Jan. 14, 2022

Online learning extended until Feb. 19

Message from President McCauley to the campus community
UCalgary campus in winter
UCalgary files

The University of Calgary is extending online classes until the end of Feb. 19, with a return to in-person classes after Reading Week, beginning on Feb. 28, 2022.

Public health officials, medical experts and health policy analysts have been monitoring the Omicron variant as it unfolds in Alberta. Initial data indicates that this fifth wave of COVID-19 is expected to peak in early February.

Thus far, this variant has led to fewer hospitalizations than previous variants, but it is very contagious. Our decision to temporarily hold off on returning to in-person teaching and learning will allow the University of Calgary to play its part in reducing the spread. This should help ease the burden on our health-care system at this key time.

How classes will operate

  • Most courses for Winter Term will be offered online until Feb. 19, 2022, with exemptions where there is a requirement to be in person. In the case of these exemptions, students will be contacted directly.
  • Following Reading Week, classes or class components originally planned to be in-person will resume in-person instruction on campus on Feb. 28, 2022.
  • Classes originally planned to be offered remotely will continue online.
  • Instructors with questions about possible impacts of this decision are asked to contact the academic leader in your area.

Impact on university operations

  • The University of Calgary is not closing during this time.
  • Faculty, staff and thesis-based grad students supporting on-campus activity such as student services and research will continue to be expected to be on campus.
  • Employees who are effectively working remotely are asked to continue to do so.
  • Anyone on campus must be in compliance with the university’s vaccination directive

Not an easy decision

Shifting from remote to in person and back online again has been difficult on everyone. Students need to know how their classes will be held, teaching instructors need time to adapt their materials; and researchers, grad students and staff need to understand when and if they should be back on campus.

We all need as much certainty as possible for how this term will unfold.

As we work our way through this semester, I want to thank all of you for the resilience and dedication you have shown. This fifth wave has been a challenge, as have the previous two years. Please be kind to one another, continue to support each other and hopefully very soon we will all be back together again.

Ed McCauley
President and Vice-Chancellor