Latest updates from UM

Updated May 21, 2020

  • UM has shared what is known right now about the cost reduction efforts mandated by the province. Though the University continues to wait for written confirmation on provincial cuts to its operating grant, UM has decided to share what it has been told by the Minister of Economic Development and Training, Ralph Eichler.

    • We understand that the provincial government will reduce UM’s 20/21 operating grant by 5 per cent or $17.3 million.

    • This includes a 1 per cent cut that we expect will be ongoing, and a 4 per cent reduction that we have been assured is for this year only.

  • The University has approved a plan to deliver all possible courses for the Fall Term online by remote learning, with very few exceptions:

    • The University of Manitoba will offer a robust Fall Term through remote learning with some in-person exceptions;

    • UM will provide students with the preparation that they need to be successful in this remote learning environment;

    • UM will commit to a safe return to campus when the time is right; and

    • UM will ensure that our community’s health and safety are at the forefront of all of our decisions.

  • Summer Term courses that begin on or after June 1 are now available for review on Aurora. Registration begins at 9 am on May 19 for all students. Students should consult with an academic advisor from home their faculty/college/school if they have questions about course selections. Check the Registrar's Office website for academic schedule dates and financial payment deadlines.

  • Closure of campus - all employees continue to work from home with only limited access for employees deemed as essential on site. There will be no in person examinations for students.  

  • Many student services available online or by phone, including mental health supports. 

  • Academic policy changes have been implemented to provide options for students. Academic advisors can answer students’ questions around grading approaches (excluding courses, or keeping letter grades) and understanding policy changes. 

  • The Libraries continue to provide collections and services online

  • Mental health supports are available for staff and their dependents through the UM Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) plan. Members and their dependents can contact Lifeworks by Morneau Shepell at 1-800-387-4765 (English) or 1-800-361-5676 (French).

  • Staff  parking fee will not be withdrawn from your bank account for the month of May. Please continue to check the parking website for updates: umanitoba.ca/parking

  • Winnipeg Transit rapid transit schedules have changed as of April 12 with the launch of the BLUE rapid transit line.

  • Academic schedule dates for Summer Term have been adjusted and can be found on the Registrar’s Office website

  • Mini U summer camp programs and swimming lessons have been cancelled (originally scheduled to run from July 6 through to Sept. 4, 2020). If you paid online, a refund will automatically be processed and will appear on your credit card in 4-6 weeks. If you paid in-person, or over the phone, please contact the customer service team Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 204-474-6100 to arrange for a refund.
  • All events have been cancelled or postponed, including Spring Convocation. The University is exploring creative options to fully celebrate the academic success of our graduands.

May 14, 2:00 p.m. - A message from Laurie M. Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students) re: Fall Term, key dates

Dear students,

I hope you are well and enjoying the early days of spring, despite the unusual circumstances we are navigating together.

As many of you know, yesterday we announced the University’s plans for Fall Term. At the forefront of our considerations are the safety and well-being of the UM community, and our ongoing commitment to deliver an educational experience of the highest quality for our students. In keeping with public health and government directives, we will be offering the Fall Term primarily remotely, with the exception of a very small number of courses that require in-person delivery. Students will know in advance of registration which courses will be held in person, so you can make informed course selections.

While we are all disappointed that we will not be together in person in the Fall, please know that we are exploring every avenue to deliver a robust student experience virtually. We are working in collaboration with UMSU, UMGSA, teaching and learning experts, and the faculties to develop plans that promote student learning, engagement and academic success. This includes opportunities to connect with faculty, other students in your courses and programs; counselling, academic advising and career supports; clubs and much more. Stay tuned for further details as our plans evolve!

Here are some key dates to be aware of: 

  • June 15: Registration for Fall and Winter Terms opens for Bannatyne campus programs 
  • July 23: Registration for Fall & Winter Terms opens in Aurora for returning students  
  • September 9: Fall Term classes begin 
  • November 9-13: Fall Break Week
  • December 12-23: Fall Term exam period
  • January 5-15, 2021: critical in-person activities, such as labs, associated with some courses offered remotely from September through December 2020 will take place during this period
  • January 18, 2021: Winter Term 2021 classes begin

We understand that you will have many questions about the Fall Term, and we will do our best to answer those on our webpage here. If you still have questions, please direct those to an academic advisor in your home faculty/college/school. I will continue to keep you updated as decisions are made, including information about residences, access to campus buildings and facilities, textbooks, and more. As decisions are made, your health and safety and your academic success are our top priorities. We will continue to do all that we can to support you in this transition to remote learning; to ensure that you have opportunities to connect in meaningful ways; and to fully engage you in your learning experience. When the time is right and it is safe to do so, we will reopen buildings and resume in-person operations. We are eager to return to campus, as I know you are too!

All my best,

Laurie

Laurie M. Schnarr, MA
Vice-Provost (Students)
Student Affairs
Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

May 13, 2 p.m.: A message from Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor, on changes to provincial operating grant

Throughout this challenging and uncertain time, I have committed to provide as much information as possible as soon as possible. I recognize and respect that the lack of clarity we have been dealing with as a community contributes to angst and anxiety during what is already a very difficult time in our world.

Today, I am sharing with you what we know right now. Though we continue to wait for written confirmation on provincial cuts to our operating grant, we have decided to share what we have been told by the Minister of Economic Development and Training, Ralph Eichler.

  • We understand that the provincial government will reduce UM’s 20/21 operating grant by 5 per cent or $17.3 million.
  • This includes a 1 per cent cut that we expect will be ongoing, and a 4 per cent reduction that we have been assured is for this year only.

We have already had to make some difficult decisions as we respond to work disruptions, revenue losses, and increased costs resulting from the global pandemic. We must continue to work together now to address additional pressures put on our budget as a result of this significant cut. The President’s Executive Team has been developing several budget scenarios to address this new reality, and we are committed to moving forward with a thoughtful, measured approach. Some of the tools we are considering include:

  • reducing discretionary spending,
  • hiring deferrals,
  • voluntary workweek reductions and
  • layoffs.

I continue to emphasise to government and our community that UM has always been and will continue to be central to Manitoba’s economic and social success. Post-secondary education will be crucial to the post-COVID-19 recovery, and our critical work continues as demand for post-secondary increases during these uncertain times. You, our faculty and staff, continue to do exceptional work in the midst of this pandemic and the challenging budget constraints.

It is at this point that we must remain focused on our shared mission and vision. Together, we support groundbreaking research, student success and impactful community engagement. Our critical work continues, despite disruption, and we must continue to collaborate and adjust if we are going to succeed in the face of these challenges.

As we move forward, I remain committed to share accurate and timely information with our community. Thank you for your ongoing commitment and resilience.

Sincerely,

David

May 13, 1 p.m.: A message from Dr. Janice Ristock, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), on Fall Term 2020

I am writing today to provide information on Fall Term 2020.

I remain incredibly grateful to our faculty, staff and students for their ability to adjust to this unprecedented situation. Careful consideration and planning has gone into determining the best possible experience we can offer our students while supporting the health and safety of our community.

Though we are not able to return to a ‘normal’ Fall Term, I am pleased to share that:

  • The University of Manitoba will offer a robust Fall Term through remote learning with some in-person exceptions;
  • We will provide students with the preparation that they need to be successful in this remote learning environment;
  • We will commit to a safe return to campus when the time is right; and
  • We will ensure that our community’s health and safety are at the forefront of all of our decisions.

The University has approved a plan to deliver all possible courses for the Fall Term by remote learning. In rare cases, and with approval, some courses may be delivered in person. In these very exceptional circumstances, we will identify the protocols that need to be in place to accommodate these few exceptions. Students will know this in advance so that they can make informed course selections.

To help support these changes, Senate Executive has approved an extension of the Fall Term for optional in-person critical instruction as determined by Faculties for the period January 5 to 15, 2021. This will ensure that all students (local or international) will be able to begin and complete their studies without having to be physically present for the period of September to December 2020.

Important dates for you to know:

  • September 9: Fall Term classes begin
  • December 12 – 23: Fall Term exam period
  • January 5 – 15, 2021: Fall Term extension for critical in-person activities
  • January 18, 2021: Winter Term classes begin

We will continue to communicate further details with you, our students, and our community as efficiently as possible. Updates and answers to FAQs will continue to be posted on this page.

On behalf of President Barnard and the entire Presidential executive team, thank you! We sincerely appreciate the adjustments that faculty, students and staff have made to conclude the Winter Term, launch the Summer Term and prepare for Fall. Together, we realize that although it is different; the strength of our students, the resilience of our staff, and the passion of our instructors and faculty will carry us through.

Thank you,
Janice

May 11, 11:30 a.m.: Message from Dr. Janice Ristock, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), re: Fall Term, Winter Term academic schedule; employer support for hiring students

I am writing to provide you with an update regarding the revised 2020 Fall and 2021 Winter term academic schedules:  

Fall and Winter Term Academic Schedules: 

As we have discussed, based on current COVID-19 restrictions, you are advised to prepare to deliver all possible courses by remote learning.  To support this, on May 6th Senate Executive approved a revision to the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 academic schedules.   

The Fall term will conclude with a period in early January 2021 (5th to 15th) during which essential in-person activities associated with courses offered in Fall term could be completed.  This may include critical in-person instruction and experience important for student safety and understanding as they proceed in their programs of study.  Use of this period by any Faculty is optional. 

As a result of this extended Fall term, the start of Winter term will be delayed by one week.   

Critical dates for Fall and Winter terms are as follows: 

Fall Term 2020  

-           September 9:  Classes start 

-           December 12 – 23:  Exam Period 

-           January 5 – 15, 2021:  Fall term extension for in-person activities   

 Winter Term 2021  

-       January 18:  Classes start 

-      April 19 – May 1:  Exam Period 

The proposal and revised academic schedule can be viewed here.   

On a different matter, career services has prepared an extensive list of employer wage subsidy and tax rebate programs.  These programs will support the hiring of a student for summer, co-op, or internship placements.  

Thanks,  

Janice 

Further resources

Information on COVID-19

For the most up-to-date information from the federal government:

For the most up-to-date provincial information: