Latest updates

September 4

  • The Faculty's Ad-hoc Tech Committee created a compilation of online teaching resources to assist instructors in developing and delivering course materials in an online format. This includes all the best practices, tools, hacks, etc. to make the transition from in-person to remote learning less onerous for everyone.

July 6

  • An email to all staff was circulated by Associate Dean Jitendra Paliwal sharing details of the Faculty's Recovery Plan which permits access for faculty members and support staff engaged in academic and administrative tasks (such as lecture material prep and HR/financial management) that cannot be conducted effectively remotely as long as safety protocols and safety measures can be met.
  • Occupancy levels in all our buildings are restricted to 50% of normal capacity. Permissions for access to a building is granted by the Department Head/Director/Manager responsible for a given building (as per the email instructions). Visitors will need to also take the health survey and follow the safety protocols indicated.
  • This change does not signal an unrestricted return to campus. Support staff and faculty and their HQP are expected to continue working remotely as only activities that cannot be carried out remotely will be considered for a return to UM facilities.

May 28

April 14

April 9

  • New Voluntary Withdrawal date. Students enrolled in Winter Term courses and those spanning the Fall and Winter Term, now have until May 10, 2020 to voluntarily withdraw. The previous deadline was April 13. 
  • Message from Laurie Schnarr, Vice Provost (Students) on final exam supports, new VW date, extra time for grading options, support for students with visas/study permits, Summer Term registration

April 2

March 26

March 25

March 20

March 19

  • Spring Convocation 2020 is cancelled. This includes
    • May 1, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Agriculture Diploma
    • May 2, 2020 Graduation Pow wow – Fort Garry Campus
    • June 4, 2020 – June 9, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Fort Garry Campus

March 17

  • The Voluntary Withdrawal date for Winter Term for Diploma students had been changed to March 27. The VW date for Degree students has changed to April 13.

Updates from Dean Martin Scanlon:

  • There will be no in-person classes with students for the remainder of the semester. Since instructors have been given flexibility in how they migrate to on-line versions of their courses, the specific details and format of on-line course will be communicated to students by their instructors.  The recommended formats are UM Learn and WebEx.
  • The academic term for degree students will end on April 7th and for Diploma students on March 30th (as originally planned). The degree exam period will begin on April 13th and end on April 25th. The diploma exam period will begin on March 30th and end on April 8th.
  • Senate passed a motion suspending Responsibilities of Academic Staff with Regards to Students (ROASS).  Specifically, this suspension allows instructors to alter the remaining assessment methods following approval of those changes by the Faculty’s Associate Dean Academic and Senate Executive. Course-specific instructions will be coming soon.
  • Contact between graduate students and advisor should continue, but only via email or other online methods. MSc and PhD thesis defences are allowed to proceed if they have already been scheduled, but they are not to be open to the public. Only the candidate and the examining committee are allowed to be present within the defence room, and social distancing practices must be followed.
  • Research labs remain open (and research activities can continue).  However, social distancing principles must be followed. If adequate social distancing cannot be assured in the lab, research activities should be curtailed.
  • Researchers have received direct messaging from the Office of the Vice President (Research and International) and additional messages may be coming regarding the continuation of research projects.

March 16

  • The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre is temporarily closed to the public.

  • Voluntary Withdrawal date for Winter Term (for degree students) changed immediately to April 13, 2020.
  • Academic Advisors are available for students online or by phone only. Please contact or 204-474-9295.

  • Effective immediately, the Agriculture Library is closed. The Study Hall and the Group Study Rooms remain open for student use. The Sciences and Technology Library and Dafoe Library remain fully open and are currently available for student use including computers, printing, and photocopying.  Librarians and library staff are available at both locations to provide in person assistance. We also have fully staffed the Virtual Reference (i.e. Chat Help) and that is available to all students until 8:00 pm in the evening.

March 13

Message from Dean Martin Scanlon

Dear FAFS Students, Faculty and Staff,

Although the risk of contracting COVID19 in the province of Manitoba remains low at this time, the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is taking steps to do its part in mitigating the rate of spread of the virus.  In this way, we will contribute to lessening the overall potential burden on our health care system.

As a science-based faculty, we recognize public health guidance that social distancing of students and staff will slow the transmission of the virus.  Therefore, we are undertaking the following actions:


  • As of yesterday, our instructors have started the migration of all course materials (lecture and laboratory materials) into on-line formats.  We recognize that this will be challenging for both instructors and for students, and are grateful to all our instructors for their diligence in doing this, and to our students for their patience while the migration occurs.  Rates at which materials are migrated will differ between courses, partially because we are unsure of how robust the various on-line platforms are to the massive demands caused by such a migration.
  • As soon as instructors can manage it, classes and laboratory sessions will only be available in an on-line format.  This may mean that some courses will experience one or two class/lab postponements while the on-line migration occurs. We ask for your patience as our instructors and the University’s support systems work to provide a distance learning experience that is as close as possible to classroom instruction. It is critical that students check UMLearn for updates on their courses.
  • For non-Faculty courses, please check with the course instructor as to their procedure.


  • The term’s remaining assessment methods for all courses are being reconsidered by all instructors.  In these reconsiderations, the Faculty is committed to ensuring that the academic success of our students and our academic standards are not compromised by any changes planned for academic assessment methods.


  • Heads of Departments will determine in consultation with the Dean’s Office whether some of their employees can work from home.  The goal is to maintain normal operations as much as possible while maximizing social distancing between staff. If staff are sick or working from home, they should continue to submit payroll hours information to their supervisor.

I thank all our students, instructors and staff for their understanding and patience during this highly unusual situation. The Faculty is committed to maintaining our courses as well as student support and other services. Nevertheless, we recognize that counteracting health threats from this virus requires us to make big changes to our normal instructional processes.


Students should email their instructor with course-specific inquiries and check UMLearn for updates to on-line course material.

Any questions regarding this message can be sent to