Provost’s Message: Looking to the Winter Term 2021

Posted: November 20, 2020

Dear Members of the Trinity Community:

As we head into the final stretch of the fall term, I hope that you are all doing well as can be during these challenging times. I know the unpredictability of the pandemic places even more stress and strain on everyone. Our staff and faculty have been working tirelessly – some without any breaks – since the start of the pandemic, and continue to go above and beyond to support our students and each other. I know how demanding this is and feel so grateful and privileged to work with such a dedicated and caring team at the College.

As you may have heard, University of Toronto President Gertler and Faculty of Arts & Science Dean Woodin made important announcements today related to the winter term. We have been working in coordination with the University and the Faculty and I wanted to share some details about what these changes mean for the Trinity community.

As originally planned, the University of Toronto and Trinity College will close for the winter break as of Wednesday, December 23, 2020, and will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2021. Today, U of T has announced that the start of classes for the winter term for undergraduate, first-entry divisions will be delayed until Monday, January 11, 2021. We will also adopt the January 11 start date for Trinity classes. Our Faculty of Divinity along with the other six Toronto School of Theology colleges will also begin classes on January 11. The hope, which I am sure we all share, is that delayed start date for classes will allow students and instructors to rest and recharge over a well-deserved extended break.

Like the wider University, the College will also re-open on January 4 – and in fact our residence operations will resume on January 3 – and the week of January 4 will be a normal work week at the College. However, to support wellness for staff at this challenging time, we are also adopting the university’s three new wellness days (paid days off). Some staff may want to use these additional wellness days to extend their winter break holidays, while other may choose to use them, as a block or individually, starting now until August 31, 2021. More details will be shared by your managers; and as you normally do, please discuss your scheduling requests in advance with them.

Also today, the Faculty of Arts & Science has confirmed that for the winter term all remaining dual-delivery courses will be delivered online given that there is likely no easing of public health restrictions in the near future. In Dean Woodin’s message, she confirmed that the end of term will remain April 30, 2021, and the February Reading Week will also remain as planned from February 15 to 19, 2021. The TST Reading Week also remains unchanged (February 15 to 19). In alignment with this, Trinity courses will also continue to be offered online only. Please check these links for the Faculty of Arts & Science’s FAQs for students and FAQs for instructors. In the coming days, additional information with be shared for faculty/instructors from your Deans/Program Directors.

Since the start of the pandemic, all of you have shown such great resiliency, creativity and compassion and I do hope that the addition of the wellness days will assist in enabling you to take a much-needed break from the pressures of work. I want to express my appreciation for your dedication and flexibility over these last eight months, and for the months ahead as we navigate the pandemic together.

Stay well and take care,

Mayo Moran
Provost & Vice-Chancellor

 


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