Dear members of the Faculty of Arts,
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the entire Arts community for their patience and positive morale as we respond to the collective call to address the global pandemic of the Covid-19 virus. It has been a challenging two weeks of adaptation, Faculty of Arts is in a very good place as we respond to the impact of the novel coronavirus on our students, faculty, and staff.
Today, the Faculty of Arts relaunches the semester via remote teaching platforms. This is an unprecedented effort, as instructors and students alike begin a new, challenging step in teaching and learning. The Faculty’s academic and administrative leadership is ready to help in this adjustment process, to ensure a smooth transition toward the completion of the semester.
As Dean, I continue to be in regular contact (via Zoom) with my fellow university Deans and the Provost’s Office, as well as the Faculty of Arts Associate Deans, and our Chairs and Directors. In addition, I am in contact with a group of Deans of Arts across Canada as we share concerns and best practices. This constant flow of communication has shored up confidence during these trying times, and continues to reinforce an essential team spirit throughout the Faculty of Arts.
I wanted to touch base as we re-launch to share some updates and remind you of the support and resources that are available to the Arts community, and to ensure that together we can continue our academic mission successfully. Our Faculty of Arts website contains a dedicated page on updates and questions, which I encourage you to consult: https://mcgill.ca/arts/covid-19-updates.
For students, we are excited at the prospect of welcoming you back to class via remote learning. Our first priority is to ensure that you have the tools and support to be able complete the semester as planned. You now have access to the revised syllabi for your courses offered in the Faculty of Arts. Should you have any questions, remember that our advising team stands ready to help as we ease into this transition period (https://www.mcgill.ca/oasis/), as well as our Associate deans (Student Affairs: Lucy. lach [at] mcgill.ca; Graduate Affairs: Tabitha.sparks [at] mcgill.ca).
Here are some helpful links to consult:
- Student-facing McGIll services are now available on-line: please consult this page on the Student Services website for a list and instructions for access.
- As you adjust to remote learning, the University’s Teaching and Learning Services has create a suite of online resources to help.
- For graduate students:
- Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has a series of helpful FAQs to consult.
- Graduate students with urgent and immediate financial concerns relating to travel, living expenses or to access remote learning (internet or equipment related), may apply to McGill’s Scholarships & Student Aid Office for In-Course Financial Aid. This is a bursary and loan program for students, based on demonstrated financial need. Students can still contact graduatefunding.gps [at] mcgill.ca to inform us of their emergency financial needs in the current context.
- Canada Graduate Scholarship – Masters (CGSM) In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agencies have made changes to the 2020 CGSM competition timelines regarding the release of results. The opening of the Research Portal for students to accept or decline awards has been delayed until April 15, 2020. Email communication regarding this change will be sent to all 2020 CGS M applicants.
- For students with disabilities: please refer to the OSD’s FAQs related to accessing services and accommodations.
- The Scholarships and Student Aid Office is available to all undergraduate and graduate students to discuss any urgent or immediate financial needs that may come up for them because of COVID-1.Students should also familiarize themselves with the adjusted academic measures for Winter 2020, including withdrawls and incomplete courses, deferred exams, and other assessment adjustments. In addition, OASIS has complied a guide to navigating the S/U options: https://www.mcgill.ca/oasis/academic/courses/satisfactoryunsatisfactory-option
For instructors, we thank you for your dedication in adapting your course outlines, teaching methods, and assessment practices to ensure the integrity of our academic mission while providing the maximum flexibility to students in this challenging situation. Our Associate Deans are ready to help with any questions you may have (Academic Affairs, Michael.fronda [at] mcgill.ca; Faculty Affairs, jim.engle-warnick [at] mcgill.ca).
To remind you of those resources:
- Teaching and Learning Services has put together a suite of online resources for instructors adapting to remote teaching and final exam preparation, including this page page on Zoom teaching.
- For a list of adjusted academic measures available to students in Winter 2020, visit the Student Records webpage.
- If you have further questions, check out myCourses essentials, a new online resource for instructors and course designers.
For administrative staff, clerical and managers, working remotely from home, many thanks for rapidly adjusting to the new demands and working conditions, and please be assured that we will continue to ensure clear communication, best practices and effective management as you fulfil your tasks. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Faculty Office (Director of Administration: Richard Courtois richard.courtois [at] mcgill.ca; Senior Manager: Andy Catalano andy.catalano [at] mcgill.ca).
Please visit this page for FAQS about work during this period https://www.mcgill.ca/coronavirus/faqs#working-during-the-closure.
Resources to be aware of:
- IT’s updated guide to working remotely and new //outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/CollaborationSolutions [at] McGill.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/">online trainings for virtual collaboration tools
- The recently enhanced well-being section of the HR website
- Link to your local HR representative who can provide advice
- McGill’s Employee & Family Assistance Program should you be experiencing distress.
We are grappling with this situation in our personal and professional lives, and you have my sincere best wishes for your continued health, and that of your loved ones. I hope your McGill experiences are standing you in good stead as we continue to adapt and adjust to this global crisis.
With warmest regards,
Dean / Doyenne
Faculty of Arts / Faculté des arts
McGill University / Université McGill
853 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal (Québec) H3A 0G5