USask plans for primarily remote academic delivery for fall term

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is planning for a primarily remote approach to program delivery this fall.

The planned September delivery model will combine primarily remote online learning, with limited classroom, laboratory, clinical, and physical instruction only where warranted and where circumstances permit, in consultation with public health and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer.

This direction reflects comprehensive analysis and planning work done at the university over the months since the emergence of COVID-19, and is based on current pandemic knowledge and projections. The planned direction also provides the programming flexibility needed to manage the potential risks while ensuring the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Remote program delivery this fall does not change the high quality and value of a USask degree. We are focused on program and delivery enhancements to ensure that students continue to receive a world class education at the University of Saskatchewan.

As communicated yesterday, a Pandemic Recovery Team (PRT) has recently been formed with the mandate to lead the planning for the delivery of academic programming and research in September, positioning USask undergraduate and graduate students to continue their programs with minimal disruption and necessary supports. The current spring term and the upcoming summer term are both being delivered remotely, and will continue in this format. 

The initial PRT work involves finalizing a September 2020 implementation plan, developed with consultation across all areas of university activity and with health officials. The goal is to have the fall implementation plan finalized and approved by the end of May. As part of the consultation and planning, deans, associate deans, and graduate chairs are working with department heads and others to identify the programming that will be done remotely, as well as academic programming elements and research that require an in-person mode of delivery.

Given the requirements that the university adhere to all public health guidelines and given the need for mandatory safety protocols, final determination of delivery mode for each program will be made through a decision-making process mapped out in the implementation plan, and will not be made at the individual faculty or instructor level. The decision-making process will follow principles and parameters approved by the PEC to ensure compliance with government health directives and restrictions.

More information about the PRT and its mandate, current timelines, and the decision-making principles, parameters and process for determining academic program, research activity and campus operations plans will be posted in the coming weeks.

For students concerned about making travel and living arrangements for the fall term, every effort will be made to communicate information about the mode of delivery of specific programs as soon as possible.

The health and safety of our campus community has been our primary focus throughout this pandemic, and will continue to be our top priority as we plan for a limited and very cautious reopening of our campuses in the fall. With thoughtfulness, responsiveness and resiliency, we will continue to work with the province to adjust our plans as necessary as we remain focused on delivering our world class academic programming and research.”

Students and staff are encouraged to continue to monitor updates.usask.ca for USask pandemic status updates, program delivery information, and additional details about campus changes.

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