Coronavirus update: December 10, 2020 - 4:30 p.m.

December 10, 2020

I hope you are doing well in the midst of exam week and the lead up to the holiday break. I come today with news that will hopefully provide some relief as we prepare for next semester! 

This year’s holiday break

This afternoon the UNBC Senate met to discuss and make a decision on delaying the start of the Winter semester by one week. Through the discussion, the Senate approved the following:

  • Classes for the 2021 Winter semester will begin on Monday Jan. 11 and end on Monday, April 19.  
  • Senate authorized the Deans, working in consultation with Program Chairs and the Registrar to approve “minimal and reasonable exceptions, adjustments and interpretations of Academic Regulations and Policies in the Calendars that allow for students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to complete January 2021 credits in a timely manner, while maintaining academic integrity.” 

The exceptions mentioned above may include programs such as Nursing, Education, Social Work and Engineering. Programs will be in contact with affected students before the end of the year.

The University will close starting Dec. 24 for the Holiday break as planned, re-opening on Jan. 4; this allows faculty an extra week to prepare, while also providing time for our staff to prepare in support of our exceptional student body. The mid-semester break will remain in place from Feb. 16 to Feb. 19. 

I am grateful for the support of the UNBC Senate and glad we have arrived at a solution that helps address some of the stress and well-being concerns that are significantly present in our community. The UNBC Senate, along with the senior executive team, listened to the community’s concerns and adjusted our approach. Health, safety and our University community’s well-being is our top priority; I hope the delayed semester start will help alleviate some of those concerns.

We will continue as a University community to address the challenges we face. I’m proud of the collaborative spirit we are showing and the continued dedication to our students. 

Stay safe, and thank you!

Geoff Payne
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor

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