UWindsor President Announces Course Delivery Plan for September
University of Windsor President and Vice-Chancellor Robert Gordon announced today the course delivery plan for UWindsor courses, including final exams that will take place primarily online in Fall 2020.
Dr. Gordon said this delivery method will include a continued focus on the strong faculty-student relationships, peer collaboration, and community service partnerships that have always been a hallmark of the UWindsor experience. He said this virtual approach offers students the most stable and flexible avenue for engaging with academic opportunities and new experiences during a uniquely challenging time.
“COVID-19 has challenged all of us over the last few months, and the dedication, commitment and collaborative efforts of faculty, staff, and students have been fundamental to how successfully we have navigated this difficult period so far,” Gordon said.
“The situation continues to evolve: the Ontario government has begun to operationalize a stage-by-stage approach to loosening emergency measures as we all find our way to a new normal. Although there is evidence that Ontario is succeeding in flattening the curve collectively, there will be limits to how we operate on university campuses for some time. Universities are complex collaborative environments and UWindsor is no exception. Students live, learn, work, and socialize in many campus spaces, in residences, and off campus, and these conditions pose significant risks for the transmission of COVID-19. Even after emergency restrictions are lifted, we need to be prepared for the possibility of new outbreaks and the return of strict social distancing or other emergency measures.”
The President emphasises that health and well-being of students, staff, and instructors remain the University’s foremost concern as it continues to respond to the changing conditions and guidelines in the province as it plans for the resumption of on-campus teaching, research and associated activities.
He said that while there is still considerable uncertainty about how the next months will unfold, the University has been working hard to plan a pathway forward for the upcoming Fall semester that will foster safe, enriching, and rewarding educational experiences for both new and returning students. This pathway is based on the priorities that are intrinsic to the University’s mission and values:
- Safeguarding the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff;
- Delivering high-quality educational experiences; and
- Supporting, in an inclusive and equitable environment, the continuation of knowledge creation, community engagement, innovation, and collaboration with partners across the region and beyond.
Gordon says the University wants students to be able to safely and successfully pursue the academic goals they have chosen, no matter where they are, what their situations are, or how health risks evolve.
As public health restrictions are relaxed, he says the University will explore possibilities for on-campus student life and co-curricular learning activities, with careful attention to all necessary safety protocols. By keeping health and safety as its primary consideration, UWindsor will, where practical, encourage those planning such activities to provide a virtual option to allow maximum participation by all.
“The Fall 2020 semester is but one chapter in our students’ overall story of their experience at UWindsor, a temporary detour in the full arc of their educational journey,” says Gordon.
“We still have years together as teachers and learners, and one thing will not change — our commitment to providing the best education possible and to helping students succeed.”
Decisions about the Winter 2021 semester will be made over the Fall semester, including determinations about how the second half of full-year courses will be offered.