Dear Arts & Science students,
I look forward to beginning the 2020-21 academic year with you and am excited to welcome new and returning students to the Arts & Science community for this historic year. Please see below some important updates about our plans for Fall Term courses.
The University has been preparing for the gradual and safe return to in-person activities across our three campuses. And it was reassuring to hear that Toronto has moved to Stage 3, allowing indoor activities of up to 50 people in a space, with physical distancing and other safety measures in place. We have also learned that Toronto continues to see fewer new cases and overall, the situation in our city continues to improve. This all bodes well for us to resume some in-person activities this Fall.
Our Faculty leadership team, staff and your instructors have been working very hard to ensure you have an engaging mix of in-person and online courses as we start the academic year. However, as you may be aware, due to a variety of reasons some of our instructors have expressed they may not be ready to return to the classroom in September. Like many of you, they continue to face challenges with juggling family care and other personal commitments. There are multiple factors and considerations for each and every one of us as we navigate this pandemic.
Given this dynamic situation, and as we are nearing the start of the Fall Term, I wanted to let you know we are working with all Arts & Science academic units and instructors to re-confirm their plans for in-person components of their courses. This means it’s possible that some of the courses you registered for with an in-person component may be moved to online delivery in the coming weeks. If this is the case, you will be notified.
Also, as is the case every year, some of the courses you are interested in taking have waitlists. Please know that we are working closely with instructors and academic units to increase capacity in these popular courses where possible.
I know that for many of you this continues to be a stressful time, with uncertainties, and I want you to know that we are doing all that we can in Arts & Science to provide you a high-quality learning experience. And, across the University and in your Colleges, plans are being finalized for many aspects of campus life to engage and support you, both online and for those of you who are able and want to join us in person.
And I am committed to ensure there will be academic supports and resources available to help you begin and end the term successfully. In August, please watch for another edition of the student E-News from the Office of the Faculty Registrar. If you have any questions in the interim about course enrolment or academic advising, please contact your College Registrar.
Thank you again for your ongoing patience. I wish you a wonderful rest of summer and I look forward to connecting again at the start of the Term.
Melanie A. Woodin
Dean, Faculty of Arts & Science
Professor, Department of Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto