Living in a COVID-19 world


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Communications

Phase 1 of the AERL ROCR (Return to On-Campus Research)

First and foremost, please be aware that “In Phase 1, all Science faculty, staff and research personnel who can work off campus must continue to do so.

This morning we received word that, effective Wednesday June 10, 2020, Phase 1 occupancy has been approved for AERL. That said, no one should be in the building until their access has been approved and the Access Agreement is posted on the door of the research space.

Access approval will be considered for the following situations:

  1. Research personnel who are working on time-critical projects for reasons including: grant deadlines, time-sensitive papers, and students close to degree completion.
  2. Equity considerations for faculty and other research personnel who cannot work remotely due to environmental reasons such as the presence of children, and have been granted a special exemption by their head or director.
  3. “In and out” access to pick up a book or piece of equipment – 10 minutes max.

If you already have a request pending, Scott will be reaching out to you about scheduling in the next couple of days.

Details about how to request access:

    1. Research – requires 4 key pieces to be in place.
      1. Science Safety Plan for the ROCR (approved June 2 – see attached)
      2. AERL Safety Plan for the ROCR (approved today – see attached)
      3. Approval of individual PI’s Request to Return to Research and Safety Plan (see attached AERL Research Resumption Form v2 and VPRI Access Agreement form). It is the responsibility of the PI to ensure that the approved Access Agreement is posted on the door to the research space before it can be used.
      4. COVID-19 specific training by all individuals before they return to campus. Should be available online soon. More info to come.
    2. Exemptions – must be approved by the Director. It is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure that the approved Access Agreement is posted on the office door before it can be used.
      The Dean has made it clear through various messaging that she expects each Director may approve “a few” exceptions. An excerpt from the Dean’s email to the Heads & Directors:

I have heard from some of you regarding special exceptions that you would like to make, often to provide a better working space for your faculty than their home environment provides. As I mentioned to you  during our collective meeting on Research Resumption on 13 May,  you are all authorized to make a few exceptions of this sort, although the underlying principle that has been articulated by UBC Central  is that those who don’t need access to campus should – in the overwhelming number of cases!- continue to work at home.
Please be aware that these exceptional individuals must also complete the PI form for building access and have it approved, just as those who are seeking access to their labs. The exception that you would grant would extend only to that person, and not to their group members or others.  And their presence in the building  counts towards the agreed-up occupancy (1/3 typically), and is not in addition to it.
More or less, you have the freedom to prioritize these exceptional people above the groups listed above who need access to their labs, in the sense that the exceptions would reduce the number of  other researchers and staff that would be permitted in the building.

  1. In and out” access – send a request to Neil or Scott (IOF) with at least 1 day working notice and a time slot that you plan to attend. This should be a one-hour window Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 6:00pm.

If you have any immediate questions, please feel free to ask Evgeny, Scott or Neil.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

The development of guiding principles for a phased resumption of on-campus research, scholarship and creative activities has been an interactive process shaped by broad consultation, including eight virtual town halls that were attended by over 950 faculty members across our two campuses.

  • The health and well-being of faculty members, students and staff is paramount
  • The orders, notices and guidance of the Provincial Health Officer will be followed
  • Permission to conduct on-campus research and scholarship can only be granted to those who require on-campus resources and cannot work remotely
  • There will be a phased and coordinated approach across each campus
  • Phased resumption of activity may need to be reversed and stricter curtailment conditions imposed in response to public health guidance or changes to the situation on our campuses
  • If an employee has a concern about returning to work, they will have an opportunity to discuss with their supervisor, Human Resources and their employee group, as appropriate
  • Equity will be considered in evaluating how to plan and conduct research resumption

PHASED APPROACH

The plan for resuming on-campus research consists of several phases. Implementation requires that public health conditions and directions at that time allow for this. Due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 situation, we cannot assume that there will be a linear progression through the phases and a return to curtailment may be required at any time.

The first phase, targeted to start from the beginning of June, will provide only limited access to on-campus facilities and adhere to strict physical distancing protocols. Subsequent phases which could begin in the summer will see a gradual increase in on-campus research and scholarship activities in line with public health advice.

PLANNING AND PROCESS

Faculties are developing resumption plans to enable them to enact the first phase in resuming on-campus research and scholarship. These will include safety plans for Faculty research spaces and Faculty-appropriate criteria for prioritizing access to research spaces. Plans will be consistent with the guiding principles and we anticipate that the first phase will allow for no greater than one-third of normal research occupancy on our campuses. In-person group meetings, social events, and other gatherings will not be permitted.

While individual Faculties will create specific prioritization criteria and processes, access will only be granted to researchers who require on-campus resources and cannot conduct this work remotely. Researchers with existing research curtailment exemptions will continue to be granted access. We anticipate that graduate students needing to complete thesis projects will also receive priority.

The VPRI is coordinating and providing guidance for this resumption planning and is liaising with other operational units that are crucial to enabling a safe increase in on-campus activities. Review of Faculty plans will be conducted by a research resumption steering committee that incorporates research and operational leadership. Approval of these plans by the VPRI and Provost and Vice-President, Academic on each campus will allow plans to be enacted.

The VPRI is also providing support to researchers on specific issues including animal care, field work and in-person human participant research. Task forces to consider these issues have already been formed. An exemption process for field work continues.

RESEARCHER AGREEMENT & RESPONSIBILITY

Researchers will be required to sign a COVID-19 Access Agreement before accessing their space. Departments and Faculties will retain copies of the agreement and researchers must post a copy to the door of their research space. Faculties will make this form available to all research staff and trainees who are granted access.

SUPPLIES PROCUREMENT

The university will centrally handle and coordinate the procurement of supplies which are in critical need in the province (e.g., PPE and reagents used for testing); it is possible that limited or lack of availability of these supplies may limit the ability to resume specific research activities. Faculties will provide any needed contact information.

OVERSIGHT AND MONITORING

Faculties have oversight regarding departmental and building safety plans with guidance from the VPRI, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, and UBC Safety & Risk Services on each campus. Monitoring to ensure compliance will be conducted at the Faculty level with support from Safety & Risk Services.

More information and FAQs: https://research.ubc.ca/planning-phased-resumption-campus-research-scholarship-and-creative-activities

It is premature to consider allowing people back into office space to work, states the Dean of Science.
The use of office space is complicated given the range of use and structures on campus.

If it is a question of dropping in to the space to collect something, then they should email the Administrator or Head of Department for authorization.

While quick in person check-ins via phone or visually are a great way to give your colleagues a boost and stay connected, here are resource links that may also help. Some you may have seen before, but there a few that are new:

Staff and Faculty

Students

Students/Faculty/Staff with children

Struggling to balance working from home at the same time as caring for children and their learning needs? These sites may help

The IOF GSS is sending out one more survey to check-in on your well-being, identify persistent needs, and get input on what can be done help. Last month’s revealed the many challenges you are facing, and the faculty has attempted to address as many of these as possible, however some issues still persist. We are looking to hear from you - especially if you haven’t had the opportunity to share your needs through another forum.

Wellness survey

Here2Talk
Lastly, the BC Government just launched Here2Talk, a free and confidential counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. You can speak to a trained counsellor 24/7 if you are experiencing depression, anxiety, loneliness, pressure to perform, crises, racism, or relationships issues. Chats can be accessed by visiting here2talk.ca, downloading the Here2Talk app ( & ), or calling toll-free at 1 877-857-3397 or direct 604 642-5212.

The Government of British Columbia has launched Here2Talk, a new mental-health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free single-session services by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Here2Talk will complement other supports on campus and in the community, including new virtual mental-health supports announced April 9, 2020, by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

Chat sessions with a trained counsellor can be accessed by downloading the Here2Talk app or visiting: here2talk.ca.

Students can speak to a counsellor by phone, toll-free at 1 877 857-3397 or direct 604 642-5212. Students calling from outside Canada can dial 1 604 642-5212 (international calling charges may apply).

The on-demand service, operated by Morneau Shepell, will support students dealing with challenges such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, pressure to perform, crises, racism and relationships. Counsellors will also be equipped to refer students to local resources in their communities. For the launch, web, phone and chat services are currently available in English and French. Phone services are also available in additional languages upon request. Government is providing $1.5 million per year for the service.

Amidst the current outbreak of COVID-19, you may be developing feelings of fear, stress, worry, and isolation – these feelings are natural when facing threats that are beyond our control. Everyone reacts differently to these feelings and they can be overwhelming for some.

If you need help in coping with these feelings, below are articles and resources that will guide you in managing your mental health.

UBC Student page on managing your mental health

The objective of this survey was to check-in on how students and other research staff are doing and gauge what factors are impacting their well-being and productivity. We hope these results will help to identify any additional needs and what could be done to support students and other research staff's well-being as IOF shifts to remote work.

Results of IOFSS well-being survey report

Join the Wellbeing Challenge – a challenge to help get you eating well, moving more, and staying socially connected during this challenging time. Wherever you are in the world, we invite you to find fun, creative ways to maintain mental and physical health while practicing social and physical distancing.

WHY PARTICIPATE?
We're facing challenging times – and we can get through this together, while still staying apart and helping to flatten the curve. We want to help you foster mental health, stay active, and connect, wherever you are.

Plus, you'll have a chance to:

  • Win lots of great prizes including a lululemon yoga mat, a fit bit and more!
  • Get inspiration for fun activities to help you thrive.
  • Challenge you friends or colleagues, be creative, stay connected, and have fun!

Wellness Challenge

Amidst the current outbreak of COVID-19, many students may be developing feelings of fear, stress, worry and isolation – these feelings are natural when facing threats that are beyond our control. Everyone reacts differently to these feelings and they can be overwhelming for some. It is important to understand that if you need help in coping with these feelings, there are resources available. Below are articles and resources that will guide you in managing your mental health.

Taking care of your mental health during the pandemic

Other resources specific to students

UBC Counselling Services Counselling Services will be offering appointments by phone during the COVID-19 outbreak. Students can call Counselling Services, 604 822 3811, to schedule an appointment by phone.

  • EmpowerMe - Empower Me provides counselling and life coaching, free for all students. They can help with anything you're concerned about, and will give you the option of getting help online or by phone.
  • More information on how to take care of your health and wellbeing can be found at https://students.ubc.ca/health

Other resources specific to postdocs, research associates, faculty, and staff

  • Employee & Family Assistance Program: The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is a confidential and voluntary counselling support service that provides you and your family with the help you need to resolve a wide range of personal, work, health or life issues. Expert information and immediate support resources are available in-person and by phone, video, web or mobile app.

Other resources FOR ALL

  • MindhealthBC - Take a quick online assessment on your mental health and get resources for a variety of related concerns.
  • Here to Help - help you find quality information, learn new skills, and connect with key resources in BC
  • HealthlinkBC - If you still have questions call 811 to speak with a registered nurse, or access online resources for health-related questions.
  • CrisiscentreBC - If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or at risk of harm, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time
  • TAO - Manage your well-being with tools on stress, relationship problems, substance use, and more. Register with a UBC email, which you can set up for free.

Wellbeing

  • The current situation can cause stress and anxiety as well as a sense of isolation. We encourage you to stay in contact with family and friends, and to connect with your UBC peers through digital social events, virtual writing groups, and other online sessions. For example, the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication is continuing to offer writing consultations and to host an online writing community on Tuesdays (9-11 am) and Wednesdays (2-4 pm), and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology continues to plan and offer programs for graduate students.
  • As always, please avail yourselves of the many resources that are available to support students during this difficult time. For a list of mental health resources, visit the students.ubc.ca website.
  • See the G+PS website for numerous virtual professional development opportunities and a comprehensive listing of workshops and events.

On the weekend of July 4th and 5th 2020, UBC's Zoom account will be transitioned from US-based hosting to Canadian-based hosting. During this maintenance window, UBC's Zoom service will be unavailable and you will not be able to log in to your account or host meetings.

Additionally, all users whose account is pending activation at this time will be removed. If you have received an email invitation to create an account, we strongly recommend that you activate your account before July 4th, otherwise you will need to request an account again.

Following this change, attendees participating in meetings hosted by users on UBC's account will have video and audio data flow through a Canadian data centre. Account information and passwords will also reside exclusively in a Canadian data centre.

We understand that this maintenance window may impact your ability to conduct teaching, learning and business activities. Your relevant support team is available to assist with making alternative arrangements for any meetings that you are unable to reschedule.

For all staff and faculty based at UBC Vancouver:
Call: 604-822-7956
Email: av.helpdesk@ubc.ca

For all staff and faculty based at UBC Okanagan:
Call: 250-807-9000
Visit: hxxps://helpdesk.ok.ubc.ca

For general information on Zoom at UBC, visit hxxps://it.ubc.ca/zoom

On June 9th, the following information was sent to approved Phase 1 building users:

You are receiving this email as you have been approved for a return to AERL – your supervisor will be receiving a copy of this email with additional information shortly.  Your access to AERL will be assumed authorized once the following conditions are met:

  1. You have received, read and understood the contents of: 1) AERL Building Safety Plan for ROCR Approved June 5 and 2) Science COVID19 Safety Plan documents.
  2. In lieu of UBC’s COVID-specific online training course, which is still under development, you have paid specific attention to the guidelines in points 15 & 16 of the attached Science COVID19 Safety Plan documents.. Confirming your review of this information with your supervisor will constitute your COVID-specific training requirements until UBC’s online course is available.
  3. You have completed UBC’s Floor Warden Training course. NOTE: Due to the extremely limited number of building users on campus, our AERL Building Safety Plan requires that all users are trained Floor Wardens to serve as lead and back-up response in emergency situations. This training should take about 20 minutes.
  4. You adhere to scheduling information below and as subsequently released by IOF administration.

You must confirm the above via reply to this email with a cc to Evgeny and your supervisor.

Please review the below information carefully and ask any questions you may have:

Health and Safety Considerations:

The primary concern in opening campus back up for research has been the health and safety of all of us.  In addition to COVID-related H&S items, we also still need to adhere to standard H&S protocols. The very small group of you working in the building during this time are expected to keep your distance from each other, but also generally be aware of who else is around and keep a look out for each other’s wellbeing. A few specific items of note:

  • AERL currently has one hand sanitizer station at the main entry, along with supplies to wipe down laptops upon entering and exiting the building.  You are expected to use this or otherwise wash/sanitize your hands upon entering the building. We have ordered additional sanitizer stations for elsewhere in the building (near the lab spaces on the 1st floor), and will install them as soon as possible. We are doing our best to keep these facilities stocked, but it is also recommended that all building occupants carry their own disinfecting/sanitizing supplies.
  • Please carry your own pen with you at all times – you will need this to sign in and out at the main building entrance each day.
  • Please obey all posted signs and taped off areas restricting access in the building.  Our occupancy of AERL has been allowed based on a strict and limited usage plan, with only those areas designated having been prepared and cleared by Building Ops.
  • Note that all dishes, cutlery, microwaves, coffee makers, toaster ovens, refrigerators, etc. will be off limits and our approved Safety Plan requires that individuals leave the building for lunch during Phase 1. If you choose to eat at your desk, you must bring your own dishes and cutlery. If you use the sinks in the building, you must wipe down and disinfect the area after you are done.
  • In cases where it does not create a security or other fire hazard, please prop any doors to shared spaces open, including washrooms. Washrooms will have ‘occupied/unoccupied’ signs for your use to ensure only one person is in a washroom at a time. Stairwell doors must not be propped open at any time.
  • For users scheduled into AERL 123, please ensure only one person per bay at any time.
  • For those working in single-user office spaces, doors must be kept closed but unlocked while you are in the office and only one person may be present in the room at any given time. Also a reminder that the AERL Building Safety Plan prohibits in-person meetings.
  • An updated Building Emergency Response Plan (BERP) has been uploaded to the IOF Health & Safety website. This document includes information about what Floor Wardens and others are expected to do in case of emergency.
  • In order to satisfy WorkSafe BC standards, we must have a designated ‘responsible person’ on site every day (M-F) during normal working hours. The responsibilities off this person are to:
    • be on site and available should an emergency occur – remember, you are all required to complete Floor Warden Training, so you will know what to do!  (Cheat sheet: First Aid – 604-822-4444, Fire and ambulance – 911);
    • sweep through all rooms occupied on a given day prior to leaving to remind people to clear the building no later than 6pm;
    • on Monday mornings, photograph and email the previous week’s sign-in/out sheets (see below) to s.finestone@oceans.ubc.ca.

    The ‘responsible person’ for each day will be included in the schedule (see below).  Due to limited numbers of people on site, if an alternate is needed on short notice, this may be asked of anyone else scheduled for the full day.

Building/UBC Access

AERL will remain locked and on weekend hours for the duration of Phase 1. Only those authorized to enter the building via one of the three channels Neil laid out in his email last week (research resumption, exemption, or 10-minute-or-less pick-up) will be allowed. No visitors, pets, etc.

  • Access will be only through the main doors towards the west side of the building, across from room 107/108.
  • You must sign in when you enter the building in the morning, and sign out when you leave at the end of the day.  There is no need to sign in/out if you leave the building in the middle of the day then return.
  • If anyone has been assigned a room for which you do not have keys, please email Eden Fellner ASAP.
  • You are required to carry your UBC card with you at all times when in AERL (and will need it to access the building).
  • UBC Parking is offering free parking for faculty and staff on a monthly basis for the time being.  You need to register each month, and they’ve indicated this arrangement will end in September, but it should last through Phase 1 at least.  If you are driving to campus, you may qualify for this, so check with them.
  • Please ensure there is an Access Agreement on any door of any office/lab space you are working in.  (We are striving to get these posted for you ahead of your return, however if you show up and there is not one on your door, please email s.finestone@oceans.ubc.ca.)

Scheduling

We are still finalizing a protocol to allow for as much flexibility as possible in scheduling shifts in AERL. Should it be necessary, the ‘responsible person’ discussed above and/or emergency responders will need an accurate list of who should have been in the building on a given day, and to be able to compare that information to who signed in.  Additional information about scheduling will be provided ASAP, but a few notes here generally:

  • Based on the requests received, we expect to be able to accommodate everyone’s desired schedule fully.
  • Though AERL has  been authorized for occupation as of June 10th, IOF may not begin scheduling shifts sometime after that – likely the 11th. If you (or your supervisor) have previously indicated a desired shift on Thursdays, or the 11th in particular, you can tentatively start planning on being on campus that day, pending final scheduling confirmation and the completion of 1-4 above.

Aside from scheduling protocols, efforts have been made to include as much pertinent information for Phase 1 building users in the above and attached as possible.  Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Best wishes for a successful resumption of your research activities!

UBC’s International Student Development provided an update related to immigration and health insurance matters for international students. They have been working with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to ensure policies are clear and support students. The updates can be found on UBC’s Immigration and Health Insurance FAQ. They advise that:

  • Students can study online outside of Canada without a study permit or study permit approval.
  • If students start studies without a study permit or approval for a study permit, their chance to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) after studies might be affected. This applies largely to programs under 2 years.
  • Students with a valid study permit (regardless of issue date) or a study permit approval issued by March 18 can travel to Canada if they can also show that their travel is essential, such as in-person courses. Other international students should not travel to Canada at this time.
  • Students can apply for immigration documents at this time; if they need additional documents such as biometrics or medical exams, students can provide them once available.
  • Students considering part-time studies or a break from studies for Winter Term 1 should weigh the immigration impacts as outlined in the FAQs.
  • Please reinforce the importance of students applying for a study permit as soon as they receive their offer letters where possible. To facilitate a smooth application process, please refer them to our updated resources:
    • UBC’s study permit page and initial study permit tutorial provide direction on how to submit a strong application, a simplified overview of the study permit process, guidelines on preparing a study permit application, templates of study plans and support letters and how to obtain biometrics. The Student Direct Steam (SDS) is also included.
  • International Student Advising staff will support new students whose study permits are refused. Students should contact isa@students.ubc.ca as soon as they receive a refusal decision. Early intervention and support is critical to ensuring students have what they need to study at UBC.

As UBC prepares for a gradual return to on campus research activities, there also continues to be discussion around resuming field research.

For anyone interested in resuming field work, the following MUST be submitted to Evgeny by your PI (cc to Scott and Neil, please):

      1. A completed IOF-IRES Fieldwork-Risk-Assessment document (WORD). This is a new requirement put in place by the AERL Local Safety Team at the direction of the Dean, and will be ongoing from this point forward for all fieldwork (regardless of other COVID implications).
      2. A COVID-specific fieldwork plan (no template required), with information outlined on the VPRI website here, as follows:For fieldwork, primarily in the field sciences, researchers must be able to provide compelling explanations for the questions below. BREB guidelines must be followed for social scientific fieldwork. Please note failure to respect current public health directives may nullify insurance coverage you have related to your field work. Department Heads will provide initial approval for fieldwork requests, followed by Dean’s offices with final approval at UBC-V provided by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Please provide a contact number with your request. In all cases, the request must include confirmation that fieldwork is being carried out in a manner consistent with Faculty fieldwork safety guidelines and the accepted safety plan for the project. At UBC-O, final approval will be provided by the Office of the Vice Principal, Research and Innovation. Requests indicating approval at the unit and Faculty level should be forwarded to research.continuity@ubc.ca.
        • Are you able to travel to and from your research sites in compliance with current government and University travel advisories and restrictions?
        • What are the proposed dates for this fieldwork?
        • Is there a contact number for your team during the fieldwork period?
        • How does the size of your team allow for social distancing?
        • How do modes of travel at your research site allow for social distancing?
        • How do living and working conditions at the site allow for social distancing and/or for self-isolation should it be necessary?
        • What plans are in place should a member of the research team develop COVID-19 symptoms?
        • If your research will bring you into contact with local communities, how will you ensure required and effective social distancing protocols?

Timelines for the resumption of field research are still unclear, and indeed even the protocols for approvals of these fieldwork plans may change with time. Nonetheless, for those interested in returning to the field, having these two items prepared and submitted at the department level (Evgeny, Neil and Scott) will remain a requirement for the foreseeable future.

IOF will provide additional updates as they become available.

Due to the rapidly changing nature of policies around immigration, work eligibility and health insurance, we recommend international students and programs to visit ISD’s COVID-19 FAQ page on the students.ubc.ca website for the most up-to-date information.

      • For international students taking online courses outside of Canada, a study permit is not required. Note: if students start a program without an approval letter, they assume the risk if their study permit is refused.
        • However, if they intend to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after they complete their studies, they must have one of the following before their program starts in order to be eligible for PGWP:
        • If students have one of the above, they can complete up to 50% of their courses online while outside of Canada if they are unable to travel sooner.
        • If they do not have one of the above, taking UBC online courses outside Canada may impact the length of their PGWP and their eligibility for the PGWP. If these students would like to postpone their start date to another term, or defer their admission, they should contact their admitting program’s graduate staff/advisor to learn about their options.
      • On the question of implied status, for those who are requesting study permit extensions:
        • For example, if a student’s study permit expires on July 31, and the student is in Canada, as long as they submit an application to extend their study permit before the study permit expires, they can continue to study and work. However, they cannot leave Canada until their new study permit is issued or they lose implied status, and consequently, their ability to work and study in Canada.
        • If the student in question was an undergraduate student and is going into a graduate program, as long as they have the following, they can work full-time for up to 150 days before the new program starts:
          • Letter of acceptance
          • Letter of completion
          • Proof they have submitted the study permit extension

A new emergency fund has been established by the university to mitigate salary shortfalls for research trainees and research staff where project funding from industry or foundations has been lost or interrupted as a result of COVID-19. Principal Investigators can apply to this fund for payments to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research staff. Applicants to this fund may also be eligible to access new funding from Mitacs to support research training opportunities for their impacted graduate students. Please visit https://research.ubc.ca/cwl/research-staff-trainee-emergency-fund.
Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Following my message in March informing you of our plans to hold a virtual spring graduation, the university has been working hard to design an occasion that will do justice to the achievements of the Class of 2020.

Earlier today, I sent a message to our graduating students, sharing details of this celebration. I would now like to share our plans with you.

Graduation for the Class of 2020 will be held on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. We will hold one ceremony for students graduating from UBC Vancouver and one ceremony for students graduating from UBC Okanagan. The virtual ceremony will include many elements of a traditional ceremony and some unique ones as well.

I know what an important event this is for our faculty members, in particular, to see our students successfully completing their years of study. While I understand this virtual ceremony will not be the same as seeing our students graduate in person, it is an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate their outstanding achievements.

Being a virtual ceremony also means it can be opened up to our entire community, so I encourage you, whether you know someone who is graduating or not, to join us. During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever that we stay connected, support and celebrate each other. I would also like to reiterate that UBC is committed to holding an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 when it is safe to do so.

More details of the virtual ceremony will be shared online in the coming weeks. Please visit graduation.ubc.ca (UBC Vancouver) or graduation.ok.ubc.ca (UBC Okanagan) for more information.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

On May 3, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that families receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will get $300 extra per child in May. Eligible families will automatically receive this one-time increase as part of their scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply. The increase will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support across the country to help families with the cost of taking care of their children.

Translink announced that front-door boarding and fares will return to buses on June 1. A temporary extension to the Plexiglas barriers will be added to some buses, while vinyl barriers will be added to others to ensure the safety of bus operators, and allowing for safe fare collection.

UBC Parking will be reinstating hourly parking rates effective May 4. If you have a permit, there are no changes. You can continue to park for free in the locations your permit allows.

If you don’t have a permit and wish to park at UBC, you will now be required to pay for parking. Please pay at the nearest meter or from your phone via the HONK payment app.

Key Returns:

With the end of term, we appreciate that there are folks that have keys that should be returned to the Access Desk.

We encourage anyone that will be returning to campus for work or school in the Fall to retain their UBC keys and follow up once our offices have resumed in-person services; however, for our customers that do not plan to be back on Campus in the Fall we do have a return process in place.

To return UBC keys for deposit we currently have 2 options available:

On campus

A drop box for key returns has been set up in the lobby of Campus Security. Keys should be sealed in an envelope along with your name, phone/email, and UBC ID#

Key returns will be processed for refund within 14 days.

Remote Return

Keys may be mailed for processing. Please mail keys in a padded mail envelope and include your name, phone/email, and UBC ID#

Mail to:
UBC Parking
6200 University Boulevard.
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4

Registration for 2020 Winter Term 1 has been pushed back two weeks for graduate students and now opens on June 16, 2020. For the full list of registration deadlines: https://students.ubc.ca/enrolment/registration/registration-dates

UBC has postponed the in-person Spring 2020 Graduation ceremonies. A virtual graduation ceremony online will take place instead. Planning is underway and details will be provided here: https://graduation.ubc.ca/students/faq/

CTLT offered a Remote Teaching Institute program which was oversubscribed. They have added repeat sessions, as well as new ones based on interest and needs, and extended the Institute until the middle of May. For more information and to register for new, visit the Remote Teaching Institute: https://institute.ctlt.ubc.ca/remote-teaching-institute/
Note: IOF registering for UBC-CTLT courses should note that "Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries" is available in the drop-down menu, under the F's (leftover from Fisheries Centre) and not listed among the other "Institutes."

The Graduate Student Financial Aid (GSFA) is the GSS’s fund to support graduate students at UBC Vancouver, who are experiencing unforeseen financial hardship. The fund can cover a wide range of expenses directly arising from unforeseen circumstances, which may include but not be limited to:

      • Rent and living expenses
      • Prescription medication not covered by MSP, Pharmacare, and the AMS / GSS Health and Dental Plan
      • Moving and related expenses

The GSFA does not cover tuition and other school fees. Please note that funds are subject to availability - not all eligible applications will be approved. The maximum amount that can be approved for individual applications varies along with the financial capacity of the fund. A referral letter is required indicating that financial hardship will not be covered by the Enrolment Services Emergency Fund.

Every year, between late-April and early-May, thousands of UBC students g move out, move in, or relocate, and thousands of rooms are cleaned in a complex choreography known as the “Great Shuffle.”

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UBC Student Housing and Community Services (SHCS) is taking precautionary safety measures to help protect students and staff, and to ensure that everyone involved is cared for and supported. While the number of students involved in this move ever-changing, about 1,700 students still reside in winter session housing and their contracts expire on April 30. All these winter session students and many year round housing contract holders will be involved in this shuffle, both moving and receiving new roommates.

April 28

As you know, the health and wellbeing of our university community remains our priority, and we are continuing to follow guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In keeping with the direction from Dr. Henry that the requirement for physical distancing remains in place, we are extending Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment as outlined below.

Remote Work Arrangements

UBC’s Remote Work Arrangements will continue to apply to faculty, staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and student employees until further notice. Thank you to everyone who has made the transition to remote working in the last few weeks, and to those who have continued to provide required on-campus services during this time. You can find FAQs to support Remote Work Arrangements at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/covid-19/.

On-Campus Research Curtailment

We appreciate that many researchers have been able to transition to conduct their research and scholarship remotely. However, we are aware that this curtailment has significantly impacted many faculty members, graduate students, research trainees, postdoctoral fellows and research staff. To address this, we are working with Faculties on both campuses to consider how we will gradually ease curtailment restrictions in ways that are consistent with public health requirements. This advance planning effort will allow us to safely and judiciously increase on-campus research activities when public health conditions allow. We will advise you as to where we are in the planning process within the next two weeks. Please visit https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19 for more information about the ongoing curtailment and the status of exempted activities.

As a reminder, FAQs related to COVID-19 and UBC’s response can also be found at https://covid19.ubc.ca/.

We will provide further updates regarding Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment as the situation evolves. In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing efforts and commitment to the university.

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan

Post-secondary students are feeling the economic impacts of COVID-19. Many students were preparing to start a summer job in May, and are now worried about how to pay rent and cover basic living expenses, while recent graduates are struggling to find meaningful work. This is a critical point in their lives, and we must do everything possible to support their future.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, today announced comprehensive support of nearly $9 billion for post-secondary students and recent graduates. This plan will help provide the financial support they need this summer, help them continue their studies in the fall, and help many get the experience they need to start their careers.

      • the proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.
      • the new Canada Student Service Grant, which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.

More details are available in the media release from Prime Minister's Office. As soon as a link to apply for this is made available it will be posted here.

Graduate students with concerns related to the payment of residence fees should contact the Assignments team most appropriate for their residence area.
Winter Session Residence: information@housing.ubc.ca
Year Round Residence: yearround@housing.ubc.ca
Acadia Park Residence: family@housing.ubc.ca
Those facing financial hardship can apply for rent relief through Enrolment Services. We encourage them to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor.

As many buildings on campus have reduced occupancy, we want to remind everyone that running the cold water taps until the water is cold is an important step before drinking or using for food preparation. This will ensure the water is kept fresh for use and stagnant water is flushed from the building’s pipe network system. As always, please do not use the hot water from the tap for food preparation and/or consumption. For more information on drinking water quality, visit https://srs.ubc.ca/environment/drinkingwater

Drinking water delivered by Metro Vancouver remains safe to use and continues to be treated, monitored and tested in accordance with provincial requirements. UBC Facilities continues to test our main water network to maintain water quality and ensure water flows without disruption to all of our buildings on campus, including residents.

How are we maintaining the water quality during this time?

  • We are monitoring buildings that have reduced occupancy, and as a precaution, flushing out pipes that run through these buildings to maintain a fresh flow of water.
  • Water systems are flushed within the buildings at a target frequency of once every 3 weeks. Prioritization is given to research facilities and older buildings on campus.
  • Water valves are being tested within buildings that are unoccupied to ensure they are performing as they should, and not leaking when turned off and on.
  • The main water pipe network that runs underground on campus is tested weekly for a number of water quality parameters: free chlorine, turbidity, temperature, biologicals, etc. This testing is conducted regularly on campus.

For questions or concerns regarding your building or more information about the water quality on campus, please contact the Service Centre at 604-822-2173

With reduced occupancy on the UBC Vancouver campus, building operators and energy managers are adjusting heating or cooling levels in spaces that have reduced or zero occupancy. This is an opportunity to ensure critical energy savings while maintaining a safe and healthy indoor environment. Researchers issued with an exemption to the curtailment of research on campus will have their spaces operate as normal and excluded from heating/cooling system adjustments.

In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the university has closed all but six buildings to the general public, and a number of buildings to staff and students at the direction of Faculty Deans. The reduction in heating or cooling will help the university save operating costs across the campus. Some of these buildings also have occupant sensors to detect whether or not a space is in use. With these restrictions and systems in place, Energy & Water Services will continue to monitor building performance and make adjustments as required.

For questions, concerns, or issues regarding adjustments in your building, please contact your Facilities Manager or the Service Centre at 604-822-2173.

The IOF GSS is sending out one more survey to check-in on your well-being, identify persistent needs, and get input on what can be done help. Last month’s revealed the many challenges you are facing, and the faculty has attempted to address as many of these as possible, however some issues still persist. We are looking to hear from you - especially if you haven’t had the opportunity to share your needs through another forum.

Wellness survey

IOF’s COVID-19 Page
https://students.ubc.ca/covid19/mental-health-during-covid-19-outbreak

Here2Talk
Lastly, the BC Government just launched Here2Talk, a free and confidential counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. You can speak to a trained counsellor 24/7 if you are experiencing depression, anxiety, loneliness, pressure to perform, crises, racism, or relationships issues. Chats can be accessed by visiting here2talk.ca, downloading the Here2Talk app ( & ), or calling toll-free at 1 877-857-3397 or direct 604 642-5212.

As you know, the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve with new developments on a daily basis.

Last month we informed you that Term 1 of Summer Session (May 11- June 18) at UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan and UBC Robson Square would be online.

In light of the ongoing situation, and in continued support of physical distancing, we are announcing that Summer Term 2 courses (July 6 – Aug. 13) at UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan and UBC Robson Square will also be online.

As a reminder, not all courses are easily remodelled for online instruction. In those instances, courses may have to be postponed or redesigned. For classes that cannot be accommodated online, further information will be issued through our Faculties.

As we continue to navigate the challenges associated with COVID-19, we are actively planning for how we might teach in the Fall semester. We appreciate that many of our students, faculty and staff will have questions about teaching and learning as the year progresses.

We also understand this is a challenging time for faculty members, who may need to plan ahead for any changes in how they deliver their courses. We will provide updates as soon as we can. As a reminder, support and resources are available at https://keepteaching.ubc.ca/ and https://ctl.ok.ubc.ca/.

We will do our best to update you as the situation evolves. In the meantime, I would like to thank you, once again, for your patience and flexibility.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

updated as of April 14

Along with UBC, Student Housing is planning and responding to the global progression of the COVID-19 virus. This page includes our current and ongoing response to this extraordinary situation and our efforts to protect the health and safety of our community.

This is most likely for undergraduate students, but added here just in case.

Please note these two points from the Faculty of Science relating to final exams:

      • Students will not be granted an SD for not having a webcam, or not wanting to be invigilated online. If students don’t have a webcam on their computer, they can use their phone for the zoom invigilation.
      • LT help during exams (exams in progress). Email lt.hub@ubc.ca. Their hours during exams are 8 am to 10 pm. They will triage incoming tickets to prioritize exam problems. Put something in the subject like EXAM IN PROGRESS to get their attention.
      • If you are using Proctorio, there is “in exam” help available from the vendor through chat.

Post-secondary institutions and student associations have worked with TransLink to temporarily suspend the U-Pass BC program as of May 1.

The U-Pass BC program is offered to students under agreements in place between TransLink, participating colleges and universities, and their associated student societies. Students pay for this pass through mandatory student fees.

TransLink is continuing discussions with post-secondary school and student association representatives about potential refunds for students not using their April passes. Students not needing their April U-Pass are encouraged not to use it and to check their school, student association, or our U-Pass BC website for further updates.

With the constant flow of announcement and updates, it has been challenging to keep track of which timelines have changed and which remain the same. Please find below a snapshot of the significant deadlines affecting graduate students:

2019 Winter Term 2: Current Students

      • May 1, 2020 (extended from April 17, 2020) – deadline to submit a late application to graduate in May 2020
      • May 1, 2020 (extended from April 17, 2020) – deadline for acceptance of final, approved master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and for students to complete all program requirements for May 2020 graduation.
      • May 6, 2020 – deadline for instructors and/or programs to submit final grades for 2019W2 courses via SIS
      • May 15, 2020 (extended from April 30, 2020) – deadline for acceptance of final, approved master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and for students to complete all program requirements with a program completion date of April 30, 2020. Program completion will be back-dated to April 30, 2020 to avoid tuition and student fees for Summer 2020. IMPORTANT: the deadline for students who wish to graduate in May 2020 is May 1, 2020.

2020 Summer: Current Students

      • June 15, 2020 (extended from May 15, 2020) – deadline for students to pay their Summer 2020 tuition and student fees if they wish to avoid late fees and interest charges.

May 2020, July 2020 & September 2020: Incoming Students

      • December 1, 2020 – Deadline for Official Academic Documents
        Extended deadline to receive official transcripts (and degree certificates if required) for students who started their programs in May 2020, July 2020 or September 2020, and have not already met the document condition(s) stated in their letter of admission (available in the online application portal).  Eligibility to register in January 2021 will be suspended until required documentation has been received and processed.
      • April 30, 2021 – Deadline for Confirmation of Degree Completion
        Extended deadline for all students who were admitted on the basis of a previous degree in progress to a UBC graduate program that commenced in May 2020, July 2020, or September 2020. This condition must be met with a final transcript showing any outstanding grades and statement, and date, of degree conferral.  Official copies of degree certificates are required for final transcripts that do not have conferral information. Students commencing their graduate degrees in January 2021 with a degree in progress, will have until June 2021 to meet this condition.

Important Note: Academic Milestones for Graduate Students

Program Extensions

      • Master’s students: Initial program duration is 5 years
      • Doctoral students/Candidates: Initial program duration is 6 years

Due to COVID-19, G+PS will approve requests from graduate programs for one term of extension for any of their students without further justification or supporting documentation normally required. To request such extensions, graduate programs are encouraged to send a list of students (with first name, last name, and student number) to graduate.sas@ubc.ca at your earliest opportunity.

Extensions to Candidacy
Due to COVID-19, G+PS will approve requests from graduate programs for one term of extension to reach candidacy for any of their students without further justification or supporting documentation normally required. To request such extensions, graduate programs are encouraged send requests (with first name, last name, and student number) to graduate.sas@ubc.ca at your earliest opportunity.

Laptop loanership program and tech upgrade bursary for students

Enrolment Services has procured 100 entry level laptops (basic HP notebooks, but suitable for streaming, web and office applications) for loan to students who do not have easy access to adequate technology to participate in online courses/assessments, or who have additional accessibility requirements.

Enrolment Services Laptop loaners

For those students who need more than an entry-level machine, there is a post-purchase voucher scheme to offset some of the costs.

Students in Winter Residence

      • Students who are unable to leave residence may continue to stay in residence for the duration of their contract (up to April 30, 2020). If you believe you require housing following the end of your contract, please apply immediately for summer stay through.

Students in Year-Round Residence

      • Year Round Residences remain open. UBC is currently in the process of sending new contracts for 2020-2021. Students will be able to stay in residence beyond the end of their current contract if they have accepted a new contract for May 2020-April 2021.Please be assured that UBC, in keeping with recent provincial government directives, will not apply the annual rent increase that typically occurs in May. To be clear, rent in year-round and summer residences will not be increased; 2019-20 contract rates will continue to apply until further notice.

Leaves of absence and housing eligibility

      • If you’re a graduate student in Winter Session and might take a COVID-19 related leave of absence during the summer, you are eligible for summer stay-through in Fairview Crescent. Please ensure you apply by April 12 as Student Housing can guarantee you will receive an offer if you apply by this date. You can apply through your Student Housing Online Services Centre.Students also have the option to sublet from a student with a Year Round Residence Contract. Information regarding sublet guidelines and application process as well as a link to a sublet forum can be found here.If you’re a graduate student in Year Round Residence and might take a COVID-19 related leave of absence during the summer, you will not need to move out of UBC residence, if you continue to be eligible for Year Round Residence for the following fall. In this case, you will be able to simply accept a new Year Round Residence Contract and stay in your residence. Students living in Year Round residences are not required to be studying full-time during the summer months. Any leave that is COVID-19 related won’t impact your eligibility.Otherwise, summer stay-through, or subletting from a Year Round resident who has signed a new contract offer, would be an option for students in this situation that are not eligible for a new Year Round Residence Contract.  Please note that, if you have not already done so, student families residing in Acadia Park that will not continue to be eligible in the fall but need accommodation past April 30, should contact Student Family Housing as soon as possible to discuss continued accommodation in their residence through to August.If you will be completing your graduate program by April 30, but cannot leave Canada due to travel restrictions, you will be able to get temporary accommodation in Summer Residence at Fairview Crescent provided you apply by April 12. You also have the option to look for a sublet. Please get in touch with Student Housing at summer@housing.ubc.ca if you wish to live in Summer Residence and did not live in a UBC student residence during the 2019-2020 academic year.
      • As courses and assessments go online, we realize that this can entail many uncertainties. Your instructors have the capacity to alter the grading schemes or standing options for current courses if necessary, and requests for concessions are always available to you. In concordance with the Senate, we are also delaying the deadline for grade submission. The Assessment FAQ shows details sent to grad programs and course instructors; please connect with your course instructors for details regarding your own course(s) if you have not already heard from them.
      • We understand that interruptions in your ability to progress in your programs, whether because of personal circumstances, research curtailment, or other issues, may result in delayed completion of your program. We will therefore effectively extend deadlines for milestones (e.g. candidacy) and program completion by at least one term. Although process details of this are still being determined, please be assured that we will eliminate justification requirements for extensions related to the current situation.
      • Final doctoral exams are successfully proceeding completely online, and will continue as such as long as necessary.
      • There will be a slight delay only in the granting of degrees, however the graduation ceremony has been indefinitely postponed.
      • We appreciate that some of you may decide to take a leave of absence for some period in the near future. While this may be feasible for some, please note that leaves come with certain restrictions, especially in terms of funding and student employment as outlined in our general FAQ.
      • We realize that research projects for many have been put on hold for diverse reasons. We encourage you and your supervisor(s) to explore other opportunities for furthering your research and academic progress throughout this time of curtailment, while also planning ahead for how to proceed when the curtailment eases. Examples of such opportunities and suggestions for practices that promote effective continuity of supervision and academic progress have been compiled and are being sent to supervisors. Please view a copy of this message in our announcements. We, and the University and research community more broadly, are continuing to deliberate on the longer term ramifications and potential mitigating strategies of research curtailment.

As of March 17, all oral defenses at UBC, including Final Doctoral Exams will be remote only, i.e., all oral defenses are to be held fully online until further notice. No less than one to two weeks before each exam, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will be contacting members of the examination committee and graduate student with information on how to participate in the exam via video conferencing. Please see the attached a copy of the Virtual Exam Protocol for details on the arrangements that need to be made for an online defense.

If you would still like to hold an in-person defense, then it will have to postponed until a later date. If you have an exam booked and have questions, please email the Doctoral Exams Coordinator, Robyn Starkey at robyn.starkey@ubc.ca.

In addition, all committee meetings and comprehensive exams should be arranged to be done online from now on until further notice. If you have any concerns about an upcoming oral exam, please do not hesitate to contact the IOF Graduate Program.

Financial challenges

      • Enrolment Services has extended the Summer Term 1 tuition deadline to June 15, 2020. In the SSC, the payment deadline will still show as May 15, 2020 (to reduce the course and registration impacts), but students can disregard this.
      • Both domestic and international students who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (extraordinary expenses, loss of employment, etc.) are strongly encouraged to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. Emergency bursaries are available, and consultation will also help the University to understand the scope and kind of need that exists.
      • If you stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. To be eligible, you must reside in Canada and have a valid Social Insurance Number. Workers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents – including temporary foreign workers and international students – may be eligible to receive the Benefit if they meet the other eligibility requirements. For more information, visit the Government of Canada website.
      • Visit the Student Services website to find out if you’re eligible for resources from the Government of Canada, Government of BC and the City of Vancouver.
      • CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC now have sections on their respective websites to inform the research community of any changes to their programs and policies due to COVID-19.

Please note this information is geared towards undergraduate students, however we have been assured that the information/steps also apply to graduate students.

Emergency Financial Assistance

Both domestic and international students who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (extraordinary expenses, loss of employment, etc.) are strongly encouraged to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. An advisor will assess your financial situation and provide the best course of action for your situation. It may not be possible for Enrolment Services to provide immediate support in all circumstances, but meeting with an advisor will also enable the university to gather a clearer picture of the needs that exist and to direct its financial support resources more effectively. Students are also encouraged to communicate with your supervisor and graduate advisor regarding your circumstances and needs, to identify possible solutions.

As of Friday, March 27, 2020, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST) has provided UBC with a limited amount of emergency financial assistance funding for students, including graduate students, who are experiencing financial hardship.

On March 13, IOF held its last in-person FISH 500 seminar for the academic year 2019/20. At that time only classes that had under 250 people were cancelled. Students registered in the FISH 500 class were expected to attend, with others attending at their own risk and in keeping with social distancing practices.

By the following week UBC had moved all classes completely online and the remaining IOF seminars of the year were cancelled. FISH 500 classes moved online, with coursework that was not dependent on seminar presentations.

The academic year ended on April 3, 2020.

Support for international students:

  • If you are a graduate student who has had to take a leave due to COVID-19, you can still work as in a regular academic term, meaning no more than 20 hours a week off campus and unlimited hours on campus. Given that summer is not a “scheduled break” for graduate students, you cannot work full-time but can work part-time, as you would in a regular academic term if the leave is due to COVID-19.
  • Students on an approved gap in studies, which includes graduate leaves of absence, can remain in Canada. For details, please review the International Student Guide.
  • If your study permit expires soon, please apply for renewal as early as possible. The waiting period is usually 120 days, but could be longer due to COVID-19. You must submit your study permit extension application before your study permit becomes invalid.

On the weekend of July 4th and 5th 2020, UBC's Zoom account will be transitioned from US-based hosting to Canadian-based hosting. During this maintenance window, UBC's Zoom service will be unavailable and you will not be able to log in to your account or host meetings.

Additionally, all users whose account is pending activation at this time will be removed. If you have received an email invitation to create an account, we strongly recommend that you activate your account before July 4th, otherwise you will need to request an account again.

Following this change, attendees participating in meetings hosted by users on UBC's account will have video and audio data flow through a Canadian data centre. Account information and passwords will also reside exclusively in a Canadian data centre.

We understand that this maintenance window may impact your ability to conduct teaching, learning and business activities. Your relevant support team is available to assist with making alternative arrangements for any meetings that you are unable to reschedule.

For all staff and faculty based at UBC Vancouver:
Call: 604-822-7956
Email: av.helpdesk@ubc.ca

For all staff and faculty based at UBC Okanagan:
Call: 250-807-9000
Visit: hxxps://helpdesk.ok.ubc.ca

For general information on Zoom at UBC, visit hxxps://it.ubc.ca/zoom

The Tri-Agencies (SSHRC, CIHR, NSERC) recently announced new funding to eligible research grant holders to support research trainees and personnel whose work is interrupted due to COVID-19 between April 1 and June 30.

Many of the details of how these funds will be dispersed are still being worked out, and eligible grantees will be contacted directly by the agencies in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you are encouraged to review the FAQs at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsDetail-DetailNouvelles_eng.asp?ID=1160#FAQ to understand more about the scope of this support. Funds are expected to be made available by September 2020.

We commit to following up with you further once more details are confirmed.
Sincerely,
UBC Office of Research Services

A new emergency fund has been established by the university to mitigate salary shortfalls for research trainees and research staff where project funding from industry or foundations has been lost or interrupted as a result of COVID-19. Principal Investigators can apply to this fund for payments to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research staff. Applicants to this fund may also be eligible to access new funding from Mitacs to support research training opportunities for their impacted graduate students.

Please visit https://research.ubc.ca/cwl/research-staff-trainee-emergency-fund. (most updated link with CWL login)

FAQs

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

On June 9th, the following information was sent to approved Phase 1 building users:

You are receiving this email as you have been approved for a return to AERL – your supervisor will be receiving a copy of this email with additional information shortly.  Your access to AERL will be assumed authorized once the following conditions are met:

      1. You have received, read and understood the contents of: 1) AERL Building Safety Plan for ROCR Approved June 5 and 2) Science COVID19 Safety Plan documents.
      2. In lieu of UBC’s COVID-specific online training course, which is still under development, you have paid specific attention to the guidelines in points 15 & 16 of the attached Science COVID19 Safety Plan documents. Confirming your review of this information with your supervisor will constitute your COVID-specific training requirements until UBC’s online course is available.
      3. You have completed UBC’s Floor Warden Training course. NOTE: Due to the extremely limited number of building users on campus, our AERL Building Safety Plan requires that all users are trained Floor Wardens to serve as lead and back-up response in emergency situations. This training should take about 20 minutes.
      4. You adhere to scheduling information below and as subsequently released by IOF administration.

You must confirm the above via reply to this email with a cc to Evgeny and your supervisor.

Please review the below information carefully and ask any questions you may have:

Health and Safety Considerations:

The primary concern in opening campus back up for research has been the health and safety of all of us.  In addition to COVID-related H&S items, we also still need to adhere to standard H&S protocols. The very small group of you working in the building during this time are expected to keep your distance from each other, but also generally be aware of who else is around and keep a look out for each other’s wellbeing. A few specific items of note:

      • AERL currently has one hand sanitizer station at the main entry, along with supplies to wipe down laptops upon entering and exiting the building.  You are expected to use this or otherwise wash/sanitize your hands upon entering the building. We have ordered additional sanitizer stations for elsewhere in the building (near the lab spaces on the 1st floor), and will install them as soon as possible. We are doing our best to keep these facilities stocked, but it is also recommended that all building occupants carry their own disinfecting/sanitizing supplies.
      • Please carry your own pen with you at all times – you will need this to sign in and out at the main building entrance each day.
      • Please obey all posted signs and taped off areas restricting access in the building.  Our occupancy of AERL has been allowed based on a strict and limited usage plan, with only those areas designated having been prepared and cleared by Building Ops.
      • Note that all dishes, cutlery, microwaves, coffee makers, toaster ovens, refrigerators, etc. will be off limits and our approved Safety Plan requires that individuals leave the building for lunch during Phase 1. If you choose to eat at your desk, you must bring your own dishes and cutlery. If you use the sinks in the building, you must wipe down and disinfect the area after you are done.
      • In cases where it does not create a security or other fire hazard, please prop any doors to shared spaces open, including washrooms. Washrooms will have ‘occupied/unoccupied’ signs for your use to ensure only one person is in a washroom at a time. Stairwell doors must not be propped open at any time.
      • For users scheduled into AERL 123, please ensure only one person per bay at any time.
      • For those working in single-user office spaces, doors must be kept closed but unlocked while you are in the office and only one person may be present in the room at any given time. Also a reminder that the AERL Building Safety Plan prohibits in-person meetings.
      • An updated Building Emergency Response Plan (BERP) has been uploaded to the IOF Health & Safety website. This document includes information about what Floor Wardens and others are expected to do in case of emergency.
      • In order to satisfy WorkSafe BC standards, we must have a designated ‘responsible person’ on site every day (M-F) during normal working hours. The responsibilities off this person are to:
        • be on site and available should an emergency occur – remember, you are all required to complete Floor Warden Training, so you will know what to do!  (Cheat sheet: First Aid – 604-822-4444, Fire and ambulance – 911);
        • sweep through all rooms occupied on a given day prior to leaving to remind people to clear the building no later than 6pm;
        • on Monday mornings, photograph and email the previous week’s sign-in/out sheets (see below) to s.finestone@oceans.ubc.ca.

        The ‘responsible person’ for each day will be included in the schedule (see below).  Due to limited numbers of people on site, if an alternate is needed on short notice, this may be asked of anyone else scheduled for the full day.

Building/UBC Access

AERL will remain locked and on weekend hours for the duration of Phase 1. Only those authorized to enter the building via one of the three channels Neil laid out in his email last week (research resumption, exemption, or 10-minute-or-less pick-up) will be allowed. No visitors, pets, etc.

      • Access will be only through the main doors towards the west side of the building, across from room 107/108.
      • You must sign in when you enter the building in the morning, and sign out when you leave at the end of the day.  There is no need to sign in/out if you leave the building in the middle of the day then return.
      • If anyone has been assigned a room for which you do not have keys, please email Eden Fellner ASAP.
      • You are required to carry your UBC card with you at all times when in AERL (and will need it to access the building).
      • UBC Parking is offering free parking for faculty and staff on a monthly basis for the time being.  You need to register each month, and they’ve indicated this arrangement will end in September, but it should last through Phase 1 at least.  If you are driving to campus, you may qualify for this, so check with them.
      • Please ensure there is an Access Agreement on any door of any office/lab space you are working in.  (We are striving to get these posted for you ahead of your return, however if you show up and there is not one on your door, please email s.finestone@oceans.ubc.ca.)

Scheduling

We are still finalizing a protocol to allow for as much flexibility as possible in scheduling shifts in AERL. Should it be necessary, the ‘responsible person’ discussed above and/or emergency responders will need an accurate list of who should have been in the building on a given day, and to be able to compare that information to who signed in.  Additional information about scheduling will be provided ASAP, but a few notes here generally:

      • Based on the requests received, we expect to be able to accommodate everyone’s desired schedule fully.
      • Though AERL has  been authorized for occupation as of June 10th, IOF may not begin scheduling shifts sometime after that – likely the 11th. If you (or your supervisor) have previously indicated a desired shift on Thursdays, or the 11th in particular, you can tentatively start planning on being on campus that day, pending final scheduling confirmation and the completion of 1-4 above.

Aside from scheduling protocols, efforts have been made to include as much pertinent information for Phase 1 building users in the above and attached as possible.  Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Best wishes for a successful resumption of your research activities!

As UBC prepares for a gradual return to on campus research activities, there also continues to be discussion around resuming field research.

For anyone interested in resuming field work, the following MUST be submitted to Evgeny by your PI (cc to Scott and Neil, please):

  1. A completed IOF-IRES Fieldwork-Risk-Assessment document (WORD). This is a new requirement put in place by the AERL Local Safety Team at the direction of the Dean, and will be ongoing from this point forward for all fieldwork (regardless of other COVID implications).
  2. A COVID-specific fieldwork plan (no template required), with information outlined on the VPRI website here, as follows:For fieldwork, primarily in the field sciences, researchers must be able to provide compelling explanations for the questions below. BREB guidelines must be followed for social scientific fieldwork. Please note failure to respect current public health directives may nullify insurance coverage you have related to your field work. Department Heads will provide initial approval for fieldwork requests, followed by Dean’s offices with final approval at UBC-V provided by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Please provide a contact number with your request. In all cases, the request must include confirmation that fieldwork is being carried out in a manner consistent with Faculty fieldwork safety guidelines and the accepted safety plan for the project. At UBC-O, final approval will be provided by the Office of the Vice Principal, Research and Innovation. Requests indicating approval at the unit and Faculty level should be forwarded to research.continuity@ubc.ca.
    • Are you able to travel to and from your research sites in compliance with current government and University travel advisories and restrictions?
    • What are the proposed dates for this fieldwork?
    • Is there a contact number for your team during the fieldwork period?
    • How does the size of your team allow for social distancing?
    • How do modes of travel at your research site allow for social distancing?
    • How do living and working conditions at the site allow for social distancing and/or for self-isolation should it be necessary?
    • What plans are in place should a member of the research team develop COVID-19 symptoms?
    • If your research will bring you into contact with local communities, how will you ensure required and effective social distancing protocols?

Timelines for the resumption of field research are still unclear, and indeed even the protocols for approvals of these fieldwork plans may change with time. Nonetheless, for those interested in returning to the field, having these two items prepared and submitted at the department level (Evgeny, Neil and Scott) will remain a requirement for the foreseeable future.

IOF will provide additional updates as they become available.

A new emergency fund has been established by the university to mitigate salary shortfalls for research trainees and research staff where project funding from industry or foundations has been lost or interrupted as a result of COVID-19. Principal Investigators can apply to this fund for payments to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research staff. Applicants to this fund may also be eligible to access new funding from Mitacs to support research training opportunities for their impacted graduate students. Please visit https://research.ubc.ca/cwl/research-staff-trainee-emergency-fund.
Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

On May 3, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that families receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will get $300 extra per child in May. Eligible families will automatically receive this one-time increase as part of their scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply. The increase will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support across the country to help families with the cost of taking care of their children.

Translink announced that front-door boarding and fares will return to buses on June 1. A temporary extension to the Plexiglas barriers will be added to some buses, while vinyl barriers will be added to others to ensure the safety of bus operators, and allowing for safe fare collection.

UBC Parking will be reinstating hourly parking rates effective May 4. If you have a permit, there are no changes. You can continue to park for free in the locations your permit allows.

If you don’t have a permit and wish to park at UBC, you will now be required to pay for parking. Please pay at the nearest meter or from your phone via the HONK payment app.

Key Returns:

With the end of term, we appreciate that there are folks that have keys that should be returned to the Access Desk.

We encourage anyone that will be returning to campus for work or school in the Fall to retain their UBC keys and follow up once our offices have resumed in-person services; however, for our customers that do not plan to be back on Campus in the Fall we do have a return process in place.

To return UBC keys for deposit we currently have 2 options available:

On campus

A drop box for key returns has been set up in the lobby of Campus Security. Keys should be sealed in an envelope along with your name, phone/email, and UBC ID#

Key returns will be processed for refund within 14 days.

Remote Return

Keys may be mailed for processing. Please mail keys in a padded mail envelope and include your name, phone/email, and UBC ID#

Mail to:
UBC Parking
6200 University Boulevard.
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4

CTLT offered a Remote Teaching Institute program which was oversubscribed. They have added repeat sessions, as well as new ones based on interest and needs, and extended the Institute until the middle of May. For more information and to register for new, visit the Remote Teaching Institute: https://institute.ctlt.ubc.ca/remote-teaching-institute/
Note: IOF registering for UBC-CTLT courses should note that "Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries" is available in the drop-down menu, under the F's (leftover from Fisheries Centre) and not listed among the other "Institutes."

April 28

As you know, the health and wellbeing of our university community remains our priority, and we are continuing to follow guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In keeping with the direction from Dr. Henry that the requirement for physical distancing remains in place, we are extending Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment as outlined below.

Remote Work Arrangements

UBC’s Remote Work Arrangements will continue to apply to faculty, staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and student employees until further notice. Thank you to everyone who has made the transition to remote working in the last few weeks, and to those who have continued to provide required on-campus services during this time. You can find FAQs to support Remote Work Arrangements at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/covid-19/.

On-Campus Research Curtailment

We appreciate that many researchers have been able to transition to conduct their research and scholarship remotely. However, we are aware that this curtailment has significantly impacted many faculty members, graduate students, research trainees, postdoctoral fellows and research staff. To address this, we are working with Faculties on both campuses to consider how we will gradually ease curtailment restrictions in ways that are consistent with public health requirements. This advance planning effort will allow us to safely and judiciously increase on-campus research activities when public health conditions allow. We will advise you as to where we are in the planning process within the next two weeks. Please visit https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19 for more information about the ongoing curtailment and the status of exempted activities.

As a reminder, FAQs related to COVID-19 and UBC’s response can also be found at https://covid19.ubc.ca/.

We will provide further updates regarding Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment as the situation evolves. In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing efforts and commitment to the university.

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan

As many buildings on campus have reduced occupancy, we want to remind everyone that running the cold water taps until the water is cold is an important step before drinking or using for food preparation. This will ensure the water is kept fresh for use and stagnant water is flushed from the building’s pipe network system. As always, please do not use the hot water from the tap for food preparation and/or consumption. For more information on drinking water quality, visit https://srs.ubc.ca/environment/drinkingwater

Drinking water delivered by Metro Vancouver remains safe to use and continues to be treated, monitored and tested in accordance with provincial requirements. UBC Facilities continues to test our main water network to maintain water quality and ensure water flows without disruption to all of our buildings on campus, including residents.

How are we maintaining the water quality during this time?

  • We are monitoring buildings that have reduced occupancy, and as a precaution, flushing out pipes that run through these buildings to maintain a fresh flow of water.
  • Water systems are flushed within the buildings at a target frequency of once every 3 weeks. Prioritization is given to research facilities and older buildings on campus.
  • Water valves are being tested within buildings that are unoccupied to ensure they are performing as they should, and not leaking when turned off and on.
  • The main water pipe network that runs underground on campus is tested weekly for a number of water quality parameters: free chlorine, turbidity, temperature, biologicals, etc. This testing is conducted regularly on campus.

For questions or concerns regarding your building or more information about the water quality on campus, please contact the Service Centre at 604-822-2173

With reduced occupancy on the UBC Vancouver campus, building operators and energy managers are adjusting heating or cooling levels in spaces that have reduced or zero occupancy. This is an opportunity to ensure critical energy savings while maintaining a safe and healthy indoor environment. Researchers issued with an exemption to the curtailment of research on campus will have their spaces operate as normal and excluded from heating/cooling system adjustments.

In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the university has closed all but six buildings to the general public, and a number of buildings to staff and students at the direction of Faculty Deans. The reduction in heating or cooling will help the university save operating costs across the campus. Some of these buildings also have occupant sensors to detect whether or not a space is in use. With these restrictions and systems in place, Energy & Water Services will continue to monitor building performance and make adjustments as required.

For questions, concerns, or issues regarding adjustments in your building, please contact your Facilities Manager or the Service Centre at 604-822-2173.

As there is a chance that classes will still be taught online come fall, and for those who are teaching courses this summer, CTLT will be holding a Remote Teaching Institute next Monday-Wednesday (April 20-22). Some of the sessions they are offering are on: sample course templates in Canvas, examples of courses moved from F2F, inclusive teaching online, and active learning in synchronous online sessions. Details: https://events.ctlt.ubc.ca/event-category/ctlt-institute/

I hope you are adapting reasonably well to "a new world" of remote communications. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is important that we continue to take care of each other, and that we do this actively. With this in mind, I am putting in place some guidelines and expectations for everyone in our IOF community. I think you will agree that these are measures that will support us all as we navigate through this situation.

All supervisors (faculty and staff) need to reach out to their people on an individual basis, outside of lab or team meetings. Have an honest conversation; ask each person how they are doing, if they have someone to support them, and if they need help in any way. Talk about expectations, both as a supervisor and as a student or staff member. Don’t be vague: “I understand you won’t be as productive under these conditions” carries no weight. Clearly set out objectives in terms of daily work and build from there. Be specific. Build goals that are measurable and attainable for each person.

I strongly urge you to continue these one-on-one meetings on a weekly basis. If you haven’t already initiated this, the first meeting (or two) will be extended as you work through expectations, and build goals and objectives. Subsequent meetings will be more of a check-in, but even then, supervisors need to check in with how each person is doing on a personal level. And every IOF community member needs to be honest with their supervisor when they are struggling with something.

Evgeny Pakhomov

How can you support your grad students in the COVID-19 context?

In the context of the current pandemic and the necessity of working from home, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has gathered suggestions and guidance for supervisors as they work remotely with their students – continuing to mentor them, assisting them in the continuation of their research and scholarly activities, and helping ensure an environment that promotes the wellbeing of all. We acknowledge that each relationship and disciplinary field is different and may benefit from distinctive approaches. Read more.

NSERC will provide a 1 year with cost extension on grants. For more details, please see this short press release from NSERC.

Please see the attached memo from Faculty Relations with regards to tenure clock extensions due to COVID-19 impacts.
Memo regarding Tenure clock extension(April 7)

Effective April 1st, UBC Parking is waiving short-term parking and parking permit fees at both campuses until April 30, 2020. Staff and Faculty do not need to contact UBC Parking to request a suspension of payroll deductions as this will be addressed automatically. Staff who have prepaid for annual permits will be contacted once parking fees are reinstated for a refund or credit and do not need to contact UBC Parking. All drivers to campus are reminded that, while payment is suspended, traffic and parking regulations remain in place.

The Tri-Agencies (SSHRC, CIHR, NSERC) recently announced new funding to eligible research grant holders to support research trainees and personnel whose work is interrupted due to COVID-19 between April 1 and June 30.

Many of the details of how these funds will be dispersed are still being worked out, and eligible grantees will be contacted directly by the agencies in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you are encouraged to review the FAQs at https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsDetail-DetailNouvelles_eng.asp?ID=1160#FAQ to understand more about the scope of this support. Funds are expected to be made available by September 2020.

We commit to following up with you further once more details are confirmed.
Sincerely,
UBC Office of Research Services

On June 9th, the following information was sent to approved Phase 1 building users:

You are receiving this email as you have been approved for a return to AERL – your supervisor will be receiving a copy of this email with additional information shortly.  Your access to AERL will be assumed authorized once the following conditions are met:

      1. You have received, read and understood the contents of: 1) AERL Building Safety Plan for ROCR Approved June 5 and 2) Science COVID19 Safety Plan documents. 
      2. In lieu of UBC’s COVID-specific online training course, which is still under development, you have paid specific attention to the guidelines in points 15 & 16 of the attached Science COVID19 Safety Plan documents. Confirming your review of this information with your supervisor will constitute your COVID-specific training requirements until UBC’s online course is available.
      3. You have completed UBC’s Floor Warden Training course. NOTE: Due to the extremely limited number of building users on campus, our AERL Building Safety Plan requires that all users are trained Floor Wardens to serve as lead and back-up response in emergency situations. This training should take about 20 minutes.
      4. You adhere to scheduling information below and as subsequently released by IOF administration.

You must confirm the above via reply to this email with a cc to Evgeny and your supervisor.

Please review the below information carefully and ask any questions you may have:

Health and Safety Considerations:

The primary concern in opening campus back up for research has been the health and safety of all of us.  In addition to COVID-related H&S items, we also still need to adhere to standard H&S protocols. The very small group of you working in the building during this time are expected to keep your distance from each other, but also generally be aware of who else is around and keep a look out for each other’s wellbeing. A few specific items of note:

      • AERL currently has one hand sanitizer station at the main entry, along with supplies to wipe down laptops upon entering and exiting the building.  You are expected to use this or otherwise wash/sanitize your hands upon entering the building. We have ordered additional sanitizer stations for elsewhere in the building (near the lab spaces on the 1st floor), and will install them as soon as possible. We are doing our best to keep these facilities stocked, but it is also recommended that all building occupants carry their own disinfecting/sanitizing supplies.
      • Please carry your own pen with you at all times – you will need this to sign in and out at the main building entrance each day.
      • Please obey all posted signs and taped off areas restricting access in the building.  Our occupancy of AERL has been allowed based on a strict and limited usage plan, with only those areas designated having been prepared and cleared by Building Ops.
      • Note that all dishes, cutlery, microwaves, coffee makers, toaster ovens, refrigerators, etc. will be off limits and our approved Safety Plan requires that individuals leave the building for lunch during Phase 1. If you choose to eat at your desk, you must bring your own dishes and cutlery. If you use the sinks in the building, you must wipe down and disinfect the area after you are done.
      • In cases where it does not create a security or other fire hazard, please prop any doors to shared spaces open, including washrooms. Washrooms will have ‘occupied/unoccupied’ signs for your use to ensure only one person is in a washroom at a time. Stairwell doors must not be propped open at any time.
      • For users scheduled into AERL 123, please ensure only one person per bay at any time.
      • For those working in single-user office spaces, doors must be kept closed but unlocked while you are in the office and only one person may be present in the room at any given time. Also a reminder that the AERL Building Safety Plan prohibits in-person meetings.
      • An updated Building Emergency Response Plan (BERP) has been uploaded to the IOF Health & Safety website. This document includes information about what Floor Wardens and others are expected to do in case of emergency.
      • In order to satisfy WorkSafe BC standards, we must have a designated ‘responsible person’ on site every day (M-F) during normal working hours. The responsibilities off this person are to:
        • be on site and available should an emergency occur – remember, you are all required to complete Floor Warden Training, so you will know what to do!  (Cheat sheet: First Aid – 604-822-4444, Fire and ambulance – 911);
        • sweep through all rooms occupied on a given day prior to leaving to remind people to clear the building no later than 6pm;
        • on Monday mornings, photograph and email the previous week’s sign-in/out sheets (see below) to s.finestone@oceans.ubc.ca.

        The ‘responsible person’ for each day will be included in the schedule (see below).  Due to limited numbers of people on site, if an alternate is needed on short notice, this may be asked of anyone else scheduled for the full day.

Building/UBC Access

AERL will remain locked and on weekend hours for the duration of Phase 1. Only those authorized to enter the building via one of the three channels Neil laid out in his email last week (research resumption, exemption, or 10-minute-or-less pick-up) will be allowed. No visitors, pets, etc.

      • Access will be only through the main doors towards the west side of the building, across from room 107/108.
      • You must sign in when you enter the building in the morning, and sign out when you leave at the end of the day.  There is no need to sign in/out if you leave the building in the middle of the day then return.
      • If anyone has been assigned a room for which you do not have keys, please email Eden Fellner ASAP.
      • You are required to carry your UBC card with you at all times when in AERL (and will need it to access the building).
      • UBC Parking is offering free parking for faculty and staff on a monthly basis for the time being.  You need to register each month, and they’ve indicated this arrangement will end in September, but it should last through Phase 1 at least.  If you are driving to campus, you may qualify for this, so check with them.
      • Please ensure there is an Access Agreement on any door of any office/lab space you are working in.  (We are striving to get these posted for you ahead of your return, however if you show up and there is not one on your door, please email s.finestone@oceans.ubc.ca.)

Scheduling

We are still finalizing a protocol to allow for as much flexibility as possible in scheduling shifts in AERL. Should it be necessary, the ‘responsible person’ discussed above and/or emergency responders will need an accurate list of who should have been in the building on a given day, and to be able to compare that information to who signed in.  Additional information about scheduling will be provided ASAP, but a few notes here generally:

      • Based on the requests received, we expect to be able to accommodate everyone’s desired schedule fully.
      • Though AERL has  been authorized for occupation as of June 10th, IOF may not begin scheduling shifts sometime after that – likely the 11th. If you (or your supervisor) have previously indicated a desired shift on Thursdays, or the 11th in particular, you can tentatively start planning on being on campus that day, pending final scheduling confirmation and the completion of 1-4 above.

Aside from scheduling protocols, efforts have been made to include as much pertinent information for Phase 1 building users in the above and attached as possible.  Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Best wishes for a successful resumption of your research activities!

As UBC prepares for a gradual return to on campus research activities, there also continues to be discussion around resuming field research.

For anyone interested in resuming field work, the following MUST be submitted to Evgeny by your PI (cc to Scott and Neil, please):

      1. A completed IOF-IRES Fieldwork-Risk-Assessment document (WORD). This is a new requirement put in place by the AERL Local Safety Team at the direction of the Dean, and will be ongoing from this point forward for all fieldwork (regardless of other COVID implications).
      2. A COVID-specific fieldwork plan (no template required), with information outlined on the VPRI website here, as follows:For fieldwork, primarily in the field sciences, researchers must be able to provide compelling explanations for the questions below. BREB guidelines must be followed for social scientific fieldwork. Please note failure to respect current public health directives may nullify insurance coverage you have related to your field work. Department Heads will provide initial approval for fieldwork requests, followed by Dean’s offices with final approval at UBC-V provided by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. Please provide a contact number with your request. In all cases, the request must include confirmation that fieldwork is being carried out in a manner consistent with Faculty fieldwork safety guidelines and the accepted safety plan for the project. At UBC-O, final approval will be provided by the Office of the Vice Principal, Research and Innovation. Requests indicating approval at the unit and Faculty level should be forwarded to research.continuity@ubc.ca.
        • Are you able to travel to and from your research sites in compliance with current government and University travel advisories and restrictions?
        • What are the proposed dates for this fieldwork?
        • Is there a contact number for your team during the fieldwork period?
        • How does the size of your team allow for social distancing?
        • How do modes of travel at your research site allow for social distancing?
        • How do living and working conditions at the site allow for social distancing and/or for self-isolation should it be necessary?
        • What plans are in place should a member of the research team develop COVID-19 symptoms?
        • If your research will bring you into contact with local communities, how will you ensure required and effective social distancing protocols?

Timelines for the resumption of field research are still unclear, and indeed even the protocols for approvals of these fieldwork plans may change with time. Nonetheless, for those interested in returning to the field, having these two items prepared and submitted at the department level (Evgeny, Neil and Scott) will remain a requirement for the foreseeable future.

IOF will provide additional updates as they become available.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

The development of guiding principles for a phased resumption of on-campus research, scholarship and creative activities has been an interactive process shaped by broad consultation, including eight virtual town halls that were attended by over 950 faculty members across our two campuses.

          • The health and well-being of faculty members, students and staff is paramount
          • The orders, notices and guidance of the Provincial Health Officer will be followed
          • Permission to conduct on-campus research and scholarship can only be granted to those who require on-campus resources and cannot work remotely
          • There will be a phased and coordinated approach across each campus
          • Phased resumption of activity may need to be reversed and stricter curtailment conditions imposed in response to public health guidance or changes to the situation on our campuses
          • If an employee has a concern about returning to work, they will have an opportunity to discuss with their supervisor, Human Resources and their employee group, as appropriate
          • Equity will be considered in evaluating how to plan and conduct research resumption

PHASED APPROACH

The plan for resuming on-campus research consists of several phases. Implementation requires that public health conditions and directions at that time allow for this. Due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 situation, we cannot assume that there will be a linear progression through the phases and a return to curtailment may be required at any time.

The first phase, targeted to start from the beginning of June, will provide only limited access to on-campus facilities and adhere to strict physical distancing protocols. Subsequent phases which could begin in the summer will see a gradual increase in on-campus research and scholarship activities in line with public health advice.

PLANNING AND PROCESS

Faculties are developing resumption plans to enable them to enact the first phase in resuming on-campus research and scholarship. These will include safety plans for Faculty research spaces and Faculty-appropriate criteria for prioritizing access to research spaces. Plans will be consistent with the guiding principles and we anticipate that the first phase will allow for no greater than one-third of normal research occupancy on our campuses. In-person group meetings, social events, and other gatherings will not be permitted.

While individual Faculties will create specific prioritization criteria and processes, access will only be granted to researchers who require on-campus resources and cannot conduct this work remotely. Researchers with existing research curtailment exemptions will continue to be granted access. We anticipate that graduate students needing to complete thesis projects will also receive priority.

The VPRI is coordinating and providing guidance for this resumption planning and is liaising with other operational units that are crucial to enabling a safe increase in on-campus activities. Review of Faculty plans will be conducted by a research resumption steering committee that incorporates research and operational leadership. Approval of these plans by the VPRI and Provost and Vice-President, Academic on each campus will allow plans to be enacted.

The VPRI is also providing support to researchers on specific issues including animal care, field work and in-person human participant research. Task forces to consider these issues have already been formed. An exemption process for field work continues.

RESEARCHER AGREEMENT & RESPONSIBILITY

Researchers will be required to sign a COVID-19 Access Agreement before accessing their space. Departments and Faculties will retain copies of the agreement and researchers must post a copy to the door of their research space. Faculties will make this form available to all research staff and trainees who are granted access.

SUPPLIES PROCUREMENT

The university will centrally handle and coordinate the procurement of supplies which are in critical need in the province (e.g., PPE and reagents used for testing); it is possible that limited or lack of availability of these supplies may limit the ability to resume specific research activities. Faculties will provide any needed contact information.

OVERSIGHT AND MONITORING

Faculties have oversight regarding departmental and building safety plans with guidance from the VPRI, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, and UBC Safety & Risk Services on each campus. Monitoring to ensure compliance will be conducted at the Faculty level with support from Safety & Risk Services.

More information and FAQs: https://research.ubc.ca/planning-phased-resumption-campus-research-scholarship-and-creative-activities

In March, UBC introduced curtailment of on-campus research on both our Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Since that time many of you have made great efforts to support this transition, conducting your research and scholarly activity remotely.

We recognize that the on-campus curtailment has had significant impacts for many of you, your graduate students and your research teams. Thank you once again for your commitment to the university.

In collaboration with our Faculties, we are now planning for the phased resumption of on-campus research from the beginning of June, adopting a gradual approach over the summer months. Conducting on-campus research and scholarship will be limited to those who require on-campus resources and cannot conduct this work remotely. As a reminder, and in keeping with public health guidelines, the majority of our faculty and staff will need to continue working remotely, wherever possible.

As part of our planning, UBC is working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and post-secondary institutions within BC to ensure we are aligned with health and safety guidelines and WorkSafeBC. The phased resumption of on-campus research is also being informed by feedback we received during consultation with Faculties and units, including town halls that engaged more than 950 faculty members.

We have asked the Faculties to develop plans to embark on this phased approach. The plans will be led by Deans and Associate Deans of Research, with coordination and guidance provided by the Office of the VP, Research & Innovation. Given the complexity of coordinating safe access to different spaces within buildings, and managing the associated demand for multiple on-campus services, there is still significant planning to be done.

It is important to stress that health and safety remains our priority. As such, UBC will continue to work closely with the provincial government to ensure our plans are consistent with public health requirements. We also recognize that this will be an iterative process, and we may need to be prepared to reinstate curtailment measures, should the situation regarding COVID-19 change.

For more information, please visit https://research.ubc.ca/COVID-19/phased-resumption.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

In response to COVID-19, the university continues to curtail on-campus research, scholarship and creative activities on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses The research community is directed to work remotely.

We appreciate that many researchers have been able to transition to conduct their research and scholarship remotely. However, we are aware that this curtailment has significantly impacted many faculty members, graduate students, research trainees, postdoctoral fellows and research staff.

The health and wellbeing of our university community remains our priority, and we are continuing to follow provincial guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19.

We are working with Faculties on both campuses to consider how we will gradually ease curtailment restrictions in ways that are consistent with public health requirements. This advance planning effort will allow us to safely and judiciously increase on-campus research activities when public health conditions allow. While there is currently no fixed date for changing curtailment restrictions, we will provide updates on the planning process by May 11.

Individual researchers may continue to apply for critical research exemptions. Guidance on conducting fieldwork and in-person research involving human participants is also provided below.

Please see the FAQ section about the impact of this extension on previously approved exemptions.

UBC priorities with respect to research are to:

          • Ensure the health and safety of our local and broader community
          • Maintain the welfare of research animals
          • Ensure the sustainability and safety of critical research resources, data and reagents that are difficult to replace
          • Assist researchers in maintaining or obtaining research funding to cover staff salaries and other priorities

The FAQs prioritize health and safety, first and foremost. They are intended to facilitate the curtailment of most on-campus research activity and the continuing operation of some critical on-campus research activity.

April 28

As you know, the health and wellbeing of our university community remains our priority, and we are continuing to follow guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In keeping with the direction from Dr. Henry that the requirement for physical distancing remains in place, we are extending Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment as outlined below.

Remote Work Arrangements

UBC’s Remote Work Arrangements will continue to apply to faculty, staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and student employees until further notice. Thank you to everyone who has made the transition to remote working in the last few weeks, and to those who have continued to provide required on-campus services during this time. You can find FAQs to support Remote Work Arrangements at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/covid-19/.

On-Campus Research Curtailment

We appreciate that many researchers have been able to transition to conduct their research and scholarship remotely. However, we are aware that this curtailment has significantly impacted many faculty members, graduate students, research trainees, postdoctoral fellows and research staff. To address this, we are working with Faculties on both campuses to consider how we will gradually ease curtailment restrictions in ways that are consistent with public health requirements. This advance planning effort will allow us to safely and judiciously increase on-campus research activities when public health conditions allow. We will advise you as to where we are in the planning process within the next two weeks. Please visit https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19 for more information about the ongoing curtailment and the status of exempted activities.

As a reminder, FAQs related to COVID-19 and UBC’s response can also be found at https://covid19.ubc.ca/.

We will provide further updates regarding Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment as the situation evolves. In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing efforts and commitment to the university.

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan

NSERC will provide a 1 year with cost extension on grants. For more details, please see this short press release from NSERC.

UBC’s Financial Operations team wants to help ensure our research community can continue to secure the goods and equipment they need while on-campus research activities are curtailed.

If you need to procure materials from outside of Canada, the university’s customs broker Livingston International will need to clear your shipment through customs.

Livingston International is best positioned to help when they are aware, in advance, about important research materials that are en route to UBC. The following information will help you navigate this process:

For all orders that are shipping from outside of Canada:

          • To ensure that all shipments clear customs quickly, please provide the following information via email to CST88260@livingstonintl.com and klaw@livingstonintl.com as soon as an order has shipped:
            • Product invoice and all other shipping documents
            • Tracking/waybill information
            • Declared customs value — please note that this should not be $0, even for donations, as a $0 value will prompt the need for valuation and cause delay.
            • Your speedchart

To get status or tackle issues on a shipment:

 

For urgent issues:

UBC has developed a page that speaks to research activities, and that is constantly updated with the most current information: Research activities at UBC campuses This should be your first stop for information about research activities on the UBC campus. It contains information about:

Research Curtailment

UBC has curtailed all on-campus research activities, except for those that are deemed exempt. This curtailment came into effect at the end of day on March 24 and has been extended until the end of April.

Exemptions

An exemption form must be submitted and approved for critical research activity. Critical research activity that may be approved include:

          • research projects directly related to COVID-19 and essential clinical trials;
          • maintenance of critical resources which cannot be replaced through other means, (e.g. data, cell lines, and some collections); and
          • topping up of research storage equipment (e.g. with liquid nitrogen).

Exemption Form

Other

The page also has information on funding sources for research focused on COVID-19, information on fieldwork, as well as remote access to research data. It is the best start for any and all research related information.

Doing Fieldwork in a Pandemic

This resource was suggested as general source for social researchers who are doing fieldwork in a pandemic. Contains ideas for avoiding in-person interactions by using mediated forms that will achieve similar ends. Note: For informational purposes only.

On March 19, the university announced that as part of UBC’s response to COVID-19, it was curtailing on-campus research and creative scholarship activities on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. This curtailment period began at the end of day on March 24 and is now in effect. It will remain in place until April 15, 2020, and may be extended. The UBC research community will be notified of any extension to the curtailment as soon as possible.

To conduct on-campus research activities on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, researchers must first receive an approved exemption for critical research or maintaining critical research resources. Researchers working in facilities at Health Authority sites must follow the directives of those institutions.

While only exempted critical activities can take place on our campuses, researchers are encouraged to continue activities remotely that can be conducted safely without in-person contact. Please note that remote work must be conducted in compliance with UBC information security standards.

We will continue to process on-campus research exemption requests as they are received, but these research activities cannot be conducted until an exemption has been approved. Examples of critical research activity for which an exemption may be approved include:

          • research projects directly related to COVID-19 and essential clinical trials;
          • maintenance of critical resources which cannot be replaced through other means, (e.g. data, cell lines, and some collections); and
          • topping up of research storage equipment (e.g. with liquid nitrogen).

Forms and details of the process can be found at https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19.

The on-campus curtailment is in line with social distancing protocols regarding remote teaching and working arrangements, and prioritizes health and safety first and foremost. We understand that this will have a significant impact on research programs and research personnel, and the university is in active discussions to identify ways to mitigate these impacts. We encourage you to visit our frequently updated FAQs relating to the research curtailment at https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19.

On June 9th, the following information was sent to approved Phase 1 building users:

You are receiving this email as you have been approved for a return to AERL – your supervisor will be receiving a copy of this email with additional information shortly. Your access to AERL will be assumed authorized once the following conditions are met:

      1. You have received, read and understood the contents of: 1) AERL Building Safety Plan for ROCR Approved June 5 and 2) Science COVID19 Safety Plan documents.
      2. In lieu of UBC’s COVID-specific online training course, which is still under development, you have paid specific attention to the guidelines in points 15 & 16 of the attached Science COVID19 Safety Plan documents. Confirming your review of this information with your supervisor will constitute your COVID-specific training requirements until UBC’s online course is available.
      3. You have completed UBC’s Floor Warden Training course. NOTE: Due to the extremely limited number of building users on campus, our AERL Building Safety Plan requires that all users are trained Floor Wardens to serve as lead and back-up response in emergency situations. This training should take about 20 minutes.
      4. You adhere to scheduling information below and as subsequently released by IOF administration.

You must confirm the above via reply to this email with a cc to Evgeny and your supervisor.

Please review the below information carefully and ask any questions you may have:

Health and Safety Considerations:

The primary concern in opening campus back up for research has been the health and safety of all of us.  In addition to COVID-related H&S items, we also still need to adhere to standard H&S protocols. The very small group of you working in the building during this time are expected to keep your distance from each other, but also generally be aware of who else is around and keep a look out for each other’s wellbeing. A few specific items of note:

      • AERL currently has one hand sanitizer station at the main entry, along with supplies to wipe down laptops upon entering and exiting the building.  You are expected to use this or otherwise wash/sanitize your hands upon entering the building. We have ordered additional sanitizer stations for elsewhere in the building (near the lab spaces on the 1st floor), and will install them as soon as possible. We are doing our best to keep these facilities stocked, but it is also recommended that all building occupants carry their own disinfecting/sanitizing supplies.
      • Please carry your own pen with you at all times – you will need this to sign in and out at the main building entrance each day.
      • Please obey all posted signs and taped off areas restricting access in the building.  Our occupancy of AERL has been allowed based on a strict and limited usage plan, with only those areas designated having been prepared and cleared by Building Ops.
      • Note that all dishes, cutlery, microwaves, coffee makers, toaster ovens, refrigerators, etc. will be off limits and our approved Safety Plan requires that individuals leave the building for lunch during Phase 1. If you choose to eat at your desk, you must bring your own dishes and cutlery. If you use the sinks in the building, you must wipe down and disinfect the area after you are done.
      • In cases where it does not create a security or other fire hazard, please prop any doors to shared spaces open, including washrooms. Washrooms will have ‘occupied/unoccupied’ signs for your use to ensure only one person is in a washroom at a time. Stairwell doors must not be propped open at any time.
      • For users scheduled into AERL 123, please ensure only one person per bay at any time.
      • For those working in single-user office spaces, doors must be kept closed but unlocked while you are in the office and only one person may be present in the room at any given time. Also a reminder that the AERL Building Safety Plan prohibits in-person meetings.
      • An updated Building Emergency Response Plan (BERP) has been uploaded to the IOF Health & Safety website. This document includes information about what Floor Wardens and others are expected to do in case of emergency.
      • In order to satisfy WorkSafe BC standards, we must have a designated ‘responsible person’ on site every day (M-F) during normal working hours. The responsibilities off this person are to:
        • be on site and available should an emergency occur – remember, you are all required to complete Floor Warden Training, so you will know what to do!  (Cheat sheet: First Aid – 604-822-4444, Fire and ambulance – 911);
        • sweep through all rooms occupied on a given day prior to leaving to remind people to clear the building no later than 6pm;
        • on Monday mornings, photograph and email the previous week’s sign-in/out sheets (see below) to s.finestone@oceans.ubc.ca.

        The ‘responsible person’ for each day will be included in the schedule (see below).  Due to limited numbers of people on site, if an alternate is needed on short notice, this may be asked of anyone else scheduled for the full day.

Building/UBC Access

AERL will remain locked and on weekend hours for the duration of Phase 1. Only those authorized to enter the building via one of the three channels Neil laid out in his email last week (research resumption, exemption, or 10-minute-or-less pick-up) will be allowed. No visitors, pets, etc.

      • Access will be only through the main doors towards the west side of the building, across from room 107/108.
      • You must sign in when you enter the building in the morning, and sign out when you leave at the end of the day.  There is no need to sign in/out if you leave the building in the middle of the day then return.
      • If anyone has been assigned a room for which you do not have keys, please email Eden Fellner ASAP.
      • You are required to carry your UBC card with you at all times when in AERL (and will need it to access the building).
      • UBC Parking is offering free parking for faculty and staff on a monthly basis for the time being.  You need to register each month, and they’ve indicated this arrangement will end in September, but it should last through Phase 1 at least.  If you are driving to campus, you may qualify for this, so check with them.
      • Please ensure there is an Access Agreement on any door of any office/lab space you are working in.  (We are striving to get these posted for you ahead of your return, however if you show up and there is not one on your door, please email s.finestone@oceans.ubc.ca.)

Scheduling

We are still finalizing a protocol to allow for as much flexibility as possible in scheduling shifts in AERL. Should it be necessary, the ‘responsible person’ discussed above and/or emergency responders will need an accurate list of who should have been in the building on a given day, and to be able to compare that information to who signed in.  Additional information about scheduling will be provided ASAP, but a few notes here generally:

      • Based on the requests received, we expect to be able to accommodate everyone’s desired schedule fully.
      • Though AERL has  been authorized for occupation as of June 10th, IOF may not begin scheduling shifts sometime after that – likely the 11th. If you (or your supervisor) have previously indicated a desired shift on Thursdays, or the 11th in particular, you can tentatively start planning on being on campus that day, pending final scheduling confirmation and the completion of 1-4 above.

Aside from scheduling protocols, efforts have been made to include as much pertinent information for Phase 1 building users in the above and attached as possible.  Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Best wishes for a successful resumption of your research activities!

A new emergency fund has been established by the university to mitigate salary shortfalls for research trainees and research staff where project funding from industry or foundations has been lost or interrupted as a result of COVID-19. Principal Investigators can apply to this fund for payments to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research staff. Applicants to this fund may also be eligible to access new funding from Mitacs to support research training opportunities for their impacted graduate students. Please visit https://research.ubc.ca/cwl/research-staff-trainee-emergency-fund.
Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

On May 3, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that families receiving the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will get $300 extra per child in May. Eligible families will automatically receive this one-time increase as part of their scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply. The increase will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support across the country to help families with the cost of taking care of their children.

Translink announced that front-door boarding and fares will return to buses on June 1. A temporary extension to the Plexiglas barriers will be added to some buses, while vinyl barriers will be added to others to ensure the safety of bus operators, and allowing for safe fare collection.

UBC Parking will be reinstating hourly parking rates effective May 4. If you have a permit, there are no changes. You can continue to park for free in the locations your permit allows.

If you don’t have a permit and wish to park at UBC, you will now be required to pay for parking. Please pay at the nearest meter or from your phone via the HONK payment app.

Key Returns:

With the end of term, we appreciate that there are folks that have keys that should be returned to the Access Desk.

We encourage anyone that will be returning to campus for work or school in the Fall to retain their UBC keys and follow up once our offices have resumed in-person services; however, for our customers that do not plan to be back on Campus in the Fall we do have a return process in place.

To return UBC keys for deposit we currently have 2 options available:

On campus

A drop box for key returns has been set up in the lobby of Campus Security. Keys should be sealed in an envelope along with your name, phone/email, and UBC ID#

Key returns will be processed for refund within 14 days.

Remote Return

Keys may be mailed for processing. Please mail keys in a padded mail envelope and include your name, phone/email, and UBC ID#

Mail to:
UBC Parking
6200 University Boulevard.
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4

As many buildings on campus have reduced occupancy, we want to remind everyone that running the cold water taps until the water is cold is an important step before drinking or using for food preparation. This will ensure the water is kept fresh for use and stagnant water is flushed from the building’s pipe network system. As always, please do not use the hot water from the tap for food preparation and/or consumption. For more information on drinking water quality, visit https://srs.ubc.ca/environment/drinkingwater

Drinking water delivered by Metro Vancouver remains safe to use and continues to be treated, monitored and tested in accordance with provincial requirements. UBC Facilities continues to test our main water network to maintain water quality and ensure water flows without disruption to all of our buildings on campus, including residents.

How are we maintaining the water quality during this time?

  • We are monitoring buildings that have reduced occupancy, and as a precaution, flushing out pipes that run through these buildings to maintain a fresh flow of water.
  • Water systems are flushed within the buildings at a target frequency of once every 3 weeks. Prioritization is given to research facilities and older buildings on campus.
  • Water valves are being tested within buildings that are unoccupied to ensure they are performing as they should, and not leaking when turned off and on.
  • The main water pipe network that runs underground on campus is tested weekly for a number of water quality parameters: free chlorine, turbidity, temperature, biologicals, etc. This testing is conducted regularly on campus.

For questions or concerns regarding your building or more information about the water quality on campus, please contact the Service Centre at 604-822-2173

With reduced occupancy on the UBC Vancouver campus, building operators and energy managers are adjusting heating or cooling levels in spaces that have reduced or zero occupancy. This is an opportunity to ensure critical energy savings while maintaining a safe and healthy indoor environment. Researchers issued with an exemption to the curtailment of research on campus will have their spaces operate as normal and excluded from heating/cooling system adjustments.

In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the university has closed all but six buildings to the general public, and a number of buildings to staff and students at the direction of Faculty Deans. The reduction in heating or cooling will help the university save operating costs across the campus. Some of these buildings also have occupant sensors to detect whether or not a space is in use. With these restrictions and systems in place, Energy & Water Services will continue to monitor building performance and make adjustments as required.

For questions, concerns, or issues regarding adjustments in your building, please contact your Facilities Manager or the Service Centre at 604-822-2173.

UBC Ergonomics has drafted a checklist for faculty and staff who may want to transport their UBC office chair to home while they work temporarily from home. They want to avert any potential injuries in transporting the chairs.
Chair Checklist (Word)

What should I do if an employee has exhausted their entitlement to paid sick leave?
The university has approved temporary measures for employees who do not have access to paid sick leave as part of their employment, as well as those who have used up their paid sick bank.

Faculties/Departments should provide paid sick leave for COVID-related symptoms until April 30, 2020 for up to 10 consecutive days within the 14-day self-isolation period. This approach will be reassessed at the end of April. For employees who have sick leave provisions as part of their employment but have used up all of their sick leave, any sick time taken will be deducted from their future sick leave accruals. Discuss this funding option with employees who don’t have paid sick leave provisions, or who have utilized their sick bank and have no sick time remaining. Information on the process for administering this approach is at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/memos.

If an employee advises me that they will be away from work to care for family members with COVID-19, will they be entitled to paid leave?
The provisions for paid leave to care for dependents can be found in the various employment agreements: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-staff-resources/collective-agreements/. You can also contact your HR Advisor or Faculty Relations Senior Manager.

What other resources are available for my employees who are affected by influenza like illnesses, including COVID-19?
Recognizing that any kind of illness or outbreak may impact the mental wellbeing of our employees, it is important to remind employees about UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). UBC’s EFAP provider has alternate methods of counseling including telephonic and e-counseling services. Information with regard to accessing these services is available at www.hr.ubc.ca/wellbeing-benefits/benefits/details/employee-family-assistance-program/.

NEW: As a supervisor, how do I manage vacation requests?
With the university’s Remote Work Arrangements in place, and as COVID-19 related travel restrictions and physical distancing protocols continue, supervisors may need to consider how best to manage vacation requests, including any requests to cancel pre-scheduled vacations. Read the full memo from Marcia Buchholz, Interim Vice-President, Human Resources, that was distributed to the HR Networks community of practice on April 15, 2020.

UBC’s Financial Operations team wants to help ensure our research community can continue to secure the goods and equipment they need while on-campus research activities are curtailed.

If you need to procure materials from outside of Canada, the university’s customs broker Livingston International will need to clear your shipment through customs.

Livingston International is best positioned to help when they are aware, in advance, about important research materials that are en route to UBC. The following information will help you navigate this process:

For all orders that are shipping from outside of Canada:

          • To ensure that all shipments clear customs quickly, please provide the following information via email to CST88260@livingstonintl.com and klaw@livingstonintl.com as soon as an order has shipped:
            • Product invoice and all other shipping documents
            • Tracking/waybill information
            • Declared customs value — please note that this should not be $0, even for donations, as a $0 value will prompt the need for valuation and cause delay.
            • Your speedchart

To get status or tackle issues on a shipment:

 

For urgent issues:

If you have approved USRA/SURE/WLIURA projects for 2020, please contact Eden to review your options.

The following message is sent on behalf of:

          • Meigan Aronson, Dean
          • Ian Cavers, Associate Dean Students
          • Mark MacLachlan, Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies
          • Janie McCallum, Assistant Dean, Human Resources

The Faculty of Science authorizes Departments to proceed with full-time student appointments for USRA/SURE/WLIURA award recipients only for those who will reside in BC for the entire term of employment and whose work can be done effectively remotely.

For reasons related to Worksafe BC coverage, we understand that students residing in other provinces and outside Canada would not be covered under WorkSafeBC and it would not be advisable to offer them a position under the current circumstances.

Please note that while NSERC USRAs can only be used for a full-time research position, NSERC will honour the full award if an abbreviated research project becomes possible later in the Summer. As well, an NSERC USRA could be deferred to the Fall or Winter term.

The possibility remains that the university will re-open for on-campus research in time for lab-based USRA (and SURE) students to complete their full or abbreviated work term, however, we advise that you not make appointments for these positions until we have clarity on the end of the research curtailment. Faculty may change the topic of their research project for students to something amenable for remote work if they wish.

We have not been advised about any curtailment of the Work/Learn program and so suggest that those appointments also proceed where there is a significant need for the position over the summer and where the student worker can do their full workload remotely within BC.

Please note this information is geared towards undergraduate students, however we have been assured that the information/steps also apply to graduate students.

Emergency Financial Assistance

Both domestic and international students who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (extraordinary expenses, loss of employment, etc.) are strongly encouraged to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. An advisor will assess your financial situation and provide the best course of action for your situation. It may not be possible for Enrolment Services to provide immediate support in all circumstances, but meeting with an advisor will also enable the university to gather a clearer picture of the needs that exist and to direct its financial support resources more effectively. Students are also encouraged to communicate with your supervisor and graduate advisor regarding your circumstances and needs, to identify possible solutions.

As of Friday, March 27, 2020, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST) has provided UBC with a limited amount of emergency financial assistance funding for students, including graduate students, who are experiencing financial hardship.

Effective April 1st, UBC Parking is waiving short-term parking and parking permit fees at both campuses until April 30, 2020. Staff and Faculty do not need to contact UBC Parking to request a suspension of payroll deductions as this will be addressed automatically. Staff who have prepaid for annual permits will be contacted once parking fees are reinstated for a refund or credit and do not need to contact UBC Parking. All drivers to campus are reminded that, while payment is suspended, traffic and parking regulations remain in place.

Work Learn will continue to honour funding commitments for both winter 2019 and summer 2020 positions. We encourage you to explore options for Work Learn student employees to work remotely as many are financially dependent on these roles. In some cases, you may consider whether modified or alternate projects or duties are possible, in keeping with the position classification, if the typical duties are no longer required or not feasible to undertake remotely. Some examples could include: preparing reports, compiling briefs, responding to service inquiries, or supporting your department as you transition to online service delivery. Your local HR Advisor can provide advice should you need. Detailed information about the remote work pilot is online to help you, including a “Telecommuting Checklist.”

For those who are in the midst of hiring Work Learn student employees for summer 2020, please consider conducting remote interviews by leveraging digital technology such as Skype for Business, Zoom, or other platforms during your selection processes. We recognize that it is difficult to anticipate work conditions and whether your proposed projects will remain feasible in May 2020. We suggest consideration of what is possible for the role, should the current social distancing and remote work recommendations continue. Many projects may include aspects of work that can be conducted remotely. If you wish to consider scenarios for your department, your local HR Advisor can assist.

sent April 1, 2020

As you know, on March 16, UBC embarked on a three-week pilot for Remote Work Arrangements for faculty, staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and student employees who are able to work remotely.

On March 19, the university also announced it was curtailing on-campus research activities at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. This curtailment was initially in effect until April 15. To continue research activities on our campuses, researchers must receive an exemption to be classed as critical research or maintaining critical research resources.

The situation regarding COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing has not yet eased, and is even more important now. In light of this, and continuing to follow guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, we will be extending the Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment until the end of April.

This will be reassessed at the end of April, based on information about COVID-19, and in conjunction with our government and health stakeholders.

As a reminder, a series of FAQs have been developed to support you during this time:

Once again, we would like to thank you for your commitment to the university. We understand that COVID-19 is impacting you in many ways, and we appreciate your ongoing flexibility as we continue to navigate this challenging situation.

Marcia Buchholz
Interim Vice-President, Human Resources

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

March 16 email from Neil to IOF faculty, research associates, postdocs, students and staff

The current situation:

          • All classes are being delivered on-line.
          • UBC is recommending that graduate students, postdocs, staff, research associates and faculty who can carry out their duties from home do not come to the university. See below for details re approvals.
          • Check UBC.ca on a regular basis.

Resources for teaching remotely

Working from Home

IT Options:

          • VPN - If your files are on Teamshare (our networked, continuously backed-up drives), this is all you need. If you already use your home system to check your pay, it’s already installed (Cisco AnyConnect). If it’s not installed, follow the instructions here.
          • Remote Desktop - this needs to be configured ahead of time. Your CWL needs to be added to the profile. You need to know the machine name and/or IP address. In the case of a power failure someone will have to reboot your computer before you can access it again. Put in a ticket (it.ubc.ca/sos) and ask for help setting it up.
          • Skype for Business:
            • video-conferencing for up to 25 people
            • meetings
            • chat rooms
            • screen sharing
            • whiteboard
            • transfer files
            • it’s part of Microsoft Office - it’s already on your computer
            • Neil set this up for IOF a year ago. Everyone is already signed up. (If you’re new in the past year, let me know and I’ll make sure you are added to the list.)
            • To log in you must use your UBC generic email address (first.last@ubc.ca)  e.g. neil.maclean@ubc.ca

 

On the weekend of July 4th and 5th 2020, UBC's Zoom account will be transitioned from US-based hosting to Canadian-based hosting. During this maintenance window, UBC's Zoom service will be unavailable and you will not be able to log in to your account or host meetings.

Additionally, all users whose account is pending activation at this time will be removed. If you have received an email invitation to create an account, we strongly recommend that you activate your account before July 4th, otherwise you will need to request an account again.

Following this change, attendees participating in meetings hosted by users on UBC's account will have video and audio data flow through a Canadian data centre. Account information and passwords will also reside exclusively in a Canadian data centre.

We understand that this maintenance window may impact your ability to conduct teaching, learning and business activities. Your relevant support team is available to assist with making alternative arrangements for any meetings that you are unable to reschedule.

For all staff and faculty based at UBC Vancouver:
Call: 604-822-7956
Email: av.helpdesk@ubc.ca

For all staff and faculty based at UBC Okanagan:
Call: 250-807-9000
Visit: hxxps://helpdesk.ok.ubc.ca

For general information on Zoom at UBC, visit hxxps://it.ubc.ca/zoom

As part of UBC’s ongoing commitment to keep information secure, it is required that all devices used for University Business have antivirus software installed. For some time, UBC has offered Sophos Antivirus to faculty, staff and students to satisfy this requirement. Please note that UBC’s license agreement with Sophos will expire on July 29, 2020, and a replacement campaign for Sophos Antivirus is well underway.

While Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) and Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client with Umbrella will be installed on your behalf by IT staff, if you are working off campus, you will need to login to VPN in order for the software to download and install onto your computer. You will need to restart your computer after the replacement has been deployed in order for the installation to successfully complete.

If you are a UBC employee using your own device for University Business (Bring Your Own Device or BYOD) please visit the Antivirus page on the UBC IT website as soon as possible.

For further information on how the UBC Cybersecurity team is working to keep all staff, faculty and researchers secure, please visit the Increased Security Precautions for Faculty, Staff, and Researchers page on the Privacy Matters website.

If you have any further security-related questions please direct all inquiries to: privacy.matters@ubc.ca.

Zoom has recently implemented improvements to the security of meetings with the release of version 5.0. Included in these improvements is enhanced encryption for meetings and webinars, which will help keep UBC information safe and secure. As of May 30th, this encryption standard will become mandatory and you will be required to have version 5.0 of the client installed in order to connect to any Zoom meeting or webinar.

What do I need to do?
If you are using a UBC-managed computer, the Zoom client will automatically update via the Software Centre prior to May 30. If you are using a self-managed computer, you will be prompted to update via your existing client installation (if you haven't already). Alternatively, you can visit zoom.us/download to manually download and install it from there.

Version 5.0 of the Outlook plugin is also available. This will also update via the Software Centre for UBC-managed computers. Similarly, for self-managed computers, you will be prompted to update your Outlook plugin typically after closing Outlook. It can also be manually downloaded and installed via zoom.us/download

More information regarding Zoom 5.0 is available here: zoom.us/docs/en-us/zoom-v5-0.html
If you have any questions or concerns about these incoming changes, please contact your appropriate support team:

For UBC Faculty of Medicine staff and faculty:
Call: 1-877-266-0666
Email: medit.servicedesk@ubc.ca

For all staff and faculty based at UBC Vancouver:
Call: 604-822-7956
Email: av.helpdesk@ubc.ca

For all staff and faculty based at UBC Okanagan:
Call: 250-807-9000

SPSS

IBM SPSS Statistics is an advanced statistical package software for Windows, Mac and Linux. UBC IT offers access to the IBM SPSS Premium license. This software license previously was only available for UBC-owned devices (referred to as ‘Network’ Licenses).

We now have a home use (standalone) license available to allow SPSS to be downloaded and installed on non-UBC owned devices. This is available to faculty, students (including student employees), and research staff and only for Teaching and non-commercial Research purposes related to UBC.
Additional details on SPSS and download instructions for home use are available here: hxxps://it.ubc.ca/services/desktop-print-services/software-licensing/spss.

NVivo

We also have made NVivo available to UBC faculty and staff for download. The software was previously only available to students.

Details on NVivo and how to download are available here: hxxps://it.ubc.ca/services/desktop-print-services/software-licensing/nvivo-pro-software.

Please note that devices must be compliant with information security standards, which can be accessed at hxxps://it.ubc.ca/ubc-it-guide-working-campus.

As UBC continues to navigate its response to COVID–19, we are seeing a significant increase in the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks specifically targeting universities and healthcare research facilities.

To help protect our systems and information, the UBC Executive has mandated that increased cybersecurity controls must be implemented on all servers and computers that are accessing, processing or storing Medium Risk, High Risk, or Very High-Risk information, as defined in Information Security Standard #01 (hxxps://cio.ubc.ca/sites/cio.ubc.ca/files/documents/standards/IS%20Standards%201-21.pdf)*

Depending on your device and whether it is managed by UBC IT, you may be required to implement new cybersecurity controls. For some, these updates will take a few minutes and for others it may take longer to determine the optimal plan. Either way, it is important to act quickly in order to ensure UBC systems and information are properly protected.

Please visit the web page (below) that applies to you (CWL-login required):

I am using a computer that is centrally managed by UBC IT
IOF note: This is most of us. If you log into your computer with your CWL, you are authenticating to UBC’s Enterprise Active Directory (EAD) and your computer’s security will be managed by UBC IT. No action is required, except that you need to be connected to EAD (either on campus or through VPN) in order for the automatic installations to take place.
hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-or-staff-devices-centrally-managed-ubc-it*

I am using a computer that is managed by Faculty, Department or Research IT
IOF note: Does NOT apply to IOF users, but does apply to computers that are on the Zoology or EOAS network as they do not use UBC IT.
hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-or-staff-devices-managed-departmental-it-support*

I am using a computer that is owned by UBC but I manage myself
IOF note: Applies if you are responsible for applying security updates to your machine and the computer was purchased with UBC funds, including grant funds.
hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-and-staff-ubc-owned-self-managed-devices*

I am using a computer that is personally owned and self-managed
IOF note: Same as above, but with your personal computer.
hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-and-staff-personally-owned-devices*

If you are unsure whether your device is managed centrally, or not, please contact your respective IT support team. Also, it is not necessary to deploy the new cybersecurity controls to devices that require physical access to campus at this time - they can be updated once regular operations resume.

For more information, visit: hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/covid19_increased_security*

*We avoid the use of clickable links in UBC Broadcasts that pertain to cybersecurity-related information. Please copy and paste the address into your browser and replace the ‘hxxps’ with ‘https’ and you will be taken to the proper website.

On behalf of the Privacy and Information Security Management (PrISM) Executive Leadership Committee, thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Laptop loanership program and tech upgrade bursary for students

Enrolment Services has procured 100 entry level laptops (basic HP notebooks, but suitable for streaming, web and office applications) for loan to students who do not have easy access to adequate technology to participate in online courses/assessments, or who have additional accessibility requirements.

Enrolment Services Laptop loaners

For those students who need more than an entry-level machine, there is a post-purchase voucher scheme to offset some of the costs.

          • Virtual Private Network (VPN) - If your files are on Teamshare (our networked, continuously backed-up drives), this is all you need. If you already use your home system to check UBC services (i.e. your pay), it’s already installed (Cisco AnyConnect). If it’s not installed, follow the instructions here.
          • Remote Desktop - this needs to be configured ahead of time. Your CWL needs to be added to the profile. You need to know the machine name and/or IP address. In the case of a power failure someone will have to reboot your computer before you can access it again. Put in a ticket (it.ubc.ca/sos) and ask for help setting it up.
          • Skype for Business:
            • video-conferencing for up to 25 people
            • meetings
            • chat rooms
            • screen sharing
            • whiteboard
            • transfer files
            • it’s part of Microsoft Office - it’s already on your computer
            • Neil set this up for IOF a year ago. Everyone is already signed up. (If you’re new in the past year, let me know and I’ll make sure you are added to the list.)
            • To log in you must use your UBC generic email address (first.last@ubc.ca) e.g. neil.maclean@ubc.ca

UBC has recently completed a Privacy Impact Assessment in support of the approval of Zoom for Teaching & Learning and Administrative use. As you may have seen or heard, there are a number of articles relating to Zoom security and best practices. UBC Legal has confirmed the privacy and information security requirements for Zoom in their recently completed Privacy Impact Assessment. In response to concerns, Zoom has made some configuration changes, and UBC has also made changes to comply with the recommendations in the Zoom Privacy Impact Assessment. A summary of the changes are below:

Changes to Zoom Default Settings:

          • Screen Share - By default, only the Host can share content. For details on how to approve others to share content, see UBC IT website's Zoom webpage
          • Chat Auto-Save - By default, chat auto save is now off
          • Guest Identification - All guests will show in the participants list with an orange background behind their names
          • Blur Snapshot - By default, the iOS task switcher is blurred when shared
          • Cloud Recording - Due to FIPPA regulations, Cloud Recording has been turned off without an option to be enabled. Local Recordings to a personal device (i.e. laptop) will still be available
          • Audio Notifications of a Locally Recorded Meeting - Participants connected to the computer audio or by telephone will hear a notification each time the recording is started, paused, resumed from being paused, or stopped
          • Phone Number Masking - Phone numbers of users will be masked in the participant list, for example: 888****666

These default settings are to provide better security. We encourage you not to change default settings unless absolutely necessary for your ability to run an effective video conference.

Prevent Zoom Bombing

You may have heard of a practice called Zoom bombing where unintended attendees disrupt scheduled Zoom meetings. To prevent Zoom bombings, please use the following best practices:

          • Avoid sharing meeting links on social media or public outlets
          • Avoid using Personal Meetings ID (PMI) to host public events - Your PMI is a persistent meeting room and people can pop in and out all the time
          • Manage Screen Sharing - To prevent random people from taking over sharing, restrict sharing to the host
          • Manage Participants
            • Lock the meeting - By locking the meeting after the meeting has started, no new participants can join
            • Remove unwanted or disruptive participants
            • Disable video - Hosts can block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate gestures on video
            • Mute participants - Hosts can block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise from other participants
            • Introduce a Waiting Room - The Waiting Room is a virtual staging area that stops your guests from joining until you?re ready for them.

For full details and best practices to ensure secure and effective video conference sessions, please visit the UBC IT website Zoom webpage at hxxps://it.ubc.ca/services/teaching-learning-tools/zoom-video-conferencing

If you have any questions about Zoom, please contact UBC's Audio Visual Help Desk at av.helpdesk@ubc.ca or 604-822-7956

As UBC continues to navigate its response to COVID–19, we are seeing a significant increase in the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks specifically targeting universities and healthcare research facilities.

To help protect our systems and information, the UBC Executive has mandated that increased cybersecurity controls must be implemented on all servers and computers that are accessing, processing or storing Medium Risk, High Risk, or Very High-Risk information, as defined in Information Security Standard #01 (hxxps://cio.ubc.ca/sites/cio.ubc.ca/files/documents/standards/IS%20Standards%201-21.pdf)*

Depending on your device and whether it is managed by UBC IT, you may be required to implement new cybersecurity controls. For some, these updates will take a few minutes and for others it may take longer to determine the optimal plan. Either way, it is important to act quickly in order to ensure UBC systems and information are properly protected.

Please visit the web page (below) that applies to you (CWL-login required):

I am using a computer that is centrally managed by UBC IT
IOF note: This is most of us. If you log into your computer with your CWL, you are authenticating to UBC’s Enterprise Active Directory (EAD) and your computer’s security will be managed by UBC IT. No action is required, except that you need to be connected to EAD (either on campus or through VPN) in order for the automatic installations to take place.
hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-or-staff-devices-centrally-managed-ubc-it*

I am using a computer that is managed by Faculty, Department or Research IT
IOF note: Does NOT apply to IOF users, but does apply to computers that are on the Zoology or EOAS network as they do not use UBC IT.
hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-or-staff-devices-managed-departmental-it-support*

I am using a computer that is owned by UBC but I manage myself
IOF note: Applies if you are responsible for applying security updates to your machine and the computer was purchased with UBC funds, including grant funds.
hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-and-staff-ubc-owned-self-managed-devices*

I am using a computer that is personally owned and self-managed
IOF note: Same as above, but with your personal computer.
hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-and-staff-personally-owned-devices*

If you are unsure whether your device is managed centrally, or not, please contact your respective IT support team. Also, it is not necessary to deploy the new cybersecurity controls to devices that require physical access to campus at this time - they can be updated once regular operations resume.

For more information, visit: hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/covid19_increased_security*

*We avoid the use of clickable links in UBC Broadcasts that pertain to cybersecurity-related information. Please copy and paste the address into your browser and replace the ‘hxxps’ with ‘https’ and you will be taken to the proper website.

On behalf of the Privacy and Information Security Management (PrISM) Executive Leadership Committee, thank you for your attention to this important matter.

In light of COVID-19, faculty & staff are transitioning to working and teaching remotely, therefore fewer people are on campus. In order to protect the safety of those that remain on campus, Campus Security for the Vancouver Campus is enhancing security procedures and processes on campus.

We are asking everyone on campus to please have their UBC ID on display or ready to show when accessing campus buildings.

For questions, please contact your Facilities Manager or Campus Security 604-822-2222

UBC has recently completed a Privacy Impact Assessment in support of the approval of Zoom for Teaching & Learning and Administrative use. As you may have seen or heard, there are a number of articles relating to Zoom security and best practices. UBC Legal has confirmed the privacy and information security requirements for Zoom in their recently completed Privacy Impact Assessment. In response to concerns, Zoom has made some configuration changes, and UBC has also made changes to comply with the recommendations in the Zoom Privacy Impact Assessment. A summary of the changes are below:

Changes to Zoom Default Settings:

          • Screen Share - By default, only the Host can share content. For details on how to approve others to share content, see UBC IT website's Zoom webpage
          • Chat Auto-Save - By default, chat auto save is now off
          • Guest Identification - All guests will show in the participants list with an orange background behind their names
          • Blur Snapshot - By default, the iOS task switcher is blurred when shared
          • Cloud Recording - Due to FIPPA regulations, Cloud Recording has been turned off without an option to be enabled. Local Recordings to a personal device (i.e. laptop) will still be available
          • Audio Notifications of a Locally Recorded Meeting - Participants connected to the computer audio or by telephone will hear a notification each time the recording is started, paused, resumed from being paused, or stopped
          • Phone Number Masking - Phone numbers of users will be masked in the participant list, for example: 888****666

These default settings are to provide better security. We encourage you not to change default settings unless absolutely necessary for your ability to run an effective video conference.

Prevent Zoom Bombing

You may have heard of a practice called Zoom bombing where unintended attendees disrupt scheduled Zoom meetings. To prevent Zoom bombings, please use the following best practices:

          • Avoid sharing meeting links on social media or public outlets
          • Avoid using Personal Meetings ID (PMI) to host public events - Your PMI is a persistent meeting room and people can pop in and out all the time
          • Manage Screen Sharing - To prevent random people from taking over sharing, restrict sharing to the host
          • Manage Participants
            • Lock the meeting - By locking the meeting after the meeting has started, no new participants can join
            • Remove unwanted or disruptive participants
            • Disable video - Hosts can block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate gestures on video
            • Mute participants - Hosts can block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise from other participants
            • Introduce a Waiting Room - The Waiting Room is a virtual staging area that stops your guests from joining until you?re ready for them.

For full details and best practices to ensure secure and effective video conference sessions, please visit the UBC IT website Zoom webpage at hxxps://it.ubc.ca/services/teaching-learning-tools/zoom-video-conferencing

If you have any questions about Zoom, please contact UBC's Audio Visual Help Desk at av.helpdesk@ubc.ca or 604-822-7956

Building Access

As of 5:00 pm on March 16, the AERL building was locked.

All regular building users can still access the building using their UBC Card (as you currently do if/when you come to AERL after hours). This move has been made in recognition of the fact that fewer and fewer of us will be accessing the building in the coming days/weeks, and as this happens, the risks of theft and/or vandalism rise. Please note, UBC Security is patrolling the building regularly. You will be asked for identification, and you will not be allowed to remain in the building for any extended period of time.

Deliveries
If you are expecting any deliveries (lab supplies, office supplies, personal purchases, etc.), please reach out to the sender or courier to ensure they are provided with either an updated delivery address or alternative delivery instructions. You can either provide them with your home address, or ask them to hold the package until UBC has informed us of alternative arrangements for delivery of packages.

Security of personal belongings
In addition to restricting building access, it is highly recommended that any valuables be removed from sight and locked up in your desk (or taken home).

Living things
If you have plants or fish (or other pets) on or around your desk, please take these home.

Food in the fridges
Please remove anything you have in any of the AERL fridges before transitioning to a work-from-home arrangement.

May 22

Dear members of the UBC community. I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.

We’ve seen in the news lately that we’re definitely flattening the curve here in BC – thanks to all of us doing our part – and the province is gradually beginning to re-open. Not only that, but the days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer.

Though we’ve turned the corner, we’re not out of the woods yet. There is still no vaccine for COVID-19 and there may not be one for many months. The risk of a second wave is very real.

That’s why the province – and UBC – are proceeding cautiously. Gatherings of more than 50 people are still forbidden. Physical distancing and face masks are still recommended.

As you know, summer term courses are completely on-line and fall courses will be a mixture of online and face-to-face courses, depending on the program. Individual Faculties will share updates about specific programs in the coming weeks.

Regardless of whether your program is face-to-face, online or a mixture of the two, we look forward to welcoming you back to UBC. We’re getting our residences ready for the fall term, while adhering to directives from local and provincial health authorities. Student Housing will email updated information to current residents and to those students who have applied to live in residence as soon as it is available.

We are committed to continuing to provide services and amenities that help create a healthy, safe and supportive community environment to the very best of our abilities.

To help students get the best out of their courses, we have put a number of supports in place, including:

          • Academic advisors for general academic questions about topics like program planning, degree requirements, or academic concessions; and
          • Accessibility advisors who can help with disabilities or specific challenges which make learning more difficult.

We’re also offering a series of online learning skills workshops starting next month. These cover such topics as balancing learning and living at home; online group presentations; online communication skills and time management while learning online. You can find out more at keeplearning.ubc.ca.

We also offer financial support for students who face barriers to accessing online learning. Information about emergency financial support and work-learn opportunities can be found at students.ubc.ca/covid. I promise you, we will do all we can to ensure you have an outstanding educational experience at UBC.

I’m proud of how the UBC community has risen to the challenge of COVID-19. You’ve not only adapted to remote learning and physical distancing; you’ve shown your ingenuity and selflessness in many ways.

For example, the UBC law students who are continuing to do legal work for clients at the Indigneous Community Legal Clinic in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. They’ve found a way to keep in touch with their clients by phone, email and Zoom. They’re not only helping their clients navigate the legal system, they’re gaining valuable practical experience.

Then there’s UBC international economics student Patrisse Chan, who has developed an online platform that allows Canadians to buy a meal from a local restaurant and have it delivered to staff at a hospital or care home.

And just this week, I was excited to learn that researchers in UBC’s BioProducts Institute have designed what could be the very first N95 mask that can be sourced and made entirely in Canada. It’s also possibly the world’s first fully compostable and biodegradable medical mask.

There are many, many stories like theirs. You can find some of them online at news.ubc.ca. I’m proud of all of you.

May 15

Dear Members of the UBC Community:

I hope you and your loved ones are well.

This week the university made three important announcements as it and the province start phased returns.

First, we told you about the status of the fall term.

As you know, COVID-19 required the university to shift to online instruction in mid-March and for the Summer terms. Since then we’ve been working hard to plan for how we might teach later this year.

During fall 2020, UBC will primarily offer larger classes online with selected smaller classes conducted in-person, adhering to physical distancing and other public health requirements. We will maintain a clear focus on ensuring high-quality face-to-face instruction, where possible, and high-quality remote instruction. Individual Faculties will be sharing updates about specific programs in the coming weeks.

We are working to ensure that the necessary supports are provided for our students, particularly those who are experiencing financial challenges, or who need extra advising or counseling. The requirement to maintain physical distancing also includes planning for any potential impact that travel restrictions might have on our international students, such as obtaining study permits or having difficulty travelling. Details about plans for residences and co-curricular activities will be shared as soon as they are confirmed.

Our approach is being taken to ensure a high-quality experience for all of our students in fall 2020, and it reflects UBC’s commitment to creating an enriching experience for our new, and returning students.

This plan was developed in close consultation with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and with other post-secondary institutions within BC to ensure we are all aligned with health and safety guidelines and WorkSafeBC.

I would like to extend my personal thanks, not only to our new and returning students for their understanding and patience, but also to our dedicated faculty who are working diligently and flexibly to adapt their materials to virtual instruction. Your efforts, and those of the staff who are working with you, are greatly appreciated.

UBC’s second announcement this week focused on plans for the phased resumption of on-campus research.

And this is particularly relevant in view of this morning’s announcement of $450M in new support for researchers at universities to be administered by our tri-councils. We are very grateful for this and the earlier $291M in research support focused on Canada’s COVID-19 response

The university introduced curtailment of non-essential on-campus research in Vancouver and in the Okanagan in mid-March to comply with public health guidelines.

Since then, many of our researchers have made great efforts to support this transition conducting their research and scholarly activity remotely.

We recognize the impacts for our researchers, their graduate students and their research teams and thank them for their ongoing commitment.

In collaboration with faculties, UBC is now planning for a phased resumption of on-campus research starting the beginning of June. This will be a gradual approach over the summer and applies to those researchers who require on-campus resources and cannot conduct the work remotely.

In keeping with public health guidelines, the majority of our faculty and staff will need to continue to work remotely wherever possible.

As with the fall term planning, research resumption planning is being undertaken with our government and health agency partners and other post-secondary institutions in the province to ensure we are following health and safety guidelines.

The health and safety of our community remains UBC’s top priority.

And the third announcement was with regard to operational and safety planning. Post-secondary institutions will be in Phase 3 of the province’s recovery plan, which will take place between June and September, providing transmission rates remain low.

We are developing an operational safety plan and approval process that Faculties and administrative units will be required to complete before any changes can be made to the remote work arrangements currently in place.

We will provide you with more information about this process within the next two weeks.

Finally, I’d like to thank immigration minister Marco Mendicino and the federal government for adjusting the rules regarding post-graduation work permit rules. Their flexibility will greatly help international students and Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Before I close, I’d like to talk about UBC’s climate emergency response.

As you know, in December UBC declared a climate emergency. The declaration included a commitment to establish a task force, a climate emergency community engagement process and recommendations to the Board of Governors.

We set up the UBC Climate Emergency Task Force — which includes UBC students, faculty and staff — to advise on the gathering of ideas from UBC’s diverse and insightful community on addressing the climate emergency and the recommendations resulting from the engagement process.

Starting next Tuesday, May 19, we will hold a series of online community dialogues on Zoo to give the UBC community a chance to learn, engage and discuss bold actions around the climate crisis. You can find more details at climateemergency.ubc.ca.

May 14

Last week, Premier John Horgan announced the gradual reopening of provincial sectors as set out in BC’s Restart Plan for COVID-19. We would like to take this opportunity to update you on this plan and UBC’s approach to operational and safety planning.

The four phased Restart Plan was received with both appreciation and a recognition that this reopening must be a cautious process and that foremost is the health and safety of British Columbians.

The province is currently in Phase 1 and expected to enter Phase 2 after the May long weekend when additional sectors will be reopened under enhanced protocols. BC will enter subsequent phases as transmission rates stay low and continue to decline. Post-secondary institutions have been identified as a component of Phase 3, which will take place between June and September, if transmission rates remain low. The final phase will be reached at the time when there is wide vaccination, community immunity, or broad successful treatments for COVID-19.

The provincial government is working with representatives from various sectors to develop the health and safety measures that will need to be in place before moving to the next phase. In parallel with these sector plans, UBC is developing an operational safety plan and approval process that Faculties and administrative units will be required to complete before any changes can be made to the remote work arrangements currently in place. We will provide you with more information about this process within the next two weeks.

Please do not change your current personal work arrangements until your Faculty’s or administrative unit’s operational and safety plans or reopening plans have been approved by the Executive.

A series of core measures* are set out in the Restart Plan for the post-secondary sector, which include:

          • Routine daily screening for all students, faculty and staff.
          • Routine and frequent environmental cleaning.
          • Explicit policy for students, faculty and staff who have the symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19 with coughing or sneezing not coming into classes or taking part in extra curricula activities and sports.
          • Increased use of online learning balanced against the need of social interaction for learning and development.
          • Early arrival and self-isolation for 14 days of international students.

* Please note: we expect further guidance from the provincial government regarding implementation of the core measures within the next few weeks.

As you know, there are many different types of service and activity provided at UBC, including health services; museums, art galleries, and libraries; child care; agriculture; retail; recreation and sports; and restaurants. UBC’s operational safety plans will take into account the standards of practice for these specific sectors as identified in the Restart Plan.

We anticipate that before mid-June, the post-secondary sector will receive information on the safe organizational practices, as approved by WorkSafe BC. We will provide further updates as soon as we can.

Thank you, once again, for your ongoing commitment to the health and safety of the UBC community.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

May 12

In March, UBC introduced curtailment of on-campus research on both our Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Since that time many of you have made great efforts to support this transition, conducting your research and scholarly activity remotely.

We recognize that the on-campus curtailment has had significant impacts for many of you, your graduate students and your research teams. Thank you once again for your commitment to the university.

In collaboration with our Faculties, we are now planning for the phased resumption of on-campus research from the beginning of June, adopting a gradual approach over the summer months. Conducting on-campus research and scholarship will be limited to those who require on-campus resources and cannot conduct this work remotely. As a reminder, and in keeping with public health guidelines, the majority of our faculty and staff will need to continue working remotely, wherever possible.

As part of our planning, UBC is working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and post-secondary institutions within BC to ensure we are aligned with health and safety guidelines and WorkSafeBC. The phased resumption of on-campus research is also being informed by feedback we received during consultation with Faculties and units, including town halls that engaged more than 950 faculty members.

We have asked the Faculties to develop plans to embark on this phased approach. The plans will be led by Deans and Associate Deans of Research, with coordination and guidance provided by the Office of the VP, Research & Innovation. Given the complexity of coordinating safe access to different spaces within buildings, and managing the associated demand for multiple on-campus services, there is still significant planning to be done.

It is important to stress that health and safety remains our priority. As such, UBC will continue to work closely with the provincial government to ensure our plans are consistent with public health requirements. We also recognize that this will be an iterative process, and we may need to be prepared to reinstate curtailment measures, should the situation regarding COVID-19 change.

For more information, please visit https://research.ubc.ca/COVID-19/phased-resumption.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

May 11

A few weeks ago, I sent a message regarding Summer Term 2 in which I said we were actively planning for how we might teach later this year. I am now pleased to confirm the approach that UBC is going to take to ensure a high-quality experience for our students in fall 2020.

COVID-19 has created many challenges for our students, faculty and staff. It has also highlighted the incredible commitment you have towards UBC – and our commitment to creating an enriching experience for our new, and returning students.

As part of our planning, we are working closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and with other post-secondary institutions within BC to ensure our plans are aligned with health and safety guidelines and WorkSafeBC.

UBC’s approach will allow us to deliver high-quality teaching and learning – while ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. It is based on the guidelines and direction of the Provincial Health Officer, public health agencies, and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. These include:

          • Prioritizing the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff.
          • Demonstrating our commitment to delivering a quality educational experience.
          • Collaborating with other post-secondary institutions, and the provincial government.
          • Adopting a phased approach to in-person learning (under the direction of the Provincial Health Officer).

UBC’s approach to fall 2020

During fall 2020, UBC will primarily offer larger classes online with selected smaller classes conducted in-person, adhering to physical distancing and other public health requirements. We will maintain a clear focus on ensuring high-quality face-to-face instruction, where possible, and high-quality remote instruction. Individual Faculties will be sharing updates about specific programs in the coming weeks.

Supporting our students

We are working to ensure that the necessary supports are provided for our students, particularly those who are experiencing financial challenges, or who need extra advising or counselling. The requirement to maintain physical distancing also includes planning for any potential impact that travel restrictions might have on our international students, such as obtaining study permits or having difficulty travelling. Details about plans for residences and co-curricular activities will be shared as soon as they are confirmed.

Ensuring our health and safety

We are pleased to see positive signs of ‘flattening of the curve’ in BC, but we know that we must take care and proceed in keeping with provincial public health directives and guidelines. Our planning for fall 2020 is intended to be both robust and nimble. While we are keen to facilitate more people on campus, it is important to stress that health and safety remains our first priority as we continue to ensure that our plans are consistent with provincial public health requirements.

Thank you to our students for your patience and commitment during recent weeks, and we are excited for the new students who will be joining us. Thank you once again to all our faculty and staff for your commitment to the university.

The last few weeks have shown what we can achieve together, as a university. Looking ahead, we are excited to see how UBC can continue to create enriching experiences this fall. Whether you are a student, staff or faculty member – we look forward to engaging with you in fall 2020.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

May 8

Dear Members of the UBC Community:

I hope you and your loved ones are well.

The university made the very difficult decision in March to cancel in-person graduation ceremonies in order to follow provincial health guidelines.

We promised then we would work on a virtual ceremony so we can honour our graduating students for their achievements.

It takes dedication, perseverance and commitment to earn a degree – not to mention a lot of hard work and more than a few sleepless nights.

And I know the team at UBC that continues to design our virtual ceremonies is putting in some very long hours to make sure we can give our graduating students an event to remember.

That work is not over yet, but I’m pleased to say virtual ceremonies for the class of 2020 will be held on Wednesday June 17 – one for students graduating from UBC Vancouver, and one ceremony for students graduating from UBC Okanagan.

The ceremonies will include many elements of a traditional ceremony, and some unique ones as well.

I know what an important event this is for our faculty members, in particular, to see our students successfully completing their years of study. While I understand this virtual ceremony will not be the same as seeing our students graduate in person, it is an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate their outstanding achievements.

Being a virtual ceremony also means it can be opened up to our entire community, so I encourage you, whether you know someone who is graduating or not, to join us. It is more important than ever that we stay connected, support and celebrate each other. I would also like to reiterate that UBC is committed to holding an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 when it is safe to do so.

The team will provide more details of the virtual ceremonies online in the coming weeks. Vancouver students should check graduation.ubc.ca and Okanagan students should go to graduation.ok.ubc.ca for more information.

Of course the ceremonies team is not alone in tackling complex issues at UBC during COVID-19.

UBC Okanagan’s Health, Safety and Environment group and UBC Vancouver’s Safety and Risk Services have been working to coordinate campus response to COVID-19 for months.

In Vancouver, the emergency management team enacted the Emergency Operations Centre – or EOC. The EOC helps ensure that decisions are made quickly and efficiently. Processes that would normally take weeks to finalize can be mapped out and agreed to in record time. More than 100 people from across the university work through the EOC structure.

The UBCO Health, Safety and Environment team has been coordinating its response through the Infectious Disease and Pandemic Planning Committee and follows similar practices as UBC Vancouver. Both teams have been in regular communication with each other to share resources and information.

There are far too many people involved across the campuses to thank them all individually, so on behalf of the university, thank you all for your outstanding work and commitment to keeping our campuses and operations safe and healthy for students, faculty and staff.

We also have many students, both current and former, making a difference in the community as we navigate COVID-19.

UBC nursing double alumna and clinical nurse specialist at Vancouver General Hospital Jenifer Tabamo saw the loneliness some of her patients were experiencing and wanted to help.

She and a team of experts from the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre designed a way to attach iPads to an articulated arm connected to repurposed hospital equipment.

The result is the devices are now more accessible to patients in hospital beds and those patients can better video chat with family and loved ones, play games, listen to music and feel connected to the world around them even when physical distancing requirements mean they can’t have visitors.

It’s a great story and an important reminder that while we are all experiencing COVID-19 in unique ways, connection, however you find it, can help.

You can read Jenifer’s story and others at news.ubc.ca.

May 6

Following my message in March informing you of our plans to hold a virtual spring graduation, the university has been working hard to design an occasion that will do justice to the achievements of the Class of 2020.

Earlier today, I sent a message to our graduating students, sharing details of this celebration. I would now like to share our plans with you.

Graduation for the Class of 2020 will be held on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. We will hold one ceremony for students graduating from UBC Vancouver and one ceremony for students graduating from UBC Okanagan. The virtual ceremony will include many elements of a traditional ceremony and some unique ones as well.

I know what an important event this is for our faculty members, in particular, to see our students successfully completing their years of study. While I understand this virtual ceremony will not be the same as seeing our students graduate in person, it is an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate their outstanding achievements.

Being a virtual ceremony also means it can be opened up to our entire community, so I encourage you, whether you know someone who is graduating or not, to join us. During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever that we stay connected, support and celebrate each other. I would also like to reiterate that UBC is committed to holding an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 when it is safe to do so.

More details of the virtual ceremony will be shared online in the coming weeks. Please visit graduation.ubc.ca (UBC Vancouver) or graduation.ok.ubc.ca (UBC Okanagan) for more information.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

May 1

Dear Members of the UBC Community:

I hope you and your loved ones are well.

The health and wellbeing of our university community remains UBC’s top priority and we continue to follow the expert guidance of our Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, as we work together to limit the spread of COVID-19.

With physical distancing measures still so crucial, the university announced this week that remote work arrangements will remain in place until further notice for faculty, staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and student employees.

While many of our researchers on our campuses have been able to transition to remote scholarship during the research curtailment, we also know the curtailment has impacted many faculty, emeriti faculty, students, trainees, postdoctoral fellows and staff. My own lab and research have been affected.

We are working with Faculties now to look at how we can safely ease curtailment restrictions and continue to follow public health requirements. We’ll be able to update you on that planning in the next two weeks.

We are also actively planning for the fall term, working with other universities in the province, and the provincial government, to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Underpinning all this planning is our commitment to continue to deliver the highest standard of teaching and learning, and to provide a range of supports for our students, especially those who are struggling financially.

As we all know, this is a complex and evolving process. I appreciate that many of you will continue to have questions. In moving forward together, I will communicate with you regularly as our planning proceeds over the next few weeks.

Thank you to all our students, faculty and staff for your continuing commitment to maintaining university operations of every kind while we look ahead.

And a special thanks to those students who are working in the community to make a difference and whose stories are on news.ubc.ca.

Students like Ava Katz – she’s in first-year Kiniseology.

Since March, Ava has helped her friends returning from overseas and into self-isolation by picking up groceries for them. She’s also delivering food to seniors’ homes as a volunteer for Congregation Beth Israel, her synagogue.

She helps because she feels driven to do so and that’s the spirit of this university as well – we help through teaching, through research and we help each other.

Earlier this week I took part in a panel with Vancouver-Point Grey MLA David Eby and Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray, as well as representatives from the University Neighbourhood Association and the University Endowment Lands community, where we asked how we can best work together to support those in this community who most need it.

The meeting was online but we came together as a community as we have done so many times before. That is what students, faculty and staff at the university all do in times of adversity – we look to one another and ask how we can help because we know these last months, the sheer number of changes, have created uncertainty and stress.

Please know that you are not alone no matter what your experience has been. Everyone is feeling the impacts of COVID-19.

There are resources that can help, including the Hear2Talk 24/7 mental health line for students. Information about student supports is available at students.ubc.ca.

Faculty and staff who need help can find support information on the Human Resources website.

Physical distancing doesn’t mean we have to be socially disconnected from each other. Use technology if you can to talk to each other – check in with your colleagues, your fellow students, your friends and loved ones.

As always, please follow the advice of Dr. Henry – be kind to yourself and others and stay safe. By the way, did you know that Dr. Henry is a clinical associate professor in our School of Population and Public Health? I’m proud of Dr. Henry, as I know you are, for rising to the challenge of COVID-19.

April 30

As you know, earlier this week a UBC Broadcast was sent out confirming the continuation of Remote Work Arrangements until further notice, in keeping with the guidelines of the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Thank you again for all the work that has been done through this transition, to safeguard the health and safety of the UBC community.

The decision to extend Remote Work Arrangements is consistent with the direction provided to public sector employers by the provincial government this week. This is in follow-up to information provided by the Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat (PSEC Secretariat) in March. As part of this direction, PSEC Secretariat has provided guidance regarding the principles that should be followed in making staffing decisions, as the situation regarding COVID-19 evolves.

These principles recognize that employers across the public sector are being affected in different ways and require flexibility in planning and managing staffing decisions. We know that some employers have had operations affected due to revenue reductions and changes in service delivery levels.

For post-secondary institutions within BC, the factors affecting budget planning are not yet determined and this is true for UBC. For example, it is still too early to know how travel and physical distancing restrictions related to COVID-19 will affect the levels of both domestic and international enrolment.

On our UBC campuses, many services are dependent on enrolment and on-campus activities. We know that we will experience budget challenges, and we will take every step to mitigate the effect on staffing and operations. This is also why it is so important now that everyone across the university minimizes all discretionary spending.

For the immediate term, and until we have a clear financial and operational picture for the university, we do not anticipate making any changes to our staffing levels. We will work together with you, and with our unions, and we are committed to communicating regularly as we move forward.

Peter Smailes
Vice-President, Finance & Operations

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources

Deborah Buszard
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

April 28

As you know, the health and wellbeing of our university community remains our priority, and we are continuing to follow guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In keeping with the direction from Dr. Henry that the requirement for physical distancing remains in place, we are extending Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment as outlined below.

Remote Work Arrangements

UBC’s Remote Work Arrangements will continue to apply to faculty, staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and student employees until further notice. Thank you to everyone who has made the transition to remote working in the last few weeks, and to those who have continued to provide required on-campus services during this time. You can find FAQs to support Remote Work Arrangements at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/covid-19/.

On-Campus Research Curtailment

We appreciate that many researchers have been able to transition to conduct their research and scholarship remotely. However, we are aware that this curtailment has significantly impacted many faculty members, graduate students, research trainees, postdoctoral fellows and research staff. To address this, we are working with Faculties on both campuses to consider how we will gradually ease curtailment restrictions in ways that are consistent with public health requirements. This advance planning effort will allow us to safely and judiciously increase on-campus research activities when public health conditions allow. We will advise you as to where we are in the planning process within the next two weeks. Please visit https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19 for more information about the ongoing curtailment and the status of exempted activities.

As a reminder, FAQs related to COVID-19 and UBC’s response can also be found at https://covid19.ubc.ca/.

We will provide further updates regarding Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment as the situation evolves. In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing efforts and commitment to the university.

Marcia Buchholz
Vice-President, Human Resources

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan

April 24

Dear Members of the UBC Community:

I hope that you and your loved ones are well.

I want to begin with excellent news for our UBC students, indeed for students across Canada.

On Wednesday the federal government announced a nine billion dollar student aid package in recognition of the economic impact of COVID-19.

The proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students. Eligible students with dependants or disabilities would be eligible for $1,750 per month. The government has said these benefits are available from May through August.

In addition, the Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for students who choose voluntary national service and serve their communities. The government will also extend federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows and enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

Universities and student groups across Canada, including UBC, worked with the government to develop the measures outlined this week. We thank everyone involved for recognizing the impact of COVID-19 on our students and the key role that students and new graduates will play in helping the country move forward.

Our UBC students deserve to be celebrated and helped. Even as they face significant challenges of their own, they are looking outward to embrace the challenges of others – and they are providing solutions.

For example, a graduate student in early childhood education whose fieldwork is on pause due to social distancing, is taking on additional hours as a nanny so that the mother in that family, a medical microbiologist, can concentrate more on her crucial role with the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Medical and nursing students whose clinical rotations have been suspended are volunteering to help front-line health care workers with daily tasks like childcare, grocery shopping, responding to 8-1-1 calls and critical contact tracing

You can find their stories and more on the news.ubc.ca site under “Making a Difference”.

As I wrote on my blog this week, I want to emphasize that as a public institution and a partner, UBC is committed to working collaboratively with local and global communities on relief efforts now, and rebuilding efforts into the future.

I’m encouraged to see so many UBC faculty, staff and students already stepping up to support community partners in ways that are welcome and needed.

I hope you’ll check out my blog for more thoughts on what ethical engagement looks like at this time, how units across UBC are pivoting to support colleagues and partners, and ways to get involved.

I know some of you have questions about the Fall Term as we look ahead to possible reductions in physical distancing and other health measures.

UBC executives, faculty leadership and staff are working on contingency plans for September, working through possible scenarios and trying to determine the best course in consultation with health agencies and government.

It’s too soon right now to say what will happen this fall, but whatever the outcome, we will let the community know as soon as possible.

As the Board so correctly noted earlier this week, none of the university’s work in this time would be possible without our dedicated faculty and staff, many of whom are juggling child care, supporting elderly relatives and just trying to get through the day while still doing their work.

To our staff and faculty who are required to come to campus and keep operations and their on-campus research running smoothly – a special heartfelt thank you.  I would like to note as well the tremendous work of those staff who are keeping our online learning platforms humming and helping faculty innovate and excel in online delivery

Of course, our continued gratitude goes out to all of those who are working from home, harder than ever.

Thank you for all you are doing.

I’ll close now with something all of us can be proud of at UBC – the university’s success in working to meet the United Nations’ sustainable development goals as measured by the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.

I’m proud to say that UBC ranks #1 in Canada, #2 in North America and #7 in the world in the  rankings and is the only institution in the world to rank #1 in two categories – climate action and oceans research.

Congratulations to you all and I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend.

Stay safe

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

April 21

Today, a message of heartfelt appreciation has been posted to the Board of Governors website, recognizing the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices made by our UBC community as we navigate the challenges associated with COVID-19.

The public health crisis created by the global spread of COVID-19 has presented unparalleled challenges for our Province, Canada and the world. Here at UBC, we have not been immune to the challenges that the physical distancing rules have created.

Over the course of the past month, a number of difficult decisions have been made, including a transition to online classes, shifting final examinations and assessments from in-person to online (thereby allowing undergraduate international and domestic students to return home at their discretion), curtailing on-campus research activities, and postponing in-person Spring Graduation ceremonies.

Those decisions were very difficult to make, but were and are fully supported by the Board of Governors as being in the best interests of the UBC community. We know, however, that they have created significant challenges and hardships, and the Board could not be more appreciative of the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices of everyone at UBC. We wish to recognize:

          • All UBC students, including both domestic and international, who have been faced with challenges that are extreme in scope and nature.
          • The remarkable transition, effectively undertaken over just a weekend, by UBC’s faculty members of their courses to online delivery, prioritizing the best interests of students and adhering to the teaching standards of UBC as a globally-recognized leader.
          • Our researchers, in all disciplines and on both campuses, whose on-campus research activities have changed profoundly, but have continued to move their research forward.
          • UBC staff, both on our campuses and working remotely, who are making all of these efforts happen across student services, campus operations, planning, communications, human resources and central administration.
          • The emergency response team for the incredible job of helping to plan for the unexpected and ensuring that the crisis does not divert from the academic mission.
          • The Deans, Associate and Assistant Deans and the Department Heads, on whom much of the heavy burden and responsibility for coordinating the planning for and response to this crisis has fallen.
          • And, last but not least, the senior leadership team, including President Santa Ono and each member of the UBC Executive, as well as the teams that they lead, for your incredible leadership during this unprecedented time.

Read the full message of appreciation at https://bog.ubc.ca/message-from-the-board-of-governors/

Recognizing that COVID-19 presents long-term challenges, we will remain focused on adhering to the core values of the university, including (as President Ono has repeatedly highlighted) flexibility, empathy, patience, the wellbeing of our faculty, staff and students, working toward our core academic mission and ensuring the accessibility of a UBC education during challenging economic times.

To everyone, thank you for your leadership and support in service of the university we all passionately support.

Michael J. Korenberg
Chair, UBC Board of Governors

April 17

As you know, I have made a commitment to share updates regarding COVID-19 and UBC’s response — including stories of how our community is coming together during this time.

Today I would like to share two updates:

Discussing the impact of COVID-19 on our community

As part of my regular address to the community, I discuss the impact that the current COVID-19 outbreak will have on UBC in the years to come, and the important role we each play in helping the organization get through this very challenging time.

You will find my update, in both video and text format, at https://president.ubc.ca/letter-to-the-community/2020/04/17/covid-update-april-17/.

Acknowledging the great work that continues at UBC

While the current situation dominates so much of our focus, it is important we don’t overlook the great work that continues to happen at UBC, and the regular operations that keep it running.

To that end, I would like to share the latest edition of my Letter from Santa. In this communication, you will find updates on new senior appointments, rankings, 3M Teaching Fellowships and more. You can read the latest Letter from Santa at: https://president.ubc.ca/community-letter/2020/04/17/april/.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the staff and faculty who continue to work on our campuses and learning sites – whether in operational roles or continuing important research. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the university.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

As you know, the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve with new developments on a daily basis.

Last month we informed you that Term 1 of Summer Session (May 11- June 18) at UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan and UBC Robson Square would be online.

In light of the ongoing situation, and in continued support of physical distancing, we are announcing that Summer Term 2 courses (July 6 – Aug. 13) at UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan and UBC Robson Square will also be online.

As a reminder, not all courses are easily remodelled for online instruction. In those instances, courses may have to be postponed or redesigned. For classes that cannot be accommodated online, further information will be issued through our Faculties.

As we continue to navigate the challenges associated with COVID-19, we are actively planning for how we might teach in the Fall semester. We appreciate that many of our students, faculty and staff will have questions about teaching and learning as the year progresses.

We also understand this is a challenging time for faculty members, who may need to plan ahead for any changes in how they deliver their courses. We will provide updates as soon as we can. As a reminder, support and resources are available at https://keepteaching.ubc.ca/ and https://ctl.ok.ubc.ca/.

We will do our best to update you as the situation evolves. In the meantime, I would like to thank you, once again, for your patience and flexibility.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

April 15

As UBC continues to navigate its response to COVID–19, we are seeing a significant increase in the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks specifically targeting universities and healthcare research facilities.

To help protect our systems and information, the UBC Executive has mandated that increased cybersecurity controls must be implemented on all servers and computers that are accessing, processing or storing Medium Risk, High Risk, or Very High-Risk information, as defined in Information Security Standard #01 (hxxps://cio.ubc.ca/sites/cio.ubc.ca/files/documents/standards/IS%20Standards%201-21.pdf)*

Depending on your device and whether it is managed by UBC IT, you may be required to implement new cybersecurity controls. For some, these updates will take a few minutes and for others it may take longer to determine the optimal plan. Either way, it is important to act quickly in order to ensure UBC systems and information are properly protected.

Please visit the web page (below) that applies to you (CWL-login required):

I am using a computer that is centrally managed by UBC IT

hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-or-staff-devices-centrally-managed-ubc-it*

I am using a computer that is managed by Faculty, Department or Research IT

hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-or-staff-devices-managed-departmental-it-support*

I am using a computer that is owned by UBC but I manage myself

hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-and-staff-ubc-owned-self-managed-devices*

I am using a computer that is personally owned and self-managed

hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/secure/faculty-and-staff-personally-owned-devices*

If you are unsure whether your device is managed centrally, or not, please contact your respective IT support team. Also, it is not necessary to deploy the new cybersecurity controls to devices that require physical access to campus at this time - they can be updated once regular operations resume.

For more information, visit: hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca/covid19_increased_security*

*We avoid the use of clickable links in UBC Broadcasts that pertain to cybersecurity-related information. Please copy and paste the address into your browser and replace the ‘hxxps’ with ‘https’ and you will be taken to the proper website.

On behalf of the Privacy and Information Security Management (PrISM) Executive Leadership Committee, thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Hubert Lai, Q.C.
University Counsel

Peter Smailes
Vice-President, Finance & Operations

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

April 12

Many of you will already be aware of these, but in case it hasn’t come up, here is what we know to date. Since March 26, Canada has not been issuing work permits at points of entry like borders and airports. Individuals are expected to apply for and receive their work permit before they attempt to come to Canada or at the very least, have written notice of approval for a work permit. Here are the current restrictions below.

Most current update regarding travel and entry restrictions:

People on work permits or study permits that were issued before March 18th 2020, can enter Canada by air or land port of entries. People who have written notice of approvals for work permits can enter Canada by air or land port of entries. Essential medical personnel will be permitted to enter Canada by air or land port of entries.

The new travel restriction exemptions as of March 26th:

Persons who will be admitted to Canada:

          1. The holder of a valid work permit or a study permit;
          2. A person whose application for a work permit was approved and who has received written notice of the approval, but who has not yet been issued the permit;
          3. A person permitted to work in Canada as a student in a health field, including as a medical elective or clinical clerk at a medical teaching institution in Canada, for the primary purpose of acquiring training, if they have written approval from the body that regulates that field;
          4. A person permitted to work in Canada as a provider of emergency services;
          5. A licensed health care professional with proof of employment in Canada;
          6. A person who seeks to enter Canada for the purpose of delivering, maintaining, or repairing medically-necessary equipment or devices;
          7. A person who seeks to enter Canada for the purpose of making medical deliveries of cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs or other body parts, that are required for patient care in Canada during or within a reasonable period of time after the expiry of the Order.

Anyone exempt, may travel to Canada. Anyone travelling by air, will need to pass a health check before being allowed to board their flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.

There will be a 14-day mandatory period of isolation imposed on all people entering Canada, with the exception of essential workers. Anyone arriving in Canada will be asked to share their 14 day isolation plan; it is not enough just to say they will comply.

Canadian citizens, permanent residents and protected persons:
Canadian citizens, permanent residents and protected persons continue to be permitted to board an aircraft, subject to health screening measures. Previous exemptions regarding immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents also remain in place.

From Siobhan Murphy, Director of Housing and Relocation office

April 9

As you know, I have promised to communicate on a regular basis regarding UBC’s response to COVID-19. Each week I am sharing an update on the most recent UBC announcements, together with stories of how our community is coming together during this time.

In this week’s update, I discuss international students, COVID-19 related research, and share some stories about how UBC students are helping others, such as the nursing students who have started a volunteer effort to support our doctors and nurses on the front line. And, like last week, I end with a musical treat.

You will find my update, in both video and text format, at https://president.ubc.ca/letter-to-the-community/2020/04/03/covid-update-april-9/.

As we head into the long weekend, I am also reflecting on how COVID-19 might affect how we celebrate Easter, Passover, Vaisakhi and, later this month, Ramadan. Whether you celebrate these holidays or not, I encourage you to take time (where possible) to focus on your wellbeing and the wellbeing of those you love.

Santa J. Ono

April 6

With the constant flow of announcement and updates, it has been challenging to keep track of which timelines have changed and which remain the same. Please find below a snapshot of the significant deadlines affecting graduate students:

2019 Winter Term 2: Current Students

          • May 1, 2020 (extended from April 17, 2020) – deadline to submit a late application to graduate in May 2020
          • May 1, 2020 (extended from April 17, 2020) – deadline for acceptance of final, approved master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and for students to complete all program requirements for May 2020 graduation.
          • May 6, 2020 – deadline for instructors and/or programs to submit final grades for 2019W2 courses via SIS
          • May 15, 2020 (extended from April 30, 2020) – deadline for acceptance of final, approved master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and for students to complete all program requirements with a program completion date of April 30, 2020. Program completion will be back-dated to April 30, 2020 to avoid tuition and student fees for Summer 2020. IMPORTANT: the deadline for students who wish to graduate in May 2020 is May 1, 2020.

2020 Summer: Current Students

          • June 15, 2020 (extended from May 15, 2020) – deadline for students to pay their Summer 2020 tuition and student fees if they wish to avoid late fees and interest charges. (The payment deadline will appear as May 15, 2020 on the SSC. You can disregard this).

May 2020, July 2020 & September 2020: Incoming Students

          • December 1, 2020 – Deadline for Official Academic Documents
            Extended deadline to receive official transcripts (and degree certificates if required) for students who started their programs in May 2020, July 2020 or September 2020, and have not already met the document condition(s) stated in their letter of admission (available in the online application portal).  Eligibility to register in January 2021 will be suspended until required documentation has been received and processed.
          • April 30, 2021 – Deadline for Confirmation of Degree Completion
            Extended deadline for all students who were admitted on the basis of a previous degree in progress to a UBC graduate program that commenced in May 2020, July 2020, or September 2020. This condition must be met with a final transcript showing any outstanding grades and statement, and date, of degree conferral.  Official copies of degree certificates are required for final transcripts that do not have conferral information. Students commencing their graduate degrees in January 2021 with a degree in progress, will have until June 2021 to meet this condition.

Important Note: Academic Milestones for Graduate Students

Program Extensions

          • Master’s students: Initial program duration is 5 years
          • Doctoral students/Candidates: Initial program duration is 6 years

Due to COVID-19, G+PS will approve requests from graduate programs for one term of extension for any of their students without further justification or supporting documentation normally required. To request such extensions, graduate programs are encouraged to send a list of students (with first name, last name, and student number) to graduate.sas@ubc.ca at your earliest opportunity.

Extensions to Candidacy
Due to COVID-19, G+PS will approve requests from graduate programs for one term of extension to reach candidacy for any of their students without further justification or supporting documentation normally required. To request such extensions, graduate programs are encouraged send requests (with first name, last name, and student number) to graduate.sas@ubc.ca at your earliest opportunity.

April 3

During these unprecedented times, we recognize the importance of continued and regular communication.

In the coming weeks, through the period of remote work and research curtailment, and then as needed in the subsequent period to address ongoing concerns, I will be sending out weekly updates on behalf of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies on COVID-19-related issues and developments.

We, and those at all levels at UBC, continue to work to find ways to alleviate the challenges you face, and we encourage you to remain in close contact with your programs and supervisors so that they are fully aware of your current needs and circumstances.

Since my last email on Friday, March 27, 2020, there has been a series of updates to our COVID-19 FAQ. Please also see the newly established site for all UBC students, students.ubc.ca/covid19, with information and resources on financial assistance, government assistance eligibility criteria, and various student services.

Academic and research issues:

          • UBC has extended remote work arrangements and on-campus research curtailment until the end of April, when the situation will be reassessed, based on information about COVID-19, and in conjunction with our government and health stakeholders. Visit the VPRI website for more information on research curtailments.
          • The Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB) has created a page on their website providing information on UBC behavioural guidance during the COVID-19 research restrictions. Please be aware that, as the current situation is very fluid, the interim policies communicated may change. Should you have any questions about these policies or other issues, please do not hesitate to contact Jean Ruiz, Sr. Research Ethics Analyst at jean.ruiz@ors.ubc.ca at the UBC Vancouver Campus. Visit the Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB) website for guidance around clinical research ethics during COVID-19.
          • For those in research-based programs, we want to reiterate that while we recognize  research projects for many have been put on hold for diverse reasons, we encourage you and your supervisor(s) to explore other opportunities for furthering your research, academic progress, and/or professional development throughout this time of curtailment. We have added suggestions to our General FAQ. As noted in the last email, we also realize that progress is very challenging for many, with unanticipated commitments and circumstances that prevent your full attention to your studies. Please remember, then, that we have effectively extended times to reach milestones, such as program completion and doctoral comprehensive exams, by at least one term.

Housing:

          • Students in Winter Residence
            Students who are unable to leave residence may continue to stay in residence for the duration of their contract (up to April 30, 2020). If you believe you require housing following the end of your contract, please apply immediately for summer stay through.
          • Students in Year-Round Residence
            Year Round Residences remain open. UBC is currently in the process of sending new contracts for 2020-2021. Students will be able to stay in residence beyond the end of their current contract if they have accepted a new contract for May 2020-April 2021.Please be assured that UBC, in keeping with recent provincial government directives, will not apply the annual rent increase that typically occurs in May. To be clear, rent in year-round and summer residences will not be increased; 2019-20 contract rates will continue to apply until further notice.
          • Leaves of absence and housing eligibilityIf you’re a graduate student in Winter Session and might take a COVID-19 related leave of absence during the summer, you are eligible for summer stay-through in Fairview Crescent. Please ensure you apply by April 12 as Student Housing can guarantee you will receive an offer if you apply by this date. You can apply through your Student Housing Online Services Centre.Students also have the option to sublet from a student with a Year Round Residence Contract. Information regarding sublet guidelines and application process as well as a link to a sublet forum can be found here.If you’re a graduate student in Year Round Residence and might take a COVID-19 related leave of absence during the summer, you will not need to move out of UBC residence, if you continue to be eligible for Year Round Residence for the following fall. In this case, you will be able to simply accept a new Year Round Residence Contract and stay in your residence. Students living in Year Round residences are not required to be studying full-time during the summer months. Any leave that is COVID-19 related won’t impact your eligibility.Otherwise, summer stay-through, or subletting from a Year Round resident who has signed a new contract offer, would be an option for students in this situation that are not eligible for a new Year Round Residence Contract.  Please note that, if you have not already done so, student families residing in Acadia Park that will not continue to be eligible in the fall but need accommodation past April 30, should contact Student Family Housing as soon as possible to discuss continued accommodation in their residence through to August.If you will be completing your graduate program by April 30, but cannot leave Canada due to travel restrictions, you will be able to get temporary accommodation in Summer Residence at Fairview Crescent provided you apply by April 12. You also have the option to look for a sublet. Please get in touch with Student Housing at summer@housing.ubc.ca if you wish to live in Summer Residence and did not live in a UBC student residence during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Financial challenges:

          • Enrolment Services has extended the Summer Term 1 tuition deadline to June 15, 2020. In the SSC, the payment deadline will still show as May 15, 2020 (to reduce the course and registration impacts), but students can disregard this.
          • Both domestic and international students who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (extraordinary expenses, loss of employment, etc.) are strongly encouraged to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. Emergency bursaries are available, and consultation will also help the University to understand the scope and kind of need that exists.
          • If you stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. To be eligible, you must reside in Canada and have a valid Social Insurance Number. Workers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents – including temporary foreign workers and international students – may be eligible to receive the Benefit if they meet the other eligibility requirements. For more information, visit the Government of Canada website.
          • Visit the Student Services website to find out if you’re eligible for resources from the Government of Canada, Government of BC and the City of Vancouver.
          • CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC now have sections on their respective websites to inform the research community of any changes to their programs and policies due to COVID-19.

Support for international students:

          • If you are a graduate student who has had to take a leave due to COVID-19, you can still work as in a regular academic term, meaning no more than 20 hours a week off campus and unlimited hours on campus. Given that summer is not a “scheduled break” for graduate students, you cannot work full-time but can work part-time, as you would in a regular academic term if the leave is due to COVID-19.
          • Students on an approved gap in studies, which includes graduate leaves of absence, can remain in Canada. For details, please review the International Student Guide.
          • If your study permit expires soon, please apply for renewal as early as possible. The waiting period is usually 120 days, but could be longer due to COVID-19. You must submit your study permit extension application before your study permit becomes invalid.

Wellbeing

          • The current situation can cause stress and anxiety as well as a sense of isolation. We encourage you to stay in contact with family and friends, and to connect with your UBC peers through digital social events, virtual writing groups, and other online sessions. For example, the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication is continuing to offer writing consultations and to host an online writing community on Tuesdays (9-11 am) and Wednesdays (2-4 pm), and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology continues to plan and offer programs for graduate students.
          • As always, please avail yourselves of the many resources that are available to support students during this difficult time. For a list of mental health resources, visit the students.ubc.ca website.

Professional development

With best wishes to you,

 

Susan Porter
Dean & Vice Provost,
Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

I promised to communicate on a regular basis regarding UBC’s response to COVID-19.

In my latest update, I discuss the extension of the on-campus research curtailment and Remote Work Arrangements, supports for both domestic and international students, and the important work that UBC researchers are doing with regard to COVID-19. There’s also a musical treat at the end of the video.

You will find my update, in both video and text format, at https://president.ubc.ca/letter-to-the-community/2020/04/03/covid-update-april-3/.

For the latest updates regarding COVID-19 and UBC’s response, I encourage you to visit https://covid19.ubc.ca/.

Thank you for your patience, your understanding and your empathy as we navigate this challenging time. Together, we will get through this.

Stay safe.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

April 1

I hope you are adapting reasonably well to "a new world" of remote communications. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is important that we continue to take care of each other, and that we do this actively. With this in mind, I am putting in place some guidelines and expectations for everyone in our IOF community. I think you will agree that these are measures that will support us all as we navigate through this situation.

To begin, the IOF core staff - Katherine, Scott, Eden and Neil - will be coordinating various efforts, including:

          • Webpages that will provide:
            • Resources to support us over the next few weeks and months. These will range from mental health resources to keeping physically fit to tips on working from home and more;
            • A calendar of current activities and meetings, so we’ll have a better idea of when people are already busy and shouldn’t be disturbed;
            • An email archive of the various multitude of COVID-19 communications that came out (and will come out). This will organize the many messages in a manner that will help you keep track of important information, such as exam requirements or application dates, etc. These will be organized both chronologically and by subject matter, so if will be easy to find the information you need.
          • A weekly email ‘round-up’ of any new COVID-19 communications, providing context and distilling out the information relevant to the IOF community.
          • In conjunction with the IOFSS, organization and hosting of interactive sessions on various topics such as strategies on being productive while working from home and ways we can support each other from a distance. They may even throw in some research related sessions just to keep you on your toes.
          • Being the contact points for anyone in the IOF who needs support. They may not have all the answers, but together these four people will find out who and how you can get the information and support you need.

I am also asking each and every one of you to be proactive.

All supervisors (faculty and staff) need to reach out to their people on an individual basis, outside of lab or team meetings. Have an honest conversation; ask each person how they are doing, if they have someone to support them, and if they need help in any way. Talk about expectations, both as a supervisor and as a student or staff member. Don’t be vague: “I understand you won’t be as productive under these conditions” carries no weight. Clearly set out objectives in terms of daily work and build from there. Be specific. Build goals that are measurable and attainable for each person.

All staff, students, postdocs, and research associates need to have an honest conversation with their supervisor, one-on-one. Tell them how you are doing, how the situation is affecting you, and if you need help in any way. Clarify expectations about your daily work, upcoming deadlines and anticipated milestones. Work with your supervisor to build goals and objectives. Remember that it is OK to need more time to accomplish what you need to do. Be clear about that with your supervisor. They may be able to help you in ways you had not foreseen.

I strongly urge you to continue these one-on-one meetings on a weekly basis. If you haven’t already initiated this, the first meeting (or two) will be extended as you work through expectations, and build goals and objectives. Subsequent meetings will be more of a check-in, but even then, supervisors need to check in with how each person is doing on a personal level. And every IOF community member needs to be honest with their supervisor when they are struggling with something.

Again, anyone who needs support or advice can reach out to me or one of the core staff members. And students also have additional support in the form of our wonderful Graduate Advisors. I’m proud of the actions taken by many individuals in our community and I look forward to meeting with each of you, virtually for now and in the Hakai Node when we return to AERL. Please continue to follow orders of the health authorities and limit physical contact with others as much as possible during these challenging times.

Very best, Evgeny Pakhomov

On March 19, the university announced that as part of UBC’s response to COVID-19, it was curtailing on-campus research and creative scholarship activities on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. This curtailment period began at the end of day on March 24 and is now in effect. It will remain in place until April 15, 2020, and may be extended. The UBC research community will be notified of any extension to the curtailment as soon as possible.

To conduct on-campus research activities on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, researchers must first receive an approved exemption for critical research or maintaining critical research resources. Researchers working in facilities at Health Authority sites must follow the directives of those institutions.

While only exempted critical activities can take place on our campuses, researchers are encouraged to continue activities remotely that can be conducted safely without in-person contact. Please note that remote work must be conducted in compliance with UBC information security standards.

We will continue to process on-campus research exemption requests as they are received, but these research activities cannot be conducted until an exemption has been approved. Examples of critical research activity for which an exemption may be approved include:

          • research projects directly related to COVID-19 and essential clinical trials;
          • maintenance of critical resources which cannot be replaced through other means, (e.g. data, cell lines, and some collections); and
          • topping up of research storage equipment (e.g. with liquid nitrogen).

Forms and details of the process can be found at https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19.

The on-campus curtailment is in line with social distancing protocols regarding remote teaching and working arrangements, and prioritizes health and safety first and foremost. We understand that this will have a significant impact on research programs and research personnel, and the university is in active discussions to identify ways to mitigate these impacts. We encourage you to visit our frequently updated FAQs relating to the research curtailment at https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19.

March 27

These are unprecedented times for our generation, and the uncertainty and upheaval they are causing are especially difficult to navigate when it is the health and wellbeing of so many that are at stake.

I'm writing on behalf of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to let you know that we are aware that many of you are experiencing especially difficult challenges right now – in your personal circumstances, your research, and your academic work – and to assure you that we, and those at all levels at UBC, are working extremely hard to find ways to alleviate the challenges you face. You may find that some of your concerns and questions are addressed on our website, and I encourage you to visit it: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/covid-19.

Briefly, the following are the measures that we and the University are taking to date:

Academic issues

          • As courses and assessments go online, we realize that this can entail many uncertainties. Your instructors have the capacity to alter the grading schemes or standing options for current courses if necessary, and requests for concessions are always available to you. In concordance with the Senate, we are also delaying the deadline for grade submission. The Assessment FAQ shows details sent to grad programs and course instructors; please connect with your course instructors for details regarding your own course(s) if you have not already heard from them.
          • We understand that interruptions in your ability to progress in your programs, whether because of personal circumstances, research curtailment, or other issues, may result in delayed completion of your program. We will therefore effectively extend deadlines for milestones (e.g. candidacy) and program completion by at least one term. Although process details of this are still being determined, please be assured that we will eliminate justification requirements for extensions related to the current situation.
          • Final doctoral exams are successfully proceeding completely online, and will continue as such as long as necessary.
          • There will be a slight delay only in the granting of degrees, however the graduation ceremony has been indefinitely postponed.
          • We appreciate that some of you may decide to take a leave of absence for some period in the near future. While this may be feasible for some, please note that leaves come with certain restrictions, especially in terms of funding and student employment as outlined in our general FAQ.
          • We realize that research projects for many have been put on hold for diverse reasons. We encourage you and your supervisor(s) to explore other opportunities for furthering your research and academic progress throughout this time of curtailment, while also planning ahead for how to proceed when the curtailment eases. Examples of such opportunities and suggestions for practices that promote effective continuity of supervision and academic progress have been compiled and are being sent to supervisors. Please view a copy of this message in our announcements. We, and the University and research community more broadly, are continuing to deliberate on the longer term ramifications and potential mitigating strategies of research curtailment.

Wellbeing
The current situation is naturally causing significant stress and anxiety for many. At the same time, there is much to be grateful for in our current environment, including the many people across UBC and beyond stepping up to make the situation better. The following are among the resources available to you now:

          • Mental health support, including Student Health Services and Counselling Services, continue to be provided (virtually). Note that EMPOWER ME provides confidential counselling 24/7, and it’s free for all UBC students. Please review other related student services.
          • There are also numerous resources on enhancing wellbeing in the current environment at the above sites. One example is the Wellness Centre Online, a space for engaging in topics relevant to student wellbeing. Students can self-enrol.

Financial challenges

While we haven’t yet determined the most effective ways to ease the burdens many of you face, we are exploring a range of options. We will keep you informed as measures are taken, and are also communicating with programs to better learn what is needed. Please note the following:

          • Be assured that all major University-wide multi-year scholarships will continue to be paid throughout the eligibility period.
          • If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (extraordinary expenses, loss of employment, etc.) we strongly encourage you to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. An advisor will assess your financial situation and provide the best course of action for you. It may not be possible for Enrolment Services to provide immediate support in all circumstances, but meeting with an advisor will also enable the University to gather a clearer picture of the needs that exist and to direct its financial support resources more effectively.
          • Indigenous graduate students with inquiries or issues with financial difficulties/distress should contact an Indigenous Enrolment Services Advisor. The Indigenous ESA Team can be reached at aboriginal.support@ubc.ca
          • We are reviewing information about the support offered by the federal and provincial governments, to understand what may be applicable to graduate students - recognizing that these supports may help some, but certainly not all, students who require financial support.

Support for international students

We know many of our international graduate students may have questions about returning to Canada, your options to stay in Canada, traveling abroad, completing your studies, and working in Canada.  To help answer some of these questions, International Student Advising (ISA) has recently published an FAQ on the UBC International Student Guide.  If you have any questions not addressed in the FAQ, we encourage you to reach out to ISA directly.  Please note that although ISA is not providing in-person services at this time, they will continue to advise students by email (include your student number): isa@students.ubc.ca.

Professional development

Many UBC units have moved their workshops and one-to-one advising online. This may be an opportune time for many to make use of these helpful resources. The following are a few key links.

As new information and opportunities arise in the coming days and weeks, we will communicate them to you. In the meantime, I encourage you all to look after yourselves and others. Please know that your sustainment, wellbeing, and ongoing scholarly formation are our first priorities throughout this challenging time.

With best wishes to you,

Susan Porter
Dean & Vice Provost,
Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

March 26

Many of you have been asking about the university’s plans for one of the highlights of the year, spring graduation.

Earlier today, I sent a message to our graduating students, informing them of the fact that — in light of the current circumstances — we have had to make the very difficult decision to not hold in-person spring graduation ceremonies at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.

This was not an easy decision, and I know how disappointing it will be, not only for our graduating students, but also our faculty members, staff and the broader UBC community. As I told the students, we will come together online to celebrate. No virtual gathering can match our in-person ceremonies, but I promise you, it will be special, and it will be meaningful.

I also want to let you know that UBC is committed to holding a postponed graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, when safe to do so, that has all elements of a traditional graduation ceremony. Further details will be available at graduation.ubc.ca and graduation.ok.ubc.ca.

As you have heard me say many times, we are experiencing unprecedented challenges as we navigate the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Each week brings something new, and I continue to be grateful for your patience, understanding, empathy, flexibility and selfless efforts during this time.

Stay safe.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

March 25

With an increase in the number of faculty and staff currently accessing UBC's systems and networks remotely, we would like to remind you of the IT resources and support available to you at this time.

Keeping UBC’s systems and networks safe
While we already have several technologies in place to help secure remote access, please remain extra vigilant when accessing UBC files and logging in to UBC's systems and networks. This includes:

          • Using the Virtual Private Network (VPN) to remotely connect to the UBC network. Visit hxxps://it.ubc.ca/telecommute* for details on how to log-in.
          • Ensuring you are enrolled with an Enhanced Campus-Wide Login for multi-factor authentication.
          • Logging out of VPN and your devices when not in use.
          • Not clicking on links from unfamiliar sources. Doing so can download malware onto your computer even without further action on your part.
          • Reporting any suspicious emails to security@ubc.ca, so the UBC Cybersecurity team can investigate them.
          • Implementing a strong password on all of your accounts and log-ins, and keeping it secure. Please do not use UBC accounts or passwords for any other websites.
          • Completing the mandatory Privacy and Information Security Fundamentals training at hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca*

UBC’s Cybersecurity Team is also working on additional security software and precautions to ensure UBC information remains protected. More details will be shared internally with IT departmental administrators this week. Please ensure you are following any guidance that may be issued to ensure you take the necessary precautions and have the appropriate security software installed to protect UBC’s data.

Bookmark hxxps://privacymatters.ubc.ca* for more tips and resources on information security.

IT guide to working remotely
IT has compiled some key technical resources to support you in working remotely, including programs that will help you stay connected to your colleagues through audio conferencing, virtual meetings and instant messaging. Access them here: hxxps://it.ubc.ca/ubc-it-guide-working-campus*

Contacting the UBC IT Helpdesk
Currently, the preferred method for requesting assistance from UBC IT is to submit a ticket with the Help Desk. Please find the relevant links below:
UBC Vancouver: hxxps://it.ubc.ca/selfservice*
UBC Okanagan: hxxps://helpdesk.ok.ubc.ca/itmdb/*

*We avoid the use of clickable links in UBC Broadcasts that pertain to cybersecurity-related information. Please copy and paste the address into your browser and replace the ‘hxxps’ with ‘https’ and you will be taken to the proper website.

On behalf of the Privacy and Information Security Management (PrISM) Executive Leadership Committee, thank you for keeping UBC's systems and networks safe and secure.

Hubert Lai, Q.C.
University Counsel

Peter Smailes
Vice-President, Finance & Operations

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

March 19

As part of UBC’s response to COVID-19, the university is curtailing on-campus research activities on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. This is in line with social distancing protocols regarding remote teaching and working arrangements implemented in the last week.

This curtailment is in effect until April 15, 2020 and may be extended. To continue research activities on our campuses, researchers must receive an exemption to be classed as critical research or maintaining critical research resources.

For all other research on UBC’s campuses, research teams should immediately start to develop and implement plans to work remotely, and to have these plans fully operational by the end of day on Tuesday, March 24. Researchers based at health authority sites should follow site-specific directives.

The exemption process is outlined at https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19. It involves approval at the departmental, Faculty and Vice-President, Research & Innovation levels. Examples of critical research may include COVID-19 research and clinical trials. Critical research resources may include data, cell lines, materials and reagents that are deemed essential and difficult to replace.

The exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves mean we can only continue the most essential research operations. Guidance, a planning checklist and FAQs are available at https://research.ubc.ca/covid-19. These guidelines facilitate the temporary curtailment of most on-campus research activities and prioritize health and safety, first and foremost.

We understand that this curtailment will have a significant impact on research programs and research personnel. The university is in active discussions with funding agencies and other bodies to identify ways to mitigate these impacts.

Thank you for your continued support as UBC continues to navigate this challenging, and unprecedented, situation.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

March 17

As of March 17, all oral defenses at UBC, including Final Doctoral Exams will be remote only, i.e., all oral defenses are to be held fully online until further notice. No less than one to two weeks before each exam, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will be contacting members of the examination committee and graduate student with information on how to participate in the exam via video conferencing. Please see the attached a copy of the Virtual Exam Protocol for details on the arrangements that need to be made for an online defense.

If you would still like to hold an in-person defense, then it will have to postponed until a later date. If you have an exam booked and have questions, please email the Doctoral Exams Coordinator, Robyn Starkey at robyn.starkey@ubc.ca.

In addition, all committee meetings and comprehensive exams should be arranged to be done online from now on until further notice. If you have any concerns about an upcoming oral exam, please do not hesitate to contact us.

March 16

Please note that the following message was issued to all UBC students this morning:

In light of the growing national response to COVID-19, all UBC students planning to travel home may now do so. This includes all undergraduate international and domestic students. We ask students in post-baccalaureate and professional graduate programs to verify program adjustments with their academic advisors before making travel plans.

Online instruction will continue and final exams will NOT take place in person. You will be provided details on arrangements for exams through your Faculties and course instructors, as soon as possible.

Residences and most services for students remain open in Vancouver and the Okanagan. Students in residence who wish to stay may do so. UBC is not aware of any presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty or staff.

We appreciate these are extremely challenging times for our students, and our faculty are working exceptionally hard to adjust courses that will allow you to continue and complete your studies this term. This series of events is unprecedented and rest assured we will provide you with information as we receive it.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan

Further to Friday’s UBC Broadcast, I would like to inform you of the university’s measures to support faculty, staff, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, and student employees, working remotely.

As UBC continues to navigate our response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and in support of social distancing protocols, we are beginning a three-week pilot of Remote Work Arrangements. The duration of the pilot will be reassessed based on new information about COVID-19 that would change the situation.

Starting this week, those faculty, staff, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, and student employees, who are able to work from home should do so, in conjunction with job appropriateness and in discussion with their manager, research lead, or principal investigator. For those unable to work remotely, they should come to their normal place of work.

As a reminder, the Public Health Agency of Canada continues to assess the risk as low for Canada. We also do not currently have any confirmed cases within our faculty, staff or student community.

However, it is important that we continue to put measures in place to support social distancing and help prevent the spread of illness. This is aligned with the guidance we are receiving from the Provincial Health Officer, BC Provincial Government.

Initial steps

A UBC Bulletin has been issued, advising managers and supervisors of this three-week pilot, and the need to explore ways to allow all employees to work remotely. The message asked that measures be put in place to allow as many employees as possible to do all (or part) of their work from home.

Telecommuting and VPN guidelines

UBC has telecommuting guidelines which you can access athttp://www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-staff-resources/telecommuting/. In addition, IT has provided an online guide to working remotely at https://www.it.ubc.ca/telecommute. The guide outlines resources when working remotely including how to access emails and files, tools for virtual meetings, and security requirements.

Additional FAQs have been developed by HR to support this pilot. You can view them at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/covid-19/. As a reminder, please also visit https://ubc.ca for updates related to COVID-19 and UBC’s response.

We appreciate this pilot will require us all to explore and accommodate new ways of working. We also want to acknowledge that you may feel separated or even isolated when working from home, as you won’t have in-person interactions with your colleagues. We encourage you to explore creative ways to address these barriers within your unit or department. You are also reminded of resources available through UBC’s Employee & Family Assistance Program http://www.hr.ubc.ca/wellbeing-benefits/benefits/details/employee-family-assistance-program/

Under these circumstances you have our commitment to fully support and provide campus services to students, faculty and staff, as best as we can. Thank you for helping UBC navigate this unprecedented scenario.

Marcia Buchholz
Interim Vice-President, Human Resources

March 14

The UBC has now announced that all classes are to be delivered on-line for the rest of the term (see: https://www.ubc.ca/). Those of you who replied to my early enquiry indicated good preparedness to do so. Therefore, I am confident that there will be no major interruptions.

Currently, there are no announcements that any restrictions to on on-campus activity are in place. This may indeed change fast and I will keep you informed. I would like to stress that most aspects of the Institute’s operations remain functional at this time. Nevertheless, I would like to encourage all of you to work from home if it is possible during the next two-three weeks, avoid large crowds and generally follow basic precautions. Please check regularly the UBC central UBC website for up to date information on university-level actions. You may also consult the BC Center for Disease control site (http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19) for medical information and resources.

Best wishes,
Dr. Evgeny Pakhomov

March 13

As you know, the COVID-19 outbreak continues to cause concern within our community. This is also reflected in the fast-changing nature of the situation, and the response from the BC Provincial Government.

Events with more than 250 people in attendance
Yesterday, the Office of the Provincial Medical Health Officer, BC Centre for Disease Control and Ministry of Health recommended the immediate cancellation or postponement until further notice of all events with more than 250 people in attendance.

In accordance with that recommendation, and as of today (March 13, 2020), UBC is cancelling all on-campus and off-campus events with more than 250 people (including sporting events), whether indoors or outdoors, that are organized by students, faculty and staff.

Events at the Chan Centre are also cancelled for the time being. At this time, planning for graduation ceremonies continues as normal, though we are considering alternatives should that be required.

We are working with CTLT, Enrolment Services and Faculties to identify classes with more than 250 students and ways in which to transition lecture components of those classes to online or alternate delivery modes. These classes are suspended until alternate arrangements are in place.

Smaller classes will continue as normal. As noted in previous correspondence, we are working to develop a system whereby faculty have the option to provide remote instruction. UBC is taking direction from the BC Provincial Government as we plan and consider next steps.

Yesterday we issued a UBC Broadcast to faculty and staff detailing ways in which courses can be delivered online. A new website (https://keepteaching.ubc.ca/) has been launched with guidance on how to offer lectures, group work and discussion, and quizzes online through Canvas. UBC Okanagan faculty are encouraged to contact the Center for Teaching and Learning (https://ctl.ok.ubc.ca).

Updated travel guidance and self-isolation
The Office of the Provincial Medical Health Office, BC Centre for Disease Control and Ministry of Health are also recommending British Columbians avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.

Anyone who travels outside of Canada, whether for business or pleasure, including to the United States, will be required to stay home from work or school for 14 days upon return to Canada. This does not include travellers who have returned to Canada up to or before March 13. (Previous mandated self-isolation requirements for travellers returning from Hubei Province, China, Iran, and Italy remain in effect.)

Any students returning from outside Canada after March 12 are advised to contact their instructor.

We are requiring faculty and staff to answer the following questions, while the self-isolation related to travel outside of Canada is in place. If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you must bring this to the attention of your manager or supervisor. It will mean that you must self-isolate for the 14 days immediately following your return to Canada.

          • Are you and/or anyone in your household currently travelling outside of Canada and returning after March 12, 2020?
          • Have you or anyone in your household come into contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
          • Do you have plans to travel outside of Canada in the foreseeable future?

As a reminder, UBC has guidelines to support telecommuting – which permits certain employees to do at least some of their regular work from home rather than attending at the office. More specific information regarding telecommuting will be made available in the coming days.

We recognize that this is an extremely stressful time for our community. The university is working as hard as possible to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We are also in daily contact with BC’s public health agencies to ensure we have the most current information.

As a reminder, regular updates are being posted to https://www.ubc.ca

Ainsley Carry
Vice-President, Students

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan

Marcia Buchholz
Interim Vice-President, Human Resources

The situation with COIVD-19 is fluidly changing, and UBC has made it clear that classes that have under 250 people in them are not to be cancelled. There has been much discussion about the FISH 500 seminar series because while it is a class, it is also a public lecture series. Also while AERL 120 does not seat 250 people, it is still a large room where regular classes are held, and while UBC has increased its cleaning protocols there is still an element of risk. Here is the solution we have come up with for now:

Today’s FISH 500 seminar will continue as scheduled. However we are suggesting that only the students who are taking the class attend. Also, we suggest that students sit at least two seats apart (aka social distancing). The seminar will be recorded and made available soon after the event. Please note: the pizza lunch will still happen today – please use your common sense.

Other members of the IOF community are invited to attend, at their own risk, and in keeping with the social distancing practice. Members of the wider UBC community, and of the general public, will be asked to do the same.

Decisions about the next few FISH 500 seminars will be made shortly.

Katherine Came

March 12

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to cause concern, both within Canada and across the world.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the risk as low for Canada, and UBC does not currently have any confirmed cases amongst our faculty, staff or students.

However, we understand that concerns are increasing around UBC’s preparedness, should we need to reduce the number of people coming to our campuses or other learning sites. At this point in time we are turning our attention to creating the resources to assist faculty and staff, as well as ensuring that leaders are able to assess our readiness as a university.

Contingency planning for teaching and learning
UBC’s overarching goal is to minimize the disruption to our students and their educational progress. We are currently supporting faculty to develop teaching strategies that will not require in-person sessions that fit the particular needs of their course, discipline and context. This planning, including considering alternative approaches to final exams, will enable us to be prepared and act quickly should the need arise.

Faculties and departments are being asked to start planning how they can offer academic instruction and assessment through alternate means. A new website has also been launched with guidance on how to prepare to offer lectures, group work and discussion, and quizzes online through Canvas. You can access it athttps://keepteaching.ubc.ca/. UBC Okanagan faculty are encouraged to contact the Center for Teaching and Learning https://ctl.ok.ubc.ca.

Support for managers and supervisors
As a reminder, guidance has been posted for managers and supervisors, related to employee illness and concerns related to COVID-19. You can view the information at https://www.hr.ubc.ca/covid-19/.

Organizing events and large gatherings
We recognize that faculty and staff may have questions related to organizing events and large gatherings. We encourage you to use the following resources:

In addition to the above, UBC is convening a working group to explore ways to provide more tailored guidance around this topic. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

COVID-19 and UBC’s response – updates and FAQs
Work is underway to create a stand-alone website to house information related to COVID-19 status updates, as well as FAQs for faculty, staff and students. Further information will be shared in next week’s edition of UBC Today.

Business continuity
The COVID-19 outbreak has expedited existing planning around business continuity and UBC’s efforts to minimize disruption to our students. Members of the Safety & Risk Services team are contacting Faculties and departments with information, support and resources for business continuity planning.

Please visit https://www.ubc.ca for the latest updates.

A ‘Letter to the community’ has also been posted from President Santa Ono which you can view at https://president.ubc.ca/letter-to-the-community/2020/03/12/response-to-covid-19/.

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan

Marcia Buchholz
Interim Vice-President, Human Resources

To Faculty
When thinking about how you will approach teaching and research responsibilities, please also consider your staff:
Can your staff members work from home should the university close?
What would they do? *
Do they currently have the IT access needed or would additional access be required? ** Keep in mind the IT security required to protect personal information of students, staff, etc. (i.e., Privacy Matters@UBC requirements; https://privacymatters.ubc.ca/).

* For those groups using Teamshare, they might reasonably be expected to do the full scope of their role. If your group is not using Teamshare, will staff be able to access the files they need?
** Please note that I have just sent a survey to all staff and to RAPD’s regarding #3 as I have to report on this to the Dean’s Office by Tuesday morning.

Thanks,

Neil Maclean

This email is intended for all M&P, CUPE and Non-Union Techs staff:

Dean of Science, Meigan Aronson met with the Department Heads to discuss the challenges the University is facing regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the importance of keeping everyone as safe and healthy as possible.

It has been determined that the University will be finishing out the term regardless of what lays ahead. A full University shutdown (of the physical campus) during the term is a definite possibility (minus essential services). Because of this, departments are required to have a readiness plan in place. In such an instance, (most) work and study will likely have to be carried out remotely.

The main objective of this email is to prepare our staff for this possibility and to determine what your computer needs are should you need to telecommute.

Currently, there is no provision in the CUPE 2950 collective agreement for telecommuting but as this is an exceptional event, these requirements might not apply. The University and the union are in talks now to work out the details. I will keep you apprised of developments on this front.

For M&P employees, the telecommuting provision does exist. Some of you might already telecommute and are thus adequately equipped.

For non-union staff, there is no provision but the potential does exist. Some of you might already telecommute and are thus adequately equipped.

Most of you likely have computers at home, either laptops or desktops which might need to be configured for VPN and/or Remote Desktop so that you're able to dial in and access the UBC systems, including UBC email.

In order to efficiently gather this information, please complete the survey, found at the link below, by the end of the day Monday, March 16th:

https://ubc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aYkcEKl5PsQ2on3

Lastly, please ensure that your contact information is up to date in HRMS. You can check/update your info by logging in to the Management Systems Portal at www.msp.ubc.ca.

Please let me know if you have any questions

Neil Maclean