Message from the President: Update, reminder, and thank you
This message was distributed to UPEI students, faculty, and staff on March 20, 2020 via their @upei.ca emails. While we will continue to update our COVID-19 website, the latest news will be first shared with the UPEI community by email and notifications will be sent by UPEI SAFE, the University’s safety app (available on The App Store and Google Play).
As we are about to enter this new phase of instruction on Monday, and after a week of operating with no in-person classes and labs and a limited workforce on campus, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all members of our UPEI community. I am so proud of how everyone has been caring and respectful of each other as we navigate this uncharted territory. All of you have been tremendously helpful and co-operative as we employ measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
To our Students, I appreciate your patience and resiliency as we transition to alternate course delivery. I assure you that we will do everything in our power to be flexible as we resume instruction so that you can complete the semester successfully.
To our Faculty and Staff, I thank you for your understanding and creativity as we move to this new model. We have made significant progress in a short time and have adjusted to either working remotely or providing in-person essential services extraordinarily well.
To our Deans, Vice-Presidents, CIO, and senior management team, I am grateful for your leadership and for your support of the decisions we have made in the best interest of our entire community.
The impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve every few hours. As of this afternoon, our PEI Chief Public Health Officer reported that there remained only two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province. With the measures we have taken, the UPEI community is playing its part in doing what we can to limit the spread of the virus. However, we must continue to follow the guidance of our government officials.
I encourage you to continue to refer to our COVID-19 information page and FAQs posted on the upei.ca website. I also request that, while we continue to practice social distancing, we also practice social connecting. Check in with your peers, colleagues, friends, and family using technology and social media. If you are feeling apprehensive or have concerns—which is understandable—reach out to the supports that are available. UPEI has a number of supports for students through UPEI Student Affairs, including personal counselling (902-566-0488, firstname.lastname@example.org) and the International Student Office (902-566-0576, email@example.com). UPEI faculty and staff can access the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-387-4765.
These are unprecedented times for not only post-secondary education, but also our province, our country, and indeed our world. Let us continue to take care of each other.
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Prince Edward Island