Since the first cases of COVID-19 were announced in the province, the USask community has united to find solutions, save lives, and to support one another in these uncertain times.
May 12, 2020
The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is planning for a primarily remote approach to program delivery this fall.
The planned September delivery model will combine primarily remote online learning, with limited classroom, laboratory, clinical, and physical instruction only where warranted and where circumstances permit, in consultation with public health and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer.
This direction reflects comprehensive analysis and planning work done at the university over the months since the emergence of COVID-19, and is based on current pandemic knowledge and projections. The planned direction also provides the programming flexibility needed to manage the potential risks while ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
Remote program delivery this fall does not change the high quality and value of a USask degree. We are focused on program and delivery enhancements to ensure that students continue to receive a world class education at the University of Saskatchewan.
As communicated yesterday, a Pandemic Recovery Team (PRT) has recently been formed with the mandate to lead the planning for the delivery of academic programming and research in September, positioning USask undergraduate and graduate students to continue their programs with minimal disruption and necessary supports. The current spring term and the upcoming summer term are both being delivered remotely, and will continue in this format.
The initial PRT work involves finalizing a September 2020 implementation plan, developed with consultation across all areas of university activity and with health officials. The goal is to have the fall implementation plan finalized and approved by the end of May. As part of the consultation and planning, deans, associate deans, and graduate chairs are working with department heads and others to identify the programming that will be done remotely, as well as academic programming elements and research that require an in-person mode of delivery.
Given the requirements that the university adhere to all public health guidelines and given the need for mandatory safety protocols, final determination of delivery mode for each program will be made through a decision-making process mapped out in the implementation plan, and will not be made at the individual faculty or instructor level. The decision-making process will follow principles and parameters approved by the PEC to ensure compliance with government health directives and restrictions.
More information about the PRT and its mandate, current timelines, and the decision-making principles, parameters and process for determining academic program, research activity and campus operations plans will be posted in the coming weeks.
For students concerned about making travel and living arrangements for the fall term, every effort will be made to communicate information about the mode of delivery of specific programs as soon as possible.
The health and safety of our campus community has been our primary focus throughout this pandemic, and will continue to be our top priority as we plan for a limited and very cautious reopening of our campuses in the fall. With thoughtfulness, responsiveness and resiliency, we will continue to work with the province to adjust our plans as necessary as we remain focused on delivering our world class academic programming and research.
Message from Usask President Peter Stoicheff
President Peter Stoicheff addresses the University of Saskatchewan campus community during these uncertain times, applauding the immense efforts of all members of the USask community to flatten the COVID-19 curve.
President's Message to the USask Community
March 31, 2020
Colleagues, students, staff and alumni:
Like every university community in the world, we are adjusting to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, and have had to make major changes to our operations to help keep us all safe during this difficult time.
Understandably, there is considerable personal stress and anxiety. On behalf of my leadership team, I’d like to thank you all for the many contributions you are making, in a multitude of different ways, to fight this very serious disease threat.
We are finding ways to help the city, the province and the country respond to the crisis, and to take care of our population’s most affected and vulnerable.
We’ve got world-class research that’s on the front lines of the fight against the virus—at VIDO InterVac, for instance, where researchers are working tirelessly on a vaccine and potential medications, but also through many other university experts, working on everything from modelling the pandemic’s spread to helping reduce individuals’ anxiety levels.
We are finding opportunities to help our local health communities through our health sciences colleges and units and schools.
We’ve got students rallying to get supplies to people in need, and tracking Covid-19 cases in Canada.
And we’re supporting our international students and our Canadian students who are far from home.
As well, our highly trained alumni in many fields are making a difference here and globally in the fight against the pandemic.
In short, we are working together to be the University the World needs in this health crisis.
This is of course new territory for all of us. I am grateful to all of you who’ve had to make the unprecedented move to working from home, in isolation from colleagues and the campus.
I thank all our faculty and students for making the unprecedented move to on-line teaching and learning and with only three days preparation and five days’ notice, as well as the complete move to on-line exams. The move off-campus of our workforce is of a scale almost never before seen in this university’s history.
Our decision-making about these changes is evidence-based and closely aligned with the federal, provincial and municipal governments; and Canada’s post-secondary community. In this regard, I’d like to thank the university’s Crisis Management Team – your work is crucial and is being undertaken at a relentless pace to protect the interests of the public and this small city that is the University of Saskatchewan.
I thank you all for your hard work, flexibility, and responsiveness. We need to continue to look for how we can support one another at every turn – any difficulties each of you is facing, you can be sure is being faced by someone else as well. We all need each other’s help and support.
What an era we are witnessing. We will make it through, and a stronger university with us.
In closing, please help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring safe physical distance from others, and ensuring self-isolation if necessary, in accordance with any federal and provincial orders to do so. If you have not been requested to be on campus, please do not come to campus, as we need to ensure those needed on site are able function in a safe environment.
Please continue to follow all guidelines as outlined by the province, and stay well.
The University of Saskatchewan continues to monitor the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and will provide you with relevant information as needed. As part of our regular operations, the university has an emergency management plan with protocols and procedures in place if they are required.
USask is following the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Symptoms or Health Concerns
Call HealthLine at 811.
General SK COVID-19 Questions
Call 1-855-559-5502, or 306-787-8539 (Regina) from 6 am to 10 pm.