March 17th


Faculty of Engineering Responding to COVID 19 UPDATE March 17, 2020

TO: Students, Faculty and Staff

From: Dean, Faculty of Engineering

This has been a busy day for all. I hope students who were travelling to home or making other such arrangements are close to settling in again. Several important updates today.


Because they are a growing number of emails including one from my office every day we have launched a Faculty of Engineering Communication Page ( on the Engineering website for faculty specific information related to our response to COVID 19 and achieving Academic Continuity for the remainder of this term. I ask that you visit it regularly and I will stop adding to the email traffic unless it is necessary. We still intend to provide new information as needed daily.


The majority of course delivery will happen through Brightspace.

Some instructors already use Brightspace in their courses. They are working to adjust their sites this week. Do not be alarmed if content pre-loaded at the beginning of the term with timed released for this week suddenly appears.

Most instructors will be uploading new material and modifying other content this week. Expect the sites to be a work-in-progress while we make these adjustments. Some will be ready before others. Some content may change several times during the week. The expectation is for the sites to be ready for March 23.

On March 18, the instructors should also be uploading the modified course information detailing changes to content, delivery and grading.

Ability to withdraw from Winter 2020 courses until March 27

This is a time of extreme change for all of us. Upon reviewing the modified course plans, some students may not feel comfortable finishing their courses in this new environment. Revisions passed today by Senate permit any student who wishes to withdraw from a course offered during the Winter 2020 semester and receive a “W” on their transcript up to March 27, 2020 notwithstanding that the published date to do so is March 9, 2020. This withdrawal simply requires a request to the Registrars Office and will not require an additional waiver application.

Access to Campus in Time of Remote eLearning

As the University moves to more remote working arrangements, maintaining a safe working environment for the few individuals who need to be present and protecting the infrastructure also requires a change in operations. Beginning March 18, the buildings on Sexton Campus will be locked as they normally are on weekends and evenings. Students, faculty and staff can still gain access using their ID cards as in normal after-hours operations.