March 14, 2020 — Campus Update


To the Acadia University community,

Further to the communication on Friday, March 13, 2020, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the risk level is still low for our campus community. However, in consideration of developing circumstances and in consultation with other Nova Scotia universities, we are taking the following additional steps to help reduce the potential spread of coronavirus if it were to reach our campus:

All classes and labs will be suspended for March 16 – 20.
This will provide some preparation time for students, faculty and staff to make plans for the remainder of the term. During this period, no additional classwork will be assigned, but students may continue previously assigned work.

All in-person classes and labs will be cancelled for March 23 – April 3.
Faculty will work with students to determine how they will complete their courses. Plans may vary depending on the individual course, but will potentially include:

  • completing course work remotely through personal study (such as enhanced readings, communications through email),
  • augmented course materials available through Acadia’s learning management system
  • virtual class meetings.

There is no need for students to reach out individually to faculty at this time. Faculty will communicate directly with students in their classes by March 20 to inform them how individual courses will be impacted, including final evaluations (see below).

Examination Period April 6 – 18.
The examination period will continue; however, there will not be any in-person examinations. Students will be informed by faculty how the evaluation for their courses will be adapted, but adjustments may include:

  • take-home exams (due the end of the exam as previously scheduled by the registrar’s office);
  • additional assignments instead of a final examination;
  • evaluating based on work completed to date.

We will provide more information as it is available.

Convocation
At this time, planning for Convocation is still proceeding as usual; however, a decision to potentially reschedule or cancel Convocation will be made in the coming weeks as the situation unfolds.


Residences and Campus
Our campus, including residences, dining hall, the library, the fitness centre and Athletics Complex, will remain open at this time. However, students who wish to leave and return home may do so. The residence will close on April 19 as scheduled. If students are unable to remove their belonging from their residence room before April 19 or have accommodation issues, they must contact Student Affairs to make appropriate arrangements.

We have been in communication with the Deans and the Acadia University Faculty Association, and we are working together through these difficult times. While adjustments may have to be made that are outside the norm, we will be guided by what is reasonable and fair.

We know this is a stressful time for many in our community, and many things are outside anyone’s control, which naturally raises lots of questions. If you have any questions, we are establishing a covid-19@acadiau.ca email; however, depending on the volume of inquiries, individual replies may not be possible. We will be regularly updating our COVID-19 information website to address questions and concerns.

Nova Scotia Public Health provides guidelines on staying healthy and preventing the spread of viruses, including handwashing and staying home when you are sick. Please refer to these, and if you feel ill, seek information by doing a self-assessment on the 811 website.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work through this unprecedented situation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Peter Ricketts
President and Vice-Chancellor

Dr. Dale Keefe
Provost and Vice-President, Academic


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