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UNBC moving away from face-to-face classes amid COVID-19 concerns

Geoff Payne, UNBC Interim President and Vice-Chancellor

UNBC will be moving away from face-to-face classes and exams in light of the coronavirus pandemic, however it plans to offer alternatives that will allow students to complete the semester.

Geoff Payne, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, issued the following statement today:

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a fluid, rapidly evolving situation. Your health and safety is my top priority. In consideration of that, we are actively planning for all contingencies across the university, including transitioning away from face-to-face classes and exams. 

At this time, we ask faculty and staff to actively transition classes to alternate delivery models, as the last day of face-to-face classes will be Wednesday, March 18. This self-imposed date may move earlier but it will not move later. We will complete the semester, including assessments and exams, using alternative service delivery models.

If faculty need assistance regarding virtual delivery, or support for other course-delivery alternatives, the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) is available to provide additional levels of support. If you have any questions, please contact your Program Chair, Dean or Anne Sommerfeld, Director of the CTLT. I also ask that faculty clearly communicate their plans to their students.

I understand that some situations, such as labs and practicums, present a challenge. We do have some flexibility regarding in-person attendance in these cases, based on guidance from public health officials. To facilitate this, faculty can work with Program Chairs, Deans and the Safety and Security office to ensure a safe learning environment for all involved. Faculty must approve their plans for these exceptional circumstances with the Deans. 

Our campus remains open. We will continue to follow guidance provided by Northern Health, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. Services such as the library, food services, Northern Sport Centre, and student housing will remain open. Some service levels may need to be changed, or have already changed (such as food services) in order to support public health.

We are taking these steps to ensure the safety of our UNBC community and are seeking alternate methods of ensuring we meet learning outcomes while continuing to serve our students in the best possible manner. Please continue to visit this website for information.

Our community is responding in an exemplary fashion and I thank you for your continued support.


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