term online. I would also like to thank all of the teams supporting this transition, from the eClass team to the Centre for Teaching and Learning to the Offices of the Registrar and Dean of Students.

Considering the scale of the challenge — with 40,000 students, hundreds of courses, and 89,000 exams to deliver — this effort could not happen without the dedicated efforts of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty, and staff across all faculties and units. In addition to protecting the health of our students and community, our goal is maintain the U of A’s quality learning experience in the midst of a rapidly evolving situation.

To our students, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we make this transition. I know that you may have questions and need extra support. Please do not hesitate to continue to access student services and supports in your faculties and in the Office of the Dean of Students. Your health, well-being, and academic success should be your focus.

To be fully informed about classes moving online and all other actions the U of A is taking to protect the health and safety of our community, please continue to watch the COVID-19 website and your email for regular updates.

David H. Turpin

President and Vice-Chancellor