Message from Dean Woodin regarding winter term classes and course delivery

November 20, 2020 by A&S News

Dear A&S students, staff and faculty,

I am writing with important updates about the Winter Term. First, the President has announced that the University is delaying the start of classes in undergraduate, first-entry divisions. This means, the University will still re-open on January 4, 2021, as indicated in the President’s announcement, however all A&S undergraduate classes will now commence on January 11. A&S tri-campus graduate programs will also begin their classes on January 11.

Undergraduate students may have questions about how this change will affect academic dates and deadlines. I can confirm at this time that the end of term will remain April 30, 2021. February Reading Week will also remain as planned from February 15–19, 2021.

I am also writing to confirm for you the decision regarding undergraduate course delivery for the Winter Term. Since Toronto continues to experience public health restrictions that limit non-essential travel outside the home, and, wishing to give our community as much advance notice as possible, I have made the decision now that we will shift any remaining, dual-delivery A&S undergraduate courses to fully online delivery for the Winter Term.

The limited number of A&S courses that currently remain in-person are those that have been offered only in-person since the start of the Academic Year, such as lab courses where the learning objectives cannot be achieved virtually. These courses will continue to be carefully managed according to public health guidelines to prioritize and maximize student and faculty safety.

With the above changes in mind, all A&S instructors are asked to please continue to consult with their Chairs and Associate Chairs regarding any questions about their courses. Information for instructors will be updated in the Academic Handbook. And undergraduate students should continue to check the Student FAQs on a regular basis for information related to academic dates and deadlines and continue to seek advice from your College Registrar regarding academic planning.

Delaying the start of classes in January will help alleviate the strain on our city and the spread of COVID and will provide an extended break for our community. Everyone across the University has worked very hard to maintain our work and studies in this new and difficult reality. We all need some time to rest and to recalibrate ourselves with a positive outlook for the new year. Whether some of us start back the week of January 4 or January 11, I know we are all looking forward to a much-needed reprieve.

As always, I will stay in touch. You can find an archive of my updates on the A&S website UTogether section.

Thank you all and take care.

Dean Woodin

Melanie A. Woodin
Dean, Faculty of Arts & Science
Professor, Department of Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto