Update from President Kathy Kinloch on space closures, events, and work from home

Hello everyone,

We apologize in advance for the longer update today following a busy weekend but we have committed to providing information as it becomes available and there are many topics to cover.

We have also summarized some of this information in a video with me and Tom Roemer, Vice-President, Academic.

Transition to online learning

This week is the start of a temporary pause on face-to-face classes on our campuses while our Academic and IT Teams work to deliver on the rapid and unprecedented shift in our program delivery to online education on an as-possible basis.

This is a transition that would typically be planned and delivered on a much longer timeframe, but has been extremely accelerated in response to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing.

Moving this quickly, we know there will be some challenges and details to be worked out over time and for that we apologize in advance. Community safety is paramount in this decision and we ask that you please bear with us, be patient, and continue to share your questions and feedback through your Deans, Associate Deans, and Program Heads.

As this situation evolves, I trust that faculty and staff will work closely with your Deans or leaders to find and expedite local decisions and problem-solving.

The Academic and IT team, led by Tom Roemer, Jennifer Figner, Lisa Collins, and Roy Hart are and will be making extraordinary efforts to lead the delivery of this transition, and I thank them for all they’re doing.

Academic engagement in BCIT’s COVID-19 response

COVID-19 related and BCIT-wide Academic matters are being handled through the team of Tom Roemer, Jennifer Figner, and Lisa Collins with support from Dean Hildebrand, Wayne Hand, Guy Ellis and Janice Baldry. My thanks again to all of you.

We know there are and will be questions on the online transition and many topics from across our community in the coming days and weeks. We don’t have all the answers right now, but we are working intensely on our overall response to COVID-19, including the online transition and we will continue to update you on key developments and new information.

Remote work provisions

Another very important initiative which BCIT is exploring the opportunities for faculty and staff to work remotely on an as-possible basis.

Our Academic and IT teams are currently developing recommendations so departments and school leaders can establish processes that support their individual teams in working remotely. We will provide details for implementation later this week.

We recognize that staff who provide critical on-campus supports will still need to physically attend campus. Emergency Operations Centre representatives will do an additional assessment of the areas that need to retain a physical presence to identify and deliver additional preventative measures to protect our valued faculty and staff.

Self-isolation process

Some of you have been asking about measures for faculty and staff returning from international travel initiated before March 12 when the Provincial Health Officer advised against travel outside of Canada, and now find themselves in 14-day self-isolation. Impacted faculty and staff should make arrangements with your leader so you can work from home, or explore other alternatives. If you do become sick during your isolation, you will get sick leave.

Please note we’ve posted information about important event cancellations and common space closures, as additional measures to help protect our BCIT community.

Please continue to follow BCIT for ongoing updates. And please take care of yourself and each other as we work together to flatten the curve of this pandemic.

Kathy Kinloch, President

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