Latest updates from UM:

March 26, 8:30 a.m. - A message from Laurie M. Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students) re: Summer Term registration, GPA calculation, graduation parchments, academic supports, international student supports, de-stress

Dear Students, 

As we continue to navigate the many changes in our lives arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to remind you that the University of Manitoba is here to support you. While in-person contact is severely restricted during this time, staff in our counselling office, advising centres, health services, spiritual care, and faculty offices remain available either online, by email, or by both means. Please refer to this page for details. Remember – we are here for you and want you to succeed. 

Today, I want to share some new updates and reminders. 

Summer Term Registration.  

  • Registration for Distance and Online courses and Faculty of Graduate Studies Re-Registration and Thesis courses that begin May 4th will open on April 20th.  

  • We recognize that many students are hoping to make decisions about summer courses soon. We are actively working on this and will share information regarding Summer Term courses (which will be offered online or through means other than face-to-face) beginning June 1 as soon as those details are finalized.  

  • Registration for all courses beginning on or after June 1 will begin May 19th.   

You can choose to include or exclude grades in your GPA calculation. For any course completed at the University of Manitoba in Winter Term 2020, you can choose whether or not to include a grade received in your GPA calculation. This option will apply to all Winter Term 2020 courses or spanned courses that you completed over the Fall 2019-Winter 2020 Terms for which a standard letter grade is received (A+ to F).  

 Grades excluded in the calculation of your GPA will not be used in calculating GPA for the purpose of program progression and/or overall graduation GPA requirements. However,  course grades will continue to be used to satisfy UM pre-requisite requirements for entry into other courses, or admission to other programs, and to satisfy any other program requirements. Grades will appear on your official transcript, but will be flagged with a notation that the course was excluded from the GPA calculation due to the COVID-19 situation.  

Parchments will be mailed to spring 2020 graduates. Please check your address in Aurora, and update if needed, as this will be the address we will use to mail your parchment

Take advantage of academic supports. Though our campuses are closed, we are still here for you. Many student services are offering phone, email, and/or video appointments, including: academic advisors, Academic Learning Centre, Libraries and Student Accessibility Services. To book an appointment with an Elder in Residence, email isc@umanitoba.ca or call 204-474-8850. 

International students, please reach out. We understand that the current situation is particularly difficult for you. Do not hesitate to ask for guidance and support through a private phone or email conversation with an international student advisor at 204-474-8501 or international@umanitoba.ca. The Canadian government also has advice and information on their website, updated regularly. 

Be mindful, socialize and de-stress. Making time for yourself is important during these uncertain times. Free, daily mindfulness meditation is being offered through the Faculty of Social Work to help us all restore and reconnect. We have also compiled advice from UM experts on how to reduce anxiety and be productive during our time away from others. Lastly, although gyms are closed, there are exercise options you can use at home. For example, the UM’s Recreation Services is posting workouts on its YouTube channel. I encourage you to take advantage of these helpful resources. 

You can find more UM news about COVID-19, including FAQs for students, on this page, which is updated as new information becomes available. 

Please keep yourself and others safe by staying home. Avoid non-essential trips and keep a distance of two meters from others, even while outdoors. These efforts will help us get through these challenging times safely together.  

All my best, 

Laurie Schnarr 

March 25, 7:30 p.m.: A message from Dr. Janice Ristock, Provost and Vice-President (Academic) re: GPA calculations, Summer Term registration, graduation parchments, student supports, resources for exams and academic integrity

At the meeting of Senate Executive on Wednesday, March 25th, the following recommendation was approved: 

Students can Choose to include or exclude Grades in GPA Calculations: 

Pursuant to Senate Executive’s approval of a temporary revision to the Grade Point Average Policy, (section 2.3), students will be allowed to choose whether or not to include a grade received for any course work completed in Winter Term 2020 in any GPA calculation used at the UM (i.e., cumulative grade point average, degree grade point average, sessional grade point average, and term grade point average).   This option will apply to all courses using standard letter grades (A+ to F) scheduled in the Winter 2020 term or spanned courses scheduled over the Fall 2019-Winter 2020 terms.   

Faculties/Colleges/School that wish to bring forward alternative grading schemes for its courses may do so by presenting a formal proposal including rationale and expected impacts to Dr. Todd Mondor, Deputy Provost, for review and consideration by Senate Executive. 

Grades excluded in the calculation of the GPA will not be used in calculating GPA for the purpose of program progression and/or overall graduation GPA requirements.  However, course grades will continue to be used to satisfy UM pre-requisite requirements for entry into other courses, or admission to other programs, and to satisfy any other program requirements.  

Grades will show on an official transcript but will be flagged with a notation that the course was excluded in the GPA calculation due to the COVID-19 situation.   

The process of student declaration is being finalized and will be communicated separately.   

Summer Term Registration: 

Registration for Distance and Online courses and Faculty of Graduate Studies re-registration and thesis courses that begin on May 4th will open for registration on April 20th.   

We continue to finalize offerings for the Summer Term 2020 courses which will be offered online or through alternative means.  Registration will begin on May 19, 2020 for Summer Term courses that will be offered on or after June 1.   

Graduation Parchments: 

Parchments will be mailed to Spring 2020 Graduates.  Students are beingbe asked to check their address in Aurora student and update if necessary. 

Student Supports:  

Many student services are offered by phone, email, and/or video appointments, including: academic advisors, Academic Learning Centre, Libraries and Student Accessibility Services. Students requiring support by an Elder-in-Residence can email isc@umanitoba.ca or call 204-474-8850.  International students may contact an international student advisor at 204-474-8501 or international@umanitoba.ca. The Canadian government also has advice and information on their website which is updated regularly. 

Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students) will send a communication to all students about these decisions 

Reminder: Important Resources for exams and academic integrity 

The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning provides on-line and virtual ‘in-person’ resources for instructors as they continue to teach, and as they create examinations. All of these resources can be found at: https://centre.cc.umanitoba.ca/contingencies-for-teaching/  Also, instructors can contact The Centre with specific requests by sending an email to: TheCentre@umanitoba.ca and one of The Centre’s experts will contact them.  

Please share this information widely with all faculty, instructors, staff – particularly academic advisors - and students in your Faculty/College/School.    This and future bulletins will be posted on the University’s COVID-19 website.     

March 25, 12:45 p.m.: Message from Louise Simard, Acting Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies

A message from Louise Simard, Acting Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies

FGS staff are working from home and will continue to conduct business as best as possible under these circumstances. Because of this new distance-working mode, some areas may experience delays. We ask for your patience but be assured that your requests will be addressed based on priorities and time-sensitivity.

Oral Examinations scheduled prior to March 31, 2020 - updated information

  • Until further notice, all examinations scheduled prior to March 31, 2020 (Thesis Proposal, Candidacy, Thesis Defence) must be held and attended virtually and must be closed.

  • Until further notice, FGS approvals for video/telephone presence is not required for all examinations scheduled prior to March 31, 2020. FGS is available to facilitate upcoming Ph.D. Thesis examinations where possible.

  • For Ph.D. thesis defences, it is the responsibility of the Advisor/Unit to ensure that audiovisual equipment runs smoothly throughout the examination. Any challenges encountered should be documented on the Final Report Form regarding the outcome of the examination. Please indicate if the examination was not able to proceed and requires rescheduling.

  • Chair packages are being sent electronically. Please note that they will not include programs; if students wish to request programs as keepsakes, they may do so by emailing Kasey Morgan at Kasey.Morgan@umanitoba.ca. Programs will be made available once access to campus is restored.

  • The Final Report Form should be signed electronically (see attached document on how to sign a PDF) and submitted electronically to FGS.

  • International students: If you are concerned with potential delays in completing your program due to the above adjustments, we encourage you to contact an Advisor at the International Centre (IC) to discuss some important considerations. You can reach an Advisor at the IC by sending an email, with your full name and student number to international@umanitoba.ca.

Oral Examinations scheduled beyond March 31, 2020 - updated

  • FGS will work with units regarding any oral Ph.D. thesis examinations scheduled after March 31, 2020. Students fulfilling their program requirements will be eligible to graduate at the next graduation date.

  • International students: If you are concerned with potential delays in completing your program due to the above adjustments, we encourage you to contact an Advisor at the International Centre (IC) to discuss some important considerations. You can reach an Advisor at the IC by sending an email with your full name and student number, to international@umanitoba.ca.

Spring Convocation 2020 Spring convocation 2020 has been cancelled; however, students fulfilling their program requirements by March 31, 2020 will be eligible to graduate in June 2020. The University is working on alternate plans for a celebration at the appropriate time in the future.

Registration The Registrar's Office has indicated that registration for GRAD 6000, GRAD 7020, GRAD 7022, and GRAD 8020 will be open in April. Check umanitoba.ca/coronavirus and umanitoba.ca/registrar for the most up-to-date information.

Progress Report Form - updated information

  • FGS requires that each graduate student complete the "Progress Report Form" normally due June 1. This review provides an excellent opportunity to document achievements, develop a plan to address deficiencies and establish expectations/goals for the coming year. As in-person contact and on-site presence has virtually ceased, this will also provide an opportunity to discuss expectations while working from home.

  • While we encourage submission of the Progress Report Form for June 1, we are extending this deadline to July 1 in light of the Covid-19 crisis and the extra stresses imposed on Faculty and students at this time. The Advisory Committee meeting is to be virtual using available resources (WebEx, BlueJeans, Zoom, telephone, etc.). Electronic signatures of PDFs of the report are acceptable. Once signed by the Graduate Chair/Unit Head, please forward the forms to FGS. Progress Report Forms will be processed as they are received in the office; receiving them in bulk may require more time to complete processing.

  • Any exceptional requests can be addressed to the Dean/Associate Dean.

Awards - new information

  • The deadlines for all current internal University of Manitoba awards competitions have been pushed back to May 1, 2020; deadlines for newly advertised internal awards will be set for June 2020 and beyond where possible.

  • We continue to accept GETS applications and UMGF recommendations; however, there will be some delay in processing. We are working as efficiently as possible.

  • The Tri-Agencies have indicated the CGS-M results will not be available on April1, 2020 as planned; more information will be coming when available. The FGS awards office will accommodate extensions regarding responses so that students awaiting their CGS-M application results can make informed decisions about potential offers of admission.

Admissions to Graduate Studies - updated information

English Proficiency Testing: University Senate has approved as of March 18, 2020 to temporarily allow the use of the Duolingo English Test (englishtest.duolingo.com) for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 intakes, with a minimum acceptable test score of 115.

Admission Application Deadlines: The Faculty of Graduate Studies will consider accommodating Department/Unit level decisions that might impact admission timelines.

Admission Deferrals: The Faculty of Graduate Studies will accommodate admission deferrals while registration is suspended or in the event that travel is prohibited, or quarantine/self-isolation is required.

We are currently working through mechanisms to best contact prospective students.

 

March 23, 12 p.m.: Message from John Kearsey, Vice-President (External)

The world has changed for all of us.

The disruption presented by the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetimes. While we face the challenges it is having on both the UM community and our personal lives, my colleagues and I are also mindful of how difficult these times are for many of our alumni and friends, their families, their businesses and organizations, their communities and neighbourhoods.

Our relationship with you—our alumni and donors—has always been based on learning and developing together. It’s been based on the generosity of time, talent and treasure. We’ve accomplished much together in supporting students, their teaching and discovery; supporting research and researchers; supporting the places that help our community thrive—labs, classrooms and gathering spaces. Thank you for that.

I want you to be assured that right now UM’s main priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and contributing to flattening the curve. We have taken extraordinary measures to slow the spread of the virus within our community, including cancelling in-person classes and exams, finding ways to allow our staff to work from home, and, sadly, cancelling our Spring Convocation. At the same time, our faculty and staff are committed to ensuring our students finish their term and are using every innovative and creative opportunity to do so.

You can stay on top of all UM news by visiting this page regularly. Please take a moment to watch President David Barnard’s video message:

As President Barnard shared, until further notice we’ve cancelled all events planned to celebrate our students, alumni, donors, faculty and staff. But, we’re not going silent on this end.
 

Gratitude. It’s something worth hanging on to, especially right now.

During the first week of April, you’ll receive your alumni magazine. It’s been in the works for a while and our team made the call to finish printing and get it in your mailbox. Why? Because it’s The Gratitude Issue. This edition tells beautiful, heartwarming stories of our UM community. Around the same time, Front and Centre campaign chair Paul Soubry will share the outcome of what happens when passion and giving collide. The exceptional results of the Front and Centre campaign reflect the dedicated work of hundreds of volunteers and staff and generous commitments made by thousands of donors.

Many of you have made commitments through the Front and Centre campaign, commitments I know you want to keep and some will now be challenged to do so. That’s understandable. Let’s talk about it and figure out a way forward that supports you supporting the University into the future. Feel free to contact me directly at john (dot) kearsey@umanitoba (dot) ca. We're in this together.
 

Let’s stay connected.

For 10 years, I’ve been privileged to serve the University of Manitoba’s alumni and donor community. I’ve met so many of you personally and experienced your passion and love for UM and our community. Let me know if I, or members of my team, can be of any support and assistance to you.

Finally, I want to send a special thank you to our health sciences alumni who—with current faculty, staff and students—are on the front line providing the care and expertise your alma mater has helped position you for in times like this.

Take care of yourself and those around you.

With deep gratitude,

John Kearsey
Vice-President (External)

March 20, 4:30 p.m.: Message from President David Barnard, re: UM closing

These are challenging times. Today, Premier Brian Pallister declared a state of emergency for 30 days. We are all responsible for taking actions to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19. The University of Manitoba is taking that responsibility seriously and taking actions based on information we receive from health authorities. Thank you for taking time to read this important communication and checking in daily for updates and additions to frequently asked questions on this page.

Today, I am announcing actions that are based on working together to:  

  • protect the health of our community; 
  • ensure our students can finish their term; 
  • accommodate and support students in residence who are unable to return home; 
  • support the province’s health and wellbeing through our COVID-19 research efforts, and 
  • other time-sensitive activity. 

Effective 11:59 pm, Monday, March 23, 2020, all university buildings will be closed with only limited access to employees deemed as essential to our work for the immediate future. The general public and students who are not in residence will not be able to access buildings on campus and staff and faculty members will need keys/swipe card/identification to enter. 

All employees – unless told otherwise by their Manager/Department Head/Dean – are to work from home. If you have not already done so, please ensure conversations about how this applies to your work take place today. Anyone seeking access from Security Services will need valid University ID to gain entry if they do not have keys or card access. Please note, construction workers and contractors will still be allowed access to job sites through their respective university project managers.  

As an essential service, the Pharmacy in UMSU University Centre will remain open during regular hours from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. To access, please use the East main doors off of Chancellor's Circle on the lower level of UMSU University Centre. 

Here’s how we are planning to achieve the objectives outlined above: 

Students 

We are committed to supporting our students and minimizing any negative impact on their academic progress. As such we have taken the following steps:

  •  At this time, it is anticipated that there will be no in-person classes until September, 2020 at earliest. 
  •  All Libraries will be closed, but online resources will continue to be available. 
  • There will be no in-person exams for courses offered during Winter Term 2020. 
  • The Voluntary Withdrawal Date for Winter Term 2020 has been changed to April 13, 2020. When registering for courses in a future term, Limited Access will not apply to courses students VWed from or completed in Winter 2020. 
  • Registration for summer session has been suspended for now. A date for reopening registration is pending. Summer Term 2020 courses will begin June 1, 2020 with no in-person instruction. Scheduled designated Distance Education (DE) courses beginning in May will continue as planned.  
  •  Academic advising, Student Counselling Centre, Student Advocacy and Case Management, Student Services at Bannatyne Campus, Spiritual Care and other services continue to be available to students through telephone or email appointments and resources available online.  
  •  Students who don’t have access to computers or reliable internet in their off-campus locations are encouraged to connect with their instructors. 

Students in Residence  

The health and safety of every student living in residence is of paramount importance to the University of Manitoba. We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of those who cannot return home. In order to do so: 

  • Effective Wednesday, March 25 at noon all students who are able to safely return home and do not have special circumstances that may warrant an exception, are required to move out of residence. 
  • For the students that remain, all residence halls, including the residence dining hall (Fresh Food Company) will remain open with some reduced or modified service levels required to improve safety. 

Faculty and Staff 

All employees, unless told otherwise, are to work from home. Managers, department heads and Deans should work with employees to support their health and well-being and to continue university operations to the greatest extent possible. This can include reassigning duties, working remotely or flexible work hours to accommodate child care or family needs. Operations, maintenance and security will be maintained while supporting the health and well-being of staff. Units are encouraged to complete a Business Continuity Plan using this template

Please visit this page for more information on telecommuting work arrangements. 

Teaching 

All course instructors are working remotely as they continue to offer their courses in alternate ways to ensure our students can successfully complete the term. Plans are also in place to determine which summer courses can be offered given that no in-person classes will occur.

Research 

Suspension of Most On-Campus/Field Sites Research, Scholarly Works, and Creative Activities effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm. 

It is necessary to operationalize the suspension of most on-campus/field sites research, scholarly works, and creative activities during this pandemic that: i) cannot be conducted remotely; ii) cannot ensure health and safety requirements of research personnel; and iii) might introduce coronavirus (COVID-19) into a vulnerable population. 

The expectation is that researchers will continue as much research as possible remotely, but only limited research will continue in university research facilities, including off-campus research sites. Researchers who feel that they have exceptional circumstances should direct their requests to Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) by completing this form

Sport and Recreation Facilities and programming close 

The Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management suspended operations of its Sport and Recreation facilities and programming March 13. Mini U Programs cancelled the remainder of winter programs and group bookings, March 13 – April 12. Spring break camps (March 30 – April 3) are also cancelled. 

As our response to COVID-19 evolves, we continue to assess the operation of Mini U Programs’ spring and summer programs. 

Recreation Services group fitness classes and programs are cancelled. An automatic process of membership holds or extensions will occur during this suspension of operation. 

Campus Children’s Centre is closed as of March 23 
Campus Children's Centre will close in line with the school divisions. Managers/Department Heads/Deans should work with employees to support flexible work arrangements to help accommodate child care needs. 

We value the work of our entire university community. Thank you for the remarkable work you’ve done particularly in response to these challenging circumstances. Yesterday, in my video message to the community, I acknowledged how deeply we are all affected by this level of disruption to our work. I meant that, and I thank you for your understanding. We believe that what we’re communicating today will help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, so that we can all emerge from this crisis as soon as possible.  

March 20, 4:30 p.m.: Update from Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students)

Dear Students, 

As we navigate these uncertain times together, your University is committed to providing you with as much support and direction as we can. 

Today, I have several updates, resources and a reminder to share with you: 

Campus buildings will be closed. Effective 11.59 pm, Monday, March 23, 2020 all university buildings will be closed or have limited access to employees deemed as essential until further notice.  

Spring Convocation ceremonies are cancelled. We are following recommendations from Canadian health officials to cancel all public gatherings of 50 people or more due to COVID-19. Students who have planned to graduate will still be able to do so, as the University has made arrangements to complete the academic term and to verify completion of program requirements. We are exploring creative options to fully celebrate the academic success of our graduands. Those students will receive further details closer to the end of term. 

Distance Education Courses (DE designated). Recognized distance education (DE designated) courses already scheduled to commence on May 4th will proceed. Information regarding registration deadlines for DE courses will be communicated soon. 

Re-Entering VWd courses. The VW date for Winter term courses was changed from March 18 toApril 13.  Students who VWd between March 9 and March 16 (the date the change in the VW deadline was announced) are entitled to re-enter the dropped course if they wish. To do so, students must email (using your umanitoba email address) an academic advisor in your home faculty/college/school by Tuesday, March 24 with the following information: student name, student number, course name and CRN. Students who re-enter courses will be responsible for lecture material missed during their absence. 

Domestic students in residence must return home. To maximize social distancing and to keep students safe, Canadian residents who can return home must move out of residence by 12 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. International and Canadian students who may have special circumstances that warrant an extended stay must make a request through the residence portal. More details on moving out, refunds, and dining services can be found here

Ways to succeed at remote learning. Adapting to a new learning environment can be challenging, but it is achievable. We’ve put together some tips to help you adjust quickly. 

Take care of your mental health. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed when faced with so much uncertainty. Making your wellbeing a priority will help you both academically and personally. Here are some lifestyle suggestions and people you can reach out to for help. 

Academic supports are available. Even though you may not be on campus, we are still here to support you in finishing your term successfully. Many student services are offering phone, email, and/or video appointments, including: academic advisors, Academic Learning Centre, Libraries and Student Accessibility Services. 

As previously communicated, there will be no in-person exams for courses offered during Winter Term 2020.  

You can find all UM news about COVID-19, including FAQs for students, on this page, which is updated when new information becomes available. 

Please stay safe and be sure to continue following Manitoba Health directives concerning social distancing, hand washing, and coughing/sneezing etiquette. By looking after ourselves, and each other, we will get through these challenging times. 

I will be in touch with new information, advice, and direction as this situation evolves. 

All my best, 

Laurie Schnarr 

 

March 20, 2:55 p.m.: A message from Dr. Janice Ristock, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), re: SEEQs, Distance Ed courses, Summer Session courses, Spring Convocation

SEEQs: I have had some questions regarding professor-course evaluations (SEEQs).  I have suspended the requirement for course evaluations for the Winter 2020 term as outlined in the ROASS procedure Section 2.21.  I can also confirm that we will not be requiring any on-line evaluations of instructors or courses (SEEQs).

Distance Education Courses (DE designated): I am clarifying that recognized distance education (DE designated) courses, already scheduled to commence in May will continue. 

Other Summer Session Courses: summer courses originally scheduled to be taught in-person must be converted to alternate methods or cancelled.

Spring Convocation 2020 is cancelled.

This includes: May. 1, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Agriculture Diploma
May 2, 2020 Graduation Pow wow – Fort Garry Campus
May. 21, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Bannatyne Campus
Jun. 4, 2020 – Jun. 9, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Fort Garry Campus
Jun. 15, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Université de Saint-Boniface

At an appropriate time in the future, we hope to fully celebrate the academic success of our students.

Thank you,

Janice

 

March 19, 4 p.m.: Spring Convocation 2020 cancelled, a celebration to be held at later time

One of the greatest joys of my twelve years as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba has been meeting the graduating students — our future alumni — as they cross the stage at Convocation to accept their degrees and diplomas.

This spring, because of the extraordinary events that have befallen the world, we will not be able to offer the opportunity to our graduands to participate in the splendour and celebration of Spring Convocation. All of us who work daily and enthusiastically to support student success – administrators, support staff, alumni, and of course, faculty – regret the need for this course of action. However, we all know, and you will understand, that it is in our collective best interest to make this difficult decision.

Regrettably, Spring Convocation 2020 is cancelled.

What I can assure graduating students is that your University of Manitoba community of supporters is already at work exploring creative options for you. At the appropriate time in the future, you will be able to fully celebrate your amazing academic successes with all the pomp and circumstance that is due you.

As I shared in my recent message to our community, we all have before us a huge challenge, as we respond and accommodate to the COVID -19 crisis. Not just our academic paths, but our entire lives have been affected. Focus on that now. We’ll support you as much as possible. And when the time comes, you’ll have the opportunity to Convocate as part of the graduating class of 2020.

-President David Barnard

AFFECTED EVENTS:

May. 1, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Agriculture Diploma
May 2, 2020 Graduation Pow wow – Fort Garry Campus
May. 21, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Bannatyne Campus
Jun. 4, 2020 – Jun. 9, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Fort Garry Campus
Jun. 15, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony – Université de Saint-Boniface

March 19, 12 p.m.: Video message from President David Barnard

March 19, 10:55 a.m.: A message from Dr. Janice Ristock, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), re: Senate Executive approvals

At a special meeting of Senate on Monday, March 16, 2020 the Senate Executive Committee was approved to act for Senate in determining academic matters which required urgent resolution. As such, at the meeting of Senate Executive on Wednesday, March 18th, the following recommendations were approved:

Registration for Summer Term

Senate Executive approved that registration for Summer Term courses (defined as courses offered May - August) will be suspended indefinitely. A revised registration date will be determined and be communicated in due course.

Summer Courses Start Date

Senate Executive approved that summer courses (broadly defined as courses that were scheduled to take place between early May and the end of August) will begin no earlier than June 1, 2020 and be completed no later than August 31, 2020. The Registrar’s Office will be responsible for determining an academic schedule for this period.

Summer Courses

Senate Executive approved that no in-person instruction or assessment of any courses will take place until at least September 1, 2020. All instruction will take place by alternate methods until at least September 1, 2020.

Addition to List of Acceptable English Language Proficiency Tests

Senate Executive approved that Duo-lingo used as an acceptable test of English Language Proficiency (ELP) for the purposes of applying for admission for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 intakes. The minimum acceptable test score would be 115 which equates to approximately 7.0 on the IELTS test. This is made in order to increase the number and availability of acceptable tests of ELP at the UM because the pandemic situation has interfered with the ability of international students in some regions to access the currently accepted tests. Duo-Lingo is recognized globally as comparable to IELTS and TOEFL. It is available online so may be completed without accessing a formal test centre. Duo-Lingo has already been approved for use as an acceptable test of ELP by a number of other universities in Canada including Dalhousie, Queen’s, McGill, Alberta, Calgary, UBC, and Simon Fraser.

Limited-Access ‘Policy’

Senate Executive approved that Section 2.5. (a) of the ‘Repeated Course’ policy be suspended indefinitely. This section stipulates that any student who has voluntarily withdrawn from, or received a final grade in, a course is prevented from repeating the course for the immediately succeeding three consecutive terms. The suspension of this policy will not disadvantage any student who withdraws or performs more poorly than hoped under the current exceptional learning conditions.

Medical Notes Not Required

Senate Executive approved that students not be required to provide medical notes in support of absences from class activities/requirements and from evaluations including final examinations. Students will be required to self-declare through email note to an Academic Advisor in the relevant Faculty/College/School that they will be unable to meet their course obligations. This declaration will be treated as necessary and sufficient for the student to be afforded reasonable accommodation.

No In-person Final Examinations

Senate Executive approved that there be no in-person final examinations held for any courses offered in whole or in part in the Winter 2020 term, and that all assessments be completed by alternative means. Instructors will have the latitude and responsibility to adjust assessments as they deem most suitable and appropriate (e.g., online tests, take-home tests, new assignments, adjusted weightings of completed assessments, etc.) and to communicate these changes promptly to students and unit heads. The current exam period (April 13 to 25, 2020) will be maintained to provide a dedicated period within which online examinations may be scheduled. Faculties must consult with the Registrar’s Office regarding any intention to offer a scheduled online final examination. Finally, I had provided the notification (see Academic Bulletin #1 below) of the voluntary withdrawal date change to April 13, 2020. In addition, I suspended sections 2.6, 2.8, 2.9(f), and 2.12 of the Responsibilities of Academic Staff with regard to Students (ROASS) Procedure, effective immediately and for the remainder of the winter term. This suspension is to facilitate adjustments to courses and evaluation method by faculties, colleges and schools and to allow instructors the flexibility to make changes to their courses and their assignments. Please note the details as outlined at the special meeting of Senate on March 16, 2020.

Please share these decisions widely with all faculty, instructors, staff – particularly academic advisors - and students.

March 18, 5:45 p.m.: Update from Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students), re: In-person exams, Summer Term registration, medical notes, VW Limited Access

Dear Students,

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we adapt to this rapidly changing environment. As I mentioned in my communication to you yesterday, I will continue to provide updates to you as decisions are made. Today there are four updates and one request I would like to share with you:

No in-person exams. There will be no in-person final examinations for any courses offered during the Winter 2020 term. Exams might be scheduled to take place online or other means of assessment may be used. Instructors will share their assessment plans with their students.

Registration has been suspended for Summer Term. Summer Term registration is currently suspended except in very specific circumstances (e.g., Graduate students who must register in the Masters or PhD Re-Reg courses; students on clinical placements). We expect that Summer Term courses will begin June 1, 2020 and we will provide you with further updates as they are available. Meanwhile, we can confirm that there will be no in-person instruction at UM until after September 1, 2020. Details concerning Summer Term registration deadlines and course availability will be communicated as soon as that information is available.

Medical notes are not required for illnesses. Medical notes are not required if you are feeling ill and are unable to meet a course requirement on time. Please email an Academic Advisor in your home faculty, college, or school to self-declare your illness in advance of the requirement, deadline or assessment and they will help address your situation.

Limited Access will not be applied if you VW. When registering for courses in a future term, Limited Access will not apply to courses you VWd from in Winter 2020. If you VW from a course, you may register without the Limited Access restriction.

IMPORTANT: If you are returning home and don’t have internet access or a computer please advise your Instructor as soon as possible.

You can find all UM updates about COVID-19, including FAQs for students that we will update as new information becomes available, on this page.

Please stay safe and be sure to continue following Manitoba Health directives concerning social distancing, hand washing, and coughing/sneezing etiquette. Your health and well-being are important to all of us at the University of Manitoba.

All my best,

Laurie Schnarr

March 17, 9 p.m.: Message from Lynn Zapshala-Kelln, Vice-President (Administration), re: Staff FAQs

Dear UM Staff and Faculty,

Our entire community has been impacted in recent weeks as measures are being taken to slow down the spread of COVID-19. This is a stressful time as we try to balance health and safety, family care and increasing social distancing.

I am sharing with you some FAQs to provide guidance on the university’s response to this public health crisis. I am sure you can all appreciate that this has been an extremely fluid situation with directives changing almost hourly. These FAQs are by no means exhaustive and we will continue to update them in the days and weeks ahead. Please continue to visit this page for further updates as they become available. Specific questions related to your personal circumstance can be directed to your Manager/Department Head/Dean. Additional questions that may inform future FAQs can be directed to umanitoba@umanitoba.ca.

As President Barnard announced in his communication of March 12, 2020, while we are working to keep the university operational, heads of units will assess options for staff to work from home. If feasible, work from home agreements will be initiated and support arrangements for the provision of the necessary tools to do so will be facilitated on a priority basis. We are being as flexible as possible to accommodate requests.

This is an unprecedented time and we are all working together to ensure both units and staff are supported. I want to thank all of you for your patience as we continue to address the ongoing changes we are all facing.

Sincerely,

Lynn Zapshala-Kelln, Vice-President (Administration)

March 17, 4:30 p.m.: Update from Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students), re: VW date, Winter Term, Summer Term registration, student services

Dear Students,

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this uncertain time. I want to reiterate to you the UM’s commitment to protecting your health and safety, and to minimizing the negative impact on your academic progress.

Over the coming days I will be communicating new developments as decisions are made. Today there are four updates I would ask you to note:

  • The Voluntary Withdrawal date has been changed to April 13. This will allow you to consider whether you want to voluntarily remove yourself from a course after experiencing the changes to the delivery and evaluation methods that will be implemented in your courses starting tomorrow. If you choose to Voluntarily Withdraw from a course, you can do so in Aurora. It is recommended that international students discuss Voluntary Withdrawal options with an International Student Advisor at the International Centre prior to making the decision to withdraw from a course. Generally, students are encouraged to discuss your options with an academic advisor - you can find contact information on the website.
  • Winter term courses. Keep in contact with your instructors to receive information about your courses and any changes to assignments. Details about the final examination period will be available soon.
  • Summer Term registration will be suspended for now. We plan to resume Summer Term registration as soon as we determine implications for our summer course schedule.
  • Services for students. Academic advising, student supports, and other services continue to be available to students, although the method of delivery may have changed. To support social distancing, many offices are currently providing telephone or email appointments, with additional resources available online. If you plan to come to campus to visit a particular office, please call ahead to determine the best way to access help. Students who are ill are asked to not visit offices in-person.

You can find all UM updates about COVID-19, including FAQs for students that we will update as new information becomes available, on umanitoba.ca/coronavirus.

I will be back in touch soon. Stay safe and please be sure to continue following Manitoba Health directives concerning social distancing, hand washing, and coughing/sneezing etiquette. Attention to these individual actions will contribute significantly to the safety and wellbeing of people and communities during this challenging time.

All my best,

Laurie Schnarr

March 12-16, 2020 - ALL UPDATES

March 16, 4 p.m.: Update on Voluntary Withdrawal Date:

The Voluntary Withdrawal date for the Winter Term will be changed immediately to April 13, 2020.

This change is intended to allow students additional time to consider voluntarily withdrawing from courses given the changes in delivery and evaluation methods that have been and will be implemented for many courses in the coming days.

March 13, 4 p.m.: Message from President David Barnard on COVID-19

To the University of Manitoba community,

Yesterday I communicated our commitment to taking measures to protect the health and safety of our campuses and our wider community. Our top priority is doing our part to help contain the transmission of COVID-19.

In that same spirit, today I am announcing that there will be no classes on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. The University campuses will remain open on those days, but there will no classes.

This two-day pause allows the University to prepare to move classes to alternative modes of instruction.

To be clear, as of Wednesday, March 18 there will be NO IN-PERSON CLASSES, with rare exceptions that will be communicated directly to those affected. All in-person undergraduate and research-stream Master’s and Doctoral instruction will end March 13. Instruction will be provided by other means that may include existing online platforms. This will continue through the end of the term on April 7.

For now, the voluntary withdrawal date will remain the same (March 18), as will the exam period (April 13-25). We will assess this during the “pause” and communicate further details end of day Tuesday, March 17, or sooner if available.

Our staff are working hard to keep as much of the University operational as possible. The University remains open and we are continuing to provide students with as many essential services as possible under the circumstances. Please keep referring to this page for information and updates.

As I referenced in yesterday’s communication, all non-essential events involving 50 or more participants have been cancelled or postponed.

We continue to actively encourage everyone to maintain the hygiene and social distancing protocols outlined by health authorities.

As we reflect on all the information coming our way during this challenging period, I ask everyone to demonstrate patience and understanding.

The COVID-19 threat is new to all of us; none of us have dealt with precisely this situation before. We are acting out of an abundance of caution and with the best interests in mind of this and the larger community. We are all dealing with this together. We are committed to doing our best and making the best decisions.

Thank you for your attention. Please look after yourselves and one another.

Sincerely,
David
 


March 13, 1:30 p.m.: Support Staff Working Remotely From Home:

In order to support the university during these busy times, the IST Service Desk will be extending their hours this weekend to provide additional connectivity support for academics and those planning to work remotely.

If your request is urgent, please contact the Service Desk by Phone or Chat only. You will be answered in the order that the calls are received.

During regular operations, the Service Desk can be contacted by phone, chat, email or walk in service.

Extended IST Service Desk Hours
Phone, Chat, Walk-in at Fort Garry Campus
Friday, Mar 13 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday, Mar 14 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday, Mar 15 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Phone: 204-474-8600
Click on the link to chat online: Chat

Regular hours and other information is available on the IST Service Desk website: http://umanitoba.ca/computing/ist/help/

 


March 13, 12 p.m.: Message from Environmental Health and Safety Office:

Please be aware that Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) is implementing the following measures to reduce surface contact exposure to the virus:

Caretaking Services:

  • Special attention to ensure that washrooms remain stocked with soap for handwashing.
  • Disinfection of high touch surfaces such as light switches, handrails, elevator buttons, doorknobs, faucet/toilet handles, etc.
  • High traffic areas will be equipped with alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations.

Individual Office Spaces:

  • If individuals or departments wish to disinfect their own spaces, they should use disinfectants containing bleach or 70% ethanol. Health Canada states, “Environmental cleaning products registered in Canada with a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and labelled as a broad-spectrum virucide are sufficient for SARS-CoV-2”, the cause of COVID-19. The Clorox Commercial Solutions Disinfecting Wipes, available through Grand and Toy, meet these requirements and can be purchased by departments wishing to conduct extra cleaning within their spaces. Please follow the instructions on the label for effective cleaning directions.
  • Departments can purchase small pump bottles of hand sanitizer for their public spaces, if stock is available through suppliers.

EHS is also encouraging all departments, areas, units, etc to complete the University of Manitoba Business Continuity Plan Template. This is an all hazard, best practice approach for business continuity that guides preparation for work disruptions such as staffing shortages. Please prepare these documents so that disruptions to services can be mitigated or their impacts reduced.

Finally, please feel free to print and post these Cough Etiquette and Hand Hygiene signs from Manitoba Health. They are a useful reminder in public areas such as lunchrooms, large boardrooms, reception areas, etc.

 


March 12, 3 p.m.: Message from President David T. Barnard:

To members of the University of Manitoba community:

The University of Manitoba today is taking measures to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 on its campuses and in the wider community, and, ultimately, to support the province’s health care system.

Our plan today is to keep the University of Manitoba open. The campuses are not closed. However, we are limiting levels of on-campus activity in order to mitigate COVID-19 transmission.

I recognize that these actions will cause disruption and inconvenience, but as Manitoba’s largest post-secondary institution with a student population of more than 29,000 and more than 10,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, we have a responsibility to do all we can to lead the effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in this province.

My colleagues and I have consulted widely with other universities and our own health care experts, and, heeding the advice of public health authorities, we have made the determination that the need to act is now, while there is still a window of opportunity to make a positive impact and to the extent possible, help protect the community.

These measures are effective immediately and will stay in place until further notice.

These changes will take many forms as they unfold, but most critically they will involve:

CLASSES:

  • We are not cancelling classes or exams at this time.
  • Deans have been asked to work with their departments and faculty to make all course materials for the remainder of the term available online and to consider alternate assessment methods that can allow for social distancing practices.
  • The Registrar’s Office is currently working on an alternate final examination schedule that would reduce the number of students in any given exam venue to incorporate best social distancing practices.
  • With respect to summer term, we will be looking at how we can employ on-line methods.
  • Co-op and integrated learning program leads are to look at contingency plans for students involved in off-site learning opportunities.

EVENTS:

  • University-sponsored events of 50 people or more will be cancelled or postponed.
  • Organizers of smaller events will be required to consider alternate ways of doing those events that need to proceed (e.g., not providing food, hosting in large spaces offering sufficient flexibility for social distancing, or hosting online versions of events)

TRAVEL:

  • All university-related travel should be suspended for faculty, staff and students, where possible. Specific guidelines will be developed to assist in this process.

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES:

  • All students on international placements will be advised to return to Canada. Planning is underway to address the implications for these students of leaving a placement prior to its completion.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Messages regarding physical contact, cough and sneeze etiquette, hand washing, the use of sanitizers and disinfectant wipe are being widely shared and circulated.
  • All employees who show flu-like symptoms must not report to work and take the advice provided by public health officials.
  • While keeping the university operational remains a priority, heads of units will assess options for staff to work from home. If feasible, work from home agreements will be initiated and support arrangements for the provision of the necessary tools to do so will be facilitated on a priority basis.

COMMUNICATIONS:

  • We continue to urge our community to follow all health and safety protocols.
  • We will update the www.umanitoba.ca webpage with new information as it becomes available.

Those are the most important measures for you to note at this time. Please pay close attention to all the announcements and details that will follow, from the institutional sources (UM homepage, UMToday, emails), as well as information from your specific units, managers and instructors.

We will continue to keep student residences open, dining operations and other services and supports, where possible.

We ask everyone to adhere to the health and safety precautions already outlined in detail in our UMToday story and public health websites. Please keep at least two metres away from one another, wash your hands carefully and regularly, stay home if you are feeling ill, and follow all proper protocols.

None of these planned actions I have shared today with you are being taken lightly. I assure you that we are making decisions that we feel are the best for our immediate and wider community, and based on sound scientific advice. UM has been a leader for decades in global public health research and community outreach. We have a responsibility now to make every effort possible to play our part in meeting this current challenge.

While we take these proactive and preventive measures, members of our UM community continue to play a key role in directly addressing the impacts of COVID-19, medically, socially, economically, and in other relevant spheres. I thank them and express here our deeply felt support for their efforts.

Please join me in working together to play our part in keeping ourselves and our community as safe and healthy as possible.

I thank you for your understanding.

 

Sincerely,

David T. Barnard, O.M., Ph.D., FRSC

President and Vice-Chancellor

 


March 12, 10 a.m.: University message on COVID-19:

The University of Manitoba continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) threat. Currently, there is one presumptive case of COVID-19 in Manitoba. The Public Health Agency of Canada identifies the risk to Canadians as “low.” Globally, and throughout North America, the number of cases has increased in the past few days. Governments and institutions are taking a wide range of responses, including reducing or eliminating travel and other measures of social distancing.

In the U.S., a number of universities are cancelling larger public events and, where possible, moving academic activity to an online format. In Canada, some smaller universities are shutting down. UM health experts, risk management professionals and administrative leaders are paying close attention to every development to make informed and responsible decisions regarding any necessary adjustments to normal practices and activities. It is critically important that you continue to read all updates for new information. Answers to commonly asked questions can be found below.

Students FAQs

Updated March 30, 2020

Are classes cancelled if the university is closed?

Currently, there are NO IN-PERSON CLASSES, with rare exceptions that will be communicated directly to those affected. The closure of the university does not affect the delivery of classes currently underway. They will continue to be delivered by alternative methods. 

All in-person undergraduate and research-stream Master’s and Doctoral instruction will end March 13. Instruction will be provided by other means that may include existing online platforms. This will continue through the end of the term on April 7. 

What if I don’t have access to a computer?

Because the university is now closed, students will not have access to on-campus computer labs. If you do not have internet access or access to a computer, please advise your instructor as soon as possible.

Why are events cancelled?

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, at this time all events that are not essential to academic programming are being cancelled. 

Are UM campuses closed?

All university buildings are now closed. Students who are not in residence will not be able to access buildings on campus. All retail outlets and services will also be closed, with the exception of the Pharmacy in UMSU University Centre. The university is monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely and will open campuses as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.  

If I have things in my locker I would like to get, will the university’s doors be open? 

The university buildings are now closed and doors will not be open for you to retrieve any items from your locker. Your belongings will have to remain in your locker until such time that the university is able to open again. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.

Will the exam period be changed?

At this time, the University is not planning on delaying the Winter Term exam period. We understand that the remote delivery format for current courses is new for many students. Instructors are aware of these challenges and have chosen to alter teaching methods, course content and course assessment strategies, where appropriate, to assist students. Students who are having difficulty with course content should contact their instructor as soon as possible to discuss any supplemental material or resources that may be helpful to prepare for exams and completion of course work. In addition, many instructors are offering virtual office hours to enable students to connect and receive any help or guidance they need. 

I’m concerned my computer/device is not set up properly for online learning and/or exams. Who should I contact for help?

If students have concerns regarding technology and/or online exams, they should contact the IST service desk to ensure that their computers and devices are set up and ready for exams.

How will I know if my class materials are available or will be available online?

Contact your instructors directly for specific information on how your class is affected.

What about labs?

Contact your instructors directly for specific information on how your labs are affected. 

When is the Voluntary Withdrawal Date?

The Voluntary Withdrawal Date for the Winter Term is April 13, 2020. This deadline was changed to give students additional time to consider voluntarily withdrawing from courses.

http://umanitoba.ca/u1/know_yourself/573.html

Will I receive a full refund if I voluntarily withdraw from a course or courses?

No. The last date to withdraw and receive a refund (or reversal) of Winter Term fees was January 17.

Are libraries open?

While all UM Libraries are closed, we are still here to help -- Ask Us! Our team of librarians and support staff are online and ready to help you virtually with your research and information needs. A rich collection of digital resources continues to be available through Library Search. Online services for researchers are still available. 

See the Libraries’ COVID-19 update page for service details.

Are all UM events cancelled?

Yes, all university-sponsored events are cancelled or postponed until further notice.   

I’m not feeling well, what should I do?

If you are feeling ill, you should stay home and follow advice from Manitoba Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada. If you have to miss a class or test, please contact your instructor directly, right away. If you are unable to reach your instructor, please contact the dean’s office for your faculty.

Are international exchanges cancelled?

All students on international placements are advised to return to Canada. Planning is underway to address the implications for these students of leaving a placement prior to its completion. Please contact the International Centre for more information

I have a question about a specific course/academic classes. Who do I contact?

Please contact your instructor directly for specific information on how that course may be affected. 

Will classes be pushed into spring? If so, when can I expect to graduate?

At the present time the University is not planning to extend the winter semester, including the exam period, beyond its current end date of April 25th. If this changes details will be communicated on this website and via your University of Manitoba email.

Should I continue to go to student clubs and groups?

We are encouraging all clubs and student groups to meet virtually or by alternative means (e.g., FaceTime) in keeping with best social distancing practices.

Can I still get my prescriptions from the campus pharmacy?

As an essential service, the Pharmacy in UMSU University Centre will remain open during regular hours from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. To access, please use the East main doors off of Chancellor's Circle on the lower level of UMSU University Centre. You can call in for a refill at 204-474-9323 or have your doctor’s office fax in the prescription at 204-474-7572 and it will be sent out to you on or off campus. 

What other services are available to students?

Academic advising, student supports, and other services continue to be available to students. Many offices provide telephone or email appointments and have resources available online. Because campus is now closed, you will not be able to access these services in person.

What is happening with Summer Term?

Summer Term registration is currently suspended except in very specific circumstances (e.g., Graduate students who must register in the Masters or PhD Re-Reg courses; students on clinical placements). We expect that Summer Term courses will begin June 1, 2020 and we will provide you with further updates as they are available. Meanwhile, we can confirm that there will be no in-person instruction at UM until after September 1, 2020. Details concerning Summer Term courses will be communicated as soon as that information is available. Registration for all Summer Term courses beginning on or after June 1 will begin May 19th.  

What if I am not able to complete all my course requirements due to illness or other impacts of the COVID-19 situation?

Medical notes are not required if you are unable to meet course requirements due to illness or other impacts of the COVID019 situation. Please email an Academic Advisor in your home faculty/college/school to self-declare your illness in advance of the requirement, deadline, or assessment and they will help address your situation. Please use your umanitoba email address and include the following information: student name, student number, course instructor(s), course name(s), section(s) (e.g., A01, A02, D01, B03), and the phone number you can be reached at.

Will final exams be held?

Yes, but there will be no in-person final exams for Winter Term 2020. You may have scheduled online exams, or other methods of assessment may be used. Your instructor will share their plan for final evaluations with their students.

If I VW from a course, will I be subject to Limited Access?

When registering for courses in a future term, Limited Access will not apply to courses you VWd from in Winter 2020. If you VW from a course, you may register without the Limited Access restriction. 

I’m feeling stressed! Are there any UM services that can help me at this time?

Yes. It’s totally understandable that you’re concerned about the rapid changes in course delivery, everyday routine and lifestyle presented by COVID-19. You can contact the following offices to determine how best to access services: Student Counselling CentreStudent Advocacy and Case ManagementStudent Services at Bannatyne Campus, and Spiritual Care. 

Do you have any tips to help me become better at remote learning?

Remote learning can be a challenge to get used to – but we’ve developed some resources to help you do so. Find those here.

Campus is closed, but I still need help with my academics, what can I do?

Even though you won’t be on campus, we are still here to support you in finishing your term successfully. Many student support offices are offering phone, email, and/or video chatting appointments, including: academic advisorsAcademic Learning CentreLibraries and Student Accessibility Services.

Are the Student Accessibility Services offices open?

Yes, they are open through online, phone and email support only at this time. Please contact your Accessibility Coordinator directly, or contact the general office at 204-474-7423, staccess@umanitoba.ca.

Please know that your accommodation support staff (Transcriptionists, ASL – English Interpreters, Academic Attendants and Assistants) are available during your scheduled class time to ensure content is ready for you. Please contact them directly. If you are not sure how to do this, please contact your Accessibility Coordinator.

How do I write my tests and exams if I normally do so through Student Accessibility Services?

If you have booked a mid-term test between March 18 - April 7, the SAS exam centre staff will be contacting your instructor to find out if the test has been cancelled or transitioned to an online format. We will work with you and your instructor to figure out how to implement accommodations.

There will be no in-person exams. We understand that you have many questions about how your exams will be handled. Your instructors will provide you with information about how you will be evaluated in your courses. Please book your exams with SAS no later than April 1. SAS will contact instructors about your accommodations for online exams after this date.

I usually have a volunteer take notes for me. How do I get my class notes?

Volunteer note-taking continues. Student Accessibility Services is reaching out to all volunteers to keep uploading notes from online course content. Students can continue to download notes until the end of term.

I’m supposed to graduate this spring. Will Spring Convocation be affected?

As the University has made arrangements to complete the academic term, it is expected that students will graduate from their programs as planned. Provincial health officials have mandated cancelling all public gatherings of more than 10 people due to COVID-19. As a result, ALL ceremonies of Spring Convocation 2020 have been cancelled, but there will be an alternative celebration when feasible. The University is exploring creative options to fully celebrate the academic success of our graduands. Those scheduled to convocate will still graduate as the class of 2020. Details will be sent to students who are graduating closer to the date.

I’m an international student. Where can I go for support?

International students can seek guidance and support specific to their personal situations through one-on-one conversations with International Student Advisors (ISA). Students are advised to reach out to the International Centre with any questions they may have. Due to social distancing directives, until further notice, ISA appointments will take place by telephone or email only. Students can make appointments at 204-474-8501 or international@umanitoba.ca. International students can also contact these offices for additional support: Student Counselling Centre, Student Advocacy and Case Management, and Spiritual Care.  Please call or email these units directly to determine the best way to access their services.

Am I still covered under the Manitoba International Student Health Plan?

All eligible UM international students (registered in the Winter 2020 Term) are covered by the Manitoba International Student Health Plan. Therefore, if you are required to be tested for COVID-19 in approved testing sites, the medical expenses incurred for testing will be covered under your plan. For more information, please visit mishp.ca

I am considering going back to my home country in the near future. What information should I consider before leaving?

In this time of uncertainty, as always, we respect your autonomy and personal decisions. You should be aware that if you are planning on travelling outside of Canada in the near future or over the summer months, there are some very important considerations amidst the COVID-19 concerns. These considerations include possible impacts on your Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP) coverage if you leave Canada while there are travel restrictions, what documentation you require to return to Canada, and when you may be able to return to Canada, given the current travel restrictions into the country. Please contact an advisor at the International Centre to discuss your individual situation, as there are many factors to consider before booking a flight out of Canada. You can speak with an advisor at the International Centre by calling 204-474-8501 or emailing international@umanitoba.ca (please include your full name and student number).

Will the current situation impact my status in Canada as an international student?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is continuing to update their response to the evolving situation, and new information is posted on their website on a regular basis. Please continue to monitor the following IRCC webpages as they update information related to temporary residents (e.g., international students) in Canada:  

Temporary residence: COVID-19 program delivery  
Special measures to help temporary resident applicants affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) 

 

If Convocation isn't being held in person this spring, how will I receive my parchment?

Parchments will be mailed to the current address noted in Aurora. To ensure accuracy, please check and update your current address in Aurora so the parchment is mailed to the correct address.

The University has stated that there will be no in-person classes until after Sept 1, 2020, but my Fall 2020 program begins before that. What will happen with that?

Start dates for such programs will be determined and announced in due course.

Why would a I choose to exclude a grade?

A student may want to exclude a grade that they feel was negatively impacted by COVID-19. Exclude means not having the final grade in a course used in the calculation of your Grade Point Average (GPA) for your program.

Who should I speak to if I am not sure if this is a good choice for me?

You should contact an academic advisor in your home faculty/college/school to understand how this will impact your program. If you are wondering about how excluding a grade(s) will affect your eligibility for admission into your target program, please contact an academic advisor from that faculty/college/school or contact the Admissions office.

How do I exclude a grade from my GPA?

This process is still being determined, but will be communicated as soon as possible. Students will be able to exclude courses once final grades are available on Aurora.

Will choosing to exclude a grade from my GPA impact my ability to continue in my program and access to other courses?

Course grades excluded from your GPA will not affect your ability to continue in your program. However the grades excluded from GPAs will be used to determine eligibility to enter a program and/or will be used to determine if you have the prerequisite for other courses.

Will choosing to exclude a grade from my GPA impact my eligibility to graduate?

No, it will not affect your ability to graduate as long as you have successfully completed the course and met grade requirements for your courses in your program.

Will choosing to exclude a grade from my GPA impact my financial aid?

No. Students will still have to meet the minimum criteria for government sponsored aid.
 

Will choosing to exclude a grade from my GPA impact my current funding or awards?

Excluded grades will not be used in the GPA calculated for this purpose. Students will still be required to meet the credit hours and GPA outlined in UM’s Senate-approved Terms of Reference.

Will choosing to exclude a grade from my GPA impact my admission to another program (e.g., professional or graduate program) at UM? At other institutions?

Letter grades will be found in Aurora and will be used for the purpose of admissions. Policies will vary from institution to institution and students are encouraged to contact other institutions directly.

How will choosing to exclude a grade from my GPA impact my application for future awards?

Excluded grades will not be used in the GPA calculated for this purpose. Students will still be required to meet the credit hours and GPA outlined in UM’s Senate-approved Terms of Reference.

When will I have to make the decision to exclude a grade from my GPA?

You will have 14 calendar days from the date on which your final grade is posted to Aurora to declare that grade is to be excluded from UM GPA calculations.

What are some resources available to help with grocery shopping, etc.?

Many grocery stores offer delivery and pick-up options. For example, PC Express offers delivery and pick-up at grocery stores like the Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills, and Save-On-Foods also has locations that offer these services. For a list of grocery stores, please visit the international students page under the ‘Living and Learning in Winnipeg’ tab. Note that many retail stores, shopping malls and restaurants have changed their hours. Please check their websites or social media accounts, or call them directly, for the latest information. 

Is UM offering any emergency financial support to students?

Yes. The university and its donors are pleased to offer the Pandemic Relief Fund, which will provide emergency financial support to students. These one-time, direct-deposit funds are available to full or part-time students registered in the 2019/20 academic year who meet the criteria. For more information about eligibility and how to apply, click here

 

Graduate Students FAQ

Updated March 27, 2020

How can I get in touch with the Faculty of Graduate Studies at this time?

FGS staff are working from home and will continue to conduct business as best as possible under these circumstances. Your requests will be addressed based on priorities and time-sensitivity. Thank you for your patience. Find out how to contact us here.  

What is happening with oral examinations scheduled prior to March 31, 2020?

Until further notice, all examinations scheduled prior to March 31, 2020 (thesis proposal, candidacy, thesis defence) must be held and attended virtually and must be closed. FGS approvals for video/telephone presence is not required for all examinations scheduled prior to March 31, 2020. FGS is available to facilitate upcoming Ph.D. Thesis examinations where possible. 

What is happening with oral Ph.D. examinations scheduled prior to March 31, 2020?

Chair packages will be sent electronically but will not include programs. Programs will be available upon request once access to campus is restored. 

The advisor/unit must ensure that audiovisual equipment runs smoothly throughout the examination.  

The final report form should indicate if the examination ran smoothly, be signed electronically and submitted electronically to FGS. 

I’m an international student, and I’m worried about potential delays.

International students who are concerned with potential delays in completing their program due to the above adjustments, are encouraged to contact an advisor at the International Centre (IC) to discuss some important considerations. You can reach an advisor at the IC by sending an email, with your full name and student number to international@umanitoba.ca

What is happening with oral examinations scheduled beyond March 31, 2020?

FGS will work with units regarding any oral Ph.D. thesis examinations scheduled after March 31, 2020. Students fulfilling their program requirements will be eligible to graduate at the next graduation date. 

Will I still be able to graduate in Spring 2020?

Spring Convocation 2020 has been cancelled; however, students fulfilling their program requirements by March 31, 2020 will be eligible to graduate in June 2020. The University is working on alternate plans for a celebration at the appropriate time in the future. 

When will registration open?

The Registrar's Office has indicated that registration for GRAD 6000, GRAD 7020, GRAD 7022, and GRAD 8020 will be open in April.  

When is my progress report form due?

FGS requires that each graduate student complete the "progress report form" normally due June 1. While we encourage submission of the progress report form for June 1, we are extending this deadline to July.  

Have awards application deadlines been extended?

Deadlines for all current internal University of Manitoba awards competitions are now May 1, 2020. 

Deadlines for newly advertised internal awards will be set for June, 2020 and beyond where possible. 

We continue to accept GETS applications and UMGF recommendations; but processing might be delayed. 

The Tri-Agencies CGS-M results will not be available on April 1, 2020; more information will be coming. The FGS awards office will accommodate students awaiting their CGS-M application before deciding on admission offers. 

I have applied to UM as a graduate student – how can I do an English proficiency test?

Among the other options, University Senate has approved as of March 18, 2020 to temporarily allow the use of the Duolingo English Test (englishtest.duolingo.com) for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 intakes, with a minimum acceptable test score of 115. 

What if I need to defer my admission because of COVID-19?

The Faculty of Graduate Studies will accommodate admission deferrals while registration is suspended or in the event that travel is prohibited, or quarantine/self-isolation is required. 

Is UM offering any emergency financial support to students?

Yes. The university and its donors are pleased to offer the Pandemic Relief Fund, which will provide emergency financial support to students. These one-time, direct-deposit funds are available to full or part-time students registered in the 2019/20 academic year who meet the criteria. For more information about eligibility and how to apply, click here

 

Students in Residence FAQs

Though the university is now closed, the questions, answers and dates below remain valid.

Updated March 26, 2020

As long as there are no in-person classes or in-person exams, can I stay in residence?

At this time, all residence halls, including the residence dining hall (Fresh Food Company) will remain open for international students who have not been able to return home safely. These residents are permitted to stay in residence as late as April 30, 2020 unless otherwise specified and are expected to move out no later than 48 hours after their last exam or academic commitment.  

The health and safety of every student living in residence is of paramount importance to the University of Manitoba. As we continue to take measures to help flatten the curve and contain the spread of COVID-19, we recognize that sustaining a safe and supportive environment in a community like residence in the long term, will present challenges. Therefore, all residents that remain in our community need to make every effort to adhere to the variety of measures we have implemented to maximize safety at this time. These include: 

  • Social distancing at all times in all common spaces that remain open 

  • Taking meals to go, limiting time in the dining hall, and respecting staggered dinner schedules 

  • Washing hands regularly and cough etiquette 

  • Absolutely no guests in residence at any time 

  • Limiting elevator capacity to 2 at a time 

  • If you feel unwell, please remain in your room 

I am an international who cannot safely return home and need to stay until the end of the exam period. What do I do?

All international students who cannot safely return home, are required to complete the online move out form which can be found at the “Move Out” tab once you have logged in to the residence portal

I’m moving out now. Do I need to inform the residence office?

Yes. Please complete the online move out form which can be found at the “Early Move Out” tab once you have logged in to the residence portal. Keys can be returned at the Arthur Mauro or University College offices or the Residence Life Office drop box. 

What measures are being taken to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in residence and in the dining hall?

Canadian residents, who are able to safely return home and do not have special circumstances that may warrant an exception, are being asked to move out of residence no later than 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

Regardless of measures being undertaken to mitigate COVID-19, social distancing in our residence communities will be challenging with so many students still living and eating here. If we can mitigate this further by increasing the number of domestic students who can safely return home, we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to do so. 

In addition to regular cleaning duties, caretaking staff are taking additional measures to wipe down high-touch areas like door handles, elevator buttons, and light switches. At the dining hall, we have reduced and spread out the seating area where possible, added more hand sanitizers at entry and exit and there is a staff person in the dining hall dedicated to cleaning surfaces.

What happens if I get sick or have to self-isolate while in residence? What happens if my roommate gets sick or has to self-isolate?

If you have flu-like symptoms and have not been exposed to an affected region or person, follow normal protocols by staying in your room as much as possible, resting and minimizing your social contact. If you have received a health care directive to self-isolate, Student Residences has a protocol in place that would allow for students to temporarily move to dedicated self-isolation rooms that would include meal delivery service. In these cases, please contact any of our residence staff members immediately. With self-isolation cases where a roommate is involved, both residents will and can be accommodated. 

 

Why did you ask domestic students to leave residence?

In order to effectively support our residents in this very complex and evolving situation, and maximize opportunities for social distancing, we need to ensure that only students who need to live in residence and cannot safely return home, continue to live in residence at this time. 

Will I get a refund if I choose or am required to leave residence?

Prorated refunds for students that are required or choose to move out before the end of the residence contract period will receive a refund. Refund information will be communicated to each student directly at a later date. This applies to room fees and any associated meal plans. 

Is the residence dining hall still open?

Yes, however out of concern for the health and safety of students and staff still living and working in our residence buildings, effective immediately and for the next 30 days, we will be limiting the number of residents in the dining hall to 50 students. 

In order to accomplish this, we will require all residents with a meal plan to limit the time spent in the dining hall to no more than 30 minutes for any meal to ensure everyone has the opportunity receive a meal. Students can also take meals to go. Upon entry, dining services staff will be asking students if they want to dine in or take their meal to go. Once seating capacity is maximized, only meals to go will be permitted. A staggered dinner schedule has also been set as follows: 

        PHR & AVM residents: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm only 
        MSH & UCR residents: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm only 

The need for separate designated dining times are for dinner only at this time. 

Faculty and Staff FAQs

Updated March 27, 2020

Due to the closure of schools and daycares, what options are in place for staff who need to stay home with children?

We are committed to doing the best we can to support all employees during this unprecedented public health situation, and we ask that employees do their best to support university operations.

As of March 23, 2020, all employees – unless told otherwise by their Manager/Department Head/Dean – are to work from home. 

Managers/Department Heads/Deans should work with employees to support their health and well-being and to continue university operations to the greatest extent possible. This can include reassigning duties or flexible work hours to accommodate childcare needs.

If the above approaches are not possible, then employees will have the following options to cover the time missed:

  • Use vacation or banked time; or
  • Purchase VPP days. (In response to the current public health situation, UM has temporality increased the total number of VPP days available for purchase to 15 days. Eligibility requirements for this program still apply.)
  • Other leaves outlined in their specific collective agreement or applicable university policy.
  • For extended absences, employees may be eligible for unpaid leave. Employees can contact Service Canada to discuss eligibility for federal support programs.

Please note that these are interim measures in response to an unprecedented public health situation.  We will re-evaluate on or before April 9, 2020.

Will staff continue to be paid if required to self-isolate as per the federal and provincial health guidelines?

All employees – unless told otherwise by their Manager/Department Head/Dean – are to work from home.

If you are able to work from home during self-isolation, the time should be coded to regular time. If you are asymptomatic, but your Manager/Department Head/Dean approves that you are unable to work from home, the time should be coded to the time off-COVID exception code. If you are symptomatic and unable to work from home, the time should be coded to sick time. Please note that these are interim measures in response to an unprecedented public health situation. We will re-evaluate on or before April 9, 2020.

Managers/ Department Heads/Deans should work with employees to support their health and well-being and to continue university operations to the greatest extent possible. We are committed to doing the best we can to support all employees during this unprecedented public health situation, and we ask that employees do their best to support university operations.

I was unable to retrieve an item before the university closure on March 23. How do I access my belongings?

The UM is now closed. Please respect the university closure to the greatest extent possible and do not return to retrieve items. If you must retrieve an item in order to continue university operations, please contact your Manager/Department Head/Dean to request permission and to provide you access, as Security Services cannot respond to these types of requests. Please respect social distancing at all times.

Who needs to self-isolate?

Please review federal and provincial health guidelines to confirm if you need to self-isolate. If you have additional questions regarding testing or self-isolation, please contact the Health Links-Info Santé line at 204-788-8200. If you develop any cold or flu symptoms, please stay home until your symptoms fully resolve.

 

Will I be required to provide a medical note if I am away sick or required to self-isolate?

No. In order to avoid overwhelming the medical system, we have suspended requirements for medical notes related to COVID-19 at this time.

Will mandated self-isolation impact placement in the attendance management program?

Time missed due to mandated self-isolation will not be counted as part of attendance management reviews.

I need to stay home and take care of a sick family member. What are my options?

We are committed to doing the best we can to support all employees during this unprecedented public health situation, and we ask that employees do their best to support university operations.

Managers/Department Heads/Deans should work with employees to support their health and well-being and to continue university operations to the greatest extent possible. In addition to working remotely, this can include reassigning duties or flexible work hours to accommodate family care needs.

If the above approaches are not possible, then employees will have the following options to cover the time missed:

  • Use vacation or banked time; or

  • Purchase VPP days. (In response to the current public health situation, UM has temporality increased the total number of VPP days available for purchase to 15 days. Eligibility requirements for this program still apply.)

  • Other leaves outlined in their specific collective agreement or applicable university policy

  • For extended absences, employees may be eligible for unpaid leave. Employees can contact Service Canada to discuss eligibility for federal support programs.
     

Please note that these are interim measures in response to an unprecedented public health situation. We will re-evaluate on or before April 9, 2020.

 

What if I choose to take non-essential travel and am unable to return to work as a result?

Federal and provincial health authorities are strongly discouraging all non-essential travel during this public health emergency. If you have plans to take non-essential travel that results in your inability to continue your work responsibilities upon your return, you must contact your manager and Human Resources to determine how resulting time away will be treated. This may include using vacation and unpaid personal leave.

 

What should I do if I have concerns about another employee who is coming to work with COVID-19 symptoms?

All employees – unless told otherwise by their Manager/Department Head/Dean – are to work from home.

However, if you are working on campus and another employee is displaying symptoms of illness, managers should discuss with them the need to stay home. It is appropriate for employees to raise such concerns with a manager, however, it is not appropriate for a manager to engage in any further discussion regarding another employee’s medical circumstances.

 

What mental health supports are available for staff and their dependants?

UM Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) plan members and their dependants can contact Lifeworks by Morneau Shepell at 1-800-387-4765 (English) or 1-800-361-5676 (French).

 

What do I need to know about privacy during a pandemic?

During a pandemic, public health directives aimed at minimizing health risks and protecting the population may result in a reduction of personal privacy rights. Still, employers should pursue the least privacy-intrusive way of collecting the minimum amount of personal information from employees while following directives from government and health authorities. UM’s Access and Privacy Office has created this resource to answer specific questions on privacy during a pandemic.  

How do I protect privacy and confidentiality while working remotely?

Staff must be careful when sharing workspace and technology with others, such as family members and roommates. Ideally, you should have a separate workspace that other members of the household do not access. Log out of all systems when not in use, and clear your workspace of any paper documents when not in use. Paper files should be held securely as possible and safely filed when not being used.  

Phone conversations and video conference calls should be conducted privately, away from other members of your household, to maintain the privacy of sensitive information and the confidentiality of business information. Wearing headphones can also help ensure that those around you can’t overhear your conversation.  

When using software for online meetings, ensure that any workspace that is visible to meeting participants is clear of documents. If you are leading a meeting, and plan to share your screen, ensure you are logged out of all other systems and documents that are not required for the meeting to ensure you don’t share any additional information. 

What equipment should I use while working remotely and how?

Whenever possible, employees should use the equipment assigned to them by the University. University devices should not be shared with any other members of the household. You should ensure that screens are set to timeout after 15 minutes of inactivity, and you should lock your device when you leave your workspace. 

It is understood that some employees may be using their own personal devices to work remotely. If using a personal device, ensure your anti-virus software is up to date. Employees will need to use VPN to access shared drives, home drives, and many software systems. Ensure you log out of all systems and close all documents when you take breaks or finish work for the day.  On personal devices ensure you close all internet browsers and clear internet caches after accessing university systems through web portals. 

Further information on how to protect and secure data from a technology perspective is available in IST’s Working Remotely Guidelines.  

How do I manage electronic records while working remotely?

Where possible, information should be saved in the same place it was retrieved from. Electronic records should not be saved locally on a personally owned device, unless there is no other option for saving documents, including emailing them to yourself or supervisor for proper management. 

If you must store documents locally, you should maintain a log of the documents on your device and share regular updates with your supervisor. Any university records should be stored in a protected folder on your computer, and all documents should be password protected.   

You should ensure you also empty your recycle bin of deleted items daily. All documents must be transferred to University-maintained storage locations and systems at the earliest opportunity. 

How do I manage paper records while working remotely?

Paper records should be stored securely while offsite. Any destruction should wait until a return to campus. If you find yourself in an extraordinary situation regarding paper records, you may contact the Records Manager at fippa@umanitoba.ca for additional advice. 

Faculty FAQs

Updated March 20, 2020

Will UM offer Summer Courses, and if so, when and how will they be offered?

UM currently intends to offer summer courses starting no earlier than June 1, 2020 with a completion date no later than August 31, 2020. There will be no in person instruction or assessment for any courses; all instruction will take place by alternative methods. The Registrar’s Office will be responsible for determining an academic schedule for this period. A revised registration date for the summer term will be determined and communicated in due course. 

At this time, Distance Education (DE designated) courses, already scheduled to commence in early May, will continue.  The Registrar’s Office will determine and communicate a registration period for these courses as soon as possible.

How will English Language Proficiency tests be completed?

UM will continue to accept scores on all approved tests of English Language Proficiency (ELP). In addition, Duolingo (an acceptable test of ELP) has been approved for this purpose for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms. The minimum acceptable test score is 115, which equates to approximately 7.0 on the IELTS test. Duolingo is recognized globally as comparable to IELTS and TOEFL. It is available online so may be completed without accessing a formal test centre. Duolingo has already been approved for use as an acceptable test of ELP by a number of other universities in Canada including Dalhousie, Queen’s, McGill, Alberta, Calgary, UBC, and Simon Fraser.

Are students required to provide a medical note if they are sick or need to self-isolate?

Students are not required to provide medical notes to support absences from class activities/requirements and from evaluations including final examinations. Students will be required to self-declare through email note to their faculty/college/school’s Academic Advisor that they will be unable to meet their course obligations. The Advisor will in turn notify the relevant Instructor. This declaration will be treated as necessary and sufficient for the student to be afforded reasonable accommodation.

What is the plan for final examinations?

There will be no in-person final examinations held for any courses offered in whole or in part in the Winter 2020 term. All assessments must be completed by alternative means. Instructors have the latitude and responsibility to adjust assessments as they deem most suitable and appropriate (e.g., online tests, take-home tests, new assignments, adjusted weightings of completed assessments, etc.) and to communicate these changes promptly to students and unit heads.

When is the exam period?

The current exam period is April 13 to 25, 2020.  This is the dedicated period within which online examinations may be scheduled.  Faculties must consult with the Registrar’s Office regarding any intention to offer a scheduled online final examination.

When is the Voluntary Withdrawal Date?

The Voluntary Withdrawal Date for Winter Term courses is April 13, 2020.

What are the changes under the Responsibilities of Academic Staff with Regard to Students (ROASS)?

The Provost has also suspended sections 2.6, 2.8, 2.9(f), and 2.12 of the Responsibilities of Academic Staff with Regard to Students (ROASS) Procedure, effective immediately and for the remainder of the winter term. This suspension is to facilitate adjustments to courses and evaluation method to allow instructors the flexibility to make changes to their courses and their assignments. Please note the details as outlined at the special meeting of Senate on March 16, 2020

In addition, the requirement for course evaluations for the Winter 2020 term as outlined in the ROASS procedure Section 2.21 will not be requiring any on-line evaluations of instructors or courses (SEEQs).

What about Spring Convocation?

Spring Convocation 2020 is cancelled. This includes May 1, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony, Agriculture Diploma; May 2, 2020 Graduation Pow Wow at Fort Garry Campus;
May 21, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony at Bannatyne Campus; June 4, 2020 to June 9, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony at Fort Garry Campus; and finally, June 15, 2020 Spring Convocation Ceremony at Université de Saint-Boniface.

At an appropriate time in the future, we intend to celebrate the academic success of our students.

Researchers FAQs

Updated March 20, 2020

Is all on-campus/field sites research, scholarly works, and creative activities to be suspended?

The expectation is that researchers will continue as much research as possible remotely, but only limited research will continue in university research facilities, including off-campus research sites.  Researchers who feel that they have exceptional circumstances, should complete this form in order to outline exceptional circumstances for continuation of experiments, scholarly works, and creative activities.

How do I manage ongoing experiments?

Principal investigators must stop all on-campus research including field research unless it can be done remotely.  Researchers who feel that they have exceptional circumstances, should complete this form in order to outline exceptional circumstances for continuation of ongoing experiments. 

What will happen to field research?

All field research must be stopped unless it is approved by the Vice-President (Research and International) using the process and form described in “How do I manage ongoing experiments?” 

Can research personnel continue to work in the lab?

Only if they have been approved by the Vice-President (Research and International) to do so using the process and form described in “How do I manage ongoing experiments?” 

Can I still hold lab meetings?

All research meetings requiring bringing people together may continue only if these can be managed using electronic means such as Bluejeans, WebEx, or other suitable videoconference or teleconference platform. 

Can studios continue?

Only if they have been approved by the Vice-President (Research and International) using the same process and form described in “How do I manage ongoing experiments?”

Can I reassign the duties of research personnel?

Principal investigators can reassign research personnel if the new duties align with the research project.  For example, assisting others who are at the data analysis and writing stage and to work from home if possible based on the need for accessing research data and/or availability of virtual tools or laptops. 

Can graduate students continue to use their office space?

No, at this time the University campuses as of 11:59 p.m. CDT Monday, March 23, 2020 are closed. Graduate students are to work remotely except when they are to work on research projects approved by the Vice-President (Research and International) using the process and form described in “How do I manage ongoing experiments?.” 

What disinfection measures are required?

In labs/field sites where permission has been granted to continue research, a protocol to disinfect all surfaces to reduce the risk of surface transmission must be implemented; this would include, but is not limited to, lab benches, fume hoods, instrumentation panels, taps, etc.  In the case of multi-user research facilities (e.g., Manitoba Institute for Materials (MIM); small animal imaging, etc.), that have been given permission to continue all personnel must take careful and thorough steps to clean and sanitize to the greatest degree possible, all equipment that was used/handled. [It has been suggested that a chlorine- or ammonia-based cleaner (e.g., Clorox or Lysol) be applied to perform this cleaning.] 

What accommodations are the Tri-agencies making during this pandemic?

The Tri-Agencies will be sharing additional information in the coming days. Please check tri-agency messages on COVID-19 on their respective sites: CIHRNSERCSSHRC; and CFI  

What is happening with summer undergraduate research awards (URAs/USRAs)?

Please note that all students who received a summer undergraduate award from the University of Manitoba (URA) or NSERC (USRA) should contact their supervisor to determine how to proceed.  You will receive your award as originally outlined in your award letter.  However, you may have to work on your own at home (remotely connected with your research mentor/supervisor) and spend your time reviewing literature, assisting your supervisor with analyzing data, compiling a review article or other publication, etc.  The main change due to the COVID-19 situation is your working conditions and research. 

Do I pay research personnel during this “social distancing” period?

The payment of research personnel (graduate students, postdocs, research associates, research technicians, etc.) must continue through the COVID-19 situation; the University will continue to assess this on a regular basis.  The wellbeing of research personnel, as well as their dependents, is paramount.  We want to be as supportive and flexible as possible to avoid any undue hardship.  For example, a graduate student (postdocs, research associates, research technicians, etc.) whose stipend was to be renewed on April 1st for an additional period, must be sent for renewal. Please try to process these renewals as quickly as possible. 

Libraries FAQs

Updated March 30, 2020

Are libraries open?

While all UM Libraries are closed, we are still here to help -- Ask Us! Our team of librarians and support staff are online and ready to help you virtually with your research and information needs. A rich collection of digital resources continues to be available through Library Search. Online services for researchers are still available. 

See the Libraries’ COVID-19 update page for service details.

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: