The following messages from University of Manitoba have been recently published on the university’s COVID-19 news portal. The situation remains very fluid and what happens next will hinge on the measures the university and/or provincial health authorities decide to take. UMSU will continue to publish updates on our website as well as social media as they become available.
March 26, 8:30 a.m. – A message from Laurie M. Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students) re: Summer Term registration, GPA calculation, graduation parchments, academic supports, international student supports, de-stress
As we continue to navigate the many changes in our lives arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to remind you that the University of Manitoba is here to support you. While in-person contact is severely restricted during this time, staff in our counselling office, advising centres, health services, spiritual care, and faculty offices remain available either online, by email, or by both means. Please refer to this page for details. Remember – we are here for you and want you to succeed.
Today, I want to share some new updates and reminders.
Summer Term Registration.
- Registration for Distance and Online courses and Faculty of Graduate Studies Re-Registration and Thesis courses that begin May 4th will open on April 20th.
- We recognize that many students are hoping to make decisions about summer courses soon. We are actively working on this and will share information regarding Summer Term courses (which will be offered online or through means other than face-to-face) beginning June 1 as soon as those details are finalized.
- Registration for all courses beginning on or after June 1 will begin May 19th.
You can choose to include or exclude grades in your GPA calculation. For any course work completed at the University of Manitoba in Winter Term 2020, you can choose whether or not to include a grade received in your GPA calculation. This option will apply to all Winter Term 2020 courses or spanned courses that you completed over the Fall 2019-Winter 2020 Terms for which a standard letter grade is received (A+ to F).
Grades excluded in the calculation of your GPA will not be used in calculating GPA for the purpose of program progression and/or overall graduation GPA requirements. However, course grades will continue to be used to satisfy UM pre-requisite requirements for entry into other courses, or admission to other programs, and to satisfy any other program requirements. Grades will appear on your official transcript, but will be flagged with a notation that the course was excluded from the GPA calculation due to the COVID-19 situation.
Parchments will be mailed to spring 2020 graduates. Please check your address in Aurora, and update if needed, as this will be the address we will use to mail your parchment.
Take advantage of academic supports. Though our campuses are closed, we are still here for you. Many student services are offering phone, email, and/or video appointments, including: academic advisors, Academic Learning Centre, Libraries and Student Accessibility Services. To book an appointment with an Elder in Residence, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-474-8850.
International students, please reach out. We understand that the current situation is particularly difficult for you. Do not hesitate to ask for guidance and support through a private phone or email conversation with an international student advisor at 204-474-8501 or email@example.com. The Canadian government also has advice and information on their website, updated regularly.
Be mindful, socialize and de-stress. Making time for yourself is important during these uncertain times. Free, daily mindfulness meditation is being offered through the Faculty of Social Work to help us all restore and reconnect. We have also compiled advice from UM experts on how to reduce anxiety and be productive during our time away from others. Lastly, although gyms are closed, there are exercise options you can use at home. For example, the UM’s Recreation Services is posting workouts on its YouTube channel. I encourage you to take advantage of these helpful resources.
You can find more UM news about COVID-19, including FAQs for students, on this page, which is updated as new information becomes available.
Please keep yourself and others safe by staying home. Avoid non-essential trips and keep a distance of two meters from others, even while outdoors. These efforts will help us get through these challenging times safely together.
All my best,
March 25, 7:30 p.m.: A message from Dr. Janice Ristock, Provost and Vice-President (Academic) re: GPA calculations, Summer Term registration, graduation parchments, student supports, resources for exams and academic integrity
At the meeting of Senate Executive on Wednesday, March 25th, the following recommendation was approved:
Students can Choose to include or exclude Grades in GPA Calculations:
Pursuant to Senate Executive’s approval of a temporary revision to the Grade Point Average Policy, (section 2.3), students will be allowed to choose whether or not to include a grade received for any course work completed in Winter Term 2020 in any GPA calculation used at the UM (i.e., cumulative grade point average, degree grade point average, sessional grade point average, and term grade point average). This option will apply to all courses using standard letter grades (A+ to F) scheduled in the Winter 2020 term or spanned courses scheduled over the Fall 2019-Winter 2020 terms.
Faculties/Colleges/School that wish to bring forward alternative grading schemes for its courses may do so by presenting a formal proposal including rationale and expected impacts to Dr. Todd Mondor, Deputy Provost, for review and consideration by Senate Executive.
Grades excluded in the calculation of the GPA will not be used in calculating GPA for the purpose of program progression and/or overall graduation GPA requirements. However, course grades will continue to be used to satisfy UM pre-requisite requirements for entry into other courses, or admission to other programs, and to satisfy any other program requirements.
Grades will show on an official transcript but will be flagged with a notation that the course was excluded in the GPA calculation due to the COVID-19 situation.
The process of student declaration is being finalized and will be communicated separately.
Summer Term Registration:
Registration for Distance and Online courses and Faculty of Graduate Studies re-registration and thesis courses that begin on May 4th will open for registration on April 20th.
We continue to finalize offerings for the Summer Term 2020 courses which will be offered online or through alternative means. Registration will begin on May 19, 2020 for Summer Term courses that will be offered on or after June 1.
Parchments will be mailed to Spring 2020 Graduates. Students are beingbe asked to check their address in Aurora student and update if necessary.
Many student services are offered by phone, email, and/or video appointments, including: academic advisors, Academic Learning Centre, Libraries and Student Accessibility Services. Students requiring support by an Elder-in-Residence can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-474-8850. International students may contact an international student advisor at 204-474-8501 or email@example.com. The Canadian government also has advice and information on their website which is updated regularly.
Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students) will send a communication to all students about these decisions
Reminder: Important Resources for exams and academic integrity
The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning provides on-line and virtual ‘in-person’ resources for instructors as they continue to teach, and as they create examinations. All of these resources can be found at: https://centre.cc.umanitoba.ca/contingencies-for-teaching/ Also, instructors can contact The Centre with specific requests by sending an email to: TheCentre@umanitoba.ca and one of The Centre’s experts will contact them.
Please share this information widely with all faculty, instructors, staff – particularly academic advisors – and students in your Faculty/College/School. This and future bulletins will be posted on the University’s COVID-19 website.
These are challenging times. Today, Premier Brian Pallister declared a state of emergency for 30 days. We are all responsible for taking actions to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19. The University of Manitoba is taking that responsibility seriously and taking actions based on information we receive from health authorities. Thank you for taking time to read this important communication and checking in daily for updates and additions to frequently asked questions on this page.
Today, I am announcing actions that are based on working together to:
- protect the health of our community;
- ensure our students can finish their term;
- accommodate and support students in residence who are unable to return home;
- support the province’s health and wellbeing through our COVID-19 research efforts, and
- other time-sensitive activity.
Effective 11:59 pm, Monday, March 23, 2020, all university buildings will be closed with only limited access to employees deemed as essential to our work for the immediate future. The general public and students who are not in residence will not be able to access buildings on campus and staff and faculty members will need keys/swipe card/identification to enter.
All employees – unless told otherwise by their Manager/Department Head/Dean – are to work from home. If you have not already done so, please ensure conversations about how this applies to your work take place today. Anyone seeking access from Security Services will need valid University ID to gain entry if they do not have keys or card access. Please note, construction workers and contractors will still be allowed access to job sites through their respective university project managers.
As an essential service, the Pharmacy in UMSU University Centre will remain open during regular hours from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. To access, please use the East main doors off of Chancellor’s Circle on the lower level of UMSU University Centre.
Here’s how we are planning to achieve the objectives outlined above:
We are committed to supporting our students and minimizing any negative impact on their academic progress. As such we have taken the following steps:
- At this time, it is anticipated that there will be no in-person classes until September, 2020 at earliest.
- All Libraries will be closed, but online resources will continue to be available.
- There will be no in-person exams for courses offered during Winter Term 2020.
- The Voluntary Withdrawal Date for Winter Term 2020 has been changed to April 13, 2020. When registering for courses in a future term, Limited Access will not apply to courses students VWed from or completed in Winter 2020.
- Registration for summer session has been suspended for now. A date for reopening registration is pending. Summer Term 2020 courses will begin June 1, 2020 with no in-person instruction. Scheduled designated Distance Education (DE) courses beginning in May will continue as planned.
- Academic advising, Student Counselling Centre, Student Advocacy and Case Management, Student Services at Bannatyne Campus, Spiritual Care and other services continue to be available to students through telephone or email appointments and resources available online.
- Students who don’t have access to computers or reliable internet in their off-campus locations are encouraged to connect with their instructors.
Students in Residence
The health and safety of every student living in residence is of paramount importance to the University of Manitoba. We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of those who cannot return home. In order to do so:
- Effective Wednesday, March 25 at noon all students who are able to safely return home and do not have special circumstances that may warrant an exception, are required to move out of residence.
- For the students that remain, all residence halls, including the residence dining hall (Fresh Food Company) will remain open with some reduced or modified service levels required to improve safety.
Faculty and Staff
All employees, unless told otherwise, are to work from home. Managers, department heads and Deans should work with employees to support their health and well-being and to continue university operations to the greatest extent possible. This can include reassigning duties, working remotely or flexible work hours to accommodate child care or family needs. Operations, maintenance and security will be maintained while supporting the health and well-being of staff. Units are encouraged to complete a Business Continuity Plan using this template.
Please visit this page for more information on telecommuting work arrangements.
All course instructors are working remotely as they continue to offer their courses in alternate ways to ensure our students can successfully complete the term. Plans are also in place to determine which summer courses can be offered given that no in-person classes will occur.
Suspension of Most On-Campus/Field Sites Research, Scholarly Works, and Creative Activities effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
It is necessary to operationalize the suspension of most on-campus/field sites research, scholarly works, and creative activities during this pandemic that: i) cannot be conducted remotely; ii) cannot ensure health and safety requirements of research personnel; and iii) might introduce coronavirus (COVID-19) into a vulnerable population.
The expectation is that researchers will continue as much research as possible remotely, but only limited research will continue in university research facilities, including off-campus research sites. Researchers who feel that they have exceptional circumstances should direct their requests to Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) by completing this form.
Sport and Recreation Facilities and programming close
The Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management suspended operations of its Sport and Recreation facilities and programming March 13. Mini U Programs cancelled the remainder of winter programs and group bookings, March 13 – April 12. Spring break camps (March 30 – April 3) are also cancelled.
As our response to COVID-19 evolves, we continue to assess the operation of Mini U Programs’ spring and summer programs.
Recreation Services group fitness classes and programs are cancelled. An automatic process of membership holds or extensions will occur during this suspension of operation.
Campus Children’s Centre is closed as of March 23
Campus Children’s Centre will close in line with the school divisions. Managers/Department Heads/Deans should work with employees to support flexible work arrangements to help accommodate child care needs.
We value the work of our entire university community. Thank you for the remarkable work you’ve done particularly in response to these challenging circumstances. Yesterday, in my video message to the community, I acknowledged how deeply we are all affected by this level of disruption to our work. I meant that, and I thank you for your understanding. We believe that what we’re communicating today will help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, so that we can all emerge from this crisis as soon as possible.
As we navigate these uncertain times together, your University is committed to providing you with as much support and direction as we can.
Today, I have several updates, resources and a reminder to share with you:
Campus buildings will be closed. Effective 11.59 pm, Monday, March 23, 2020 all university buildings will be closed or have limited access to employees deemed as essential until further notice.
Spring Convocation ceremonies are cancelled. We are following recommendations from Canadian health officials to cancel all public gatherings of 50 people or more due to COVID-19. Students who have planned to graduate will still be able to do so, as the University has made arrangements to complete the academic term and to verify completion of program requirements. We are exploring creative options to fully celebrate the academic success of our graduands. Those students will receive further details closer to the end of term.
Distance Education Courses (DE designated). Recognized distance education (DE designated) courses already scheduled to commence on May 4th will proceed. Information regarding registration deadlines for DE courses will be communicated soon.
Re-Entering VWd courses. The VW date for Winter term courses was changed from March 18 to April 13. Students who VWd between March 9 and March 16 (the date the change in the VW deadline was announced) are entitled to re-enter the dropped course if they wish. To do so, students must email (using your umanitoba email address) an academic advisor in your home faculty/college/school by Tuesday, March 24 with the following information: student name, student number, course name and CRN. Students who re-enter courses will be responsible for lecture material missed during their absence.
Domestic students in residence must return home. To maximize social distancing and to keep students safe, Canadian residents who can return home must move out of residence by 12 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. International and Canadian students who may have special circumstances that warrant an extended stay must make a request through the residence portal. More details on moving out, refunds, and dining services can be found here.
Ways to succeed at remote learning. Adapting to a new learning environment can be challenging, but it is achievable. We’ve put together some tips to help you adjust quickly.
Take care of your mental health. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed when faced with so much uncertainty. Making your wellbeing a priority will help you both academically and personally. Here are some lifestyle suggestions and people you can reach out to for help.
Academic supports are available. Even though you may not be on campus, we are still here to support you in finishing your term successfully. Many student services are offering phone, email, and/or video appointments, including: academic advisors, Academic Learning Centre, Libraries and Student Accessibility Services.
As previously communicated, there will be no in-person exams for courses offered during Winter Term 2020.
You can find all UM news about COVID-19, including FAQs for students, on this page, which is updated when new information becomes available.
Please stay safe and be sure to continue following Manitoba Health directives concerning social distancing, hand washing, and coughing/sneezing etiquette. By looking after ourselves, and each other, we will get through these challenging times.
I will be in touch with new information, advice, and direction as this situation evolves.
All my best,