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CUFA BC Cautiously Welcomes Safe Return to Campus

Created 9 March 2021 08:03

For Immediate Release March 9, 2021 – The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA BC) cautiously welcomes the announcement from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training about the full return to campus this fall.

“Today, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, advised the presidents of all public colleges and universities to prepare for a full return to on-campus education this September,” says Minister Anne Kang. “I also know some people will be feeling nervous. Your safety is our top priority. At every step, we’re going to be working with Dr. Henry and all our partners to make sure the right measures are in place to keep people safe.”

“We are hopeful about returning to teaching, research and service on a safe campus.” says President Dr. Daniel Laitsch. “We look forward to working with Government and university administrators in planning a safe return to campus that also supports the highest quality teaching and learning opportunities for our students. Faculty will be an important part of the institutional decision-making.”

CUFA BC recognizes that faculty have gone above and beyond to support students; continuing to teach, conduct research, and supervise graduate students during very difficult circumstances and with significant workload increases. Faculty are already preparing their courses and registering students for classes in September, even as they continue to deliver spring courses and prepare for summer. We must be cautious in this return. We must also permit the time and space to grieve for the collective struggles from this past year, and the profound personal and professional hardships, which will make a return to campus all the more complex. A successful return to campus will require close consultation with faculty, and flexibility and compassion in accommodating teaching and learning needs as we work toward a healthy and just recovery.

“We appreciate the clarity in direction from the Minister’s office,” says Executive Director Annabree Fairweather. “This gives us a roadmap to return safely to campus. There are still a lot of questions to address but we have a great deal of confidence in Dr. Henry.”

For further information or comment please contact CUFA BC Executive Director Annabree Fairweather at 604-367-5856 or executive.director@cufa.bc.ca.

 

CUFA BC represents over 5,500 faculty members, professional librarians, lecturers, instructors, and other academics at the five research-intensive universities in British Columbia, which include University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and University of Northern British Columbia.

CUFA BC has existed for fifty years and works closely with the member Faculty Associations at each institution. Our purposes are to support high-quality post-secondary education and research in British Columbia and to advocate for the interests of our members.