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.
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.
And as has become traditional in my video messages to you, I’ll end with a musical selection, and you’re in for a special treat today.
UBC Professor of Piano Mark Anderson has performed internationally following his 1993 Leeds and 1994 William Kapell Competitions prizes with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and Adam Fischer. Here he performs Mozart’s Sonata in E-flat Major as part of the #SongsofComfort project.
Enjoy and stay safe.
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UBC Professor of Piano Mark Anderson has performed internationally following his the 1993 Leeds and 1994 William Kapell Competitions prizes with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and Adam Fischer. He has appeared at Alice Tully Hall and Weill Hall, the Kennedy Center and Wigmore Hall. Here he performs Mozart's Sonata in E-flat Major as part of #SongsofComfort.