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Update on Planning for Fall 2021March 29, 2021

A message from our Dean: McMaster Engineering prepares for on-campus experiences this Fall

Dear McMaster Engineering Community;

I’m writing to you with a sense of optimism for the months ahead.

On Friday, Provost Susan Tighe announced that the University is working towards bringing back on-campus experiences, as safe to do so, this Fall, and highlighted a number of key areas, including prioritizing the student experience, flexibility in the workplace and approaches to teaching.

Within the Faculty of Engineering, we hope to offer our students as many in-person opportunities as possible given what we expect to be changing public health guidance and space capacity updates in the coming months.

The details of how we’re going to do this are still evolving, and we expect to have more information in the weeks ahead.

But know that we are actively working on it. While the University is considering the overall return-to-campus framework for the institution, the Faculty of Engineering understands that there will be unique considerations for our own students, faculty members and staff.

In preparation for the Fall, the Faculty of Engineering has formed two working groups: A Virtual Teaching and Learning Taskforce (co-chairs Carlos Filipe, Chair, Chemical Engineering and Michael Curwin, Manager, Information Technology & Services) and an Engineering Future of Work Taskforce (co-chairs Hatem Zurob, Chair, Materials Science & Engineering and Nancy Balfoort, Director, Finance & Administration).

Each group, composed of staff, faculty members and students, has been charged with considering factors in the immediate term — return to campus this Fall — and long-term — what positive learnings from the pandemic can be applied to teaching and learning and how we work. These groups will each prepare a report outlining guiding principles and best practices to help steer us through this return-to-campus transition period and help us to set the stage for potential longer-term changes.

We will have more engineering-specific information in the weeks ahead for our current students, future students, faculty and staff.

I would like to thank our community for their continued resilience, agility and sense of hope throughout these challenging times. Our professors, instructors and students have found innovative ways to teach and conduct research, while our staff have created unique approaches to support our students and outreach activities.

As well, I would like to give special acknowledgement to those essential workers who have continued to work on campus, both within the Faculty and beyond, who have kept our learning and teaching, student engagement, research operations and facilities running. Thank you for your service!

Sincerely,

Ishwar K. Puri,
Dean, Faculty of Engineering
McMaster University