The Faculty of Education continues to operate.
Today, 37 faculty and staff members gathered to conduct the regular Faculty Council Meeting, but this time, due to Covid-19 precautions, the meeting was held remotely through Zoom. Because many were new to meetings conducted this way, participants were instructed by the Faculty’s Professor of Information and Communication Technologies, Dr. Alec Couros, on how to vote for motions using Zoom tools. The meeting rolled out smoothly, with a spirit of willingness on the part of faculty and staff, who are rising to the challenging and changing landscape of remote/distance post-secondary teaching, learning, and operations with courage and flexibility, alongside students.
Dean Jerome Cranston spoke to the group about this being an unprecedented time, with protocols and plans “not only changing daily, but also changing by the hour.” Expressing thanks to the admin team, Associate Deans Dr. Patrick Lewis, Dr. Pam Osmond-Johnson, and Dr. Twyla Salm, and General Administrator Rochelle Fenwick, as well as Dr. Alec Couros, the Dean encouraged everyone to continue to “be a group that is focused on caring for each other, showing compassion and showing kindness. … All the protocols have real-life implications. We need now more than ever to take care of each other.”
The U of R is prioritizing teaching as its most critical function. Today was the first day of remote classes for professors and students, and this “new norm” will continue indefinitely. Administrators continue to plan and prioritize for the future and will provide updates for students, staff, faculty, and the education sector as we move forward in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.