Archive: COVID-19: Faculty of Education Updates

The below information has been shared with our Faculty community and is included in their respective categories on our COVID-19: Faculty of Educations Updates page.


September 25, 2020 | 2:25 pm


I am immensely proud of all the ways our community members have collaborated and supported each other these past months. From picking up the phone and asking how someone feels to sharing your resources and time with those in need, I commend your altruism and care.

How Can I Help?

Like others, many students have lost part-time jobs and are facing financial challenges they could have never anticipated.

Equity and inclusivity, in their many forms, are key priorities at the Faculty. The Dean of Education Endowment Fund (which provides tax receipts for all gifts) continues to allocate emergency relief funds to Faculty of Education students experiencing financial crises. Drs. Jennifer Katz and Jenna Shapka, who established and manage a GoFundMe Food Bank, continue to provide food relief services for students in need. Visit the How Can I Help? section of the Faculty’s COVID-19 website to learn more.

Not Myself Today

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s initiative, Not Myself Today (NMT), engages workplaces across Canada, like UBC, to help break down barriers and make mental health literacy accessible. They provide activities and resources that are simple to implement, and available to all faculty and staff.

The Faculty of Education is committed to build greater mental health awareness, reduce stigma, and foster safe and supportive cultures. As such, the Office of the Dean will once again actively participate in NMT and I encourage you to join.

NMT will run during Thrive this November. If you are interested in becoming a NMT ambassador for your unit, department, or school, complete the online registration form by October 1st, 2020. Visit UBC Human Resource’s NTW webpage for details and, if you have any questions, contact Crystal Hutchinson.



UBC’s Homecoming is a fun annual tradition and all are welcome to join. Tune in to the virtual celebration this evening at 6:30 pm, featuring various artists, UBC leaders, and surprise guests. Then, connect with our UBC community during a full weekend of enjoyable activities assembled for you and your families. Following is where you can find this weekend’s Okanagan and Vancouver homecoming schedules and details.

Orange Shirt Day

Orange shirt day is dedicated to former residential school students, survivors, their families and communities. Each year, on September 30th, we wear orange shirts to raise awareness about the residential school system in Canada, recognize the effects of residential schools and their legacy, join in the spirit of reconciliation, and honour the experiences of Indigenous Peoples.

I invite you to read UBC Beyond’s article, 3 things you might not know about Orange Shirt Day, check out Xwi7xwa Library’s Collection Spotlight: A Children’s Booklist for Orange Shirt Day, and visit UBC’s IRSHDC website. Teachers can also register for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s upcoming event, Every Child Matters: Reconciliation Through Education.

As mentioned last week, read the 2020 UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan and the multitude of resources on the UBC Vancouver Indigenous Portal.

Black Artistic Expressions in BC

Black Artistic Expressions in BC is a community-university collaboration, developed in partnership between local Black artists, UBC’s IBPOC Connections: Staff and Faculty, and the Faculty’s Centre for Centre for Culture, Identity and Education.

Black Artistic Expressions in BC is hosting a four-part visual series centered on joy, resilience, fun, and activism that bears witness to what it means to be Black in British Columbia. On October 21th, join Tonye Aganaba in the second event.

Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT)

CTLT host dozens of valuable and practical events each month. Amongst several options in the coming weeks, you may be interested in Designing Courses with Care: Did I Miss Any Student in My Online Course?, Inclusive Teaching: What is it and Why Does it Matter?, or Making Teamwork Work in Online Courses. Check out the CTLT events calendar for a list of all their events.

September 18, 2020 | 1:20 pm


2020 UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan

UBC is the first university in North America to make explicit commitments to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and take a human rights-based approach to the University’s Indigenous strategic framework.

On Monday, I celebrated the launch of the 2020 UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan. As we decolonize our campuses, pedagogy, and structures, the Plan’s launch is an important milestone. While the Plan provides core guidance to all areas at the University on Indigenous Engagement, its implementation is key to meaningful collective action. If you have not already, read the 2020 UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan and the multitude of resources on the UBC Vancouver Indigenous Portal.

Presentations, Receptions and Discussions

BEd Professionalism Presentations
The enthusiasm of our newest cohorts of teacher candidates for elementary, middle, and secondary years inspired me during this week’s presentations on professionalism and standards of teaching in British Columbia. Join me as I celebrate this momentous chapter of their journey as future educators. Click here to see a presentation photo.

People of Colour’s Experiences in the University Webinar
This week’s UBC-wide webinar, You’re not crazy, you’re not wrong: Hearing experiences of people of colour in the university, was led by Dr. Anthony Stewart (John P. Crozer Chair of English Literature, Bucknell University) and moderated by Dr. Minelle Mahtani (Senior Advisor, Provost on Racialized Faculty, UBC and Associate Professor, Institute for Social Justice, UBC). Courageously, speakers discussed the differences between universities’ equitable aspirations and people of colour’s lived experiences on and off campuses. As meaningful change requires sustained action, let us continue working to understand, address, and dismantle racism.

Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) Reception
During an exciting virtual reception, I joined the ALDP alumni, planning team, Dr. Bonnie Henry, President Santa J. Ono, and Dr. Andrew Szeri in welcoming the 2020/21 ALDP cohort, including Dr. Jennifer Shapka, on their new roles as academic leaders (heads, directors, and more) at UBC. Click here to see a reception photo.

New Emeriti Reception
Yesterday, we formally celebrated the newest cohort of emeriti for the 2020-21 academic year. As the Faculty values all of our esteemed emeriti, join me in congratulating:

  • Jim Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Language and Literacy Education
  • Margot Filipenko, Professor Emeritus of Teaching Language and Literacy Education
  • Peter Grimmet, Professor Emeritus of Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Barry Legh, Senior Instructor Emeritus Kinesiology
  • Anthony Pare, Professor Emeritus of Language and Literacy Education
  • Robert Tierney, Dean Emeritus of Education/Professor Emeritus of Language and Literacy Education

Self-Care September

We are half-way through one of the busiest months for our Faculty community. To help ensure we remain healthy, focused and connected, join our Self-Care September Faculty-wide initiative. This week’s Thrive 5-based wellness activities focus is on the benefits of eating well. Likewise, if you have not already, discuss the Healthy Workplace Practices document within your unit and develop some practices that fit your unit’s culture.

Events and Workshops

Education Technology Support (ETS)
ETS offers a multitude of training modules, workshops, and drop-in sessions. This week, they hosted events on recording lectures with Kaltura Capture and Zoom, Collaborate Ultra web conferencing in Canvas, and more. Next week, they are hosting three events on SpeedGrader evaluations and a Canvas drop-in session. See ETS’s events calendar for details.

Advancing Early Childhood Education Outdoors
As mentioned last week, interested parties can register for the upcoming free, public webinars titled, Advancing Early Childhood Education Outdoors Now. The virtual round table discussions will include local and international experts, and are offered in conjunction with the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies. Click here for event and registration information.

September 11, 2020 | 9:15 am

I hope the start of Winter Term 1 has proceeded smoothly for you, whether you are teaching, learning, or supporting the Faculty’s academic, administrative and outreach endeavours. We are now six months into the pandemic, with (at present) only vague estimates as to when we will emerge into the post-pandemic world. Rather than being disheartened by the uncertainties, I hope you can reflect with pride on our collective achievement in keeping the work of the Faculty and University moving forward. Over the past week, I have attended a number of welcome events for incoming students, whose flexibility, enthusiasm and joy in learning were an inspiration to me.

Self-Care September

I must confess that while I’ve downloaded the Self-Care September app, I have not yet mastered all its intricacies. I encourage all of you to follow along either through the app or by watching our social media posts, and to join in as you are able. This week’s wellness focus is on the benefits of sleeping soundly. Check out the Thrive 5 here.

Working on Campus

Some of you have now resumed on-campus work. if you have not yet made this arrangement but would like to do so, please connect to your unit administrative manager to be added to the schedule. Please also recall that you need to complete UBC’s mandatory training module, Preventing COVID-19 Infection in the Workplace, as well as the Faculty’s Safety Plan Compliance course.

For those of you who are working on campus, I would like to draw your attention to a few UBC updates. Safety and Risk Services (SRS) has developed a document outlining procedures for working outside your regular campus building during COVID-19. SRS is also developing mobile app for faculty and staff who are working in isolation while on campus. I will update you when the app is operational.

Events and Workshops

As usual, I have a few workshops and other events to suggest to you. Education Technology Support has a full suite of course offerings viewable on their events calendar, including discussion sessions, training modules and drop-in sessions. Do take advantage of ETS’s expertise, if you have not done so already.

For those interested in early childhood education, take note of a series of free, public webinars beginning later this month on the topic of advancing early childhood education outdoors. The virtual roundtables, which include local and international experts from health, education, policy, and law, among others, are being offered in conjunction with the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies. More information and registration.

September 4, 2020 | 12:15 pm


With the start of the Winter Term 1 next week, I am excited to be welcoming our new and returning students across all of our education programs. I am immensely proud of the way our Faculty of Education community mobilized in the transition to online teaching and learning, and remote work. Although this September is going to look and feel a bit different, I know from the feedback I am getting that we will make it a dynamic and successful experience for all.

Online Teaching and Learning Resources

No doubt there are new concerns and stress around returning to school and working in a largely online environment. Our colleagues in Educational Technology Support have compiled a wealth of information and resources available for faculty, staff and students. Please see the below links for access to mentorship, one-on-one support, workshops and more to ensure your online teaching and learning success:
Online Education Faculty Mentors Team
Online Teaching Workshops & Events
Teaching Online
Teaching with Technology
UBC’s ‘Keep Teaching’ Resource
UBC’s ‘Keep Learning’ Resource

Bimema Family Award in Teacher Education

As stated in my messages earlier this summer, we in the Faculty of Education denounce racism in all of its forms. Our Faculty stands firm and united with those impacted by systemic violence and the anti-Black racism against Black communities in Canada.

On Wednesday, I was pleased to announce the establishment of the Bimema Family Award in Teacher Education. This award, created by Dr. Bathseba Opini in collaboration with myself, supports the success and excellence of Black students enrolled in our teacher education program. I invite you all to learn more about this important initiative and consider making a financial contribution to the Bimema Family Award in Teacher Education. More information may be found on our Development and Alumni Engagement webpage.

Migration from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

On August 17, 2020, faculty and staff using Skype for Business will be able to upgrade to Microsoft (MS) Teams to leverage features such as instant messaging (chat), meetings (video conferencing), and asynchronous collaboration using Teams sites and channels.

As both Skype for Business and MS Teams are similar Microsoft products, the Instant Messaging and Meetings components can only exist in either Skype for Business or MS Teams. Over the next few months, all Skype for Business users will need to move to Teams. However some may not quite be ready to make the move yet. If you are a Skype for Business user, you will have a choice to make:
(1) Keep using Skype for Business for Instant Messaging and Meetings for now and only use Microsoft Teams for Team Site Collaboration; or
(2) Move to Microsoft Teams for Instant Messaging, Meetings and Team Site Collaboration (Teams Only Mode)

Use this form to declare that you would like to transition to Teams Only mode and UBC IT will queue up your account for migration.

Following are some upcoming workshops and events that may be of interest.

Preventing and Responding to Sexualized Violence: Considerations for Digital Classrooms

In this session, we’ll explore trauma-informed approaches to preventing and responding to sexualized violence in online learning: content notes, communicating support services, remote responses to disclosures, online prevention, and supports in the remote teaching and learning landscape.

Date: Thursday, September 10, 2020
Time: 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Register for this session

Leading Synchronous and Asynchronous Discussions Online

Refresh your perspective on what it means to have a “discussion” online. In this session, we’ll explore the role of online discussions in supporting students’ learning, and discover some best practices and useful tools we can use as TAs to lead effective online discussions in synchronous and asynchronous formats.

Date: Friday, September 11, 2020
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Register for this session
Black Artistic Expressions in B.C.: Marcus Mosely

This four-part virtual series is about joy and resilience, fun, and activism that bears witness to what it means to be Black in B.C. Join us at the heart of each month for a celebration of Black lives, Black culture and activism, and Black musical and poetic expression.

Date: Friday, September 16, 2020
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Register for this session


As we end the summer off and embrace autumn this long weekend, please take the time to recharge and connect with friends, loved ones and family. As you plan your long weekend’s rest and relaxation, please be mindful of the importance of continued vigilance in maintaining physical distance and following other public health protocols. Please take the time to review Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan: Guidelines for B.C. Travel and understand the precautions you should take when you are away. You can also read more information about the Faculty of Education’s response to COVID-19 at

This new academic year will be quite different for us all, and it is vital that we remain committed in prioritizing the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff. If you have not already, I invite you to join our Faculty-wide initiative Self Care September, which aims to encourage our community to focus on building a sense of connectedness as we boost our own wellness.

August 28, 2020 | 12:15 pm

Self-Care September

It seems like a long time since March 13th, which was the last day that many of us were on campus. While I remain immensely proud of the way our Faculty community mobilized to implement remote work, teaching, learning, and scholarship, I fully recognize that the past five months have taken a physical, mental, or emotional toll on ourselves and the people around us. As we move into September, one of the busiest times for our Faculty community, I strongly encourage all of you to reflect on what we’ve learned over the past five months of remote work and to put in place some new practices that will ensure we remain healthy, focused and connected with each other and our communities.

To support this work, I am pleased to announce a Faculty-wide wellness initiative, Self-Care September, which officially launches on September 1st. We’ve partnered with Thrive UBC and Athletics & Recreation to create a bespoke program for our Faculty, with a special focus on building community as we boost our own wellness.

I invite you to be part of the Faculty’s self-care collective by downloading the free Scavify app and participating in the many wellness activities available throughout the month. Each activity you complete will translate into kilometres, which will then contribute to our virtual “Education Crosses Canada” activity. Our goal is to support each other on our journey to wellness, with our progress indicated on the map. I will be using the app for my own wellness journey, and I encourage you to do the same.

Healthy Workplace Practices

Our thoughts on healthy practices often focus around eating well, sleeping well and so on. I also encourage us to think about our virtual workplace and whether we can develop some shared understandings of workplace health. The document, Healthy Workplace Practices, highlights some directions that we’ve been discussing within the Office of the Dean: making your calendar work for you, ensuring meetings are productive, and using Zoom judiciously. I encourage you to discuss the Healthy Workplace Practices document within your unit, and develop some practices that fit within your unit’s culture.

Following are some upcoming workshops and events that may be of interest.

Equity and Inclusion Workshops

From September 10th to September 15th, the Equity and Inclusion Office is hosting a series of workshops for teaching assistants (TAs) entitled Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in TAing. The workshops support new and returning TAs in incorporating equity, diversity, and inclusion into their work. More information and to register.

Faculty Mentor Session: Using Canvas Analytics Thoughtfully

Used wisely, data from your online course can help you keep track of your students’ progress, and help you and your students track participation in your course learning community. Join us to learn more about how to use Canvas’ New Analytics and Threadz to support teaching and learning online.

Date: Thursday, September 3rd
Time: 3:00 pm PST
Register for this session

How are you thinking differently?

This new academic year will be quite different for us all. Despite the challenges, there are also opportunities to think differently and adapt to new ways of working. UBC would like to hear from you (faculty and staff) as we navigate new ways of working. Please share your insights and experiences through a brief survey on what work looks like from your perspective. Your input will help the University understand your viewpoint as we plan for the safe, phased resumption of on-campus activities. Access the survey.

August 27, 2020 | 8:30 am

Working On-campus: Mandatory Training Courses

Faculty or staff working on-site in Neville Scarfe or Ponderosa Commons North are required to complete two mandatory, online training courses:

  1. Faculty of Education Safety Plan Compliance Course
  2. Preventing COVID-19 Infection in the Workplace

August 14, 2020 | 9:15 am

I am sure you have been watching BC’s COVID-19 caseload (I follow the BC Centre for Disease Control’s Dashboard, which is updated daily at 5:00 pm). As of the time of writing, BC logged 85 new cases, with 36 of these located in the Fraser Health Authority and 41 located within the Coastal Health Authority. These worrying numbers remind us to not relax our vigilance, particularly as we are expecting public schools to open within the next several weeks.

Anti-Black Racism Initiatives in our Faculty & Beyond

Earlier this summer, I alerted you that a number of people in our Faculty were working on diverse anti-Black racism initiatives. Anti-Black racism is an important priority for our Faculty and the wider community and I am pleased to note that we are close to making some announcements. I will communicate more specific details on our Faculty-level initiatives in the weeks to come.

The Equity and Inclusion Office (EDI) is also undertaking and showcasing anti-racism work on its website and through social channels. I recommend that you check EDI’s Together Against Racism page, which offers a list of statements, events and resources that may be of interest.

I invite you to participate in a webinar offered by UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and other partners entitled “South Asians for Black Lives: Caste & Anti-Blackness,” scheduled for Tuesday, August 18th at 4:00 pm. The webinar encourages discussion of casteism, anti-Blackness and Islamophobia. Register for this free webinar.

Faculty of Education Safety Plan

I am pleased to report that the Faculty of Education’s Safety Plan has received executive approval, which means that very soon we will be able to provide limited, scheduled access to the buildings for faculty members who need to work in their on-campus office spaces. Your unit administrative manager will communicate more details to you shortly. If you have not yet read the Faculty’s Safety Plan, please do so at your earliest convenience.

Please note that the Safety Plan applies to the Vancouver campus only; the Okanagan School of Education is undertaking a separate but parallel process on its own campus.

Preparing for Online Delivery in Winter Term 1

I am sure you have seen the many resources designed to support those who are participating in remote teaching and learning this fall. Offerings that have crossed my desk recently include Multimodal Assignments and Removing Barriers to Online Learning. Closer to home, Education Technology Support is offering a faculty mentor session entitled “Making Sure Your Canvas Materials are Accessible. Read the full details below and register for the session, which will take place August 18th at 3:00 pm:

Want to make sure your Canvas-based course is as inclusive and accessible as possible? UBC has signed a contract for a tool called Ally which integrates with Canvas. Ally is an accessibility application that helps make courses more accessible. It allows students to download documents in alternative formats (like audio or electronic braille) and provides practical guidance on how to make changes to improve accessibility. Join us to learn more about Ally, see it in action, and find out how to get it enabled in your course.


As I will be on holiday, you will not receive an update from me next week. I look forward to reconnecting with you during the week of August 24th and wish you all the best until then.

August 7, 2020 | 1:47 pm

B.C.’s Go-Forward Guidelines

In case you missed the announcement last week, the province announced the new Go-Forward guidelines for B.C.’s post-secondary sector. The guidelines were developed by experts from within the post-secondary sector, including Dr. Phil Barker, Associate Vice-President Research (UBCO) and Ainsley Carry, Vice-President, Students (both campuses). The guidelines cover a broad range of safety and operation protocols, including child care, food services, student housing and more.

Faculty of Education Safety Plan

I am pleased to report that the Faculty of Education’s Safety Plan has successfully completed its first hurdle, which was review by the University Steering Committee. The Steering Committee’s mandate is to provide expert analysis, regulatory review and the identification of risks within safety plans. Our Faculty-wide plan has now been sent on for review by the Executive Team. While we will likely need to make some adjustments to the plan, we are still on track to provide limited, scheduled access to the buildings for faculty members who need to work in their on-campus office spaces. Please note that the Safety Plan applies to the Vancouver campus only; the Okanagan School of Education is undertaking a separate but parallel process on its own campus.

If you have not yet read the Faculty’s Safety Plan, please do so at your earliest convenience.

Preparing for Online Delivery in Winter Term 1

The Educational Technology Support (ETS) team continues to provide stellar workshops and one-on-one support for faculty and instructors, with at least six events each week (viewable through a clickable event calendar). In addition to the workshops and one-on-one support meetings, ETS also provides web-based asynchronous resources, including a newly developed Teaching with Technology page, which allows users to browse and filter through the supported technologies by pedagogical goal.

Other Supports

I recognize that working remotely continues to be a challenge for many members of our Faculty community. The University is working to provide the services and supports that we all need. For example, there is a new service available to match faculty and staff needing in-home child care support with students in the Faculty of Education’s Early Childhood Education program. Visit for more information. I know I have mentioned this before, but I will once again remind you that UBC’s Human Resources website provides a comprehensive list of supports and tools for building and maintaining mental health. You may also be interested in the Faculty of Medicine’s MEDTalks webinar, The Nature of Mental Health During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis, taking place on August 12th from 12:00 to 1:30 PDT. All are welcome to attend; registration is required.

If you are struggling to find the support you need, please reach out to my office for assistance.


Best wishes for a relaxing and safe weekend. Wash your hands, please.


July 31, 2020 | 12:40 pm

Welcome to the end of another week. We are now well into summer and deep into planning for an unprecedented fall. Our Teacher Candidates have just completed their program, and I extend my sincere congratulations not only to the TCs but also to all of you who supported them on their journey: faculty, staff, faculty associates, and more. The Teacher Education Office created a virtual wall of congratulations—do take time to check it out and read the messages of support.

Speaking of virtual walls, please check out the Faculty’s virtual Pride Wall, which features stories, resources, and retrospectives from our Faculty community and beyond. The wall will only be available until the end of this weekend.

BC’s Go Forward Guidelines

On July 31, Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, announced the release of the Go Forward Guidelines for reducing the risk of COVID-19 at post-secondary institutions in B.C. The guidelines were developed by the post-secondary sector, with representatives from Indigenous educational groups, key student associations and major post-secondary labour organizations. They provide a minimum standard for both public and private institutions as they develop their own COVID-19 safety plans. As you know, our Faculty is well underway with its safety planning. We will consult the new guidelines to ensure our plans complies with current government directives.

Winter Term 2

I know many of you are wondering what Winter Term 2 will look like. At this time, I anticipate that W2 will look very similar to W1 in terms of program delivery and remote working arrangements. I will, of course, keep you updated should there be any changes to the planning.

Faculty Town Hall

Sincere thanks to all those who attended the town hall for faculty members, held via Zoom on July 29th. Dr. Patsy Duff presented updates on the Faculty’s research resumption plan, which is currently at Stage 1 of operation. During this stage, approved activities include KIN labs used for on-campus research that require on-campus resources. No requests for off-campus, in-person research have yet been approved.

During the town hall, Katy Ellsworth presented the Faculty’s safety plan, which outlines our approach to limited, scheduled access for faculty members who wish to work in their individual offices, beginning later this summer. I am pleased to note that our safety plan has been submitted to Safety and Risk Services for review and approval. We hope to begin scheduling access for the week of August 17th; however, there are several layers of approval to be worked through before access can happen. Please bear with us as we navigate the process.

As a reminder, before anyone can return to on-campus work, they will be required to complete an online training course. The mandatory module, Preventing COVID-19 Infection in the Workplace training is accessible through the Workplace Learning (WPL) platform. To complete the training you must enroll in the course after logging in with your CWL.

COVID Alert Mobile App

On July 31, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, announced that COVID Alert, a new national mobile app, is now available to Canadians for free download. The app, first developed in Ontario, notifies users who may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Use of COVID Alert is voluntary and user information remains private—COVID Alert does not use GPS or track the user’s location, name, address or other identifying details. The app is only currently fully operational in Ontario but is expected to roll out in BC in the coming days. The app is, of course, only one part of a broad public health strategy aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Wellness during COVID-19

I mentioned last week that I am working with my office to create some suggested guidelines that will help us all avoid burnout as we move into a very busy fall. I thank all of you who have already sent suggestions to Faustina Cheung in my office, and ask that you continue to do so. We will share the guidelines and other plans in the weeks to come.

On the same topic, I note that beginning August 1st, Morneau-Shappell will offer a webinar, entitled Overcoming Burnout, which will explore strategies for coping with and avoiding burnout. The pre-recorded webinar can be accessed through the Workplace Learning Environment Platform and is open to faculty and staff on both campuses.


I wish you and your families and friends a safe, relaxing and work-free long weekend. Please take the time to enjoy being away from email!

Best, Blye

July 24, 2020 | 2:00 pm

Welcome to the weekend, which I imagine is a much-needed break for all of you. I am sure you are aware the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases within British Columbia. The rise in cases is concerning, especially as we had all worked so hard to help flatten the curve. As you plan your weekend’s rest and relaxation, please be mindful of the importance continued vigilance in maintaining physical distance and following other safety protocols. We have shown that we can bring the pandemic under control by following public health guidelines—we simply need to keep doing what we’ve been doing since March.

Supports and Resources for Online Teaching

Some good news: earlier this week, Dr. Szeri announced a suite of resources to support online teaching for Winter Term 1. A pool of $3M in new funding will be distributed among Faculties to assist with building and teaching courses online. Additionally, the Office of the Provost is adding to its collection of online resources with items such as the Keep Teaching website, the Online Teaching Program, and more. Check out the online hub here:

If you did not receive the email from the Provost, please contact Faustina Cheung in my office, and she will forward it to you.

Safety Plan Update

In my last bulletin, I mentioned that the Office of the Dean was working on a plan to allow limited, scheduled building access to faculty who wish to work in their campus offices. I am pleased to let you know that our Faculty of Education Safety Plan has been drafted and is in the process of being reviewed before being submitted to Safety and Risk Services (SRS) for approval. The Safety Plan will be posted on the Faculty’s COVID-19 page on Monday, July 28th. DNSO Communications will provide a link and related information, including a Qualtrics survey, in Monday’s edition of Education Update. I ask all of you—faculty, staff and students—to review the draft plan and provide feedback through the survey. Our goal is to submit the plan for approval by the end of next week.

As a reminder, before anyone can return to on-campus work, they will be required to complete an online training course. The mandatory module, Preventing COVID-19 Infection in the Workplace training is accessible through the Workplace Learning (WPL) platform. To complete the training you must enroll in the course after logging in with your CWL.

Pay Attention to your Mental Health

In many portfolios, July and August tend to be a slower time in terms of meetings, planning and the like. This summer, I don’t believe anyone’s portfolio has slowed down. This is all the more reason for you to pay attention to your mental health, and I once again encourage you to schedule a vacation for yourself. Even a one-week break can make a world of difference in your outlook and state of mind.

I have heard from a number of colleagues, both in the university and outside, that they are finding it difficult to set aside time to attend to their own mental and physical health and wellbeing. I am working with my office to create some suggested guidelines for us all, and I would appreciate hearing your ideas. Some initial thoughts that you can implement now include: limit the length and frequency of meetings, schedule regular breaks in your calendar (e.g., a minimum of two breaks per day plus lunch), include transition times before and after meetings, and so forth. Additionally, we would like to create opportunities for non-work-related connections, for example by creating a Faculty-wide fitness challenge or something similar. If you have ideas for us to include in our planning, please connect with Faustina Cheung in my office.


I wish you all the best for a safe and relaxing weekend. Wash your hands, please.


July 10, 2020 | 1:05 pm

Welcome to the end of another week. I will be on holiday next week, not travelling (alas) but taking a break from email and other work. I know I have mentioned this earlier but I will remind and encourage you all to book some holiday time this summer in order to keep your mental health and energy up. With a very busy fall ahead of us, we all need to take time to refresh ourselves and reconnect with family, nature, and a more relaxed pace of life.

Resumption of on-campus work

As part of research resumption Phase 2, we are moving toward the resumption of limited, managed access to faculty offices for on-campus work for faculty members who wish to participate. The expectation is that interested faculty would be able to work in their offices one or two days per week. Participation would be completely voluntary; we continue to encourage faculty to work at home if they are able to do so productively. Those who choose to resume on-campus work will not be able to conduct face-to-face meetings, including graduate student supervision. This is simply an opportunity for interested faculty to write, prepare for teaching, or conduct other scholarly endeavours in their faculty offices.

In preparation for this shift, the Faculty is preparing an overarching Safety Plan, with individual units preparing intermediary plans that will dovetail with the main plan. There are many steps to be taken before on-campus work can resume fully, including final approval of our plan by the Office of the President. In conjunction with the Safety Plan approval, the buildings will need to be thoroughly cleaned and the water systems flushed. Finally, we will install appropriate safety signage, indicating occupancy limits, personal cleaning protocols, and directional flow indicators for hallways and stairwells. I will, of course, keep you informed as our plans progress.

Before anyone can return to on-campus work, they will be required to complete an online training course. The mandatory module, Preventing COVID-19 Infection in the Workplace training is accessible through the Workplace Learning (WPL) platform. To complete the training you must enroll in the course after logging in with your CWL.

As a point of clarification, we are not currently planning for staff to resume on-campus work. Many of our staff take public transit to work. Others are having difficulty accessing childcare. Many have taken home office equipment and are now productively working from home. We have no plan to disrupt this pattern of work, and are continuing to value the health and safety of our staff above all other considerations.

Research Funding Statistics

UBC’s Office of Research and Innovation has just published a summary of research funding for 2019–20. I am pleased to note that our Faculty received more than $7M in funding between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, and I extend my appreciation and congratulations to all of you whose work contributes to the academic excellence of our Faculty.

IRP Change Readiness Assessment Survey

The Integrated Renewal Program is scheduled to go live on November 22nd, with fully updated HR, finance and student systems and processes. UBC’s IRP Team is asking for your participation in the third IRP Change Readiness Assessment Survey to assist them in understanding our level of readiness. The survey closes today, July 10th. Please take a few moments to complete the survey if you have not already done so.

Events & Webinars

This month, UBC HR is offering a number of free events with a focus on wellbeing. Here are a few you might be interested in:

Money Talks: The Cash is Flowing… is it going in the right direction?
(facilitated webinar) | July 29, 2020 | 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm. Join Money Coach Melanie Buffel for a fun and informative conversation on creating a money management system to help you reduce your unwanted costs and direct your money to what matters the most to you.
Learn more and register.

Self-Care 101 (self-guided webinar) | Open enrollment
Join this unique, self-guided course and learn how to increase mental health literacy through self-care. Take a stress index, explore what self-care means to you and identify key UBC resources that can be engaged to support work life integration and positive mental health.
Access the webinar.

30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge | Begins every Tuesday
This free, innovative, evidence-based training is for all UBC staff and faculty looking to incorporate mindfulness into the workplace and in their everyday lives. It focuses on simple yet powerful and achievable learning objectives. After just 10 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days, you will be healthier, more productive, and better able to problem-solve and work in a team.
Learn more and register now.

In case you missed it at the time, our Faculty co-hosted a webinar along with the Faculty of Land and Food Systems on June 30th. Entitled Family Ties: Connecting Food and Learning at Home, the webinar featured Dr. Kerry Renwick (EDCP) along with registered dietitian Desirée Nielsen and moderator Martina Seo, a home economics teacher and Faculty of Ed alum. This very engaging webinar centred on the renewed importance of shared meals during the COVID lockdown—please do take the time to check it out if you can. Access the webinar.


As I will be on holiday, you will not receive an update from me next week. I look forward to reconnecting with you during the week of July 20th and wish you all the best until then.


July 3, 2020 | 2:33 pm

I hope you enjoyed the mid-week break from routine that Canada Day afforded, even without the fireworks, barbeques, social gatherings and other hallmarks of the day. In support of physical distancing, Heritage Canada hosted a virtual celebration of Canada’s cultural diversity, sporting excellence, Indigenous culture and languages, and front-line workers—do take some time to check it out, if you have not already seen it.

This year, I used Canada Day as an opportunity to reflect on the unique cultures, traditions, languages, knowledges, and ways of knowing of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and to give thanks for the many opportunities I have had to connect with Indigenous colleagues and communities over the course of my life and career.

Town Hall for Faculty Members

With no faculty meetings scheduled over the summer months and with many changes on the horizon, I have decided to hold a Zoom-based town hall event for tenured and tenure-stream faculty members. Please mark your calendar for this event, entitled Working in the New Normal: COVID-19 and the Next Phase of Research, Teaching, and Access to Campus, and scheduled to take place on July 29th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Dr. Patsy Duff, Associate Dean, Research, will speak about the process of resuming on-campus research and Katy Ellsworth, Director of Administration and Communications, will speak about planning for a return on-campus work. Following these brief presentations, faculty will have the opportunity to participate in an open dialogue about concerns and supports for university life and work during a global pandemic. My office will share a Zoom link and an agenda through an Outlook calendar invitation.

Pride Week

As you know, the Faculty makes a special point each year of highlighting Pride Week, during which we recognize and celebrate the origins of Pride as a struggle for the rights, safety, and acceptance of 2SLGBTQ+ people, many of whom live at the intersections of multiple forms of marginalization by virtue of gender or sexuality, and also of race, class, disability, place of origin, and more. This year, as we are unable to come together for an in-person celebration, the Faculty will host an online Pride Wall, featuring stories, quotes and videos from our community. If you would like to contribute to the online celebration (to be hosted on please use this anonymous form or email

UBC Equity and Inclusion Events

UBC’s Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO) is offering two online events that may be of interest to our community.

Get Connected: BIPOC
BIPOC Student Leaders at the EIO, the Black Student Union and the African Awareness Initiative invite self-identifying Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) to attend a student healing space during our Virtual Get Connected event. This is an opportunity for participants to recognize the ways the anti-Black, anti-Indigenous and anti-Asian racism are reinforced through white supremacy. Date & time: July 8th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm via Zoom. More information.

In Conversation with Eternity Martis
“Who is afforded rage? Who are the voices on the front lines who are praised and uplifted, and whose voices are still on the margins, scolded and shamed for also wanting their moment to be angry?” That’s a quote from Eternity Martis’ new book! Join us for a virtual chat with acclaimed Black journalist Eternity Martis in conversation with Dr. Daniel Heath Justice about Martis’ new memoir, “They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, Campus Life and Growing Up.” Date & time: July 16th at 4:00 pm. More information.


I would like to suggest, now that we are in Phase 3 of BC’s restart plan, that you enjoy the opportunities that are available to us, living as we do in this beautiful place: to get outdoors, to enjoy our province’s natural setting, and to take time to slow down, connect with friends or loved ones, and savour the warm summer days that are to come. Guidelines for travel within British Columbia may be found here. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that work takes priority over our own mental health. Please, take your vacation time, and return refreshed and renewed. As a reminder, we have compiled a list of local, national and international mental health supports, available here.

With best wishes for the weekend.


June 26, 2020 | 4:34 pm

It is hard to believe we are nearing the end of June. So much has happened since mid-March both on our campuses and across society and, with the confluence of major sociopolitical movements, this moment in history offers us a transition point. As we continue to do our best to plan for teaching, working and living amidst uncertainty, we have a responsibility to critically analyze and significantly alter how we think, act and co-exist now and in the days to come. As I have often said, it is how we write and speak ourselves and others into the social text that truly makes a difference. Now more than ever, we must attend to how we are doing this. From our everyday discourse to our online interactions to our departmental and Faculty practices, we must ensure that the rights of all are honoured, that all students and colleagues feel seen and respected and that our hiring and mentoring practices reduce barriers and support building our strength in diversity. We pride ourselves on being a collective guided by the highest standards of scholarship, collaboration, inclusion, and equity. It is time to live these ideals on a day-by-day, decision-by-decision basis, holding ourselves accountable for the language we use, the people we hire, the students we recruit, the readings we assign, the way we treat each other, the ideas we advance, and much more.

There are no quick fixes for addressing systemic violence and marginalization, but there is work we can do to support changes in our culture. I would like to commend those of you who are actively engaged in doing this. As mentioned in earlier bulletins, we are trying to feature your work in our various Faculty communications channels and invite you and others to let me know about your initiatives. Following are a few ongoing and recent developments to share, including opportunities for involvement. As well—and in consideration of this bulletin’s readership (staff, faculty and students)—there are also some tools to support ongoing professional learning.

Recent Events to Support Mental Health

Turning to the Teachings: Indigenous Mentorship and Wellbeing
Indigenous teacher candidates and graduate students were invited to weekly sessions focusing on Indigenous wellbeing and belonging. These provided a space for students to come together and find connections during very acute times. Students drew inspiration from Elders, knowledge keepers, Indigenous artists and writers, and educators.

Indigenous Peoples Day Week Celebrations with the Office of Indigenous Education
The Office of Indigenous Education hosted Indigenous Day celebrations last week, recognizing and celebrating the diverse cultures, languages, and traditions of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples. Elders Larry Grant, Shirley Leon, Mary Jane Joe and Verna Kirkness joined us for Elders Teach, Cara Lyn Morgan shared poetry, and Marny Point told stories. There was a Bannock Bake-Off with Chett Monague and Songs and Sharing with Wenonah Justin.

President Ono’s Statement on UBC’s Commitments to Inclusion

The President has articulated steps the University is taking to address anti-Black and anti-Asian racism. For more information.

He has also reiterated UBC’s commitments to work with Indigenous peoples for a more just and equitable future, indicating that the draft UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan is in the final stage.

Language and Literacy Education Antiracism Caucuses

These caucuses, co-chaired by Dr. Meghan Corella and Dr. Ryuko Kubota, meet regularly with faculty, graduate students and staff to share experiences of racialization and racism and to discuss issues of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. The next meeting is planned for the fall, with an open invitation to non-LLED members. If you are interested in attending, please contact Dr. Corella by email. If you would like to form a similar caucus within your department or unit, please refer to this article.

UBC Equity and Inclusion / Extended Learning Opportunities.

In the most recent One Hour @ UBC series, faculty members and graduate students from across UBC examined historical and contemporary themes related to race and racism in pandemic, anti-Black, anti-Asian contexts. The series was developed by Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (IBPOC) Connections, an initiative of the UBC Equity and Inclusion Office. One-hour online events are planned for June and July and are open to all. For more information.

All sessions are recorded and housed on the UBC Extended Learning site.

Developing Social Justice Literacy

Many of us are on a continuum of learning and understanding as we develop literacy in relation to race, Indigeneity, and social and human rights categorizations. Here are a few links that may be helpful:

Language of antiracism

Equity and Inclusion glossary

Indigenous peoples: language guidelines

Racial equity tools glossary

Thank You

A number of UBC faculty members are ending administrative roles:

Dr. Marlene Asselin, Director of ECED
Dr. Wendy Carr, Senior Advisor to the Dean, Special Projects
Dr. Margot Filipenko, SAC Chair
Dr. Shelley Hymel, Head of ECPS
Dr. Janet Jamieson, Director of CECER
Dr. Pat Mirenda, Director of CIRCA

Sincere thanks to each of these colleagues for their valuable contributions.

Clara Ng, Assistant Dean of Finance, will also be departing on leave, effective today. Clara’s role is felt throughout the Faculty, and we know she will be missed. Her team is well prepared to take over in her absence: Ayaz Mahmood will be Acting Director of Finance and David Harrison is the new Finance Manager. We will also be saying, “Farewell, thank you, and good luck” to Finance Coordinator, Nancy Yang.


It is important to take stock of the effects of what we are experiencing, both in relation to the pandemic and recent/ongoing social upheavals; for the latter, as a witness or as someone who has been oppressed by marginalization or violence. We know, from a recent staff survey, that the recent weeks have added stress to an already challenging time. Even though Central UBC Human Relations has indicated that there will be NO layoffs or furloughs for the foreseeable future, there are still a lot of unknowns ahead. Given all of this, we need to prioritize our mental health so that we can build resilience now and for the future.

A reminder that mental health resources are available to support UBC faculty and staff and their families: I strongly encourage all of you to take your well-earned holiday time and enjoy the benefits of unplugging and taking time to relax. Please do take advantage of this time.

The summer term is about to begin (for some, it is already underway), and a busy fall awaits us. In these still-uncertain times, I hope you will maximize opportunities for renewal. It is important for all of us. With best wishes for the weekend.


June 22, 2020 | 4:39 pm

It was a celebratory week for Faculty of Education graduates and all who supported them. I hope you had the chance to watch the virtual ceremonies as they were brilliantly organized and executed, thanks to the UBC Ceremonies, UBC Studios and UBC IT teams. You can view the recorded events for UBC-Vancouver and UBC-Okanagan. A list of doctoral citations (that can be filtered according to Faculty) is available here. I could not be more proud of our graduates and all of their supervisors and instructors, especially during such a challenging time. Language and Literacy Antiracism Caucus

Co-chair of the LLED Antiracism Caucus, Dr. Meghan Corella, has compiled a list of resources that include affective dimensions of racism and antiracism, language and race/racism, racism in K-12 and post-secondary educational settings, coronavirus racism and colonialism, and more. Contributions to the list were made by Meghan Corella, Ryuko Kubota, Guofang Li, Anthony Paré, Meike Wernicke and Parker Johnson. Read more.

Education, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Webinar

An Education, Innovation & Entrepreneurship webinar took place this week featuring Canadian business leader Lane Merrifield in conversation with President Ono and attended by 260 participants. It was a lively exchange about the power of technology to enhance teaching and learning as well as the possibilities for university-entrepreneur innovation and collaboration during the days ahead. View the archived webinar here.

Privacy Issues Related to COVID-19 Reporting

Please be advised that there have been no announced changes to privacy rules related to COVID-19 reporting. The BC Information and Privacy Commissioner, Michael McEvoy has confirmed that the general public does not have a right to know identifying information about people who have been tested for COVID-19. Additionally, the provincial guidelines on self-isolation, what to do if one feels sick, how to assess one’s symptoms, and so on, have not changed. We are still advised to follow the steps listed on the BC self-assessment site.

Resumption of On-Campus Research

UBC is cautiously moving forward with the phased resumption of on-campus research, adopting a gradual approach over the summer months. Conducting on-campus research and scholarship is limited to those who require on-campus resources and cannot conduct this work remotely. Our KIN colleagues are following the detailed and rigorous guidelines established by the VPRI in developing a plan to resume some in-person research activities. As a reminder, and in keeping with public health guidelines, the majority of our faculty and staff will need to continue working remotely.


As you know, this Sunday is Indigenous Peoples Day. The event is even more significant this year given COVID-19 and the global uprising against racism. We know that systemic racism has contributed throughout Canada’s history to the marginalization of and violence against Indigenous peoples, and the disparity of health care and outcomes is even more pronounced during the pandemic. This is a time to not only focus on our role in breaking these cycles of injustice and supporting Indigenous peoples’ rights for justice and self-determination, but also to respect and honour the many achievements of Indigenous colleagues and communities. Please follow the Faculty of Education’s Twitter account, @UBCEduc, which will be virtually celebrating the day, as well.

As always, I appreciate your kind cooperation as we move forward in our lives and our work. I hope that you are finding ways to take care of yourself and your loved ones. With best wishes for the weekend.

June 5, 2020 | 3:19 pm

I hope you have had a productive week. It has certainly been a full one, with ongoing focus on addressing racism on many levels as well as on the development of next-phase planning for building access and resumption of research activities.

We are featuring some recent media interviews and faculty commentary related to racism in a carousel on the Faculty website. Please check for updates. I would also draw your attention to work currently underway in the Faculty that sparks discussion, examines practices, disrupts complacency, and more. Racism and discrimination are embedded in our history, our culture and our systems; this makes it difficult but completely necessary to work together for change. Racial equity and inclusion cannot just be an “issue” among many others but, rather, a cause to which we all commit our active participation.

Department of Educational Studies Blog

The EDST blogsite has attracted some interesting recent submissions pertaining to antiracism and Indigeneity from EDST faculty members and graduate students. Thank you to Dr. Cash Akenakew, Dr. Vanessa Andreotti, Mary Kostandy, Dr. Sam Rocha, Dr. Sharon Stein, and Dr. Jude Walker, among others.

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) Project

Antiracism Education for Teacher Education Candidates is a recently funded TLEF project led by Dr. Bathseba Opini (with co-applicants, Dr. Annette Henry, Dr. Michelle Stack, Dr. Andre Mazawi, Dr. Jason Ellis, Dr. Hartej Gill, Dr. Shaya Golparian, Dr. Daniel Shiu, Meena Uppal, Ashley House, John Yamamoto, Rod Brown, Dr. Vince White, Dr. Marianne McTavish, Mary Kostandy, Alison St. Pierre, and Ogenfeibo Oladipupo). Its focus is on researching, developing and implementing an antiracist education component within the required teacher education program course, EDST 401 (Education, School and Social Institutions), in order to prepare future educators to identify and challenge injustices in education.

Language and Literacy Education Antiracist Caucus

Antiracist Caucuses, led by Drs. Meghan Corella and Ryuko Kubota, with contributions from Parker Johnson, were established in November 2019 and have met almost every month with faculty, graduate students and staff across the Faculty to share experiences of racialization and racism and to discuss issues of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion related to several topics, such as faculty recruitment, hiring and retention, pedagogy and mentoring, raciolinguistic stereotyping, and coronavirus racism. If you wish to attend the next caucus meeting in the fall, please let Dr. Corella or Dr. Kubota know.

If you wish to form a similar caucus, please refer to this article.

Antiracism Education Course

Dr. Bathseba Opini has developed and is delivering an Antiracism Education course (EDST 565) this summer to introduce the theory, practice and implementation of antiracist education and examine how race and racism affect racialized and Indigenous people in education and especially in K-12 and post-secondary institutions. The 3-week course is already fully subscribed.

UBC Equity and Inclusion Resources

You may be interested in reviewing some of the resources compiled by UBC Equity and Inclusion, including how to activate solidarity, tips on tackling racism, recent posts from across the campus, upcoming events and more. Read more.

Resumption of Research

To follow up on recent communications from the UBC Vice President Research and Innovation, please note that most on-campus and in-person research will continue to be curtailed due to COVID-19 concerns. Essential, high-priority research projects (typically in labs) that have been centrally approved must adhere to and demonstrate compliance with the most stringent health and safety protocols to mitigate risk. As the situation develops and more information and safety measures become available, Associate Dean of Research, Dr. Patsy Duff, will send updates via the listserv about possibilities for phased-in research resumption in the Faculty later in the summer or fall (at the earliest).

Safety Planning for Reopening

The Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Enrolment and Academic Facilities, has advised that a COVID-19 Safety Planning Steering Committee is developing a website of resources to support faculties and units in creating safety plans for reopening. These plans will, in turn, be reviewed by the Steering Committee and the UBC Executive. There will also be a mandatory training module for all faculty and staff to outline updated procedures.


I appreciate your ongoing patience and cooperation as we do everything possible to ensure safe and sustainable plans for gradual resumption of various aspects of our work and our lives. Even though some of us may be experiencing “caution fatigue”, it is important to remain vigilant. You may know that this week included the largest, single-day increase of COVID-19 cases globally. Our work in the weeks ahead will be centred on balancing risks and taking collective responsibility for each other’s safety and wellbeing. I wish you a very good weekend.

May 29, 2020 | 1:27 pm

As we reach the end of Week 11 of remote working, teaching and communicating, I commend all of you for your continued efforts to provide a welcoming and inclusive online environment for each other and our current and future students. I know that several units are engaging in specific outreach activities through social and other media to connect with our incoming students, and I encourage everyone, within their programmatic area, unit, or department, to do the same. While our admission numbers are strong, these connections mean a lot to all students joining our programs in the fall.

Return to Campus

In last week’s update, I noted that we are developing an operational safety plan for a gradual return to campus when it is safe to do so. We have received some requests for people to work in their Faculty offices over the summer months. While we recognize that some people are having difficulty working effectively at home, we are, unfortunately, unable to provide access for anything more than brief visits to collect essentials that have not already been picked up. There are risks in returning to buildings that has not been used in months as the water systems are stagnant and unsafe for use. We are working with Building Operations to ensure that all Faculty building systems will be safe for use before we return to campus, but this cannot happen until a more fulsome return is scheduled.

Following are a few updates.

UBC Faculty of Education Dean’s Staff Awards

It was a great pleasure to announce at an online ceremony this week the recipients of this year’s Dean’s Awards for Staff Excellence, which recognize excellence in personal achievements and contributions to the Faculty, UBC and to the vision and goals of the University. This year, there was an unprecedented number of nominations, so the task for the adjudication committee was especially challenging. All nominees were also recognized at the ceremony.

The award for Outstanding Service was presented to Elise Lebrun, Student Engagement Officer in the School of Kinesiology. Elise has demonstrated exemplary leadership in engaging and supporting students in undergraduate programs in Kinesiology.

The award for Emerging Leadership was presented to Ian Linkletter, Learning Technology Specialist in Educational Technology Support. For nearly a decade, Ian has provided outstanding service, leadership, and innovation in the integration of information technologies and online learning design.

For Your Listening & Viewing Enjoyment

UBC School of Kinesiology Webinars
The Schools of Kinesiology (UBC Vancouver) and Health and Exercise Sciences (UBCO) are co-hosting a weekly webinar series featuring current faculty research topics. The series runs May through June. All are invited to attend these free academic presentations on Friday afternoons from 3:00-4:30 pm. Today’s topic is Quantifying pain: Is it possible and should you care? More details.

UBC School of Kinesiology Podcasts and Audio Recordings
This collection of audio recordings features top academics from UBC School of Kinesiology and from around the world. Hear about the most recent research and discoveries in sport science & psychology in its Distinguished Speakers Series, learn about programs and listen to insightful discussions on current issues such as children and independent mobility, sport and reconciliation, and the latest approaches to high-performance coaching and technical design. Listen here.

Visit Canada’s Best Parks and Animal Attractions
Forbes magazine features virtual overviews of a number of Canadian landmarks, including Niagara Falls, the Cabot Trail, and Algonquin Park, and UBC Botanical Garden’s Greenheart Tree Walk, a 360-degree video tour. View here.

Alumni UBC Webinar
Alumni UBC is hosting a culinary webinar with Super Chefs’ creator (and School of Dentistry graduate) Greg Chang, DMD, and his culinary team as they demonstrate how to make the perfect lemon tart in just 30 minutes. Tuesday, June 2nd, 5-6 pm. Register here.

UBC Alumni Pride
AlumNIGHTS Pride has moved the celebration online, featuring fabulous music, DJ and a live performance. The evening is hosted by all UBC Vancouver faculties. Come mix, mingle and kick-off the Pride Season with fellow alumni, students, faculty, staff, and the LGBTQ2SIA+ community.
All are welcome! Read more.

iMade Artisan Market
iMade, a Vancouver-based market featuring local artists, artisans and micro-businesses, has moved online and takes place Sunday, May 31st from 10 am to 5 pm. Read more


As June approaches, I recognize that the hopes we had for a short-term change in our lives have now shifted into a realization that safety restrictions are likely to last for some time to come. We are all living with a degree of uncertainty that may make us uncomfortable, but it seems clear that we must accept that, for the time being, uncertainty is the only certainty. We cannot control the fact that we are living through a pandemic nor can we rely on the old normal of going to work or seeing people as we always have. We can, however, control our responses to what we are experiencing, and we have seen the impact of kind and generous interactions on others and ourselves. I hope these can be part of a new normal we forge together. Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!

May 22, 2020 | 3:10 pm

I hope you had a good week and are managing to maintain some work-life balance during these challenging times.

During the week, I was very pleased to be part of a virtual award celebration at the Okanagan School of Education, at which our colleague Dr. Sabre Cherkowski was honoured as Researcher of the Year. I was also part of another well-attended graduate student town hall. The latter afforded a great opportunity for students to learn more about the ongoing course migration process in preparation for offering all fall courses online. Individual departments are addressing specific questions and supporting adaptation to this new reality. I encourage all who are in leadership roles, if they have not already done so, to ensure that all incoming students in undergraduate or graduate courses or certificate, diploma or other programs have been notified about the online delivery of fall courses so that they can prepare accordingly.

Part of moving forward includes an operational safety plan to gradually return to campus in ways that maintain our health and safety. As has already been mentioned, this plan is currently in development and is predicated on advice from Central UBC administration, informed by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training and the Provincial Health Officer, with input from the UBC Joint Occupational and Health & Safety Committee and WorkSafe BC. This process is going to take some time and will involve close consultation with Heads, Directors and unit leads as well as administrative managers.

Following are a few updates... read more

WorkSafe BC Tips for Working Safely

The linked page is one of the resources we are looking at as we develop a Faculty plan for a safe return to campus. Read here.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Please see resources on the updated Mental Health and Wellbeing page on the Faculty COVID-19 website.

For Your Listening & Viewing Enjoyment

Alumni UBC Podcasts

Alumni UBC podcasts provide hundreds of hours of audio, featuring prominent speakers, insightful discussions about current issues, as well as other topics. Listen here.

Streamed Canadian Films

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Sarah Polley, Albert Shin and others, these Canadian films are featured in honour of this year’s National Canadian Film Day. View here.

Veda Hille Announces Encore Virtual Performance from The Cultch
Due to popular demand, Veda Hille returns to the Cultch on May 24 at 12 pm for another online performance, this time taking all your favourite requests (in advance so she can prepare). Learn more.

Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) at Home

Take a tour of the unique musical history of New Orleans in the 2020 documentary Up From the Streets, streaming now from the VIFF website. Four-time Grammy winner and past Chan Centre artist Terence Blanchard, a NOLA local whose own musical roots extend back generations, leads the exploration with observations and anecdotes from the likes of Harry Connick, Jr., Wynton Marsalis and Mannie Fresh, along with performances by Louis Armstrong, Allen Toussaint, Fats Domino, and more. View here.

Indian Summer Festival Goes Virtual

UBC is a proud major sponsor of the 2020 Indian Summer Festival, which has just announced 10 weeks of Saturday evening presentations, all online. First, Vandana Shiva and David Suzuki join together for The Virus is a Wake-up Call, a conversation on May 23 with opening remarks by UBC President Santa J. Ono, followed by It Could be Verse: Poetry for a Pandemic on May 30, an evening of intimate readings by poets, including author Ivan Coyote, who showcased a new work at the Chan Centre this past winter. Learn more.


Thank you for all that you are doing to be flexible, resourceful and kind. Your contributions to the collective effort are most appreciated. Please know that all of your work, especially involving outreach to others, makes a difference. We know that each of us is experiencing the pandemic in different ways, and maintaining human connection is critically important, so please continue doing what you are doing. We will come through this and we will do this together.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!

May 15, 2020 | 3:10 pm

As we contemplate the May long weekend, we recognize that this is unlike any we can remember. Historically, this time represents the start of a new season, oriented to gardening, being more active, spending time outside, socializing, and more. This year, we find ourselves not only anticipating summer, but also facing a shift from one phase of the COVID-19 outbreak to the next. As Premier Horgan has stated in the BC Restart Plan, this is a “new normal” rather than a return to normal. With this in mind, we are continuing to develop an operational safety plan in preparation for a gradual return to working on-campus. As you know, this represents significant challenges as we reimagine using our spaces while maintaining physical distance, ensuring adequate precautions, and more to protect the health and safety of students, staff and faculty.

Woven throughout all of our planning is an understanding that we must find ways to preserve our sense of community. This is one of our strongest assets as a Faculty, and we commend the ways many of you are doing this. It is so important to maintain human contact and connection, and this does not change even under the current circumstances. I hope you will continue to find ways to reach out to each other, to your students and to your various communities and partner groups... read more

If you did not already view these examples of student outreach by faculty colleagues, I encourage you to do so:

  • video | Dr. Kedrick James speaks to returning BEd students about to begin LLED 361 in summer term
  • video | Drs. Lesley Andres, Amy Metcalf, Sharon Stein and graduate student, Abraham Addy, welcome new students to Higher Education program in EDST

Following are a few updates.

For Your Listening Enjoyment

Recommendations from UBC Chan Centre

Chan Centre staff have curated Soundtrack for Home, a playlist of favourite tunes from Chan Centre artists, including “Blues For One,” named for Branford Marsalis’ track from the album, In My Solitude. The collection features songs by Angélique Kidjo, Goran Bregović, Trombone Shorty, and many more. Listen on YouTube.

A recorded conversation took place at the Chan Centre in September 2019 featuring Margaret Atwood in conversation with Cherie Dimaline. It was part of the Vancouver Writers Fest’s Books and Ideas Audio Series. On the same webpage, you will also find earlier episodes with authors Malcolm Gladwell, Lindy West and Marlon James.

Recommendations from the UBC School of Music

A Playlist column features music curated by School of Music faculty, students, and staff, with a focus on an interesting idea or theme. Explore UBC’s Spotify and YouTube playlists.

This example, posted by the School’s new Director, Dr. T. Patrick Carrabré, who recently moved to UBC from Manitoba, is titled Moving to Vancouver. Listen on Spotify or YouTube.

Recommendation from the Globe and Mail

For those of you so inclined, The Globe and Mail has compiled a collection of crosswords and word/logic/number puzzles for the long weekend.


Once again, I appreciate all that you are doing to keep yourselves, your families and our communities safe while also maintaining connection. We are all working hard to manage the complexities that COVID-19 represents, and we are making progress in moving forward in this “new normal” state.

We will continue to do our best to keep your health and safety foremost in our thoughts and decisions. I look forward to the days ahead and wish you a wonderful long weekend.

May 8, 2020 | 1:45 pm

I hope your week was a positive one. It was good to see many faculty members at yesterday’s Faculty meeting, and I appreciate the way staff and others are continuing to find ways to contribute over and above to support our students, each other and members of our various communities. You are demonstrating diligence and resilience in continuing to work from home to advance the work of the Faculty.

I am delighted to share a video message of support and commitment to our alumni, students, emeriti, educators, faculty, staff, and partner communities – created by our Education staff. Please share on your social channels!

Mental Health Week

The theme for this week’s Mental Health Week campaign has been #GetReal about what you are feeling. This message has been particularly important during the current situation where it is challenging to maintain strong social connection and engagement, both of which have a significant effect on our mental health. More information here.

The Canadian Mental Health Association offers a frame of reference for considering components of our mental health (after consulting many sources from western psychology to Indigenous knowledge and noting common areas). A self-check list is available here.

… read more

Update from UBC Ergonomics, WHS Human Resources

Maintaining our physical and mental health are even more important during this period of working from home. Please note suggestions about how to fit physical activity into your day in this document.

Webinars and Podcasts

Various UBC units are offering webinars. Here are a few examples:

The COVID-19 crisis is reshaping politics, healthcare, our communities and society. One Hour @ UBC is a free online lecture series conceived especially for these unusual and turbulent times. Click here.

Healthy UBC offers webinars on maintaining wellbeing, staying active, supporting family, and more. Click here.

CBC Radio has a number of podcasts about this pandemic in relation to others in history. A few examples:


As we move into a new phase of gradual change in BC, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Henry is still cautioning us to maintain physical distance and other measures that have brought us to this point.
Those who are over 60, caring for elders, or have health conditions should maintain current measures as there is still much we do not yet know about this virus.

We will continue to follow the best available evidence and adhere to public health guidelines as we address upcoming challenges together at UBC. Again, please do not hesitate to reach out to each other or to me if you have questions or concerns. Best wishes for a lovely weekend.

May 1, 2020 | 3:00 pm

As we end Week 7 of working remotely, I’d like to thank you for your support, patience and understanding as we adjust to new ways of living, working and interacting. In particular, I acknowledge and appreciate the level of commitment demonstrated by many of our staff during this challenging time, and I look forward to recognizing some of you in an upcoming staff event.

This week afforded opportunities to hear from students in the BEd Program at two well organized and attended town halls, and next week there will be another graduate student town hall as well as a faculty meeting. I encourage you to attend events as appropriate since they provide both a means of staying informed and of sharing insights, questions and concerns.

Following are a few updates.

Resources to Enhance Online Courses and Conferences

Please note that UBC Studios has provided some instructional videos for those wishing to enhance their online teaching or interviewing:

As a reminder, Educational Technology Support is providing a great deal of support in online migration of programs and courses, which includes some very helpful tutorial videos, for example:

UBC Vancouver Library Public Events include sessions on using open resources within courses, copyright and licensing issues, and other topics. More information here.

The Society for Learning Analytics Research hosted a webinar this week, facilitated by Drs. Kovanovic (U South Australia) and Scheffel (Open Universitat, Netherlands), in which they described how they moved a planned in-person international conference to an online platform. They shared some important points about how to make an online conference experience as successful as possible. Archived webinar is available here.


Various UBC units are offering webinars. Here are a few examples:


As we move forward into a new month, I recognize that each of us is experiencing this extraordinary time differently. Everyone has had to adapt their work and home routines; for some, it has been a series of adjustments that are relatively manageable; for others, it represents a daily struggle with multiple challenges. There are many aspects of “life before” that we miss, and it is difficult to imagine when or even if life will return to what it was. What we do know is that we will get through this by addressing challenges together.

We are fully committed to ensuring that all of us remain safe and healthy during this pandemic by adhering to public health guidelines. As well, we want to be sure that we are supporting members of our Faculty community as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out to each other and/or to me if you have questions or concerns. Best wishes for a relaxing and restorative weekend.

April 24, 2020 | 4:30 pm

Thank you for your continued hard work and flexibility. I know many of you are involved in many online meetings, initiatives and ongoing projects as we keep courses, research and operations moving forward. Here are updates for today.

Mental Health

UBC mental health resources

UBC Human Resources has compiled a page of very useful tips and links to support our mental health during COVID-19. Please visit here.

Online meetings

As we participate in more and more online meetings, we may be finding the effects even more tiring than multiple face-to-face meetings. Various articles address the issue, including this one from the BBC, which also includes some tips to alleviate fatigue:

Graduate Student FAQs

Questions that emerged during last week’s town hall meeting that were not addressed at the time or in subsequent breakout meetings have been compiled, addressed and posted here. Future town hall meetings for graduate students are being planned.

Student Funding Support… read more

As you have no doubt heard, the Prime Minister has announced a suite of funding mechanisms to support students struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement represents a federal investment of $9 billion. The Prime Minister’s announcement is viewable here with more details from the press release. Once the appropriate legislation has been passed and this proposal is implemented, further information will be posted regarding next steps for students. More details here.

Running an Online Conference – Webinar
Free webinar offered by Dr. Vitomar Kovanovic (U South Australia) and Dr. Maren Scheffel (Open Universitat, Netherlands), Monday, April 27, 8-9 am. Register here.

Online Course Design and Management Guidelines

Educational Technology Support has provided additional guidelines and questions for consideration in design and management of online course design and delivery. Please visit here.

Connecting with Compassion and Care

Dean of Medicine, Dr. Dermot Kelleher has shared this special edition, dedicated to seniors. It serves as a helpful resource, while offering promise for the future: a time we can be together again. Click here to read.

Final Words

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all of you for your patience and goodwill at this time. I recognize that not all of us are faring as well as we appear; we have multiple calls upon our time, coupled with worries about the health and well-being of family and friends. I would ask that you please continue to be kind to each other, to remain positive and supportive in all your interactions, and to remain committed to the well-being of each team member.

I share with you the following six principles for working remotely during COVID-19:

  1. You are not “working from home”, you are “at your home, during a crisis, trying to work.”
  2. Your personal physical, mental and emotional health are far more important than anything else right now.
  3. You should not try to compensate for lost productivity by working longer hours.
  4. You will be find to yourself and not judge how you are coping based on how you see others coping.
  5. You will be kind to others and not judge how they are coping based on how you are coping.
  6. Your team’s success will not be measured the same way it was when things were normal.

With that, I wish you a good weekend and an opportunity to relax, repair and connect with friends and loved ones. Please continue to be kind, be calm and stay well.

April 21, 2020 | 2:30 pm

Cancellation of Events

UBC has cancelled all on-campus and off-campus events until June 30, 2020, whether indoors or outdoors, that are organized by students, faculty and staff. Events at the Chan Centre are also cancelled for the time being. The full directive may be found online here.

Webinar: Family Matters: Effective Ways to Learn from Home

alumni UBC, in partnership with the Faculty of Education and Faculty of Arts, is offering a webinar to support families as they navigate the complexities of living, working, and learning at home. The webinar, which will be offered on Wednesday, April 22 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm, features EDCP’s Dr. Marina Milner-Bolotin among other panelists. Click here to learn more and to register.

UBC President’s Pandemic Recovery Initiative

President Ono has launched an umbrella fundraising initiative called the UBC President’s Pandemic Recovery Initiative, which aims to provide support both for students facing financial difficulties and to accelerate research related to COVID-19. Click here for more information and to donate.… read more

Survey for Post-Secondary Students

Statistics Canada has just launched a study on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on postsecondary students. The information will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate educational, employment and financial impacts. Students are asked to respond about their academic future and their current financial realities of paying for tuition, rent and other expenses. The questionnaire can be accessed between April 19 and May 1, 2020.

Ignoring “Productivity Pressure” During the Pandemic

In case you missed it, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article advising us all to slow down, recognize that our lives and careers have changed forever, and prepare to adapt, emotionally and spiritually, to this new world.

On a related note, I would urge all students, staff and faculty to continue to be as flexible as possible in the days and weeks ahead. Our former ways of operating have shifted, and we need to prepare for more changes in order to protect our health and the health of others. Thank you for keeping this in mind.

April 17, 2020 | 3:15 pm

Thank you to all for continuing to adapt, cope, and contribute to the work of the Faculty. Please know how important this is and how much I appreciate your efforts.

At the end of another full week, I am particularly pleased that some important groups were able to come together to address concerns and questions, including a very successful virtual staff town hall yesterday, attended by 99 staff members, and one for 130 graduate students this afternoon.

If you have not already viewed LLED’s wonderful video message, please take a minute or two to do so. It’s a great example of how colleagues are coping, reaching out and staying connected.

Here are the latest updates:

Here2Talk: Mental Health Counselling for Post-Secondary Students

The Government of British Columbia has launched Here2Talk, a new mental-health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. The service offers confidential, free single-session services by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Chat sessions with a trained counsellor can be accessed by downloading the Here2Talk app or visiting Students can speak to a counsellor by phone, toll-free at 1.877.857.3397 or direct 604.642.5212. Students calling from outside Canada can dial 1 604 642-5212 (international calling charges may apply).… read more

The on-demand service, operated by Morneau Shepell, will support students dealing with challenges such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, pressure to perform, crises, racism and relationships. Counsellors will also be equipped to refer students to local resources in their communities. For the launch, web, phone and chat services are currently available in English and French. Phone services are also available in additional languages upon request.

Please note that this and other resources are listed on the Faculty COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing page.

Computer/Device Security

A UBC Broadcast was issued this week to reinforce the need for increased cybersecurity controls on all servers and computers that are accessing, processing or storing Medium Risk, High Risk, or Very High-Risk information, as defined in Information Security Standard #01.

Please follow UBC guidelines to mitigate privacy and cybersecurity risks, with specific attention to:

  1. Use the Virtual Private Network (VPN) to remotely connect to the UBC network.
  2. Log out of VPN and your devices when not in use. Note: VPN should not be used when accessing video conferencing services.
  3. If possible, use UBC encrypted devices with appropriate security software and regular updates; if a personal device is used to access UBC systems and data, validate the security set up and controls with your IT department.

For more information, visit UBC Broadcast’s COVID–19 — Action required: New minimum cybersecurity controls for accessing UBC systems and information page.

Online Course Planning

Given that Summer Term 2 courses are now to be delivered online and that the Faculty of Education is preparing for possible online delivery of Winter Term 1 programs and courses as well, please ensure that course planning is done as far in advance as possible to mitigate overloading ETS’s team and resources. Department, unit and school heads and directors can provide further updates.

Please note the importance of maintaining a respectful environment for all course participants in online courses. There are some particular considerations needed at this challenging time. To support you in this work, please refer to these documents:

Access to Scarfe and Ponderosa Buildings

Katy Ellsworth and David Sequeira are creating a careful plan of access that will allow the scheduled retrieval of essential items necessary for teaching online. As you know, it is critically important to mitigate any possible spread of the virus through inadvertent contact with people or surfaces, so careful planning is necessary, involving the fewest possible entries. Please be assured that the plan will be completed as soon as possible and that you will be notified about the details via this bulletin and by your department, unit, or school administrative managers.

Final Thoughts

Please take care of yourself this weekend, whether by spending time in nature, engaging with loved ones, being on your own, journaling, or other activities that you enjoy. As Dr. Bonnie Henry advises us: Be kind. Be calm. Be safe.

April 15, 2020 | 4:50 pm

Vacation requests

Employees who are working from home may still take vacation, the purpose of which is to provide a break from work and the opportunity to rejuvenate. Particularly where faculty and staff are struggling to balance childcare and work obligations, vacation time should be a consideration.

  • If operationally feasible, supervisors should consider allowing employees to cancel pre-scheduled vacation requests. However, when dealing with these requests, supervisors should also consider the ability to manage significant vacation requests when normal operations resume.
  • While vacation payouts are not permissible, the maximum vacation carry-over limits for those employee groups who have carry-over is normally limited to 10 days. This limit will be increased to up to 15 days, with management approval and for the year 2020 only, to provide flexibility in managing vacation.
  • Supervisors are encouraged to develop vacation plans for the balance of the year to determine operational feasibility of scheduling alternative vacation dates.

This information was sent on behalf of Marcia Buchholz, Interim Vice-President, Human Resources. More details about these and other HR items:  read more

Please contact your dept/unit/school Administrative Manager if you require further clarification.

UBC Workplace Learning

UBC has just launched a new hub for workplace learning, with freely available learning resources for all UBC employees at all campuses.

Working from Home Ergonomics

Here are some pointers for setting up work from home in ways to support working efficiently, comfortably and safely:

April 9, 2020 | 5:31 pm


I hope you enjoyed a productive week even under continuing difficult circumstances. There are so many implications to the ongoing news we are hearing about second and third waves of the outbreak, not to mention the effects on people’s mental, emotional and financial health. As our health officials continue to say, the only way to mitigate the dire projections is to do our part in staying home as much as possible to reduce the risk of transmission. I hope, therefore, that all of you and your families and friends can take time this weekend to celebrate virtually the various observances and rituals of the season, reflect on what brings joy and hope in your life and take great care in venturing out for essential supplies as infrequently as possible. I value all members of the Faculty of Education community and encourage us to do our best to protect and support each other.

Tenure Clock Extension

The University and the Faculty Association have agreed to provide a 1-year tenure clock extension for all current tenure-track faculty members. The extension will be effective July 1, 2020 and automatically applied to both reappointment and tenure review schedules. The extension will not apply to any faculty members whose review for reappointment or tenure/promotion is currently in progress (e.g., those whose files were submitted in September, 2019).   read more

Certificates and Diplomas – Grading

Grading for certificate and diploma courses now has an exceptional provision for the current term of being eligible for Credit/D/F grading or Withdrawal if a student does not wish to accept the assigned grade. This procedure is not normally allowed because these courses (usually undergraduate level) are offered in post-degree programs; however, Enrolment Services has been allowed to add this exceptional grading category.

The timeline for students to apply for a concession if they opt to not accept the assigned grade is the same as for all other courses this term, i.e., between April 22 and May 6, 2020. If there are any questions about which courses are eligible within a given certificate or diploma program, students or instructors should check with their program coordinator or advisor.

Research Funding Updates

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has announced temporary updates to the peer review process to enable them to continue offering scheduled funding opportunities in as typical a manner as possible.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has announced an optional, one-year extension for funds for active Discovery Grants.

More information on both these announcements.

Faculty of Education Staff Townhall

I invite all Faculty of Education staff to join me for a Zoom Town Hall, chaired by Ms. Anna Bin, Director of HR & Operations. This Town Hall will focus on bringing updates to staff members regarding communications, facilities, finances and technology-related matters during this unusual time. Please see the details below for more information:

  • Event: Faculty of Education Staff Town Hall
  • Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Date: Thursday April 16th, 2020

We ask that staff take a few moments to complete an anonymous questionnaire, the purpose of which is to help us gain an overview of current staff needs, concerns, and challenges. Please complete the survey, linked below, by Tuesday, April 14th at 10:30 am.


April 9, 2020 | 1:34 PM

Temporary Changes to Peer Review Processes for SSHRC Funding Opportunities

Dear CARA members,

These last weeks have been a time of unprecedented disruption as we all work to address the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in our professional and personal lives. SSHRC remains committed to serving the social sciences and humanities research community during these exceptional times. We are working to limit the impact of the pandemic on SSHRC funding opportunities and we’d like to give you an update on some of the steps we are taking.

Our priority is to maintain our core programs. We do not want to cancel competitions and plan to continue with the current funding opportunities’ schedule to the greatest extent possible. We also intend to ensure that support for young and emerging researchers continues to be available. Under the Insight Development Grants, for example, approximately 65% of submissions to the 2020 competition came from first time applicants. We are working to ensure that the adjudication of their applications can proceed, although the usual peer review process will need to be adjusted…   read more

Like many of you, SSHRC employees are working remotely from their homes. We also recognize that volunteer peer reviewers―who are a key part of the adjudication process―are also teleworking and managing the impacts of pandemic measures where they live. This presents unique challenges for peer review committees that typically meet in-person or by videoconference, supported by the SSHRC IT systems at our offices.

As we try to deliver programs remotely, we will be implementing temporary changes to peer review adjudication. These changes include reduced feedback for applicants, who will only receive scores on the three merit criteria: Challenge, Feasibility and Capability. No narrative comments will be provided. In addition, committee meetings will be held via teleconference. These changes will be implemented for the following current and upcoming funding opportunities:

  • Insight Development Grants;
  • Partnership Engage Grants;
  • Partnership Grants – Stage 1; and
  • The upcoming Connection Grants.

While we know that this will come as disappointing news, we trust you understand that this is a compromise that allows delivery of the adjudication processes in a timely manner, without the risk of postponing or cancelling any of these funding opportunities.

Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to assess the impact of COVID-19 on our programs. Additional updates about SSHRC programs can be found at:

Tim Wilson, PhD
Associate vice-president, Research Programs

April 9, 2020 | 12:52 pm

NSERC announces extension with funds for Discovery Grants

To lessen the impact due to COVID-19 and to support all of our researchers and highly qualified personnel, all active Discovery Grants can elect to receive a one-year extension with funds at their current funding level. This includes grants from the recent 2020 competition. The announcement is now featured on the NSERC website and is included in the the NSERC program information in relation to COVID 19 webpage. Frequently Asked Questions are also posted and will be updated as details become available.

We are currently working out important details for this initiative, therefore we may not be able to answer your question at present.

Program Operations Unit
Research Grants and Scholarships
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

April 7, 2020 | 3:40 pm

Faculty Meeting

The Faculty Meeting currently scheduled on May 7th from 1-3 pm will take place virtually. We will be using Collaborate Ultra via Canvas, which functions similarly to Zoom except that it allows a larger number of participants. Approximately one week before the meeting, Michael Wilkinson will be distributing the agenda and documents, which will include details for connection via Canvas.

Graduate Student Updates

Graduate Student Needs Assessment Questionnaire

To accurately assess areas of need, we are asking all Faculty of Education graduate students to complete our anonymous Needs Assessment Questionnaire in order to help us target, and advocate for, the highest areas of need. The questionnaire may be found here:

Graduate Student Town Hall

All graduate students have been invited to a Town Hall on Friday, April 17th, at 2 pm (to be held on Zoom). Students will hear from Dean Frank and Dr. Shapka, Director of Graduate Studies in Education, who will report the results of the Needs Assessment Questionnaire. Graduate students will also share their experiences, as well as strategies for moving forward with coursework and research.

Faculty of Education Staff Town Hall

All staff have been invited to a Town Hall, chaired by Anna Bin, Director of HR and Operations on Thursday, April 16th from 12:00-1:00 pm. Details have been sent directly to staff…   read more

Office of Research in Education – Internal Grants

A reminder that all ORE’s internal grants (that do not include research that violates current curtailment policies) are proceeding, with the exception of the International Research Visiting Fellowship.

Faculty and Staff Recruitment Processes

In addition to introducing Remote Work Arrangements, the university is adjusting its recruitment processes as part of a COVID-19 response. Information about the updated approach for various phases of the recruitment lifecycle is posted here:

UBC Parking Permit Fees

UBC Parking is waiving short-term parking and parking permit fees on both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses until April 30, 2020. Staff and faculty do not need to contact UBC Parking to request a suspension of payroll deductions as this will be addressed automatically. Permit holders who have prepaid for parking permits will be contacted once parking fees are reinstated for a refund or credit and do not need to contact UBC Parking.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Government of Canada is working with provincial and territorial governments and is seeking volunteers to help in the following areas:

  • Case tracking and contact tracing
  • Health system surge capacity
  • Case data collection and reporting

If you or someone you know are interested in applying to be a National COVID-19 volunteer, more information is available here: Deadline to apply is end of day April 24.

April 3, 2020 | 2:25 pm

Wishing you and your families a good weekend. I thank you again for all you are doing to keep the work of the Faculty moving forward under challenging circumstances while maintaining physical distance and taking all possible precautions so that, together, we can slow the spread and look forward to brighter days ahead.

Virtual COVID-19 Symposium

For those interested in hearing research and perspectives related to COVID-19, please note the BC Virtual COVID-19 Symposium on April 9th hosted by UBC Faculty of Medicine. Details may be found here: Virtual BC COVID-19 Symposium.

Graduate Programs Updates

Research Infrastructure Support Services (RISS) deadline

A reminder that the deadline for the final intake of RISS applications for this academic year is Monday, April 6. Please email your complete application to More information:

Updates about research curtailment

Last week, UBC/VPRI announced a research curtailment of all on-campus research (unless an exemption has been approved for, e.g., critical COVID-19 or clinical trial research) as well as off-campus research involving in-person interaction with (human) research participants (see: COVID-19 Bulletin). Please check the BREB website or e-mail: (BREB) for more information.

Graduate student access to data analysis software off campus

During the current period of research curtailment on campus, students may be able to navigate normal site-license restrictions for off-campus software use (e.g., SPSS) and secure data storage by contacting: PopData BC: | UBC IT:

Postdoctoral fellows

A message to postdoctoral fellows is available and may be found here:

April 2, 2020 | 4:45 pm

COVID-19: Faculty of Education Updates Website

I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Paula Sabti, Katy Ellsworth, Wendy Carr, Ben Drake and Precilia Kong for their hard work in compiling and organizing a multitude of information on a newly updated website. I encourage you to visit it regularly for ongoing updates.

Secure Zoom Accounts

For UBC teaching, learning and meetings, Zoom accounts should have in their address. As such, they have extra security and are not limited to 40 minutes as is the case with free accounts. To set up a Zoom account, send a ticket to AV ( UBC has a strict process whereby all new account requests are reviewed to ensure they are only for UBC employees. Under that basis the directory produced inside Zoom is fully compliant with FIPPA.

For those of you who have already created accounts using your UBC email address, please send a ticket to AV ( and ask them to transfer your free zoom account to the UBC license. (This transfer will not work if you used a personal email address.)   read more

Please note that UBC Audio Visual Services will provide support for meetings that are scheduled using Zoom or Skype for Business, helping with orientation, set-up and/or initial assistance with users. The request for support can be sent to with the details about the meeting: day, time and preferred tool. After receiving a request, AV will confirm their availability and discuss the details and specific requirements, if any. They will be in the virtual meeting room 10 minutes prior of the meeting start.

Some additional safeguards for using Zoom are described in this article:

As always, if you encounter any phishing attempts, please forward (with the email as an attachment to show all header information) to UBC IT Security.

Call Forwarding from UBC to Home or Cell Phone

To set up call forwarding from your UBC desk phone to your home or cell phone, submit an IT Ticket through Service Now. UBC IT will respond and confirm that an account has been setup for you at (which can only be accessed with a connection to the UBC network or via VPN) and provide you with a User ID and password, whereby you can turn on/off call forwarding.

Preparing for Summer Term Teaching

Instructors are kindly asked to contact ETS learning designers or Dr. Natasha Boškić to discuss their plans for remote teaching during either or both summer terms. As you can well imagine, the Educational Technology Support team is working around the clock on current and upcoming course demands, so it is essential that they hear from instructors as early as possible.

Working from Home

Please refer to Working from Home: Temporary Set Up Guide by Abigail Overduin, Ergonomics Program Lead.

Emergency Funding for Students

This is a reminder that students facing financial distress may contact their Enrolment Services Advisor to schedule a confidential advising appointment. If students do not already know who their ES Advisor is, they can log onto the Student Services Centre and find them under “Personal Info” > “UBC Contacts”. More information here.

Faculty of Education Administrative Directory

The new Faculty of Education administrative directory (updated as of April 1st) is now available. Any corrections and updates for the next quarter should be sent to

March 30, 2020 | 4:15 pm

Protecting Your Health and the Health of Others

Please ensure that, in addition to physical distancing, frequent hand-washing and care when venturing outside your home, you are vigilant about monitoring any symptoms you or a family member might be experiencing. Please refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control’s self-assessment tool, which may be found here: Should a call to the provincial 811 help line be indicated, please note that the Province has recently added more staff to answer calls.

UBC Human Resources Information for Managers and Supervisors

UBC Human Resources has provided some FAQs for manager and supervisors on a variety of topics, which may be found here: These will be updated in the days ahead…   read more

Team Communications while Working Remotely

Communication while working from home remains a critical part of how to work creatively and relationally. There are networking tools that you can access for free, that will allow you to connect your team/s digitally, in a way that is more efficient than email and that is less taxing than meetings. These tools are a good replacement for the f-t-f interactions we have with small clusters of colleagues on a regular basis that have disappeared with remote work.

Keeping Teams Connected

Zoom and Collaborate Ultra are great way to have video meetings. However, you can also set up small and large clusters of colleagues and have immediate communication with the whole office, teams and individuals by using other tools, that are less bandwidth demanding and faster than email. Read more here:

March 27, 2020 | 3:10 pm

Many of you may have seen today’s updates from the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. I commend all of you who are continuing to do your part to help prevent the spread of disease within our community. This is not the time to relax our vigilance—please continue to help #FlattenTheCurve.

Emergency Funding: Information for Students

Today, Dr. Jennifer Shapka, Director of Graduate Studies in Education released additional information about emergency funds that are available for students during COVID-19. Please read Dr. Shapka’s full message here.

Undergraduate students facing severe financial hardship are encouraged to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. For BEd students in the Teacher Education Program, the point of contact in Enrolment Services is…   read more

Maintaining Good Mental Health during the Outbreak

The World Health Organization has published a set of helpful documents with guidance on mental health and psychosocial support for health workers, managers of health facilities, people who are looking after children, older adults, people in isolation and members of the public more generally.

Accessing the Campus

With fewer people on campus, and in order to protect the safety of those who remain on campus, Campus Security is enhancing security procedures and processes on campus. I strongly recommend that you not come to campus at this time. For those of you who have prior approval to be on campus, please have your UBC ID on display or ready to show.

Listserv Postings

Over the past several weeks, we have limited Faculty listserv postings to COVID-related information only. We are now moving into a somewhat more settled phase of our new working environment. Beginning Monday, March 30th, the listservs will once again convey regular Faculty business. Please continue to email posting requests directly to Katy Ellsworth.

March 26, 2020 | 4:45 pm

Here are today’s updates from within the Faculty as well as from the University. I encourage you to check regularly for updates under Units, Departments and Schools on this page.

Research Office Updates

Please note that, as a result of the current curtailment of on-site research at UBC and of fieldwork involving human subjects, there have been some necessary changes in the Office of Research in Education. While ORE is proceeding with most of its internal funding competitions, the nature of the activities that the International Research Visiting Fellowships typically support (visits, lectures, lab work, etc.) compels them to postpone the competition, likely into the fall. Details about a new deadline will be announced in the coming weeks.

With regard to active programs, applicants should consider carefully their research timelines and methodologies for their proposals in keeping with the aforementioned UBC COVID-19 directive on research curtailment. If applications are funded, applicants should be prepared to adjust the operationalization of their projects in accordance with the current and future University directives on research activity…   read more

We understand that this is a challenging time for the whole research community and we appreciate your patience as we find ways to support your research while attending to the safety and wellbeing of our communities.

More information:

Convocation Ceremonies

As we know, in-person spring convocation ceremonies will not be taking place at UBC-Vancouver or UBC-Okanagan. President Ono has posted a letter to the community indicating that a postponed in-person ceremony for the Class of 2020 will be announced when possible, degrees will be conferred and mailed to those who applied and meet requirements, and a virtual ceremony will take place. Read more here:

Grading Options

Further information about grading options for the current term, involving Credit/D/Fail, is provided on the School of Kinesiology website. (Most students using this provision, afforded only for undergraduate courses, are in KIN, but the provisions apply to Education courses.) Please note that the usual limit of number of credits and use only for elective courses will be waived when individual students submit their request. The period during which the provision may be requested is Apr. 22 to May 6.

A set of FAQs is being developed by the School and will be linked on this website. General UBC information may be found here: (however, some limitations are being waived during this exceptional term).

Protection of Personal Privacy

All Education and Kinesiology students were advised today that any information about an individual’s health status in relation to suspected, presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 may not be shared. This applies to all members of the UBC community.

Personal Protective Equipment

UBC central administration has sent an urgent request to unit heads and directors to provide information about inventory of critical materials, including personal protective equipment. This is being tracked in order to determine those supplies that are needed on campus and those that can be donated to hospitals and medical facilities.

The supplies should remain in place for now; however, if you know of any supplies that might not already be included in your unit, department or school’s inventory, please be in touch with your head, director or lead administrator.

Graduate Student Leave Absences

A message from Brendan Morey, Asst. Dean, Student Administration and Awards, was sent to graduate advisors and staff yesterday outlining options for graduate students with regard to different scenarios for possible leave requests for the summer term (May-Aug 2020). Read more here:

Faculty Travel Requests

Faculty members are asked to not submit any travel preapproval or booking requests until after the end of April 2020. Further information will be provided closer to that date.


Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to

March 26, 2020 | 10:53 am

UBC Broadcast | COVID–19 — Important information for secure remote working

With an increase in the number of faculty and staff currently accessing UBC’s systems and networks remotely, we would like to remind you of the IT resources and support available to you at this time.

Keeping UBC’s systems and networks safe

While we already have several technologies in place to help secure remote access, please remain extra vigilant when accessing UBC files and logging in to UBC’s systems and networks. This includes:.. read more

  • Using the Virtual Private Network (VPN) to remotely connect to the UBC network. Visit for details on how to log-in.
  • Ensuring you are enrolled with an Enhanced Campus-Wide Login for multi-factor authentication.
  • Logging out of VPN and your devices when not in use.
  • Not clicking on links from unfamiliar sources. Doing so can download malware onto your computer even without further action on your part.
  • Reporting any suspicious emails to, so the UBC Cybersecurity team can investigate them.
  • Implementing a strong password on all of your accounts and log-ins, and keeping it secure. Please do not use UBC accounts or passwords for any other websites.
  • Completing the mandatory Privacy and Information Security Fundamentals training at

UBC’s Cybersecurity Team is also working on additional security software and precautions to ensure UBC information remains protected. More details will be shared internally with IT departmental administrators this week. Please ensure you are following any guidance that may be issued to ensure you take the necessary precautions and have the appropriate security software installed to protect UBC’s data.

Bookmark for more tips and resources on information security.

IT guide to working remotely

IT has compiled some key technical resources to support you in working remotely, including programs that will help you stay connected to your colleagues through audio conferencing, virtual meetings and instant messaging. Access them here:

Contacting the UBC IT Helpdesk

Currently, the preferred method for requesting assistance from UBC IT is to submit a ticket with the Help Desk. Please find the relevant links below:

On behalf of the Privacy and Information Security Management (PrISM) Executive Leadership Committee, thank you for keeping UBC’s systems and networks safe and secure.

Hubert Lai, Q.C.
University Counsel

Peter Smailes
Vice-President, Finance & Operations

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

March 25, 2020 | 4:55 pm

Thank you for another important day of adjusting to new demands and protocols. It is heartening to hear how many are stepping up to challenges and/or taking on new duties. This is so appreciated by all of us.

Course Grading

A message to all undergraduate and graduate students was sent today and outlines options for course grading currently completing, underway and/or scheduled for upcoming terms for the foreseeable future:

  1. Those enrolled in undergraduate courses (including KIN students; excluding TEO candidates) have the following options*:
    • accept assigned grade,
    • withdraw from course and accept “W” on your transcript (no course credit, no tuition refund), or
    • choose Credit/D or F standing
      • Credit – assigned when grade is 55% or higher. Degree credit earned.
      • D – assigned when grade is 50-54%. Degree credit earned.
      • F – assigned when grade below 50%. No degree credit earned.

*For courses with an exam, the choice of option may be made after exam result is provided.

If a student opts to not accept the assigned grade, the dates for applying for a concession listed above is between April 22 and May 6, 2020…   read more

  1. Those enrolled in the Teacher Education Program (BEd degree) continue to be graded on a Pass/Fail basis
  2. Those enrolled in graduate courses have the following options:
    • accept assigned grade, or
    • withdraw from course and accept “W” on your transcript (no course credit, no tuition refund).

Please know that instructors, administrators, support staff, and advisors in your department, program and Faculty are here to support your progress and your wellbeing. We will continue to provide current information as we receive it. I encourage you to regularly check this page, your department, school or program website and to reach out to any of us in the Faculty if and as you need to.

Research Updates

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has updated its COVID-19 response page to include information about the state of its various funding programs.

Research curtailment

Please note that, as previously mentioned, off-campus research involving in-person interaction with (human) research participants is curtailed (see: COVID-19 Bulletin). Please check the BREB websites or e-mail (BREB) for more information.

Graduate student access to data analysis software off campus

VPRI suggests that, during this COVID-19 research curtailment period on campus, students may be able to navigate normal site-license restrictions for off-campus software use (e.g., SPSS) and secure data storage by contacting: PopData BC: or UBC IT:

Teaching and Learning

Educational Technology Support (ETS) is working non-stop to provide support for all those shifting coursework to online delivery. They will soon have a set of video tutorials as well as FAQs for instructors. On a similar theme, UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology (CTLT) is proposing a Summer Academy to support online course development. Stay tuned!

Dr. Edwards notes that it would be very helpful to ETS personnel and allocation of resources if instructors could indicate if the course they are co-developing for online delivery is likely to be used once or possibly on an ongoing basis (as a fully online or hybridized course).


Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to

March 24, 2020 | 4:00 pm

We are working hard to provide the most current information on a wide variety of areas and issues. Thanks to all who are managing questions, concerns and new demands in this dynamic situation. Please know that the University’s recently-established Emergency Operations Centre and Crisis Management Team are grappling with a daily onslaught of matters, so gaining answers about some topics is taking time.

Online Teaching and Learning

The ETS team is working hard to support instructors in the online delivery of courses. It is important to migrate basic course content and also ensure that the teaching/learning experience is as pedagogically sound and engaging as possible.

Please reach out for support as needed:   read more

IT Guide to Working Remotely

UBC IT has produced an IT Guide to Working Remotely with information on how to access UBC files and systems, which video conferencing tools to use, and more. Information will be continually updated on this page:

As has been mentioned in earlier posts, it is essential to remain vigilant when accessing UBC files and networks. The following cybersecurity precautions and tips from the Privacy Matters site, include these key points:

  • encrypt any non-UBC devices:
  • activate myVPN to keep online communications, downloads, uploads and other sensitive transactions and items secure – please turn off when working off-line to reduce the risk of overloading the system
  • ensure that you are using Enhanced CWL
  • ensure that all passwords are as strong as possible

For questions related to working remotely not addressed in these resources, please consult with your dept, unit or school administrative manager.


Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to

March 23, 2020 | 4:45 pm

Welcome to Week 2 of UBC’s Work from Home Arrangement. I hope you all continue to be safe and well during this period of self-isolation and physical distancing, and please accept my very sincere thanks to all of you for ensuring that our Faculty continues to serve its constituencies in these very altered circumstances.

Responses to Questions

So much of what we are experiencing is uncharted territory, for ourselves, our students, and for the University’s senior leadership. We recognize that you have many questions about how existing policies will be adapted or applied in these changed circumstances. Policies and procedures are being revised as quickly as possible, according to the level of urgency. Please be as patient as possible as you wait for a response, and recognize that not every aspect of academic life will proceed in a “business as usual” mode.

Please also note that there is a lag for some decisions due to ensuring they align with central UBC shifts that are unfolding on a daily basis…   read more

Study Leaves

Several people have asked questions relating to study leaves. Faculty Relations has confirmed that, if a study leave is postponed due to COVID 19, the year(s) at work is counted towards the next leave. This direction is also supported by Faculty Association. This exception to normal processes has been created to help with the current crisis; once the crisis passes, normal procedures will resume.

Please note that information about other types of leave is forthcoming.

Grading and Concessions for W2

We are aware that students are concerned about grading and concessions. We are presently waiting for updated information from the Office of the Provost. As soon as we have the update, we will share it with the Faculty community.

Protection of Personal Privacy

It is critically important that any information about a person’s state of health in a suspected, presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 may not be shared publicly. To do so is a violation of the Public Health Act. Only Vancouver Coast Health has the authority to provide public reports following its own established protocols.

Please use the following protocol to protect the health and privacy of our community:

Education Technology Support

This morning, Dr. Boškić shared key information about:

  • Connecting using UBC’s online & remote platforms
  • Reducing the load on UBC’s VPN
  • Teaching online

Please review the information here.

How Can I Help?

Thanks to some of you who have already reached out to provide support to others in the Faculty community. Given that workloads have been impacted in different ways during the current remote work arrangement, please check in with your Head, supervisor or administrative manager if you have time and skills that could be shared with another unit or area.


Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to

March 20, 2020 | 4:15 pm

Thank you to all members of the Faculty of Education community for your support and collaboration during this extraordinary time. We are working together to address challenges at many levels and attempting to make the transition to working and learning in ways that will maximize health and safety.

There has been a great deal of email from within and beyond the Faculty, which is to be expected during a dynamic situation such as this. In an effort to reduce the influx, we would ask that any communications you wish to send to the Faculty listservs be sent to and who are overseeing content for the Faculty COVID-19 website. They will assist in featuring and archiving any information you wish to share.

Please refer to this webpage,, for the most up to date information.

Building Closures

Please note that the closures announced yesterday are in effect to reduce the chance of transmission of the virus. Current information indicates that healthy-seeming people can act as unknowing carriers of the disease, allowing it to spread quickly…   read more

Closing the buildings has the added benefit of protecting the security of our equipment and sensitive information stored onsite. We recognize the inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your cooperation.

Curtailing of Research Activities

The VP Research and Innovation has indicated that all non-critical research activities will cease to take place on UBC campuses. Further details are forthcoming: and will be posted on the Faculty COVID-19 site.

SSHRC Update

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has launched a new web page to explain the agency’s response to COVID-19, including new provisions for grant extensions, expenses related to travel cancellations, and exceptional expenditures:

Study and Other Leaves

Faculty Relations has advised that a notice outlining provisions for study and other leaves is forthcoming. It will be posted to the Faculty COVID-19 site.

Ongoing Work-at-home Pilot

Given the evolving situation with the global pandemic, it will likely become necessary to extend the current work-at-home pilot beyond early April. Please begin planning for this likelihood.

Teaching and Learning – Summer Terms

As we are planning for the online delivery of Summer Term 1 courses, it is probably wise to think about planning for Summer Term 2 courses as well. This will include considering alternate possibilities for visiting scholars and other important aspects. These are early days, but we understand that long-range planning (and adapting) starts early.

How Can I Help?

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Dean of Education Endowment Fund will allocate emergency relief funds to Faculty of Education students experiencing financial crises. If you would like to help support students during this challenging time, you may donate online via UBC’s secure Online Gift Centre. You will receive a tax receipt for the full amount of your gift.

Thanks to the efforts of Drs. Jennifer Katz, Jenna Shapka and Lesley Andres, with support from Aloy Anyichie in ECPS, an emergency fund to provide short-term food relief to graduate students has been established on GoFundMe. This initiative, titled Adhoc COVID-19 Student Support, along with established donation sites, such as the AMS Food Bank, are linked on this webpage in the How can I help? sidebar.


Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to

March 19, 2020 | 5:20 pm

UBC Senior Leadership | Situation Updates

Action taken

  • Today, we asked the Infectious Diseases Information and Advisory Committee to stand down and established an Emergency Operations Centre. Activating the EOC will enable us to do work more efficiently in line with global emergency management practices and in line with our partners. We will be able to respond quicker to situational developments and better coordinate cross-institutional planning, response and communications.
    • a. We are using a modified EOC structure in response to the unique situation presented by COVID-19. We have maintained the working groups that have been successfully supporting IDIAC.
  • UBC broadcast circulated and website established re: COVID-19 – Curtailing research activities at UBC.
  • Late payment of tuition and fees: Enrolment Services will defer sponsors’ payments and the application of late payment fees by a month for the winter term…   read more
  • Refunds for Summer Session: Students are asking if they should pay tuition for summer session and what will happen if programs cannot be delivered. Enrolment Services has a notice on the website indicating that refunds will be provided if classes are cancelled
  • The Office of the Senate developed a memo regarding take/home remote exams and the importance of not making them all due or occur on the last day of the exam term (for mental health reasons and instructors and deans’ offices being able to manage marking and submission of grades).
  • The Belkin Gallery is closed to the public until Tuesday, April 7.

Work in progress

  • Building Closure – The Building Operations Facilities Managers are working with the Deans’ Offices, VP Research Office, Campus Security and Secure Access to limit access to buildings while still allowing critical/crucial activities to be maintained. The Deans’ make the final decision on building access. The primary challenge is that most buildings have multiple users with different needs and they must consulted.
  • Plans for congregation and communications should be ready by Friday. The intention is to grant degrees and issue parchments (by mail probably) in May. New convocation rules are being drafted to allow the Chancellor to confer degrees in absentia.
  • Emergency Bursaries: there is strong demand for funding support and the emergency bursary funding envelopes are about to be depleted. We are analyzing the nature of the requests: type of requests, amounts by type, by international, domestic, graduate, undergraduate, etc. Also examining both federal and provincial programs to see if we can tap into this for income replacement, travel costs, etc.
  • Refunds for Winter Session: Enrolment Services will have a proposal ready by tomorrow for undergraduate programs; any programs with practicums/clerkships, etc. need a different solution and ES needs to know how these programs are modifying the curriculum to help with decision making.
  • Facilities Operations – All Facilities departments are adjusting to a rotating schedule to minimize the number of staff on campus while ensuring crucial services are maintained. The staffing adjustments are being made in consultation with Academic, HR and Finance partners to maintain alignment with campus needs and to ensure the health of our staff and community. Building Operations rolled out the schedule changes today. Energy & Water Services will commence on Monday.

Information provided by government/healthcare agencies

  • Dr. Bonnie Henry has clarified, for first responders, including police and fire, that they do not need to self-isolate if they assist a citizen who is experiencing symptoms, unless they are directed to by public health, or unless they begin to exhibit symptoms. They do not have to self- isolate or cease operations if they think they or another member of their unit has been exposed. We believe that this clarifies what we need to do when people are exposed.
  • A new resource has been provided to help people understand what is entailed re: self-isolation, isolation, and self-monitoring:
  • Universities Canada clarified with IRCC that IRCC has determined that international students and workers who are currently outside of Canada and the US will not be permitted to board an aircraft to return to Canada. All temporary residents already in Canada are encouraged to apply for an extension so that they may maintain their temporary resident status in Canada. Once the application is submitted, the client will benefit from implied status and may remain in Canada until a decision is rendered on their application.
    • Universities Canada is seeking further clarification or possible exceptions for international students who are the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. IRCC is working with Global Affairs Canada on potential facilitation measures to address minor children on an exceptional basis;
  • For our US students who are on loans a bill has been introduced in both the US House and Senate that would grant a waiver from the law that prohibits any part of a program of study for students receiving U.S. loans from being taught via distance education, which would be made retroactive to 1 March.
  • CIHR is assessing how best to move forward with the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition. They are seeking to minimize disruption to the research community, while recognizing the importance of contributing to efforts to help stop the spread of the virus. A decision will be made in the coming days. CIHR is committed to supporting grant- and scholarship-holders, applicants, and peer reviewers. They could adjust program application and reporting dates, extensions to grants, etc. They are reviewing all competitions that were recently launched, are in progress, or were to be launched in the coming months, and coming up with mitigation strategies.

Canadian and BC update

  • BC has 271 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (40 new) and an additional death of a resident of the Lynn Valley Care Centre, as of 3:00PM March 19.
  • Of the total cases, 152 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 81 are in Fraser Health, 22 are in Island Health, 12 are in Interior Health and four are in Northern Heath.
  • As of March 19 at 8:30 PST, there were 736 confirmed cases and 34 probable cases of COVID-19 in Canada. Ontario and BC account for 66% of all cases (does not include BC’s new cases reported at 3PM, today).
  • Of these cases:
    • onset of illness occurred between January 15 and March 15, 2020
    • 52% of cases are male
    • 31% of cases are 60 years old and over
    • 11% of cases have been hospitalized
    • 9 people have died of COVID-19
    • 69% of cases are travellers and 13% are close contacts of travellers

International update

    • The number of COVID-19 related deaths in Italy has risen to 3,405; a rise of 427 over yesterday and the number of new cases rose by 14.9%. The number who have died has surpassed China’s numbers.
    • We’re now up to more than 200,000 cases of COVID-19, and more than 8,000 deaths.
    • For the first time, China has reported no domestic cases
    • The first vaccine trial has started and the first person was enrolled in the trial in the U.S., two days ago.
    • The situation in numbers – total cases and (new cases), reported on March 17, for the previous 24 hours:
      • Globally
        • 179,112 confirmed (11,526 new)
        • 7,426 deaths (475 new)
      • Western Pacific Region
        • 91 779 confirmed (289)
        • 3357 deaths (23)
      • European Region
          64 189 confirmed (8507)
      • 3108 deaths (428)
    • South-East Asia
      • 508 confirmed (124)
      • deaths (2)
    • Eastern Mediterranean Region
      • 16 786 confirmed (330)
      • 873 deaths (3)
    • Regions of the Americas
      • 4910 confirmed (2234)
      • 68 deaths (18)
    • African Region
      • 228 confirmed (42)
      • 4 deaths (1)
      • Global Level Very High

Reliable Sources of Information

  1. World Health Organization –
  2. British Columbia Centre for Disease Control –
  3. Vancouver Coastal Health –
  4. Public Health Agency of Canada
  5. Government of Canada Travel –
  6. To view the provincial health officer’s order on mass gatherings, visit:
  7. For more information on B.C.’s updated testing strategy and self-isolation, visit:
  8. For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit:
  9. For the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and planning materials, visit:
  10. For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit the centre’s website:
  11. For the latest audio clips of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:

March 19, 2020 | 3:32 pm

UBC Broadcast | COVID–19 — Curtailing research activities on UBC campuses

As part of UBC’s response to COVID-19, the university is curtailing on-campus research activities on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. This is in line with social distancing protocols regarding remote teaching and working arrangements implemented in the last week.

This curtailment is in effect until April 15, 2020 and may be extended. To continue research activities on our campuses, researchers must receive an exemption to be classed as critical research or maintaining critical research resources…   read more

For all other research on UBC’s campuses, research teams should immediately start to develop and implement plans to work remotely, and to have these plans fully operational by the end of day on Tuesday, March 24. Researchers based at health authority sites should follow site-specific directives.

The exemption process is outlined at It involves approval at the departmental, Faculty and Vice-President, Research & Innovation levels. Examples of critical research may include COVID-19 research and clinical trials. Critical research resources may include data, cell lines, materials and reagents that are deemed essential and difficult to replace.

The exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves mean we can only continue the most essential research operations. Guidance, a planning checklist and FAQs are available at These guidelines facilitate the temporary curtailment of most on-campus research activities and prioritize health and safety, first and foremost.

We understand that this curtailment will have a significant impact on research programs and research personnel. The university is in active discussions with funding agencies and other bodies to identify ways to mitigate these impacts.

Thank you for your continued support as UBC continues to navigate this challenging, and unprecedented, situation.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

March 19, 2020 | 2:00 pm

Due to the temporary closures of UBC buildings, Campus Mail is offering on-site pick up from 8:00 am – 3:30 pm at their Vancouver location for mail and parcels that they can’t deliver.

To pick up your mail or parcel, please visit them at the University Community Services building at 2329 West Mall.

March 19, 2020 | 11:11 am

Sincere thanks to all of you for transitioning your work away from campus. As both the Scarfe Building and the Education-related areas of Ponderosa Oak and Cedar are now not in use, there is a needless load being placed on Building Operations and Campus Security. To support our colleagues in these units, I have asked them to lock both spaces and restrict card access for the time being. To clarify, your access card will not unlock the buildings or any of the interior spaces.

This decision will not only assist our colleagues in Building Operations and Campus Security, it will help safeguard equipment and confidential materials that are stored in Education spaces.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

March 19, 2020 | 9:19 am

As COVID-19 increasingly dominates our news cycle and our lives, I would like to remind you that BC’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has established protocols for prevention, monitoring, and managing the illness. Please refer to this resource for more information:

You may hear of potential cases on campus or within your professional networks. I would like to remind you that we need to protect the privacy of these individuals. That means not disclosing the person’s name or your connection with them, and not passing along the information to others who may have been in contact with them….   read more

If an individual is tested and has a positive result, the Public Health authorities will contact them and advise them of appropriate treatment protocols. To reiterate, it is our responsibility to protect the privacy of affected individuals. Please, please, follow this protocol.

March 19, 2020 | 8:50 am

Mental Health Resources from UBC Student Health

Amidst the current outbreak of COVID-19, many students may be developing feelings of fear, stress, worry and isolation – these feelings are natural when facing threats that are beyond our control. Everyone reacts differently to these feelings and they can be overwhelming for some. It is important to understand that if you need help in coping with these feelings, there are resources available. Below are articles and resources that will guide you in managing your mental health.

Taking care of your mental health during the pandemic:…   read more

Other resources available online or on the phone to support your mental health:

UBC Counselling Services Counselling Services will be offering appointments by phone during the COVID-19 outbreak. Students can call Counselling Services, 604 822 3811, to schedule an appointment by phone.

  • Empower Me – Empower Me provides counselling and life coaching, free for all students. They can help with anything you’re concerned about and will give you the option of getting help online or by phone
  • MindhealthBC – Take a quick online assessment on your mental health and get resources for a variety of related concerns
  • Here to Help – Helps you find quality information, learn new skills, and connect with key resources in BC
  • HealthlinkBC – If you still have questions call 811 to speak with a registered nurse, or access online resources for health-related questions
  • CrisiscentreBC – If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or at risk of harm, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time
  • TAO – Manage your well-being with tools on stress, relationship problems, substance use, and more. Register with a UBC email, which you can set up for free
  • More information on how to take care of your health and wellbeing can be found at

We appreciate that this is a very stressful time and we want to reassure you that UBC is here to support you. All necessary steps are being taken, in conjunction with and in consultation with our health agency partners, in order to protect the health and safety of all of our students and the entire community. Your health and wellbeing is our priority.

If you have any further questions regarding any of the information you have received, please do not hesitate to reach out to: Dr Marna Nelson | Director UBC Student Health Service |

March 19, 2020 | 7:27 am

UBC Libraries

The UBC Libraries remain digitally available, but physical operations at both campuses will cease at 5 p.m., Friday, March 20. From that time until 9 a.m., Monday, April 6, we will be working remotely.

Included in this message are details about where to go for information and resources, whom to contact and how to reach them. Librarians are available to support your teaching and research through a variety of methods including email, telephone and video consultations through Zoom and other tools. Please reach out to them as the need arises.

We will prioritize access to our online collections, search tools, the catalogue, research and information databases, and publisher resources. For access to print materials, your librarian will work with you to acquire an electronic version of what you are looking for. Through arrangements with other libraries, membership resources like the Internet Archive, and commercial vendors, we expect to be able to deliver most of your needs…   read more

Along with other libraries, including Harvard University Library, we will temporarily cease loaning physical books after Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m. The library community is currently assessing the safety of handling and loaning physical books, as bindings and paper can host viable Coronaviruses for days.

It is a serious measure for us to take the action of closing our physical facilities, but it is one we must take given the danger the pandemic represents. Libraries by definition do not lend themselves well to social distancing, however we try to make that work. The safety of our community, including our students, faculty, researchers, librarians, and library staff, is top of mind. Knowing that we are able to provide the robust library support that our active community requires is reassuring to us, as we hope it is to you.

In moving to close our physical spaces by the end of this week, we are trying to give people as much time as possible to prepare. Other libraries have had to close their spaces with little or no notice. UBC Library is one of the very last major research libraries in North America to move to completely remote services. Please visit for the latest updates about the library’s services.

Librarian Consultations
Contact our Subject librarians with expertise in specific areas for consultations. Once you identify a librarian, you can schedule an appointment with them via email.

Not sure which subject librarian to contact? Contact your branch by email and we’ll point you in the right direction:

Vancouver Campus
David Lam Library:
Biomedical Branch Library:
Education Library:
Koerner Library:
Law Library:
Music, Art and Architecture:
Rare Books and Special Collections:
Research Commons:
Woodward Library:

Okanagan Campus
Innovation Library:
Okanagan Campus Library:
Okanagan Special Collections:

Dr. Susan E Parker
University Librarian, UBC

Heather Berringer
Chief Librarian and Associate Provost, Learning Services, UBCO

March 18, 2020 | 8:18 am

The Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has by now declared a public health emergency related to COVID-19.

Members of the Faculty of Education COVID-19 Rapid Response Team are meeting frequently to consult on every aspect of these challenging times, including most recently, how to implement UBC’s Temporary Work from Home Arrangements. The safety of our faculty, students and staff and your families is our top priority.

Given the rapidly changing epidemiological climate and UBC’s Temporary Work from Home Arrangements (pilot to April 6th), and taking into consideration the recommendations of the Faculty Rapid Response team, I have decided we will implement full faculty and staff remote work immediately and without exceptions, as follows:…   read more

  • All Faculty of Education staff, from all professional unions and associations, will work remotely during the Pilot period of UBC’s Temporary Work from Home Arrangements.
  • If you have questions about fulfilling your typical duties while working remotely, please discuss with your manager immediately. Your manager may decide to temporarily change the duties or shift the priorities within your existing job classification based on the unit needs.
  • If you are concerned about the technology/equipment to support working from home, please also discuss with your manager who will work with the unit head to make alternate arrangements.

By working remotely, we will interrupt the chain of COVID-19 transmission, and hopefully make the virus’ impact more manageable for our health care system and as such, for society, with a particular focus on reducing the impact of the virus on those most vulnerable members of our society. Please do your part to help “flatten the curve.”

Managers who have questions regarding the implementation of this Remote Work pilot program may contact Anna Bin, Director of HR, for advice.

We are here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

March 15, 2020 | 5:34 pm

In light of UBC’s announcement of the three-week pilot of “Temporary Work from Home Arrangements,” the Faculty of Education fully supports this approach and recommends that, starting this week (March 16, 2020), faculty, staff, student employees and postdoctoral fellows work remotely wherever possible.

This applies to all employees of the University, regardless of their membership in any union or association. We encourage all members in the Faculty of Education to discuss with their managers or research leads/principal investigators to determine if their positions are appropriate for remote work, to receive written approval to do so and to confirm a start date of the arrangement. Such approval is in the sole discretion of the applicable manager and it is provided on a case-by-case basis. In case a position is deemed not feasible for remote work, the employee will be expected to attend work as they normally do…   read more

Guidelines on this “Temporary Work from Home Arrangements” pilot program can be found at:

This is a temporary pilot program for three weeks at this time. As the advice from the Provincial Health Officer and the BCCDC evolves, the University will continue to assess the efficacy of this program and determine whether it will be necessary to extend or modify it.

Managers who have questions regarding the implementation of this pilot program may contact Anna Bin, Director of HR, for advice.

March 13, 2020 | 7:31 pm

In line with UBC’s latest directive, please be advised that all classes will move to online platforms as of Monday, March 16th, 2020, for the remainder of the term. The campus will remain open and Faculty of Education operations will proceed normally.

For our faculty and sessional faculty: Educational Technology Support staff will provide dedicated technological assistance for all faculty members. Please contact Dr. Natasha Boškić for guidance.

For our staff: Campus will remain open. Please attend work during your regularly scheduled hours.

For our students: We are working in conjunction with a number of UBC units to plan and accommodate exams, practicum placements, and other components of your programs. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

March 13, 2020 | 1:50 pm

The Faculty continues to closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation.

In our continuing efforts to slow the transmission of the virus, we are suspending Faculty-sponsored events that are not part of courses or academic requirements, and that have an expected attendance of 50 people or more. At the unit level, you may decide whether such events should be cancelled or simply postponed.

The suspension is in effect immediately, and will apply to all events scheduled between now until the end of April. The Faculty’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team will re-assess the situation weekly, and will provide updates as the situation evolves…   read more

The Faculty urges you to be extremely circumspect in planning events, such as receptions or celebrations, to coincide with spring convocation. To be clear, the Faculty is not in a position to comment upon whether convocation will continue as planned; the Faculty is simply advising you to not plan an event at that time.

Organizers of events with an expected attendance of fewer than 50 people are required to consider alternate ways of holding the events (e.g., hosting in large spaces offering sufficient flexibility for social distancing, or hosting online versions of events).

March 12, 2020 | 6:30 pm

The Faculty has convened a COVID-19 Rapid Response Team to coordinate a Faculty-wide protocol. Following are the Rapid Response Team’s procedures, decisions and recommendations as of March 12, 2020.

HR Decision-making: Faculty and Staff

We will do everything possible to ensure that the health and wellbeing of our faculty and staff are secured. As such, we are developing a plan to mitigate risks…   read more

  • Faculty or staff shall not be penalized for making the reasonable decision to self-isolate, whether because of probable exposure and/or because of a compromised immune system;
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to communicate by email to their unit heads (department heads, school directors, associate deans, and assistant deans) regarding concerns about exposure to COVID-19 or other elevated risk factors. Please include as much relevant information as possible (exposure, testing, immune-compromised, etc.);
  • The self-isolation advice provided by the BC CDC provides evidence-informed directives concerning testing, calling 811 and other matters can be found here;
  • Unit heads will not disclose COVID-19-related information except, as required, in cases of a local positive test;
  • Faculty or staff who make a reasonable decision to self-isolate for the recommended period of time, up to 14 days, will be not be required to use existing sick or vacation days. Documentation will not typically be required for this period of self-isolation; and
  • Where possible, unit heads can determine the feasibility of flexible work arrangements (e.g., telecommuting) when there is no actual known illness and self-isolation is used as a risk mitigation strategy.

Teaching and Classes

While we do not anticipate a campus closure, we would be remiss if we did not plan for that possibility. If you would like to move this semester’s course work to Canvas, Educational Technology Support staff will provide dedicated technological assistance. Furthermore, I ask all faculty to plan to move May semester courses to an online format. I recognize that teaching online may not be a familiar modality for some of you, so please be assured that Educational Technology Support will provide support for anyone who request it. Please contact Dr. Natasha Boškić for guidance.

On March 12, 2020, Dr. Andrew Szeri issued a memo, which included the following except:

“On an urgent basis, it is prudent to focus significant attention on active planning to enable alternative and online instruction, should the need arise. These steps will require the work of individual faculty members to modify teaching strategies, with support from the resources on the website and also in person, through Faculty-based or central instructional support units (including the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology on the Vancouver campus, and the Center for Teaching and Learning on the Okanagan campus). In addition, plans should be made for the potential need for examinations to be conducted in a manner different than the usual face to face settings. This planning will make any necessary transition to online instruction that much more feasible and smoother, even if it must happen on a short timeline. We ask the academic leaders of the campus to encourage such work, and to provide support to enable it to move forward with all due speed.”


We are working to determine the best course of action with regard to gatherings scheduled between now and July. To assess risk, we ask anyone who is organizing an event with more than 50 people at any UBC campus, venue, field centre or the like, to submit event details here. We will follow up with organizers to discuss available options, and to help mitigate medical, epidemiological, financial, and reputational risks.

Health Canada’s risk-informed approach to making decisions for mass gatherings during COVID-19 can be found here:


It is strongly advised that you cancel all University-funded international travel, whether for a meeting, conference, or other purpose. Travel to the United States is included in this advisory. You may have already booked and paid for a trip that will now not take place, such as AERA. We recommend that you make every effort to obtain a travel credit or refund. The Faculty will make it possible to use existing grants or other R accounts in your name for reimbursements should you be unable to obtain a credit or refund. Reimbursement will only be provided for trips that were booked up to the time of this post; if you book a trip now, the Faculty will not be able to reimburse you should your travel be cancelled. If you decide to travel in spite of our recommendation, please be aware that your insurance will likely not provide coverage.

This is a challenging situation for our students, staff, and faculty members. Please remain informed and strategic, while planning carefully for a serious, emerging situation. Please also continue to monitor UBC’s Campus Notifications page,, and this page for up-to-date information.

Open Searches

Unit heads with active faculty searches should seriously consider carrying out interviews and related presentations virtually. The decision to hold virtual searches should then be applied equally to local, national, and international short-listed candidates. If you have technological questions, please contact Dr. Natasha Boškić.