Our commitment to targeted hiring and anti-racism: President’s letter

June 25, 2020

Dear Members of the McMaster community,

Over the past few weeks our campus community has been challenged to urgently address persistent systemic institutional racism and to address barriers to equity and inclusion. We have heard a clear call for concrete and demonstrable action. The University has expressed its commitment to addressing these issues in a variety of statements, and now is the time for actions that will support those words.

McMaster’s newly launched Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy and 2019-2022 Action Plan establishes a wide-range of initiatives intended to challenge anti-Black racism, and to support Black individuals and Persons of Colour at McMaster. The recently released annual report of the President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC) also provides a range of positive recommendations for change. In response, the University administration is prioritizing and accelerating several initiatives to advance the EDI Action Plan as quickly as possible.

We must address the underrepresentation of Black faculty members and advance inclusive excellence in teaching and research across all academic programs. There is strong support across all six Faculties to recruit more tenured or tenure-track faculty from the African diaspora. McMaster has made a commitment to the strategic, accelerated hiring of a complement of Black faculty members with disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths, who will advance institutional and Faculty research priorities and contribute to African and African Diaspora Studies.

The Black Lives Matter movement has helped us all better understand the pain that Black communities are facing and the need to find real and concrete ways to correct the systemic racism and racial inequity that exists across our campuses. Our commitment to targeted hiring is a critically important step in doing so.

Further supports and initiatives are being developed and will be launched over the coming months as we advance the EDI Action Plan. Priorities in McMaster’s EDI Action Plan that were mobilized in the past year include:

  • Development of a new faculty recruitment and selection policy, and companion handbook, with embedded EDI and inclusive excellence best practices. These include requirements to review an employment equity gap analysis, a request for applicants’ self-identification information (takes effect July 1, 2020). There is also a requirement for Search Committee Chairs to complete a Search Summary Form to track efficacy of search processes and outcomes in recruiting and selecting excellent equity-seeking faculty members.
  • Human Resources Services and Institutional Research and Analysis have dedicated resources and hired staff, including hiring and assignment of racialized staff, to develop and sustain systems and processes to support the implementation of best EDI practices across all faculty searches.
  • Launch of an Employment Equity Facilitator Program that has so far trained over 120 faculty and staff to sit on Search Committees to support the implementation of best EDI practices.
  • Building additional capacity in the Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO), including the hiring of an Anti-Black Racism Education Coordinator to deliver anti-Black, anti-oppression education and training opportunities.
  • Establishing an employee resource group to support community-building, as well as facilitate the advancement of career and leadership development of racialized staff.

I encourage everyone to become more familiar with both the EDI Strategy and Action Plan and also to consider the ways that each of us can challenge our own approaches and actions in eliminating systemic racism at the University and in our community.

We will continue to rely on the guidance of the Equity and Inclusion Office, the members of PACBIC and other campus groups, including the African Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster, as we work to foster an environment free from harassment, discrimination and violence.

My thanks to everyone who has dedicated their time and energy to helping McMaster better understand anti-Black racism and to focus on actions to move us forward.

Sincerely,

David Farrar

The text of the letter has been updated. An Indigenous Strategy is being developed under the leadership of McMaster’s Indigenous Education Council.

Fall term classes will be online: President’s letter

May 25, 2020

Dear Members of the McMaster community,

In a world that continues to change so quickly, it is important that we are able to provide clarity on McMaster’s plans for the fall 2020 academic term.

We want our students and everyone at the University to be as safe as possible, to have the support they need to be successful and to be confident that our decisions are based on public health advice. We know there are very real concerns regarding the evolution of the pandemic in the fall term and what that could mean for the health and well-being of every member of the McMaster community.

  • Classes for the entire fall term will be online.
  • With few exceptions students will not need to be on campus to take their courses.
  • Undergraduate students entering the first year of their programs will not need to be on campus for the fall term with the exception of a limited number of health care professional courses. Students enrolling in such programs will receive additional information directly from their departments.
  • Labs and other specialized facilities will only be available in very limited cases. Faculty and staff are encouraged to continue to find alternate means to deliver these types of programs or to redistribute courses so that work requiring access to labs or other types of facilities can be completed at a future time.
  • A process for programs to request use of labs and other specialized facilities, where essential to meet program requirements, is in development and requests will require approval from the Department Chair, Dean and the Provost’s Office.
  • We are investing significantly in the online experience to assist faculty in developing high quality online programs that continue to provide students with opportunities to interact with each other and their instructors.
  • We are enhancing support for all students with particular emphasis on student well-being, mental health, technical assistance, and ensuring accessibility.
  • To help ensure that first-year students are welcomed into the McMaster community, and are able to find friends and mentors, we have developed the Archway program that will bring together small groups of students with coaches to create a memorable and successful first-year experience.
  • Prioritizing health and safety will significantly limit the availability of residences on campus and spaces will only be available on an exceptional basis.

In the coming days please watch for communications with additional information that will be sent to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

Our commitment to excellence will continue to guide our work and we hope that these decisions will help all areas of the University prioritize and focus their planning for the fall term.

We believe that by making these decisions now we will create as much certainty as possible for students, faculty and staff at a time when it is impossible to predict how the pandemic will unfold.

As we enter the next phase of the pandemic, we will see some research activity that can only be done on campus begin to accelerate. Acting Vice-President (Research), Karen Mossman, will continue to share information and guidance as these research activities resume. Labs and other locations on campus must strictly adhere to all public health advice and physical distancing requirements.  Groups across campus, including the University’s operations committee, are preparing wayfinding and other building, lab and health and safety information and resources so we are well prepared to welcome back these researchers.

As you all know, our spring and summer terms are currently underway and I appreciate all the work that has taken place across our campus to allow us to run these programs in the virtual learning environment. Enrolment for the 2020 spring and summer terms actually exceeds 2019 for both domestic and international students.

I want to thank everyone who is working so hard to keep campus operating, teaching in our spring and summer terms, supporting students, and helping staff work remotely and balance their working and home lives. Your commitment is appreciated and will become even more important as we move forward.

These are not easy times and they require us to work through difficult decisions.  We all need to take care of ourselves and watch out for each other as colleagues and friends.  It is that spirit of community and family that helps to make McMaster such a special place, whether we are sitting across from each other or are working alone at our dining room tables.

Thank you for your many contributions and please stay informed as the University continues to share plans and programs to further our academic and research mission and keep our students, faculty and staff safe.

Sincerely,

David Farrar

When it’s time to come back, we’ll be ready: President’s letter

May 12, 2020

Dear Members of the McMaster community,

I am certain you have begun to miss being on campus, and are anxious to know when we can begin to return.  While virtual platforms and interactions are helping us to keep in touch, I, like you, look forward to the time when we can safely increase our presence at all of our campus locations.

For the time being, current restrictions remain in place.  But there are many people on campus who are working together to answer the complex questions we face, including: how will we begin to expand campus activities once the government allows us to do so?  How will we maintain physical distancing? What does this mean for our researchers, our staff and our students?

To assist with this planning at the program and departmental level, the President and Vice-Presidents Group (PVP) has confirmed McMaster’s approach in a number of key over-arching areas.

  • We will continue to be guided by Public Health Ontario directives and advice. This advice is dynamic and will continue to change as the provincial recovery unfolds.
  • In alignment with current Public Health guidance, masks will not be required on campus, save in specific cases such as labs where personal protective equipment (PPE) would have been required for normal operations, healthcare settings, or special circumstances such as certain cleaning operations.
  • Individuals may choose to wear a mask in other situations. That is a personal choice.
  • Everyone who is not considered part of an essential service should continue to work at home, if they are able to do so. More people will be invited to return to our campuses as the University begins to reopen, but for now we are asking people to continue to work from home.
  • A research recovery plan is being developed by the Vice-President, Research and the Associate Deans, Research. Principal Investigators in consultation with Environmental & Occupational Health Support Services (EOHSS) will be primarily responsible for safety planning in their areas once reopening is underway.  A request to expand the research activity on campus, approved by the Department and the Faculty, will be required and must include a physical distancing and staffing plan so the University can maintain an overall view of who is on campus and in which locations.
  • Self-monitoring for symptoms will continue to be important. Anyone who feels unwell should not come to campus, and should follow the advice on Ontario’s COVID-19 self-screening website https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/.

Thank you to all those who are helping us plan for re-opening. In addition to the research planning group and the return-to-work operations committee, other units who manage a wide-range of activities at the university are also working on strategies to assist us in reopening as soon as we can.

The Guiding Framework I laid out in my last letter to the community (https://covid19.mcmaster.ca/principles-guiding-our-decision-making-for-fall-and-beyond-presidents-letter/) outlines McMaster’s institutional approach to planning, which we will continue to use as we manage through the pandemic. More detailed operational guidelines will be developed as we move forward.

I have heard from many of you over the last few weeks and I know how much you are doing to keep the university’s teaching and research activities operating. I have also witnessed your personal contributions to strengthening our support for students and our researchers in these challenging times.

I am proud to be part of this deeply compassionate community.

Sincerely,

David Farrar

Principles guiding our decision-making for fall and beyond: President’s letter

April 30, 2020

Dear Members of the McMaster community,

I would like to begin by thanking McMaster’s faculty and staff.  I appreciate everything that you are doing to continue to serve our students, to advance our research wherever possible, and to maintain the campus and the vital services we and others rely on. I would especially like to thank those of you who are active members of our healthcare community performing vital work within the hospitals and our health clinics.

These have been extraordinary times and McMaster is extremely fortunate to have innovative and dedicated people who are rising to meet the challenge. Together we are working to support our University through the needs of today, while also focusing on planning for the future and the opportunities of the days and years to come.

I would like to share with you a framework the President and Vice-Presidents’ group has developed that should be used to guide decision-making across the University. There are many questions that we cannot yet answer and much that still needs to be determined. While we know that there will be a fall term, we don’t yet know if it will be online or in-person. We have asked our faculty and staff to be ready for either scenario, so planning is now underway to ensure that we are able to develop and support a dynamic and high-quality student experience whether this takes place in-person or remotely.

McMaster Guiding Framework for Planning Decisions for September 2020 and Beyond

  1. For the 2020/21 academic year, we will continue to deliver on the academic and research mission of the University, while prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of all members of our community.
  2. In doing so, we will remain focused on supporting and enabling the success of our students, delivering a high-quality learning environment and overall student experience.
  3. Our goal is to welcome new and returning students back to campus as soon as this can be done safely and in accordance with Public Health guidance and government protocols. Priority will be given to those programs where physical access is necessary in order to complete academic requirements and enable students to complete their courses and graduate.
  4. We will maintain our focus on research excellence and on supporting the work of our researchers across all disciplines, as well as enabling and advancing our long history of creativity and innovation.
  5. We will continue to uphold our core University values, principles and policies, including our focus on inclusivity, accommodation and respect for one another, and our collegial decision-making processes. Any revisions or updating of policies will continue to be developed through the University’s pre-existing governance processes.
  6. We will continue to make fiscally prudent decisions that support our ongoing stability and success as an institution, balancing risk with opportunity.
  7. We will continue to work together as a community to support our students, faculty and staff across the University and will ensure that information, plans and decisions are communicated clearly and promptly.

We will, of course, continue to keep the McMaster community updated as decisions are made and the future becomes clearer. In the meantime, I hope that the framework will serve as a useful guide as you consider issues and make decisions within your own areas.

Sincerely,

David Farrar

“I wish we had all the answers. We do know there will be a fall term.” President’s letter

April 22, 2020

Dear Members of the McMaster community,

It is amazing how quickly we can adapt in extraordinary times. Staying at home, meeting with colleagues by video and lining up at the grocery store – a hockey stick apart – have all become part of our new routine. And as anxious as everyone is to resume life the way it used to be, we know that returning to packed commuter trains, major sporting events, and large family gatherings will take time and require a lot of careful thought and planning.

That same apprehension can be found at universities, including McMaster. Students are now completing their final exams of the winter term, and the spring and summer term classes will all take place online and in virtual classrooms. But what about the fall? On the calendar, it is still months away but we understand that students, parents, faculty and staff are all wondering what the fall term will look like.

I wish we had all of the answers. What we do know is that there will be a fall term. But whether that term is held in person, or in a virtual classroom, or a mixture of both, is not something the University can control. Physical distancing requirements, even as society begins to move out of the worst of the pandemic, will still need to be met and the health and safety of every member of the McMaster community will continue to be our top priority.

Although we need to be fully prepared for the possibility of a virtual environment for the fall term, our hope is that we will be able to welcome students back to campus for classes in September. Given the current uncertainty, we need to be ready to deliver high quality programs and classes for either scenario.

Fortunately, we have time to prepare. McMaster has innovation in its DNA and an incredible history of developing new approaches to teaching and learning that have reshaped higher education in countries around the world. Continuing that legacy is a mission accelerated by COVID-19, and departments and programs are already planning and developing new ways to create virtual classrooms that will teach and inspire students. The MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching is creating resources and training faculty and instructors so they are prepared to engage effectively with students should we not be able to be on campus in the fall.

One thing we are sure of at McMaster: we will be ready to support our students in continuing to learn and be successful in working towards their degrees, whether that is in person or at a distance.

We don’t want finances to stand in the way of our students continuing their education. We have already helped hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students with emergency financial aid and we have launched a fundraising campaign to provide even more assistance. We have been fortunate that the McCall MacBain Foundation – an organization founded by McMaster alumna Marcy McCall MacBain and her husband John McCall MacBain – has pledged up to $100,000 to match donations to the Student Relief Fund. McMaster is providing an additional match of up to $100,000, so a gift will generate three times its original value to support McMaster students in need.

Thank you to everyone who is supporting this vital campaign.

In our fast-changing world it is more important than ever that we communicate and share as much information as we can. I will continue to keep the McMaster community updated and welcome your ideas as together we make our way along this uncharted course.

Sincerely,

David Farrar

“Campus just isn’t the same without students:” President’s letter

April 2, 2020

Dear members of the McMaster community,

Living close to the university means that on most evenings I am able to take a walk around campus, keeping the required distance from anyone else, of course. That isn’t difficult to do. Although there are lights still glowing in labs and in residence buildings where international students are living, campus is quiet – incredibly quiet.

In some ways it is peaceful, but I much prefer it when our campus is buzzing with activity.

Campus just isn’t the same without students.

This isn’t the way that any of us thought the academic term would finish. While virtual classrooms and online assessments will give all our students the opportunity to finish their courses and earn their credits, we are all missing the face-to-face connections with friends and colleagues. I want to thank all of our instructors and faculty members for working so hard to move their programs to virtual classrooms. I also want to thank our students for being open to new ways of learning and completing assignments and research programs in different ways.

The requirement to move away from campus on short notice and before the end of term, and being separated suddenly from friends, mentors and instructors only adds to the disruption for our students. We know that for many, financial concerns are weighing heavily, alongside worries about parents, grandparents and other family members. Like you, we are all in the process of adjusting to physical distancing and staying at home most of the time, and as a community we are facing the future with more uncertainty than we have probably ever experienced.

I know that many of you are deeply disappointed that we are not able to hold an in-person convocation this spring. I share that disappointment, as do our faculty. Convocation is one of the high points of our year. We take enormous pride in celebrating the achievements of our students and we share in the joy of your family and friends as you walk across the stage. While convocation cannot happen in person right now, people across the University are working hard to create a virtual convocation this spring, and there will be in-person events this fall that will be as memorable as McMaster’s usual graduation ceremonies. We’re looking forward to sharing the details with our graduating class soon, and to celebrating your success in novel and creative ways.

As a University community we recognize the need to support our students in other important ways too. We have staff working with students in need of emergency financial assistance and have increased the funds available to help if students find themselves unable to pay their rent, buy food or manage other necessities.

Other areas across campus are also connecting with our students to make sure they know they are not alone and that there are many people willing to help. Faculty members in Science are sharing photos of their makeshift home offices with students, along with notes of support and encouragement. Student leaders from the McMaster Students Union, the Graduate Student Association and the McMaster Association of Part-time Students are working hard to ensure that the concerns of students are brought to the attention of the University administration.

We don’t yet have the answers to many of the questions that are being asked. But we are working through the issues one by one and we are committed to supporting the students who are at the core of our mission, and to celebrating all that they have achieved.

My thanks to each one of you, as we navigate our way through these challenging days.

Sincerely,

David Farrar

“The quiet heroes of this disquieting time:” President’s letter

March 27, 2020

Dear Members of the McMaster community,

Life as we know it has changed considerably at the University.

Only the most essential activities are continuing across our campuses; the vast majority of our community is studying, teaching and working remotely. The end of the term is like none we have ever seen before and, looking to the future, we are planning for potentially months of change and disruption.

But despite all of this, the fundamental elements of a strong and positively focused university are very much in evidence at McMaster.

In our research labs, the collaboration and creative innovation needed to find solutions to COVID-19 continues to move forward. McMaster’s Arinjay Banerjee, a postdoctoral researcher at McMaster’s Institute for Infectious Disease Research, along with collaborators from Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, was successful in isolating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the agent responsible for the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.

At McMaster’s Manufacturing Research Institute, engineers are working across multiple areas of expertise designing a prototype of a new ventilator that can be put into production quickly to provide hospitals with the necessary equipment to support COVID-19 patients.

McMaster continues to be the world’s only producer of the radioactive isotope I-125. Staff in the reactor continue to do everything possible to meet the global demand for this critical cancer treatment.

From assessing the impact of infectious disease and the science of exercise on our aging communities to capturing the impact on mental health and societal change, researchers and research staff are reaching across disciplines, bringing their expertise and innovation to tasks that will have the biggest impact on the pandemic.

In addition to our researchers, there are faculty members finding new and creative ways to bring their teaching to students no longer sitting in front of them, and ensuring that students can finish their courses and complete their programs in time to take the next step. There are many, many others who are keeping our campuses clean and safe for those who remain in place, keeping our information and finance systems running, and supporting our students through all this upheaval and uncertainty. They are the quiet heroes of this disquieting time, and their work is critical and appreciated.

These are the principles and commitments that strengthen our University. They are the reason that McMaster has become a world leader in research, teaching and community contributions that are making an impact down the road and around the world.

The COVID-19 emergency has thrown our health-care systems, our economy and our social fabric into disarray. In addition to claiming lives, it presents a global challenge to our usual ways of living, working and interacting with others. We have the opportunity now to focus on what is important, and to find our way through this crisis with strengthened ties to each other and a renewed commitment to work together on common goals.

We are all stewards of McMaster’s legacy. We each have a role to play in upholding the fundamental importance of science, evidence, expertise, perseverance, humanity and community that will bring us through this generational challenge.

I want to thank all of you for your hard work and your unselfish commitment.

Sincerely,

David Farrar

“Together, we are meeting the challenge:” President’s letter

March 20, 2020

Dear Members of the McMaster community,

When the world is fundamentally shaken, what do we need to do?

That question had to be answered by all of us – in every hour, of every day this week. I have witnessed truly outstanding commitment to our students, to the important work that happens at the University, and to each other.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of our institution.

I am one of the more recent additions to the McMaster community.  I came because of McMaster’s reputation for excellence and its long history of creativity and innovation. What I perhaps hadn’t fully realized until now is what enables those things to happen.

Quite simply, it is our people. I have seen countless examples this week of people coming together, putting their own needs aside, and working together across the University to find solutions to problems they never expected to face, and questions they never expected to have to answer.

Together, McMaster faculty, instructors, TAs and staff made sure that students will be able to complete their courses this term. The need to make such a significant shift at an unprecedented speed was a challenge successfully met and you have my deep appreciation.

While most of you are now working from home and finding new ways to get the job done, there are many others who need to be on campus to help students move out of residence and make sure those who remain have nutritious food and all of the health and other supports they need. Many of you are helping our hospitals take care of patients. UTS experts are keeping our systems going and cleaners and maintenance staff are keeping our campus safe. Others are making sure payroll runs and that the applications of students hoping to come to McMaster next year are still being managed.

While some researchers, graduate students and research staff are safely closing down research projects to support social distancing and the ability for additional staff to work remotely, others are leading the country in the battle to understand and fight COVID-19 on every front.

The pandemic is a reminder of the importance of research, evidence and facts. It reinforces that the students we train to work in healthcare, public services, business, public policy and other sectors are the people we all need to count on to do the right thing and to care for our communities and families.

Together we are meeting the challenge. But this is just the beginning.

We don’t know what will happen next or how long it will take to get through the pandemic. Getting back to normal is not going to happen quickly and what normal is will likely be redefined forever. Such uncertainty only adds to the stress and complexity we are all facing.

My commitment is that we will continue to make the best decisions we can, even in circumstances that are changing in ways and at a speed that would have been unimaginable just a short time ago.

I ask that you continue to support each other, take care of yourself and your family. Please remember that you are part of a broader community and that we all need to look out for each other, especially those who are most vulnerable in such difficult times.

My heartfelt and ongoing thanks to each of you for all that you contribute and for being an important member of the McMaster community.

 

Sincerely,

David Farrar

 

“Time to take care of each other and our communities:” President’s letter

March 16, 2020

Dear Members of the McMaster community,

Let me begin by thanking everyone. The past week has not been easy and, as the level of uncertainty about COVID-19 has mounted, so too has the need for us to make decisions we never could have imagined making just days ago. That is true not just at the University but also for our families.

Today, the federal government announced additional measures to try to slow the pace and impact of the pandemic, including the Prime Minister telling Canadians that they should stay home. These measures are being undertaken for all the right reasons. If Canada can slow the pace of COVID-19 it can save lives. Hospitals and healthcare workers in other countries have been overwhelmed as case numbers soar and if there is a way that we can avoid that here, it is what needs to happen.

Social distancing measures requiring that as many of us as possible stay home and limiting gatherings to fewer than 50 people, create new challenges for the university. McMaster will continue to be open but our focus will be on required services that protect health and safety, that help our students complete their term, and that support essential research.

This means that all areas should ensure that any employees who can work from home are able to do so. Supervisors will help to find ways that services can be maintained online or on the phone. We may not be able to deliver services in the way we are used to, but we can still achieve great things by adapting our approaches.

We are asking that students make their plans to move out of residence. The details will be shared with residence students shortly, including directions for anyone who needs special consideration to stay in residence for an extended period of time.

The details of McMaster’s plan for completing academic programs and course evaluations using alternate online arrangements continue to unfold, and faculty are beginning to share the new plans with students.

Research happens in every corner of the University and it is always a prime consideration.  The Vice-President (Research) and the Associate Deans are working together to develop guidance and business continuity plans which they will be sharing with the campus community.

I encourage everyone to focus on what we can do rather than on what we cannot do. How can we continue to help our students? How can we maintain a strong McMaster community that supports each other? How can we help our neighbours across campus or across the street from where we live?

People are understandably nervous and worried as our lives are being impacted in unsettling ways. But we are also caring and thoughtful and it is the time to show our determination to take care of each other and our communities.

This is not the time to worry about having perfect answers.  It is the time to work together in the best ways we can. Thank you to everyone for all of your extraordinary efforts to date and over the weeks to come.

Sincerely,

David Farrar

 

A letter from our president

March 13, 2020

Dear Members of the McMaster community

These are unsettling times.  The spread of COVID-19 around the world and its arrival in our own region has brought McMaster and all other organizations to unchartered territory. As of today, the risk of catching the virus continues to remain low.

The University’s focus is always clearly on our students, faculty and staff.  And while the University has taken many measures to prepare and keep our community informed as the pandemic has unfolded, it is now time to take a more significant decision to suspend classes at McMaster.

McMaster in-person classes for undergraduate and graduate students will end at the end of day Friday March 13th and no in-person exams will be held at the end of this term.

Faculty members and instructors are asked to work with their Chairs, Directors and Deans to be prepared to communicate with students by Wednesday, March 18th   to let them know how the remainder of their courses will be managed and grades assessed so that they can complete their credits within the normal timeframe of the winter term. These solutions will vary from course to course.

Ensuring students finish their year, that those in their final year are able to graduate and reducing the stress students are under must be of paramount importance.

This is a stressful time for everyone. And these are difficult decisions.

We don’t underestimate the challenge it will be for instructors to find alternate ways to finish their course programs and for staff to develop and implement the changes that will be required. But I am confident that in these extraordinary times, extraordinary solutions will be found and the University will provide the support needed to help ensure that happens.

While this transition to on-line and other types of solutions occurs, the remainder of the University will remain open.  The overall number of people on campus will be reduced, but students will continue to have access to their residences, libraries will be available and our research enterprise, services (including food services), and offices will continue to function.

The University’s Crisis Management Team, which includes academic leaders and others from across McMaster, will continue to lead the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is more important than ever that you stay informed.  The University shares all of its information on the Daily News and McMaster’s dedicated COVID-19 website and through its social media channels. Departments and units are also sharing information specific to their areas. It is important that students, faculty and staff continue to share information and work together as the situation around COVID-19 continues to develop at an increasingly fast pace.

All discretionary events were cancelled as of Thursday, March 12th and we strongly encourage everyone at the University to avoid travel outside of Canada.

It is also incredibly important that together we ensure that McMaster continues to be an inclusive and safe University that respects all members of our community.

I want to thank all of you – staff students and faculty – for your commitment, your patience and your determination to strengthen the University as together we face the challenges before us.

Sincerely,

David Farrar